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10 Stunning Outlander Filming Locations from Season One (part 2)

Updated: Mar 26

Outlander filming locations






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Author: Barry Pickard

Are you a fan of the TV phenomenon Outlander? Do you enjoy watching the trials and

tribulations of the two main characters Claire and Jamie? 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.


Outlander filming locations

For those of you who have never watched Outlander, it is a historical fantasy television series based on the novel series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon. The show follows Claire Randall, a nurse who is transported back in time from 1946 to 1743 Scotland, where she meets and falls in love with Jamie Fraser, a Scottish Highlander.


In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most iconic filming locations from Outlander. Whether you are a fan of the show or simply interested in Scottish history, you are sure to find these locations fascinating.


Falkland


Falkland is a village and former royal burgh in Fife, at the foot of the Lomond Hills, with a population of just over 1,000. The filming of ‘Inverness’ in episode 1 was actually shot here in Falkland. This quaint village grew up around Falkland Castle during the medieval period, and continued to grow when the castle was replaced by Falkland Palace and became a residence of royalty. After a fire at the palace in 1654, caused by Cromwell's troops, the royal court was to never return to Falkland and the village went through a period of decline. However, during the late 19th century, when John, Marquis of Bute inherited these lands, the village received a well overdue restoration make-over.


Outlander filming locations
Falkland, Fife, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Mrs Baird’s B&B (Covenanter Hotel), Falkland, Scotland

Thanks to this village revival, this beautifully preserved village offered a perfect stand-in for ‘Inverness’. The Bruce Fountain sits magnificently in the middle of the village square, and it was here that the mysterious Highlander is seen looking up at Claire in one of the bedroom windows of Mrs Baird’s B&B. You can even visit Mrs Baird’s, although it is, in reality, called the Covenanter Hotel. We had a lovely coffee and fine piece at the hotel. You might even have the chance to be Claire – the hotel had thoughtfully provided Claire masks for its patrons! Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were no Jamie masks to be found, as they had all been stolen!


Tailor-Made Top Tip: In “The Hail Mary” episode of Season 2, Falkland Palace is used as the apothecary where Claire meets Mary Hawkins, who is buying medical supplies to attend to the sick Alex Randall.


Outlander filming locations
Mrs Baird’s B&B (Covenanter Hotel), Falkland, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Mrs Baird’s B&B (Covenanter Hotel), Falkland, Scotland

Doune Castle


Doune Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century, then probably damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany (c. 1340–1420), the son of King Robert II of Scots, and Regent of Scotland from 1388 until his death. Duke Robert's stronghold has survived relatively unchanged and complete, and has starred in a number of high-profile films and tv series other than Outlander. Famously, Doune Castle was a prominent filming location for Monty Python & The Holy Grail, and you may even hear some visitors to the castle shout from the walls the eternal words "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!". Game of Thrones fans will also recognise Doune as depicting Winterfell in the pilot episode.


Outlander filming locations
Doune Castle, Scotland

However, it seems that Doune Castle will now be forever linked with Outlander, having taken the starring role as Castle Leoch, the home of the MacKenzie Clan. There are even sections of the historical audio tour narrated by Sam Heughan, where he describes what it was like to film Outlander at Doune.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: Deanston Distillery is only a 5-minute drive from the caste and appeared in the second episode of Season Two - “Not in Scotland Anymore”. It provided the setting for the wine warehouse owned by Jared at the port of Le Havre.


Outlander filming locations
Doune Castle, Scotland

Aberdour Castle


Aberdour Castle has seen 500 years of noble living, serving as a residence to the powerful Mortimer, Randolph and Douglas families. Today, its ruined structures and roofed buildings show clearly how impressive a medieval castle this would have been. Aberdour is among the oldest masonry castles still standing in Scotland.

Outlander filming locations
Aberdour Castle, Fife, Scotland

Hidden in the complex are the remains of a two-storey hall-house, which may date to the early to mid-1100s. Its walls are built from ashlar (square-cut stone) and look remarkably like those of the nearby St Fillan’s parish church, which dates to the mid-1100s. Fine walled and terraced gardens and parkland are found to the east and south of the castle buildings, which includes an attractive beehive-shaped dovecot.



Aberdour’s moment of televisual fame comes during the final episode of season 1 when it becomes the Abbey of Ste. Anne de Beaupre. It is here that the tender scenes where Claire nurses Jamie’s injuries at the hands of “Black Jack” were shot.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: Head along the coast a little to Dysart and discover this lovely little harbour that was turned into the French port of Le Havre during Season 2 when Claire, Jamie and Murtagh escape to France.


