Travel Through the Stones: An Outlander Guide (Part 1)

‘Many of the lost will be found, eventually, dead or alive. Disappearances, after all, have explanations. Usually.’

This year I traveled to Scotland in May, the same month in which Claire disappeared for the first time. Even though I couldn’t go through the stones (and God knows I tried), I had some amazing experiences that inspired me to write this post.

If you’re planning a trip to Scotland and would like to check out some of the locations related to Outlander (novels and television series) here are some ideas for you:

Inverness: where it all began

‘It wasn’t a very likely place of disappearances, at least at first glance.’

inverness street signs

Claire’s story begins in Inverness, a beautiful city located in the Scottish Highlands. Even though in the series the Inverness parts weren’t shot here (they were shot in Falkland), I highly recommend visiting this gorgeous city. Not only you’ll be able to see great attractions such as the Inverness Castle and the River Ness but also you’ll be near some emblematic places like Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Culloden Moor, and Clava Cairns.

inverness church by loch ness

How to get here (train)

Inverness is 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Waverley Station (Edinburgh). I recommend visiting the Scotrail Webpage to get tickets and check out timetables and prices.

Where to stay

The Inverness Youth Hostel is located in Victoria Drive and offers accessible prices and a comfortable environment with shared or private rooms and a self-catering kitchen.

My personal favorite

If you are a bookworm don’t miss Leakey’s Bookshop. Originally the Old Gaelic Church, it was built in 1649 and was used as a temporary hospital during the Jacobite Rising of 1745.

leakey's bookshop exterior inverness

Falkland: Inverness in the series

As I wrote before, the Inverness scenes were shot in Falkland, a small and picturesque village located in Fife at the foot of the Lomond Hills.

falkland as inverness in outlander

How to get here

Even though Falkland is accessible by car, I recommend hiring an Outlander tour where as well as visiting this village you’ll be able to visit other emblematic sites. One of my favorite tours is the one Slainte Scotland offers from Edinburgh or Glasgow. It starts at 9 am and returns at 6 pm.

falkland film locations outlander

Doune Castle: AKA Castle Leoch

‘When I had known it, Castle Leoch was a picturesque ruin, some thirty miles north of Bargrennan. It was considerably more picturesque now, what with the pigs rooting under the walls of the keep and the pervasive smell of raw sewage. I was beginning to accept the impossible idea that I was, most likely, somewhere in the eighteen century.’

doune castle castle leoch outlander

Doune Castle is a medieval stronghold near the village of Doune, in the Stirling district of central Scotland. It was originally built in the thirteen century and after being damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, was rebuilt in its present form in the late 14th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. This fortress was used not only as Castle Leoch (home of Clan Mackenzie) but also it is featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and in Game of Thrones pilot (the Winterfell scenes). Admission price is £6 and it is opened from 9.30 to 5.30 pm (April to September) and till 8 pm (July).

How to get here

It is one hour away from Edinburgh by car. Outlander tours usually include this location.

My pick

Don’t miss the gift shop! Not only you’ll find official Outlander merchandising but you’ll have the chance to dress with Outlander outfits for free and take pictures!

Culross: Cranesmuir and Leoch gardens

‘The Duncan’s house stood on the square, as behooved the residence of the procurator fiscal. This was a matter of convenience as well as status; the square could be used for those judicial matters which, by reason of public interest or legal necessity, overflowed the narrow confines of Arthur Duncan’s study.’

culross

Culross is a village and former royal burgh in Fife, Scotland. In the show, this charming village was used for the Castle Leoch garden scenes where Claire and Geillis Duncan gather herbs and for the Cranesmuir scenes.

culross outlander

How to get here

It is 48 minutes away from Edinburgh by car. Usually included in Outlander tours.

Midhope Castle: Lallybroch

“He took me to his own home–Lallybroch, it was called. A beautiful place.’

midhope castle lallybroch

Midhope Castle, also known as Lallybroch in Outlander, is a 15th-century house located 30 minutes away by car from Edinburgh. Since the interior is in ruins, you can only visit the exterior which is very well preserved.

midhope castle lallybroch relief

How to get here

You can only access Midhope Castle by car, and with a previous authorization, from 9 am to 5 pm (April – September) and from 10 am to 3 pm (October – December). Parking permits cost £10 for small cars and £40 for larger vehicles. You can get the permit in Hopetoun Farm Shop or in Hopetoun House Ticket Kiosk, both are five minutes away from Midhope Castle.

midhope castle lallybroch

Keep in mind

I recommend visiting this attraction with an Outlander Tour in order to skip the parking permit purchase. It is also important to notice that the attraction is not prepared for visitors, that means there aren’t any toilet facilities or places to eat.

Blackness Castle: Fort William

Also known as “the ship that never sailed”, Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fortress near the village of Blackness, on the south shore of the Firth of Forth.

blackness castle fort william

In the show, it was used for the Fort William scenes. The castle is open to the public almost every day from 10 am to 4 pm. Tickets are £6.

blackness castle fort william

How to get here

It is 30 minutes away from Edinburgh by car.

blackness castle fort william boats

Glasgow: from Paris to Boston

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland and it is located on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. The city was used several times during the show. George Square doubled as London for the scene where Frank proposed to Claire.

university of glasgow flowers spring

The University of Glasgow served as Harvard for the 1968 scenes. Pollok Country Park doubled as Bois du Boulogne where Jamie and Black Jack Randall dueled. Kelvingrove Park was used for several Boston scenes and Glasgow Cathedral was featured as L’Hopital Des Anges in Paris.

university of glasgow arches

How to get here

From Edinburgh, it is a 50 minutes train ride.

Where to stay

Glasgow Youth hostel is located in the West End right in front of Kelvingrove Park and Glasgow University. It’s an impressive Victorian townhouse offering both private and shared rooms. Facilities include a comfortable lounge, TV room, laundry, and self-catering kitchen.

 

 

Leave a Reply