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Travel stories

Visit these Outlander filming locations on tour in Scotland

Jul 31, 2020 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

Have you ever wanted to visit scenes from your favorite TV show in real life? Our traveler Lisa did just that! Here, she shares her favorite moments and memories from her Customized Tour that included Outlander filming locations while traveling in Scotland.

Img Sing the Outlander theme song on the Isle of Skye!

Getting inspired

My friend Mattie and I started reading the Outlander books about three years before the series came out. (For newbies, it’s a book series and show about a pair of time-travelers, Jamie and Claire, who find adventure—and romance!—in Scotland and elsewhere.)

Living in a small Kansas town at the time, Outlander watch-parties became a way to get together for fun, food, and Fraser! Mattie first mentioned a trip to Scotland. She had some family members who wanted to see their ancestral Drum Castle in Aberdeen and another member of our group had ancestral ties to Eilean Donan Castle on the Isle of Skye. We definitely wanted to see some of the filming sites from Outlander.

We reached out to Go Ahead Tours to see if they have any tours that visit Outlander sites in Scotland—and they do! I started there and chose to create a Customized Tour to make it exactly the experience my group was looking for.

Img The view from Stirling Castle

Img Glasgow Cathedral, which was used for scenes in L'Hopital des Anges.

See where Outlander is filmed in Scotland


Follow in Lisa’s footsteps with a Customized Tour to visit Outlander filming locations, or see some of the highlights—like the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Urquhart Castle, and Inverness—on our Scottish Highlands tours.

Here are some of the spots Lisa and her group added on their Customized Tour:

  • Doune Castle, home to Colum MacKenzie
  • Linlithgow Palace, where Jamie is imprisoned
  • Blackness Castle, or Fort William in the show
  • Clava Cairns, a Bronze-age cemetery which has stones that have magical powers in Outlander

Plus, some Outlander sites you can already see on our tours of Scotland:

In the Highlands...

  • Inverness, where the series begins and the dramatic battle of Culloden takes place.
  • Culross, where many scenes from the show have been filmed.
  • Urquhart Castle, better known to Outlander fans as the spot where Claire sees the Water Horse.

In Glasgow...

  • George Square, where Frank proposes to Claire.
  • Glasgow Cathedral, the interior of which was used for L’Hopital des Anges.
  • Kelvingrove Park appears in a scene where Claire pushes Bree in a stroller.

And in Edinburgh...

  • The Palace of Holyrood House, where Jamie and Claire attend parties of the real-life Scottish prince, Bonnie Prince Charlie. (It’s a great visit during free time in Edinburgh!)
  • Bakehouse Close, an icon of old Edinburgh and where Jamie’s print shop is based.
  • The World’s End, a famous tavern and hangout of Dougal MacKenzie. In the show, it was recreated as a set, but you can get in the Outlander spirit by stopping in and sipping some whisky.

Visit scenes from Outlander on tour

Creating an Outlander-worthy trip

Eilean Donan Castle in the Highlands, where Claire and Frank honeymoon
Time-traveling at Clava Cairns

We included iconic stops to Loch Ness and Loch Lomond, the Kelpie sculptures, Culloden Moor, St. Andrews, Cairngorm National Park, the Falkirk Wheel, not to mention every castle within a 60-mile radius of our path. Of course, we added Outlander filming sites such as Doune Castle (Castle Leoch), Linlithgow Castle (Wentworth Prison), Blackness Castle (Fort William), and Culross (Cranesmuir). Although we didn’t make it to Kinloch Rinnoch (Craig na Dun), we did see a circle of stones at Clava Cairns and again on Orkney Island at the Ring of Brodgar.

Img Rescuing Jamie from Linlithgow Castle!

Img Keeping an eye out for Jamie and Claire at Doune Castle.

Mission accomplished

It’s hard to pick just one favorite stop in Scotland. It is, quite simply, a feast for the eyes. Beauty and history abound. I fell in love with the Isle of Skye. Eilean Donan and Drum were ancestral castles for many of our travelers and watching them explore their ancestry on tour was an emotional experience for me. My favorite Outlander spot was Culross, a beautifully antiquated coastal village, and Mattie’s was Doune Castle, Castle Leoch in the first season.

One of the most exciting moments for our group was along the road to Pitlochry. Our fabulous bus driver, Angus, had informed us that in the past, he’d done a lot of driving for the film crew of Outlander. He knew we’d been searching for a glimpse of a current film site. As we’re making our way up a very narrow road, he says, “They’re filming over there.” We instantly grabbed cameras and told him to slow down! All we were able to see were the white tents and some extras sitting around, but it was enough to fulfill our goal.

Img

Any future plans, Outlander fans?

Mattie and I, and most of the other member of our group, would go back to Scotland in a heartbeat. For myself, I loved everything about it: the scenery, the food, and the people. Although the new seasons of Outlander are set in North America, I believe they are still filming in Scotland. So when I answer the question would I like to visit more set locations, I would say, “Absolutely, especially since it means another trip to beautiful Scotland!”

Are you an Outlander fan? Tell us which sites you’d like to visit in Scotland over on our Facebook page!


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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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