Outlander Filming Locations in Scotland
Inspired by the 18th-century Outlander season 1 series filmed in Scotland and having read the amazing story of Claire and Jamie by Diana Gabaldon I decided to go and explore some of the Outlander filming locations.
Blackness Castle is situated on the south bank of the River Forth, sixteen miles west of Edinburgh. This 15th-century castle is steeped in history. It was built as a stronghold for war and was used as a garrison fortress and formidable prison. The castle is often referred to as the ‘ship that never sailed’ because of its curious ship-like construction. Climb the towers and curtain wall and cast your gaze over the sweeping view of the Firth of Forth towards the three Forth bridges. The magnificent cantilever Forth Rail Bridge opened in 1890, the Forth road bridge in 1964 and the new spectacular Queen’s Ferry Crossing Bridge with its massive three-tower cable-stayed construction came into use in 2017.
The castle shot to fame with the Outlander series. In season 1, the castle is portrayed as the fictional Fort William fortress, where Black Jack Randall flogs Jamie Fraser in the courtyard. Later in the series, Claire is held captive at the Fort William fortress and Jamie comes to her rescue. The grounds of the castle are a nice place to have a picnic.
Castle entrance fee: Adult £6 and child £3.60
Where to eat at Blackness Castle?
The Lobster Pot pub and restaurant in nearby Blackness-on-sea offer a great food menu, give it a try if you have time!
Doune Castle is situated 5 miles north-west of Stirling. Doune is a popular filming location and has featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander.
In the Outlander series, Doune Castle is the fictional Castle Leoch where Claire meets Callum MacKenzie, Chief of Clan MacKenzie. The Scottish castle played a prominent part in season 1 of Outlander, the striking 100ft high gatehouse immediately catches your attention. The medieval castle, badly damaged during the Scottish Wars of Independence was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th century. Explore the kitchens where food was prepared for the great banquets. Doune’s cathedral-like great hall is very impressive, it has a minstrels’ gallery and a central hearth. Check out the magnificent views from Doune castle’s battlements as you gaze towards Ben Lomond and the Menteith Hills.
The castle was held by Charles Edward Stewart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in 1745 during the Jacobite rising.
Fancy a bit of exercise? Follow the meandering path outside of the curtain walls. Look down upon the River Teith; it is a great place to have a picnic.
Entrance fee: Adult £9. Child £5.40
The royal burgh of Culross in Fife dates back to the 16th century. The old town of Culross is situated on the north bank of the River Forth, twenty-five miles north-west of Edinburgh. Take a walk through the charming village of Culross, along the narrow, cobbled streets and view the old white-harled houses with red-tiled roofs. Several Outlander scenes are filmed in Culross, the fictional village of Cranesmuir, where Claire meets the herbalist Geillis Duncan and the infamous Father Bain. Situated in the heart of the town there is a small square with a Mercat Cross. Here Outlander’s Jamie, with a little help from Claire, aids the boy who’s ear is nailed to the pillory to escape. Claire’s herb garden at Castle Leoch is filmed behind Culross Palace and it is definitely worth a visit. Enjoy walking in the footsteps of the Outlander cast.
Where can I eat at Culross?
For lunch in Culross try the bar food at the Red Lion Pub where there is a good selection of draught beers. Alternatively, go for the Biscuit Café in Culross, they sell a variety of snacks and delicious home bakes, indulge in a slice of triple chocolate fudge cake!
Thirty-nine miles from Edinburgh, the picturesque village of Falkland in Fife nestles at the foot of the Lomond Mountains. Outlander utilises this destination as Inverness in the 1940s scene of Claire and Frank on their second honeymoon. Grasp the photo opportunity to stand by the War Memorial in the town centre, the place where Jamie Fraser stood watching Claire from her bedroom window. The fantastic Fayre Earth Gift Shop and Bruce Fountain is near here too.
You can stay or dine at the Falkland 3 star Covenanter Hotel (aka Mrs Baird’s B&B.) The hotel features a restaurant and a coffee shop, where home-bakes are served. In the evening stop by the bar, toast your toes by the log fire and sample a glass of Scottish whisky as you think of Outlander’s Jamie Fraser.
If you have time, a visit to Falkland Palace situated within the village offers a glimpse into the rich and turbulent past of Scottish History.
Bo’ ness and Kinneil Railway and Museum of Scottish Railways museum sits on the south bank of the River Forth near Edinburgh, approximately 18 miles west. It is operated by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, a group of volunteer rail enthusiasts. The Bo’ness railway station was transformed by the Outlander team into a London wartime station. The romantic scene, where Claire and Frank say their goodbyes, is shot here as Claire goes off to war to use her nursing skills.
Explore this fascinating railway site, board a vintage steam train and travel in an old fashioned, Harry Potter style, coach with individual compartments. Indulge yourself with afternoon tea and a selection of delicious cakes while the train travels along the coast. Book ahead, it costs £24 per person, but this includes the train fare. There are special Thomas the Tank and friends theme days at the station, younger children really enjoy these special days. Normal adult train fares are £10 and £6 for children.
Where to eat at Bo'ness?
A popular place for lunch is the Station Buffet, where homemade traditional Scottish dishes are served, made from locally-sourced produce.
