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Outlander-inspired Tour of Scotland

 

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A must for avid fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books and TV series, on this tour you will follow in Claire and Jamie’s footsteps as you visit some of the inspirational places featured in the books and also the set locations used for filming the TV series. While perfect for Outlander fans, this tour is also a great choice for “Outmanders”, as breathtaking scenery and fascinating history will enthrall you at every turn. You will even meet characters from Scotland’s 18th century.

 

Map, Outlander, Itinerary 2

Outlander-inspired Tour 2020

Day 1 – Edinburgh Arrival

Arrival in Glasgow (+£35.00)

Your tour guide will welcome you at Edinburgh airport in person and guide you to the hotel in Edinburgh. In the evening, you will get to know your tour companions during a three-course dinner. A special surprise awaits you as well!

“Ladywalk Wynd“,” he said.” You know it ?”
“Yes.” Edinburgh was a small city – no more than the single high St, with the tiny , ill-lit wynds and closes opening off it. Ladywalk Wynd was one of the poorer ones.
Diana Gabaldon Dragonfly in Amber (chapter 38 – A Bargain With the Devil)

Day 2 – The OUTLANDER-Edinburgh

Jamie’s Print Shop – Jamaica Ball – World’s End Pub – Edinburgh Castle – Water Mill – Craigmillar Castle

The day starts at the Holyrood Palace in the centre of Edinburgh. From there, we will explore Edinburgh’s Royal Mile: We will discover the Canongate Kirk, Jamie’s print shop, Toolbooth Prison, the filming location of the Jamaica ball and the World’s End Pub, as mentioned in Diana Gabaldon’s books. We will also visit Edinburgh Castle.

“Where are we going?”
“To The World’s End.”
Without further speech, Jamie took me by the elbow to help me across the cobbles, and we plunged down the steep incline of the Royal Mile.
Luckily, the tavern called The World’s End was no more than a hundred yards away.”
Diana Gabaldon, Voyager (chapter 25)

Tolbooth Prison
The Tolbooth Prison is where the Fraser men where held and Claire visited to bring them food and medicine. The Old Tolbooth Prison stood menacingly in the middle of Edinburgh’s High Street, at the north-west corner of St. Giles’ Cathedral until the early 19th century. No exact date is known for the Tolbooth’s construction, though the remnants of the building buried beneath the Royal Mile are thought to date from as early as 1386. The Heart of Midlothian marks where the Tolbooth Prison once stood.

“…thirty men of Jamie’s command had been apprehended in the act of desertion and imprisoned in Edinburghs notorious Tolbooth Prison, under sentence of death.’
Diana Gabaldon Dragonfly in Amber (chapter 42 – Reunions )

 

Canongate Kirk 
This is the kirk where Jamie and Claire meet Column Mackenzie for the very last time. This is the parish church of Edinburgh Castle and is situated on the lower part of the Royal Mile. Colum arranges to meet Jamie here when he is in Edinburgh as he wishes to speak with him in private away from the Palace of Holyroodhouse (Dragonfly In Amber, chapter 37)

Hamilton and Youngs Jewellers on the Royal Mile
Spacial welcome at Hamilton and Youngs where you will be able to browse and purchase Outlander inspired gifts, including the Outlander ring which is based on Jamie and Claires wedding ring and of course all of the books!

Preston Mill – Lallybroch Mill
One of the most memorable scenes of the TV series is Jamies attempt to repair the water wheel at the mill in Lallybroch. This scene was shot at Preston Mill in East Lothian. Sit on the grass opposite the water wheel and visualise the redcoats galloping toward you. See where Jamie entered the water to fix the wheel and later emerged minus his shirt!

Craigmillar Castle – Ardsmuir Prison

We will pay our today’s last visit to Craigmillar Castle which which was used as Ardsmuir Prison in Outlander. Jamie Fraser was kept prisoner in this prison after the battle of Culloden.

‘Three days later, Jamie Fraser escaped. It had never been a difficult matter for prisoners to escape from Ardsmuir; no one ever did, simply because there was no place for a man to go. Three miles from the prison,the coast of Scotland dropped into the oceanin a spill of crumbled granite. On the other three sides nothing but empty moorland stretched for miles.’
Diana Gabaldon,Voyager (chapter 9 – The Wanderer)

