Chasing Outlander: 5 Must See Scotland Highlights for Fans of the Series
Based on the amazing novels, the sweeping saga of Outlander is largely set in Scotland; and fortunately for all of us die-hard fans, the tv series has actually been shot there too, thereby giving us all exactly the swoon-worthy backdrop we craved when reading the novels and bringing it all to life. And also, giving us the perfect (additional) reason to visit Scotland!
There are lots of places all over the country (and some in Ireland too, I believe!) if you really, really, want to go all out.
(Side note: I've been re-watching from the beginning the last week, desperately hoping for Season 3 to make it to Netflix soon. Don't tarry, Netflix! The people have needs.)
I opted to fit my top five must-see Outlander spots into my 10 Day Scotland Itinerary (coming to the blog soon!) because it wasn't the only reason I was there.
Sometimes a girl has to make compromises, you feel?
But I think you'll agree - these were really the most important stops - and dammit if they weren't also the most photographable! ;-)
1) Lallybroch (aka Midhope House)
Fortunately, this cute little castle is actually quite easy to get to and located very near Edinburgh. It HAS become a tourist draw (boo) so while there's no entrance fee, there is a parking fee ;-)
The house itself is quite derelict and you are not allowed to enter. Take a few shots on the outside and enjoy it for what it's worth!
If for no other reason than you will be standing in the same spots as the dreamy Jamie - and I think that should be enough for all of us, no? ;-)
I bet they'd let you set up a blanket and have a little picnic right there, too, if you were so inclined!
2) Castle Leoch (aka Doune Castle)
Doune Castle is used throughout the first season as Castle Leoch in Outlander and it was cool to see it up close and personal! Unfortunately, you can't take pictures inside so there wasn't a lot to show here. Plus, the inside was kind of kitschy and less awesome than just seeing the outside anyways.
Fun Fact: This castle is also used as Winterfell in Game of Thrones - so it's a two-fer, if you're a fan of that show as well!
3) Culloden Moor
This is a bit of a sad place to visit, admittedly, but I felt really connected to the history of Scotland and the fight for independence by visiting - not just Outlander. It is a very sullen, romantic, beautiful place and well worth a visit.
And yes, people constantly leave flowers at the grave for Clan Fraser.
4) Fort William (aka Blackness Castle)
Fort William is a real city in Scotland (home of the Harry Potter steam train), but the Fort William of the Outlander series is actually Blackness Castle and even empty, even in modern day, it's kinda creepy and intense!
You can totally see why they chose to use it as the horrible prison in the series.
Oddly enough, this dark, relatively dreary castle (built in the shape of a ship, pointing out to sea), sits amidst some of the most gorgeous scenery at the edge of an adorable hamlet. Scotland is full of these lovely dichotomies!
5) Highland Folk Museum
This was an absolute highlight of an already incredible trip. It felt so real! They have replicated an entire 18th century village in the outdoor museum, replete with actors who never break character, farmland animals (ducks and chickens) roaming free, and fires roaring.
It's incredible. You really feel like you've stepped back in time.
Outlander filmed various scenes here in the episodes when they visit the village during the collection route as well as used it to recreate the burning village, from what I understand.
Bonus: The Bridge at Falls of Bruar, Pitlochry
This little bridge shows up early in the first episode - Jamie and Claire drive right over it!
It was quite tough to get a good picture, but I did go walk over it myself and it felt pretty cool! It's a bit up a slippery path, but the walk and fresh air are worth it. It's not too far from the Highland Folk Museum, either.
PS. I’ve put my entire 10 day self-driving itinerary of Scotland up for you! Or check this one out if you’re only interested in chasing more Outlander!