Linlithgow Palace is one of my favourite places to visit. It is situated 21 miles west of Edinburgh. This majestic royal residence is steeped in the history of the royal Stewart dynasty. Several monarchs were born in the pleasure palace, including Mary Queen of Scots. An annual Spectacular Jousting event is held each summer, harking back to medieval tournaments on Linlithgow Peel. Explore this amazing palace at your leisure, visit the Great Hall built by James the 1st or the royal apartments added by James IV, plus the three-tiered courtyard fountain installed by James V in 1538. Beyond the walls of the palace, there is an attractive parkland with a loch. Boats can be hired to go fishing. Enjoy a picnic within the peaceful grounds or take a leisurely walk around the loch and watch the amazing birdlife.
Linlithgow Palace featured briefly in the first season of Outlander, depicting the fictional dungeon of Wentworth Prison where Jamie suffered grievously at the hands of Black Jack Randall.
Entrance fees: Adult: £7:20, Child: £4.30.
Craigh na Dun - Where are the standing stones in Outlander located?
Sorry to disappoint but the Craigh na Dun stone circle is actually a fictional place! The standing stones were made from Styrofoam, placed in an outcrop of trees in a field east of Kinloch Rannoch, near Pitlochry. There are many fine examples of ancient stone circles in Scotland, but none near Inverness as described in the book series. Kinloch Rannoch is set in a beautiful area on the River Tummel and would be a must-visit if you want to see all of the outlander filming locations, but the site of "Craigh na Dun" is secret so you will have to search for it!
Where to eat at Kinloch Rannoch?
Try the Riverbank Cafe on Allt Mor Place, very friendly, freshly filled rolls, homemade soups and great cake.
Dean Castle Country Park was seen in season 2 as Beaufort Castle of Clan Fraser of Lovat.
In season 2, the Drummond Castle gardens were used for the scenes filmed at the Palace of Versailles as it could have appeared in the time of Louis XV.
Built-in the neoclassical style, Gosford House is located in East Lothian, 2 miles north east of Longniddry. The house was used in season 2 and 3 for a variety of scenes, including inside of Ellesmere, Helwater and Versailles Palace.
Hopetoun House - Duke of Sandringham's home
Hopetoun House is the real-life location of the Duke of Sandringham's residence in season 1 of Outlander. The large mansion is built on the shore of the Firth of Forth on its own 6500 acre Hopetoun estate.
Lallybroch - Midhope Castle
Midhope Castle is located on the grounds of Hopetoun house mentioned above. It is the filming location of Lallybroch, Jamie Fraser's home in Outlander. Please obtain a pass from the farm shop before visiting this historic tower house.
Jamie's Print Shop
Bakehouse Close is where "Alexander Malcolm" aka Jamie's print shop is located and where Claire and Jamie are reunited after many years apart. Bakehouse Close is located in Edinburgh on Carfax Close off Canongate and near the historic Royal Mile.
Scenes were filmed here for France scenes at Jamie's cousin's wine warehouse.
Where are the North Carolina filming locations?
While the fictional Claire and Jamie are in North Carolina, the scenes are actually filmed in Scotland!
River Run - Abercairny Estates 60 miles north of Glasgow.
Fraser's Ridge - Hill of Row near Doune.
Governor Tryon’s residence - Newhailes House, Musselburgh near Edinburgh.
The Highland Folk Museum
The Highland Folk Museum is a great Outlander filming location situated forty-five miles south of Inverness in the village of Newtonmore, the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Drawn here by the Outlander series, I was intrigued to see more. The open-air museum is a fabulous day out for all the family, it is both fun and educational as you experience a glimpse into Scotland’s rich historical past. The museum is set in a one mile long, 80-acre site, covering life in the Highlands from 1700 to the present day.
A cluster of 17th-century Blackhouses were built using traditional methods to re-create an authentic look into the past. This little village within the park is called ‘Baile Gean’ Gaelic for “Township of Goodwill” and the picturesque background set is the magnificent mountain range of the Cairngorm National Park. Baile Gean is brought to life by human re-enactors who dress the part and are eager to answer questions relating to the filming of Outlander.
Outlander, season 1, episode five ‘Rent’ was filmed here. In Outlander, Jamie and Claire accompany Dougal to Baile Gean to collect taxes for Callum, Chief of Clan MacKenzie. The scene in Outlander, where the women sit around the table singing with Claire as they dye cloth, is filmed here too.
There are many other interesting attractions within the park, such as Aultlarie Farm, Leanach Church and a school with a single classroom furnished from about 1937, complete with desks, maps and a school bell. For those with a sweet tooth check out the Post Office and sweet shop where you can choose your favourite old fashioned sweets from the vast selection of jars. I wonder if Outlander’s Jamie bought some sweeties?
Pop into the museum café for a well-earned snack or indulge in an ice-cream cone while you browse around the shop which has a wide range of gifts and souvenirs. The picnic and children’s play area is another place to sit and relax while you gaze over the many attractions the Highland Folk Museum has to offer. A great day out for fans seeking to explore Outlander filming locations, but all the family will enjoy it, and it’s free to enter!
I hope this article has been of some value to you for planning your own Outlander adventure around Scotland.