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Outlander Filming Locations in Central Scotland | The Ultimate Guide

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iving in central Scotland, we’re lucky in that we have quite a few different Outlander filming locations within a short drive of home. Some of these are places we’ve visited many times, without realising they’d been used in the show, while others (*cough* LALLYBROCH *cough*) are places we sought out purely because of the Outlander connection: although, to be fair, many of these historic sites are fascinating in their own right, and well worth a visit even if you’re not an Outlander fan –  so please don’t let the fact that I’m talking about them primarily in the context of the show here put you off.

The Ultimate Guide to Outlander filming locations in Scotland

Oh, and a quick disclaimer: for obvious reasons, it wasn’t really possible to talk about Outlander filming locations without mentioning which scenes have been filmed in them, so if you’re not up-to-date with the current show, I can’t guarantee you won’t see any spoilers! And, with that said, here’s my guide to Outlander filming locations in Scotland, starting off with…

FALKLAND / INVERNESS

I’m kicking off this tour right at the very start: in the pretty little village of Falkland, in Fife – or, as Outlander fans will know it, “Inverness”. In the image above, I’m walking towards the hotel Claire and Frank checked into on their honeymoon – that’s the window Claire looks out of, in the top right of the photo – and I’m sure the rest of the street around me will be instantly familiar to anyone who’s watched Season 1.

In the show, this is Mrs Baird’s B&B. In real life, it’s The Covenanter Hotel – and a really nice spot for coffee and cake, as Terry and I can confirm. Although the interior of the hotel has an olde-worlde charm all of its own, it wasn’t actually used in Outlander, with all interior scenes being shot in a studio. The exterior, however, is fairly iconic to fans of the show, and the village itself is picture-postcard pretty, so worth visiting in its own right, too. Having left the safety of Mrs Baird’s B&B, however, Claire famously found herself falling through the nearby standing stones: so, naturally, we headed there, too…

Outlander filming locations in Scotland

THE STANDING STONES / KINLOCH RANNOCH, PERTHSHIRE

OK, so the first thing you’re likely to notice here is that, well, there ARE no actual standing stones, are there? Sadly for us, the standing stones used in the show aren’t real – they’re just Styrofoam props which were long gone on the day we visited. The hill they sit on, however, is located on Kinloch Rannoch in Perthshire (It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but you’ll find the exact map location here…), and will be instantly recognisable to fans of the show: in fact, I could almost hear the title song strike up in my head as we walked up the hill: 

Visiting the location of the Outlander standing stones in Perthshire, Scotland
As Outlander filming locations go, this is a particularly beautiful one, and, as it’s a bit out of the way, it tends not to be too crowded with tourists. (Having said that, as soon as we parked our car, we got talking to a lovely American couple, who were there for the same reasons we were, and more fans arrived just as we were leaving: all part of the Outlander experience, though, right?)
 

MIDHOPE CASTLE /  LALLYBROCH

Outlander filming locations don’t get much more memorable than Lallybroch itself, do they?

In real life, Jamie Fraser’s ancestral home is actually Midhope Castle, near South Queensferry. Although it is open to the public, the castle is privately owed, and you’ll need a permit to access the site, which is occasionally closed, due to work on the neighbouring farm.  We visited earlier this year, and I wrote an in-depth post about our experience here: in short, though, be aware that the castle is ruined, so you won’t be able to get inside, and there are no tourist facilities such as toilets or gift shops, etc.

Lallybroch - a.k.a Midhope Castle - an Outlander filming location in Scotland

Will you care about any of those things when you’re sitting on those famous steps, or walking underneath the entrance archway? Nuh-uh…

Related:

Read my full post on our trip to Lallybroch here

Outlander filming locations: Hopetoun House

HOPETOUN HOUSE  / HOME OF THE DUKE OF SANDRINGHAM

Located on the same estate as Midhope Castle/Lallybroch,  but this time fully open to the public, Hopetoun House is used frequently as an Outlander filming location. It’s most recognisable as the Duke of Sandringham’s residence in seasons 1 and 2, but the stable block and grounds also make regular appearances in the series: Terry and I visit the house fairly often, and we’ll frequently recognise random corners of the grounds or outbuildings in Outlander scenes, so it’s another one that’s well worth a visit, especially as it’s close enough to Midhope for you to see both locations on the same day.

(Oh, and while you’re there, The Stables restaurant, in the grounds of the estate, is a fantastic location for lunch or afternoon tea: read my review here.)

BLACKNESS CASTLE / FORT WILLIAM

Remember THAT scene in Season 1, where Jamie is whipped by Captain Randall? It was filmed at Blackness Castle in West Lothian, which stands in for Fort William on the show. Here’s the very location, in fact:

Outlander filming locations: Blackness castle, Scotland

Like many – if not all, in fact – of the Outlander filming locations I’ve mentioned here, Blackness is well worth a visit, even if you’re not remotely interested in the fates of the fictional Frasers. The castle itself is ruined, but still fairly well preserved, with many rooms intact – which was a blessing to us, when it started pouring with rain during our visit!

Great Hall, Blackness Castle, Scotland

Although Outlander mostly used the courtyard and exterior of the castle for filming, the great hall, shown above, also looked really familiar to me, although I couldn’t find it on any of the lists of Outlander filming locations I looked at. Hmmm….