Day 3 – From Cranesmuir to the OUTLANDER Inverness

Cranesmuir – Outlander Inverness – Le Havre

Our first stop in the morning will be in Culross. During filming, the houses were painted mottled grey to give them a more authentic 1740s look although they are now turned back to white. The distinctive yellow, Culross Palace is an interesting place to visit and the lovely garden at the rear was used as Claire’s herb garden in the series, head up to the terraces and you will also be rewarded with a great view across the distinctive red pantile rooftops to the Firth of Forth. Geillis Duncan’s house is recognisable alongside the mercat cross with its diamond paned windows. Inside Culross palace, they filmed Geillis’ herb room,  and a Jacobite meeting room. In season 4, it was Laoghaire’s house where Brianna Fraser stayed for a few days with her. Another Culross location used in the filming is the ruined West Kirk, perhaps better known as the Black Kirk, probably best not to eat anything growing wild here! The ruins of West Kirk lie in rural isolation near Culross in Fife. Built around 1500, it used to be the parish church. Now the roofless church and its graves lie abandoned to the elements. Why not stand at the window where Claire and Jamie Fraser stood at the Black Kirk?

After that, we will visit Aberdour Castle, Scotland’s oldest castle! The abbey St Anne de Beaupre was filmed inside the castle. From there, we will go to the famous Outlander Inverness where they filmed for seasons 1 (Claire & Frank’s honeymoon) and 4 (Roger). At the end of the day, we will visit Le Havre, the harbour where Jamie and Claire arrived in France.

Inverness 1945– Falkland Fife
It is 1945 and Claire and Frank choose Inverness for a second honeymoon. Modern day Inverness was too developed to use, so Falkland in Fife was chosen as a substitute. It is the feast of Beltane (Halloween) and the door posts are smeared with blood. The door posts are still clearly visible with the initials and dates on the marriage lintels above the doors, but the blood has been removed! Outlander fans can recreate one of the scenes from the first episode of the TV show by standing at the Bruce fountain in the town centre and looking up to the window of Mrs Baird’s B&B just as the ghost of Jamie did in the first episode.  Mrs Baird’s is in fact The Covenanter Hotel so you can go inside and enjoy a drink if you need a refreshment to quell all the excitement! Just along from the hotel you will find Fayre Earth which was used as Farrell’s in the show, although it does look quite different on the outside in it’s 21st century colours.  Campbell’s Coffee House in the show was previously a pharmacy, however after filming it has remained a coffee house and is situated just opposite the fountain, highly recommended for a tea and scone! If you are visiting the town make the most of your time here, take a walk around and look out for all the little details on the buildings including marriage lintels, stone carvings and original signs and get a real sense of historical Scotland. Also look out for the wee Jamies displayed in some of the shop windows.

Now I was curious, ”What exactly did you see?” I asked, settling myself on the dressing table seat. I motioned to the whisky bottle with a half lifted brow, and Frank went at once to pour a couple of drinks.
“Well, only a man really,” he began, measuring out a jigger for himself and two for me.” Standing in the road outside.”
“What, outside this house?” I laughed. ”Must have been a ghost, then; I cant feature any living person standing about on a night like this.”
Diana Gabaldon,Outlander(chapter 1 –A New Beginning )

 

Day 4 – Outlander castles and residences

Lallybroch – Sandringham’s residence – Ellesmere – Helwater –  Maison Elise – Outlander Fort William – Sandringham’s kitchen in Beaufort – Castle Leoch

Midhope Castle – Lallybroch
Lallybroch, also known as Broch Tuarach, is Jamie’s fictional home in the series. In real life it’s a part-ruined 16th-century tower house near Edinburgh. Only the outside was used; the interior is derelict and not entirely safe. Just admire it from a distance.

‘It was larger than I had expected; a handsome three story manor of harled white stone, windows outlined in the natural grey stone, a high slate roof with multiple chimneys, and several smaller whitewashed buildings clustered about it, like chicks about a hen.’
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (chapter 26 – The Lairds Return)

Hopetoun House – Duke of Sandringhams estate
Hopetoun House is a grand stately home near Edinburgh. In the series it’s the residence of the fictional Duke of Sandringham. It was also used as a filming location for Ellesmere, Helwater, Maison Elise and the market square in Paris.

Blackness Castle – Fort William
This 15th-century castle overlooking the Firth of Forth is used as the setting for “Black Jack” Randall’s Fort William headquarters in the series. The ex-artillery fortress is often referred to as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.

Callander House – Sandringham’s kitchen in Beaufort

Callander House is a French-chateau styled stately home dating back to the 14th century. In Outlander season 2, they used the historic kitchen to film the scenes where Murtagh beheaded the Duke of Sandringam.