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Outlander filming locations
Aberdour Castle, Fife, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Aberdour Castle, Fife, Scotland

Preston Mill


One of the most iconic moments of season one is when Jamie returns to Lallybroch and mends the mill wheel. Forced to duck under the water when Redcoats suddenly arrive, Jamie then emerges from the mill pond, almost Venus like. Not sure what the attraction was there, but I was more taken with Preston Mill itself and its unusual Dutch-style conical roof. Surprisingly, Preston Mill was used commercially until 1959 and was the region’s last working watermill.


Outlander filming locations
Preston Mill, East Lothian, Scotland

Tailor-Made Top Tip: The mill was used for a second time in Outlander, although less recognisably, when the mill’s exhibition room was utilised as the court ante-room, when Geillis and Claire attended the preliminary hearing where they were accused of witchcraft.


Outlander filming locations
Preston Mill, East Lothian, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Preston Mill, East Lothian, Scotland

Balgonie Castle


Balgonie Castle is a fine 13th- or 14th-century tower of five storeys standing in a courtyard, which appeared as the home of MacRannoch, near Wentworth Prison, during episode 15. Specifically, the hall and courtyard, which encloses a range of buildings dating from the 14th to 18th centuries, were captured in the filming.


Outlander filming locations

The castle, which is a private residence and not normally open to the public, was built by the Sibbalds, who held the property from before 1246, but passed to different families over the years. James IV visited the castle in 1496, as did Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1565. Balgonie was captured and plundered by Rob Roy MacGregor and 200 clansmen in 1716.

Outlander filming locations
Balgonie Castle, Fife, Scotland

Balgonie is believed to be haunted, and ghostly voices and apparitions have been witnessed in the Great Hall. A skeleton was found buried under the floor in 1912! A ‘Green Lady’, Green Jeanie, has been seen in recent times, and there are also stories of a spectral 17th-century soldier, the sounds of a ghostly dog, a hooded figure and a medieval apparition!


Tailor-Made Top Tip: Balgonie is only a 15-minute drive from Falkland, so it makes sense to combine a visit to both.

Outlander filming locations
Balgonie Castle, Fife, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Balgonie Castle, Fife, Scotland

Culross West Kirk


Did the Black Kirk in “The Way Out” episode give you the creeps? Well I managed to avoid eating any Lily of the Valley like Tammas Baxter and found the church to be a quiet little haven in the sun. Not threatening at all! The Black Kirk is actually the ruined Culross West Kirk. It was the former parish church of Culross, but was replaced by the Abbey Parish Church in 1633. However, it appears that the church had been out of use for some time before this, as the Act records that it was already in a ruinous condition.

Outlander filming locations
Culross West Kirk, Culross, Scotland

Sadly, the church is now roofless, and a large tree grows inside the western end of the building and much ivy on the walls. Also of interest, there is a large variety of headstones and table stones within the graveyard dating from the seventeenth -nineteenth centuries. The earlier monuments display symbols of death and mortality and a number of trades are also depicted, such as farmer, mariner and miner.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The church is only a few minutes away for the town of Culross, which itself has featured as a filming location for Outlander on numerous occasions.


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Outlander filming locations
Culross West Kirk, Culross, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Culross West Kirk, Culross, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Culross West Kirk, Culross, Scotland
Outlander filming locations

Bo’Ness & Kinneil Railway


Episode 3 has quite a touching scene as Frank says goodbye to Claire as she heads off to war from the platform of a railway station. You can actually visit this vintage station at the Bo’Ness & Kinneil Railway and recreate the farewell.


Outlander filming locations
Bo’Ness & Kinneil Railway, Scotland

The Scottish Railway Preservation Society (SRPS) has done a great job saving various classic railway buildings from demolition and bringing them to Bo’Ness. Over 5 miles of track (between Bo'ness and Manuel Junction, via Kinneil and Birkhill) are run and the station has a Booking Office, Station Buffet, a shop and a Visitor Information Point. The station also offers the chance to board a vintage steam or diesel-hauled train throughout the year. There are even regular visits by Thomas the Tank Engine! As well as Outlander, the Railway has also been used as a film location in a number of films and TV series including "The Railway Man", "39 Steps" and "Cloud Atlas".


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The railway is only a 20-minute drive from Callendar House, which appeared in episode 11 of Season 2, “Vengeance is Mine”. It was used as the kitchen at the Duke of Sandringham’s home, Belhurst Manor.


Read on to discover Dunmore House, Castle Fraser and the Old Fort of Fort William.


