We are big fans of the TV phenomenon Outlander and we enjoy watching the trials and tribulations of the two main characters Claire and Jamie. For us, however, there is a third main character on the show, one that does not appear in the credits, and that is the stunning location of Scotland itself. Whether it is the amazing landscapes, imposing castles or historic towns, the beauty of Scotland is never off the screen while watching Outlander. Enjoy our ten Season One Outlander locations!
Viewers begin to fall in love with Scotland as soon as the opening credits to Outlander roll. The captivating landscape on show is the rugged and awe-inspiring Glencoe and hooks the viewer immediately. Although it doesn’t actually feature in any episode scenes, Glencoe is still a must for fans, indeed any visitor to Scotland. The scenery of Glencoe has been fashioned by millions of years of geological and geomorphologic processes is now regarded as some of the finest ‘wild’ landscape in Scotland.
The standing stones which transport Claire to the 18th century are not actually genuine, having been created especially for Outlander and filmed near the small Perthshire village of Kinloch Rannoch. The inspiration for these mythical stones of Craigh na Dun, however, is believed to be the 4,000 year old Clava Cairns. Located close to the historic battlefield of Culloden, these Bronze age complex of cairns and standing stones captivate the visitor and it is easy to see how the Clava Cairns would have stimulated the imagination of Outlander writer Diana Gabaldon
Perhaps the most iconic castle in the Outlander Series, Midhope Castle takes the guise of Jamie’s ancestral home of Lallybroch. Just a half hour car journey from the centre of Edinburgh, Midhope Castle is located on the Hopetoun Estate near Hopetoun House. The interior of this 15th century castle is in a derelict state, but the outside walls are still in good condition.
Culross is a village and former royal burgh on the north banks for the Forth estuary. Said to have been founded by Saint Serf during the 6th century, Culross is used as the set of the fictional town of Cranesmuir, the settlement next to Castle Leoch where Claire meets Geillis Duncan and local priest Father Bain. Culross has been preserved and restored by the National Trust for Scotland since the 1930’s, and is an enchanting little village to walk around. Once a prosperous town, being a busy port and then a centre of the coal mining industry during the 16th and 17th centuries, boasting the world’s first coal mine in the world to extend under the sea, Culross is Scotland’s best preserved example of a 17th and 18th century town.
Within the village of Culross is the appealing palace of Culross. The palace gardens are used as the herb garden at Castle Leoch and the palace Withdrawing Room doubles as Geillis Duncan’s parlour. Culross Palace has also been used extensively in season two of Outlander, with its High Hall featuring as a Jacobite meeting room, its King’s Room being used for a bedroom scene, and the kitchen and pantry being used as a tavern.
The imposing fortifications of Blackness Castle have been described a the “ship that never sailed”, as it has an uncanny resemblance to a ship being launched into the Firth of Forth. This Royal castle, built in 1453, doubled for Fort William, and is the Outlander location which boasts the infamous scene where Jamie receives a whipping from Black Jack Randall.
The infamous Outlander scene at Wentworth Prison, where Jamie was attacked and tortured by Black Jack Randall, is filmed in the 15th century Royal residence of Linlithgow Palace. Strategically placed on the road between the two fortresses of Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Palace was an elegant building which unfortunately now lies ruined and roofless following an all-consuming fire in 1746. It is still a great building to explore today though and you can still visit this building where Scottish Royalty, such as James V and Mary Queen of Scots grew up. When visiting the Palace, also plan to spend time in the quaint town of Linlithgow itself as it has a number of other attractions to visit, such as St. Michael’s Parish Church and the Annet House Museum.
Hopetoun House is an extensive 17th century stately home, designed by William Bruce and William Adam. Used in Outlander as the home of Duke of Sandringham, the impressive Red Drawing Room of Hopetoun House was used for the meeting between the duke and Jamie. Outside, the scene where Jamie duels with one of the McDonald clan is filmed at the rear of the house. Also, the rear steps of the house were used for a sword fight scene and the courtyard behind the Stables Tearoom features regularly as a Parisian street location in Season 2. Incidentally, when you visit the house, make sure you visit the tearoom, as we can guarantee a lovely meal!
Roslin Glen Country Park
Located below the historical Rosslyn Castle and the mystical Rosslyn Chapel, which was made famous by another successful author, Dan Brown and his novel The Da Vinci Code, Roslin Glen Country Park is a beautiful and wild little park. It is in this park where Jamie argues with Claire after rescuing her from Black Jack Randall at Fort William.
Glasgow City Chambers
This impressive Victorian building on George Square has served as the headquarters of local government in Glasgow since it was constructed in the 1880’s. More importantly for Outlander fans, Glasgow City Chambers was the location used for Frank’s proposal to Claire. When visiting the City Chambers, make sure you take one of the two daily tours of the building’s interiors, and you will be able to marvel at the opulent carrarra marble staircase amongst other things.