Doune Castle – Castle Leoch
Its impressive architecture has made it popular with production companies. It was Swamp Castle, Castle Anthrax and Camelot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and more recently a location in the pilot for Game of Thrones and the fictional Castle Leoch for the TV adaption of the Outlander novels. In the TV series, Doune Castle, which was originally built in 1390, stands in as the fictional Castle Leoch. When the series opens, Claire and Frank visit the “picturesque ruin” in 1945 and soon after, when Claire mysteriously travels back in time to 1743, she gets taken to the Castle by Jamie and his clan. Later in the first season, Claire and Jamie would return to Leoch, which became the backdrop for the show’s witch trial.

MacKenzie clan
Jamie’s uncles, Colum and Dougal Mackenzie are Clan Chief and War Chief respectively. They offer protection to Jamie, who is their sister’s son, at castle Leoch as he has a price on his head having been falsely accused of shooting a red coat.
When Claire is found at Craig na dhun by the Fraser men, she is taken to Castle Leoch where Colum retains her as the castle healer much to the annoyance of Claire who wants to get back to the stones and back to Frank. Castle Leoch is fictional, however the seat of the clan Mackenzie is Castle Leod . We will see the actual castle Leod whilst based in Inverness and later in the tour we will visit the castle which was used as the set location for filming at Leoch. Amazingly, despite its striking resemblance to her description of Castle Leoch, Diana Gabaldon had never heard of Castle Leoch prior to writing Outlander (she has since become a guardian of the castle, no less!).

Day 5 – Time-travel to the 18th century

Cranesmuir Church – Highland Chapel – Versaille Gardens – Clan MacKenzie land

Tibbermore Church – Cranesmuir Church: The Witches Trial
Episode 11 of Outlander’s debut season was an episode that certainly left its mark on Outlander fans. The Devil’s Mark saw Geillis Duncan and Claire Randall put on trial after being accused of witchcraft. Would the pair burn for their sins? The suspense was too much too handle. Lotte Verbeek, who plays Geillis and Caitriona Balfe as Claire, received rave reviews for their performances. But the setting for the witch trials was also outstanding. Tibbermore Church, situated four miles west of Perth, provided the perfect backdrop for this scene.

 

 

Tullibardine Chapel – Highland Chapel

Tullibardine Chapel in Perthshire is a 1500s place of worship largely unaltered since the late medieval period. In this chapel, Claire, Jamie Fraser and his men were hiding when the redcoats found them. Claire pretended that she was an English hostage so that Jamie and his men were set free. The scene where Claire speaks to the seer Mairsi was also filmed here.

Drummond Castle Gardens – Versailles Gardens

Drummond Castle Gardens are impressive 17th century gardens and even Queen Victoria visited the gardens and planted a beech tree here. They resemble the gardens of Versaille Palace in France and were therefore chosen to be the filmining location for the setting in France in Outlander season 2.

Highland Folk Museum – Clan MacKenzie land
The Highland Folk Museum gives visitors a taste of how Highland people lived and worked from the 1700s up until the 1960s! There are over 30 historical buildings furnished appropriate to their time period.  Some have been built from scratch on site and some have been moved here from other locations. The site is a mile long with a 1700s Township (featuring 6 houses) at one end through to a 1930s working croft at the other. Located in the Scottish Highlands amidst some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. When Claire goes with the Mackenzie men to collect rents this is the set used for filming. You will see how Claire would have lived when she was with Jamie in the 18th century, but also what life would have been like for her growing up in the 1930s.

“Where are we?” I croaked, my voice hoarse from cold and disuse. “The keep of Leoch,” he answered shortly. Castle Leoch. Well, at least I knew where I was. 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 eighteenth century.
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (Chapter 4 – I Come to the Castle )

Day 6 – The Highlands

Stone Circle – Historic Whisky Distillery – Inverness – Culloden

A stone circle like ‘Craigh na Dun’
In the morning, we will visit a pre-historic stone circle, one of many in Scotland. We will get a feeling of what Claire must have experienced at ‘Craigh na Dun’.

‘The  tallest stone of the circle was cleft, with a vertical split dividing the two massive pieces.  Oddly, the pieces had been drawn apart by some means.  Though you could see that the facing surfaces matched, they were separated by a gap of two or three feet.There was a deep humming noise coming from somewhere near at hand.  I thought there might be a beehive lodged in some crevice of the rock, and placed a hand on the stone in order to lean into the cleft. The stone screamed.’
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (Chapter 2 – Standing Stones)

 

Historic Whisky Distillery

As Claire and Jamie Fraser are both very fond of their whisky we will continue the day with a trip to a Dallas Dhu Whisky Distillery! It is a picturesque highland distillery which will set you back in time. You will see, hear and smell how whisky was made up to the 1900s – and get a taste of this unique single malt whisky!