Read my full post on our visit to Blackness Castle here.

CULROSS / FIFE

I thought I knew about all of the Outlander filming locations in this part of the world, until one day earlier this year, when my parents came back from a visit to the town of Culross, in Fife, and kept talking about how, “It’s on that TV show you like: the one you’re always talking about?”

Culross Palace, FifeWell, I did some digging, and it didn’t take me long to find out that, yup, Culross is actually used a few times in the show: most notably as Geillis Duncan’s village, Cranesmuir. The streets of the town make many appearances here, but the show also used some of the interiors of Culross Palace (Which is actually just a very large house…). Here, for instance, is Geillis’s parlour:

Outlander filming locations in Scotland: Culross Palace, Fife

While some Outlander filming locations do their best to play down their involvement in the show, during our visit to Culross Palce, we kept finding little notices dotted around the rooms, letting us know what they’d been used for: nice touch!

The grounds of the palace (Which are absolutely beautiful, by the way…) also appeared in season one, as the herb garden at Castle Leoch (You’ll find lots of photos of Geillis and Claire there, if you have a quick Google), and the town’s Mercat Cross was used as Cranesmuir, in later scenes where Geillis and Claire were sentenced to death: cheerful stuff, then…

Read my full post on our day at Culross Palace.

DOUNE CASTLE / CASTLE LEOCH

Speaking of Castle Leoch, here it is! It’s actually Doune Castle, near Stirling, and we last visited it a few years ago, before I became obsessed with Outlander filming locations, so I can’t tell you much about it from a personal point of view: our visit was unplanned, and we got there just as the castle was closing for the day, so we only actually got to see the grounds!

Still, it’s pretty impressive, even from the outside, and if you get there at the right time, you can go inside, too – although be aware that only the exterior was used in Outlander: inside is mostly ruined, and nothing like Castle Leoch! As an aside, Game of Thrones fans might be interested to know that Doune Castle was also used as Winterfell in season one of the show, as well as being a filming location for Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

LINLITHGOW PALACE / WENTWORTH PRISON

I grew up near Linlithgow, and have visited the palace and loch many, many times, but, even so, I totally failed to recognise it when it showed up as Wentworth Prison in season 1 of Outlander.

This is where THAT scene between Jamie and Black Jack Randall was filmed, and, unlike most of the other Outlander filming locations I’ve featured here, it’s actually the interior of the (now ruined) palace that’s most recognisable.

SIGNET LIBRARY, EDINBURGH / THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION, JAMAICA

It’s not just the Scottish scenes in Outlander that were filmed here, and, as proof of that, here I am in the Governor’s Mansion, Jamaica – or Edinburgh’s Signet Library, as it’s better known. Filming for season 3 took place here, both in the restaurant area seen above, and in some of the upstairs rooms. If you want to see inside for yourself, I can thoroughly recommend the afternoon tea served in the restaurant: read my full review of it here.

DRUMMOND CASTLE GARDENS / PALACE OF VERSAILLES

 
Continuing with the ‘scenes outside Scotland’ theme, Drummond Castle Gardens, near Creiff in Perthshire, were used as the grounds of palace of Versailles in season 2. You might recall seeing Claire, Jamie and Captain Randall strolling through these beautiful ornamental gardens, and, if so, you’re possibly as surprised as I was to find that these scenes were actually filmed right here in Scotland. The castle grounds are reckoned to be one of the best examples of an ornamental garden in Europe, and are well worth a visit, even if you’re not interested in the Outlander connection. 

Outlander filming locations in central Scotland

10 Outlander filming locations you can visit in ScotlandThe ultimate guide to Outlander filming locations in ScotlandHow to take an Outlander tour of Scotland

Have you visited any Outlander filming locations in Scotland? I’d love to hear about them, if so!

(Oh, and don’t forget, you can also follow my adventures in real-time over at Instagram…)

 

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5 Comments
  • Jennifer
    November 23, 2018

    I really like the way you’ve designed this post. Just the way you put it together, it made it even nicer to read.

  • Brenda
    November 23, 2018

    I’m really loving the layout of your new website! I was just in Edinburgh in early November (loved it and I thought of you lots, ha!!), but it was only for a few days. I stuck to the city, knowing I would come back to explore the rest of Scotland in more depth at a later time. I have read many of the Outlander books, stopping when Claire and Jamie hit North America — mostly because I got to the point where I kept thinking, “can anything more possibly happen to these people???” I haven’t gotten into the TV series yet — I think it might be fun to do so before I come back to Scotland. I may eventually pick to books up again also. They were certainly entertaining, but I didn’t get much done elsewhere because they were hard to put down! Keep up these awesome travel posts, I find them really inspiring!

  • I love the Outlander books but it has took me a long time to enjoy the tv series as not all the events are in the same order. However Scotland is a beautiful country and it is a great post you have put together on the locations. Well done, loved reading it.

  • Suzanne Tam
    November 27, 2018

    Looking at these photos makes me realise just how much I miss home! And also that I really need to start watching Outlander… Brilliant, photos, Amber.

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Outlander Filming Locations in Central Scotland | The Ultimate Guide