Magical Outlander filming locations you can visit in Scotland

Days out

Long before it came to our shores, Outlander was incredibly popular in the States. So, it was no surprise when it quickly became a hit with the UK audience.

The period fantasy show, based on Diana Gabaldon’s series of novels, features Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe as protagonists Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall in a tale of passion, time travel, mystery and pain.

Set in 18th century Scotland, the series showcases a stunning array of filming locations across the country, from Falkland in Fife to Rannoch Moor in Perthshire.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide of the northernmost Outlander filming locations, where fans can take in gorgeous landscapes and relive scenes from the impressive TV series.

Series One

Much of the first series was filmed in the glorious landscape of Scotland so there are plenty of fantastic locations to visit.

Falkland, Fife

Representing 1940’s Inverness, the picturesque town of Falkland features early on in the first show. At the Bruce Fountain, keep an eye out for Jamie’s ghost which was seen by Claire, and visit the remarkable Covenanter Hotel which is just as cosy as its on-screen alibi Mrs. Baird’s Guesthouses. You may also recognise Campbell’s Coffee Shop and Farrell’s Hardware and Furniture Store from when Claire was window shopping.

Tulloch Ghru

Close to Aviemore in the Cairngorms National Park, the stunning scenery of Tulloch Ghru features within the opening credits and provides the atmospheric backdrop for Claire and Jamie’s ride with the Highlanders from Craigh na Dun to Castle Leoch.

Highland Folk Museum

The 18th century Highland Croft replicas within the Highland Folk Museum were used for Mackenzie village scenes and in the very first episode when Claire, Jamie and the clansmen were sheltering. It also took on the role of Leoch village later in the series.

Finnich Glen

This 80-foot-deep gorge cut through a quarter of a mile of sandstone is the magical backdrop for the scene in which Claire’s honesty is tested by Dougal at the fictional St. Ninian’s Spring.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle: Outlander Filming Locations

Another castle playing a prominent role in the series is Doune Castle, which represents the fictional Castle Loch where Colum MacKenzie and his clan reside. You can follow in the footsteps of Claire and Frank’s visit to the ruins by taking a tour to learn more about its true history.

Aberdour Castle

The romantic ruins of what was once an opulent home, Aberdour Castle doubles as St Anne de Beaupré’s monastery in France to where Jamie escapes, as his Uncle is Abbot there.

Culross

Set on the River Forth and like a scene straight out of the 16th century, it’s not difficult to see why Culross’ Mercat area was picked to represent the fictional town of Cranesmuir. Walking its narrow, cobbled alleyways, you really feel as though you’ve been taken back in time. The garden of the palace is where Claire tends to the herbs in the series, in the grounds of the fictional Castle Leoch.

Preston Mill and Phantassie Doocot

It's no surprise that this picturesque mill and doocot (that used to house 500 pigeons) were chosen as a backdrop for the Outlander series. They were featured as an atmospheric backdrop for some of the 1940’s scenes.

Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway

Not only is a trip on the Bo’ness and Kinneil Steam Railway a thrilling experience for all the family, but the station is also where Claire and Frank bid their emotional goodbyes. In the series it represents the 1940’s London station where Claire heads to the Front.

Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle: Outlander Filming Locations

Commanding incredible views out over the Firth of Forth and beyond to Fife, Blackness Castle features as the home of the formidable Black Jack Randall where Jamie was hurt and imprisoned.

Linlithgow Palace

Playing a fleeting role, Linlithgow Palace is where the prison corridors and entrances were filmed in episode 15 of Outlander. In ‘real life’ it was the birth place of Mary Queen of Scots and acted as a mid-point for the royals when they were travelling between Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle.

George Square, Glasgow

The incredible architecture and golden Glasgow stone makes this a special and romantic spot. It was picked to be the setting where Frank proposed to Claire out of the blue.

Troon

Scenes from the end of the first series were shot at the spectacular seaside town of Troon. While there, the cast were filmed on board a 17th century ship.