Inverness

Not an Outlander filming location but the real capital of the Highlands – Inverness! We will have lunch in this vivid highland city.

Culloden Battlefield
Culloden, the battle that Claire and Jamie try to prevent without success. Visit the battlefiA dramatic sunset over Culloden Battlefield, near Invernesseld and see the stones marking the clan graves, hear accounts of what happened on that fateful day. Look for the Fraser clan stone and also the position of the Fraser men as they went into battle. Murtadgh (had he not been a fictional character!) would have rested beneath the Fraser clan stone. You will not find a Mackenzie stone as the Mackenzie clan did not arrive at Culloden. As the Earl of Cromartie and his forces were travelling south to meet Charles Edward Stuart they were attacked by the Clan Sutherland (who were loyal to the Duke of Cumberland’s army). Most of the Mackenzie Jacobite officers were captured, many of the men were killed and the rest were driven onto the shore where several were drowned trying to swim the Bonar Firth. Thus the Clan MacKenzie were prevented from joining the Jacobite army at the Battle of Culloden.

“There will be a Rising, Dougal’s right about that ,but it won’t succeed. Charlie’s army will do well for a bit, but it will end in slaughter . At Culloden, that’s where it will end. The-the clans….”   In my minds eye I saw the clanstones, the grey boulders that would lie scattered on the field, each stone bearing the single clan name of the men who lay under it.
Diana Gabaldon Outlander (Chapter 25 – Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live )

 


Day 7 –The West Highlands & Glasgow

Loch Laggan – Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Glenfinnan – Glencoe – Outlander Scenery and Secret Views of Rannoch Moor – L’Hopital des Anges

Glenfinnan Monument

Set amid superb Highland scenery, Glenfinnan Monument, at the head of Loch Shiel, was erected in 1815 in tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the name of Prince Charles Edward Stuart. The rising of the Prince’s Standard took place at the head of the loch on the 19th of August, 1745, in the last attempt to reinstate the exiled Stuarts on the throne. Despite its inspired beginnings and subsequent successes, the Prince’s campaign came to a grim conclusion in 1746 on the battlefield at Culloden (see separate entry), also in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. If you wish to go inside the Visitor Centre, you will find displays and an audio programme about the Prince’s campaign from Glenfinnan to Derby and back to the final defeat at Culloden.

 

Glencoe
Jamie references the Glencoe Massacre when he tells Claire that Colum wouldn’t leave the castle unguarded during the Gathering (Outlander, chapter 10)

The first scenes and the cover photo were also set in this unique Highland scenery.

Rannoch Moor
On the road as we head to Glasgow we will travel through Rannoch Moor which was used for a lot of the outdoor location in the TV series. The scene where Claire time travels through the fictional Craigh na Dun stone circle is one of the most important in the series. The stones on set weren’t real (sorry), but you can see the scenery that surrounded them if you go to Rannoch Moor. The stone circle scenes in Outlander were filmed on the banks of Loch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross. The actual aspect viewed is across Loch Rannoch, looking towards Black Mount, Lochan na h-Achlaise, Stob Ghabhar and Clach Leathad on Rannoch Moor – which we will go past on our travels to Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow.

Glasgow Cathedral – L’Hopital des Anges
Glasgow Cathedral is a medieval that is also referred to as the High Kirk of Glasgow. The hospital in France, L’Hopital des Anges, in Outlander season 2 was filmed here. You will certainly recognise the stairs and outside of this medieval building.

Day 8 –Farewell Scotland

Airport transfers to Edinburgh and Glasgow Airport. Please do not book a flight from Edinburgh before 11.30AM!

 

How to book:

Please contact us by e-Mail or telephone for tour prices, departure dates and further information:

Telephone: +44 131 287 0000. We will call back immediately!
e-Mail: office.edinburgh@traveleurope.cc

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  • Special rates for small groups apply.

 

INCLUDED:
Themed coach tour with events and visits included. Guiding, admission, actors, city tours and transfers as stated in the programme. Modern, air-conditioned coach. Knowledgable, experienced tour guide, who is also a fan of the Outlander series and books. Overnights in good Hotels with ensuite bathrooms (bath or shower), 2 x Edinburgh, 2 x Fife, 2 x Highlands, 1x Glasgow. 7 x big Scottish breakfast, 7 x big dinners. Guided walks and so much more!

  • Created together with British Outlander fan clubs!
  • Exclusive visits, events, actors and surprises!
  • Individual welcome at the airport
  • Only three comfortable changes of hotels
  • Great value for money
  • We also book your holiday extensions!

 

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