If you have joined the millions of people who are fascinated and in love with the television series Outlander, based on the best-selling books by Diana Gabaldon, then you have probably already been fantasizing about travelling to Scotland to explore some of the beautiful scenery featured in the show (and perhaps find your very own Jamie Fraser!).
Many of the places in Scotland where the show was filmed are accessible to the public, so you can go and view the breathtaking castles, haunting moors, and quaint villages that make up the backdrop of Claire and Jamie's romance.
10 Blackness Castle
This looming, intimidating 15th century fortress is the perfect setting for Captain "Black Jack" Randall's Fort William in the show. Located on the southern edges of the Firth of Forth, Blackness Castle has a very unusual shape, with part of its structure jutting out toward the water, and it was commonly known as the "ship that never sailed" due to this unique shape.
Viewers will certainly remember that harrowing episode where Jamie recalls his experience at Fort William, where Black Jack first had a chance to give him his lashes. Then, when Jamie wouldn't give himself to the Captain, he received another round of excruciating lashes. This unforgettable scene was filmed in the interior courtyard of this castle, its dark, foreboding walls looming up in the background.
In Season One of Outlander, we first see Claire and Frank traveling through the winding roads of the Scottish highlands in their convertible car. The war had just finished, and they were celebrating their reunion by enjoying a second honeymoon together in Inverness. The beautifully quaint little town of Falkland represented the 1940's version of Inverness in the show.
Falkland is located in Fife, just at the base of the Lomond mountains, and is a lovely little town to explore and wander around. With its winding streets and historical buildings, it would be easy to spend a day here just enjoying the tranquil atmosphere. If you wanted to pop into Covenanter Hotel, you would be visiting another set from the show - Mrs. Baird's Guesthouse!
8 Glencorse Old Kirk
Who could forget the epic wedding episode, where Claire is coerced into marrying young Jamie, in order to protect herself from the English troops who are wanting to take her back to Fort William? While already quite charmed with Jamie, Claire was still a married woman who was trying to find her way back to Frank. But, in order to stay safe, she had no choice but to marry the dashing highlander.
This episode was filmed at Glencorse Old Kirk, which is located near the Pentland Hills, south-west of Edinburgh. The kirk sits on the same grounds as Glencorse House, which is a beautiful location that is often used for weddings, due to its gorgeous layout. This lovely little kirk was the perfect setting for such an important scene in the show.
7 Linlithgow Palace
Probably some of the most epic and memorable scenes from Outlander come from when Jamie is imprisoned in Wentworth Prison at the end of Season 1. The horrors that he endured are unforgettable, and viewers were enraptured with the episodes, due to the phenomenal acting that took place, as well as the incredibly foreboding setting of Wentworth Prison.
Linlithgow Palace was the fortress that was used as Wentworth Prison in these episodes, its towering structure a formidable, impenetrable presence. Linlithgow Palace is a 12th century fortress that lies between Edinburgh and Stirling, and it was also the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. After being set ablaze by the Duke of Cumberland after Bonnie Prince Charlie fled during the second Jacobite War, the palace was left uninhabited, but is still a powerful fortress standing today.
6 Aberdour Castle
Aberdour Castle is one of the oldest castles in Scotland, its original hall house dating back to sometime between 1150-1200. Built by the de Mortimer family, Aberdour Castle also has a kitchen and long gallery that were used in filming that were built sometime in the 17th century. This castle was used as the Sainte Anne de Beaupré Monastery in the film, after Claire and Jamie escaped Scotland with Murtagh and traveled to France.
This castle has a long history and was used throughout the years by many of Scotland's highest nobility, including Robert the Bruce and Mary, Queen of Scots. In the show, however, its lush grounds and beautiful architecture were the backdrop for Jamie to begin healing from his ordeal in Wentworth Prison.
5 Doune Castle
Probably one of the most memorable scenes from the beginning of the show was when Claire and her group of unknown highlanders arrived at Castle Leoch, and Claire began to realize that this was in fact not a dream, but very much a reality. She had only recently visited the ruins of Castle Leoch with her husband Frank in the 20th century, and now here she was riding up to the same castle on horseback, and seeing it standing stall and whole, and bustling with activity inside.
Doune Castle was the castle used to represent Castle Leoch in the show, and it is located in the center of Scotland, about five miles from the town of Stirling. Built in the late 13th century, Doune Castle withstood significant damage during the Scottish Wars of Independence, before being rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, in the 14th century. It has remained largely intact over the years and still continues to be an impressive fortress, used in several films over the years.
4 Midhope Castle
The beautiful arched laneway at Midhope Castle serves as the unforgettable entranceway to Lallybrock, or Broch Tuarach, Jamie's highland property where his sister Jenny currently resides with her husband Ian in the show. Midhope Castle was built in the 16th century, and is located just outside of Edinburgh on the Hopetoun Estate grounds.
While it is still standing tall, Midhope Castle is closed off due to being unsafe on the inside. Fans can go and see the house and even take a photo of the infamous archway in the entrance, but they are not able to go inside any further.
3 Hopetoun House
On the same grounds as Midhope Castle, Hopetoun House is part of the Hopetoun Estates, currently belonging to Adrian, Marquis of Linlithgow. In the show, however, this sprawling estate belonged to the Duke of Sandringham, and it is where Jamies visited him to seek his help in receiving a pardon from the crown. These scenes were filmed in the beautifully-decorated Red Drawing Room within the home.
There are many places throughout the beautiful Hopetoun grounds that were used in the filming of Outlander, Seasons 1 - 4. This includes Midhope House, listed above, and The Sea Trail and West Lawn, where the infamous duel between the Duke and the Head of the MacDonald clan took place, where Jamie stepped in and helped, winning the favor of the Duke.
2 Highland Folk Museum
With its small stone buildings and thatched roofs, the Highland Folk Museum was the perfect setting for the MacKenzie village during Season 1 of Outlander. Claire and Jamies set off with Dougal to visit the lands and collect the rents, Claire being brought along because of her medical background and because no one trusted her quite yet.
They visited the MacKenize village, where the men spent the day collecting rents and secretly raising money for the Jacobite cause, while Claire met some of the local women and learned all about dying cloth with urine. The museum is located in Newtonmore, which is 45 miles south of Inverness. It opened in 1995 and provides a wealth of information about Scottish history and what life was like in the 17th century.
1 Rannoch Moor
Last, but certainly not least, are the haunting hills of Rannoch Moor, where Claire first steps through the standing stones and gets whisked back to the past to begin her adventures. If you go to Rannoch Moor looking for the standing stones, however, you will be sorely disappointed. There are no standing stones here, it is said that Diana Gabaldon got her inspiration for the stones from the Callanish Stones, located in the Outer Hebrides, and Clava Cairns, located in Inverness.
The moor itself, however, is beautiful to visit with its rolling landscape. The hill that was used in the show is located just off the road near Kinloch Rannoch, south of the Dunalastair Reservoir. A beautiful place to start your Outlander journey!