Series Two

In the second series Outlander took to Europe and commenced filming in Prague and France. However, no country could compare to the incredible Scottish backdrop meaning lots of filming still took place in the North.

Clava Cairns

One of the most significant places in the series is the Standing Stones, the mystical spot where Claire was first brought back in time. Many Outlander fans will know that it was filmed at Clava Cairns, a burial site built in the Bronze Age.

It’s an incredible place to watch the sun set and during the winter solstice two of the cairns align with the sun, making it a magical place to visit.

Drummond Castle Gardens

Claire and James spend much of series two in Versailles, but did you know part of it was filmed in Scotland? In fact, Versailles was replicated by the spectacular Drummond Castle Gardens. Take a look and imagine you are wandering the gardens of a French palace.

Duncarron Medieval Village

Much of the fighting in series two was shot here at Duncarron Medieval Village. Incredibly unique, this village was built by volunteers who were inspired to create a museum without glass cabinets – one where you can get involved in Scottish history.

Since then it has been funded by various TV shows and films that have shot scenes here and is run by The Clanranald Trust. Public events include living history workshops and displays.

Glasgow Cathedral

The inside of Glasgow Cathedral was used for filming Mother Hildegarde and the nuns of the Couvent des Ange, replicating the L’Hopital des Anges.

Cumbernauld Glen

The Battle of Culloden becomes a huge hurdle to Claire in series two as she tries to help Jamie. The scenes were not filmed onsite due to its significant historical importance but instead were filmed in Cumbernauld, and they are returning to this magnificent spot for the filming of series four.

For insight into that period of history, Drummossie Moor where the Battle of Culloden took place is still worthy of your attention.

Series Three

The third series saw filming all the way out in South Africa but again the team always returned to glorious Scotland for spectacular landscape and fantastic architecture.

Bakehouse Close, Edinburgh

In the aftermath of Culloden, Jamie opens a print shop business in Carfax Close under the pseudonym of Alexander Malcolm. The location for this print shop was the Old Town Bakehouse Close, a gorgeous old stone building.

Only the exterior of the property was used during filming, but this is where Claire and Jamie were finally reunited after years of separation, making it a must-see for any fan.

Kelvingrove Park

This wonderful park was the backdrop for Claire in episode two of series three when she was pushing Bree’s pram. It’s popular place and is located in the west of Glasgow.

Craigmillar Castle

In series three it was used to film Ardsmuir Prison run by Lord John Grey. This was where Jamie and other Jacobites were imprisoned.

This majestic castle is most famous for having hidden Mary Queen of Scots in 1566. It’s a great castle for exploring so it’s no surprise it was chosen as a location for the show.

Dunure, Firth of Clyde

A quaint village on the west coast of Scotland. It has a fishing harbour and incredible cliff views that were often used as backdrop throughout series three.

Where do we go from here? Locations we already know were used for series four

Gray Buchanan Park, Polmont

Gray Buchanan Park has been used as the set for a graveyard, but whose grave could they be visiting? It was the first filming location to be used for series four.

Other filming location for series four have included Abercairny Estates, Newhailes House, Cumbernauld Glen, Calderglen Country Park, Beecraigs Country Park and St Andrews in the Square.

For fans of the books

Castle Leod

This is one for the true Outlander fans. Diana Gabaldon loves the castle so much that she became a patron and it has been used as the fictional location, Castle Leoch, in the best-selling book series. For anyone touring the sets, this is a special place not to be missed.

If you want to visit any of these gorgeous locations, you had better act quick. The archaic Victorian Infirmary was used to replicate the fictional Boston Hospital where Claire works as a surgeon in series three. This building has since been torn down, so make sure you go and see all there is to see before it’s too late.

Tempted to follow in the footsteps of the stars and visit these stunning locations yourself? Book a stay in one of our beautiful Scotland holiday cottages and set out to explore - take care when walking around those stone circles mind!

 

Posted by Clare on 30th May 2018