Outlander filming locations
Bo’Ness & Kinneil Railway, Scotland


Dunmore Park House


Dunmore Park House was the grand mansion of George Murray, the 5th Earl of Dunmore. Built between 1820 and 1825, this grand country mansion was designed by William Wilkins. The Murray family continued to live at Dunmore Park until 1911, and it remained in use as a private home until 1961. It was then taken over by a girls' school for a short time before being abandoned in 1964. Partial demolition took place in 1972 that removed the rear, or north-easterly, range and parts of the side ranges, plus roofs and many of the floors throughout the building.


Outlander filming locations
Dunmore Park House, Airth, Scotland

The house may be in a sad state of repair nowadays, but it did make an excellent location to be the field hospital where Claire was stationed while nursing wounded soldiers during World War 2. The house is off the beaten track, but it is well worth hunting down and is only a fifteen-minute walk from the famous Pineapple building.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: The house is only a short walk from The Pineapple, the eccentric pineapple-shaped structure, built by the Earl of Dunmore in 1761 as a summer home.


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Outlander filming locations
Dunmore Park House, Airth, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Dunmore Park House, Airth, Scotland

Castle Fraser


Although not appearing in Outlander (so far!), Castle Fraser has been home to the Fraser family for more than 400 years and must have inspired Diana Gabaldon in some way to name her lead character after this noble clan. The castle is filled with family portraits, ornaments and mementos. The long history even includes a few ghost stories! With a core that possibly dates back to the 1450s, Castle Fraser grew into a huge fortified structure, one of the largest tower houses in the country. The traditional walled garden includes specimen trees, herbaceous borders, a medicinal border and organically grown fruit and vegetables.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: If you enjoyed a visit to Castle Fraser, then you will love some of the magical castles that are nearby in Aberdeenshire, like Craigievar, Drum, Crathes and Fyvie castles.


Outlander filming locations
Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Old Fort at Fort William (Blackness Castle)


The impressive Blackness Castle was used as the filming location for Fort William, where Jamie receives a whipping from Black Jack Randall. We have covered Blackness in our previous Outlander post, so this time we thought we’d let you see the original Old Fort of Fort William. Unfortunately, what is left of the fort is not as impressive as the Blackness, but the Old Fort still has a beautiful view over Loch Linnhe.


Outlander filming locations
Old Fort at Fort William, Scotland

You can imagine the tall wooden citadel that was built here in 1654 by Cromwell's forces. By 1690 the wooden defenses were replaced by stone walls up to 20ft in height. Fort William continued to serve as a garrison for the army until 1855. In 1864 it was sold by the War Office to the local laird, Mrs Christina Cameron Campbell. She converted the buildings into housing and the surrounding ditches into gardens. In 1889 the fort was acquired by the North British Railway Company under the terms of a compulsory purchase order.


Tailor-Made Top Tip: If you'd like to see a more intact castle while in Fort William, pay a visit to Inverlochy Castle.


Outlander filming locations
Old Fort at Fort William, Scotland
Outlander filming locations
Old Fort at Fort William, Scotland

Tips for planning a trip to the Outlander filming locations

  • As mentioned already in this blog, not all locations are open to visitors and you may only be able to see the exteriors of some the buildings.

  • Opening times to Scotland's attractions tend to be seasonal, so make sure to check before arriving (or let Tailor-Made Itineraries plan your trip and work this out for you!). Many attractions in Scotland only open after Easter then close at the end of October.

  • Always plan for the weather. It is no exaggeration when they say that Scotland can experience four seasons in one day! Always have a raincoat handy and sturdy footwear, waterproof if possible, are advisable.

  • Read the blog posts noted below for more great Outlander locations to visit.

Conclusion


No matter how you choose to experience the Outlander filming locations, you are sure to have an unforgettable time. The scenery is breathtaking, the history is fascinating, and the experience is truly magical. From the stunning castles and palaces to the rugged landscapes and picturesque villages, the Outlander filming locations offer something for everyone.


Related Blog Posts

If you are interested in finding out about the Outlander filming locations around Scotland, please view the Tailor-Made Itineraries posts below:


Comment below and let me know what was your favourite Outlander location.

Don’t forget that Tailor-Made Itineraries delights in creating bespoke self-guided tours. So, if visiting any of these locations appeals to you, reach out to me by email. I would be more than happy to design a self-guided tour around your requirements incorporating the stunning locations of Outlander, or indeed, a general tour of Scotland itself.

Tailor-Made Itineraries posts every two weeks, and you can subscribe to the latest blog and newsletter here. Until then, happy reading and safe travels.

Barry

Tailor-Made Itineraries creates one-of-a-kind bespoke self-guided travel itineraries for adventurous and curious travellers.

These self-guided tours deliver a personalised and exciting holiday experience that takes the effort out of trip planning.


Outlander filming locations

Outlander filming locations

Outlander filming locations

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