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The Outlander TV series has done wonders for Scottish tourism. Blending a timeless love story with an incredibly emotive period of Scottish history, it’s no wonder so many people list Outlander as their reason for visiting.
While many of the names or places in the show are entirely fictional, the filming locations are very real and a highlight of every fan’s journey to Scotland.
Outlander was filmed right across Scotland, but you don’t need to trek too far off the beaten path. The locations below are all easy to access, instantly recognizable and definitely worth visiting.
Midhope Castle in Outlander aka Lallybroch
Starting off with a fan favorite and the most popular Outlander location – Midhope Castle. Before this tiny towerhouse appeared on screens as Lallybroch, it was practically unknown. In Outlander, this is Jamie’s ancestral home and where he sweeps Claire off to after rescuing her from Cranesmuir.
In real life, Midhope Castle is part of the Hopetoun Estate just outside Edinburgh and dates from the 15th century.
Unfortunately, visitors can’t access the interior of the castle which is entirely ruined, those scenes were filmed elsewhere. The iconic archway is authentic however and you will even find an honesty box selling Keys to Lallybroch as souvenirs.
Tickets to Midhope Castle must be pre-booked on the Hopetoun Estate website for £4. There are no facilities at the castle.
Hopetoun House on the same estate as Midhope was also used in many notable Outlander scenes. This grand mansion played the part of the Duke of Sandringham’s residence both inside and out.
It was reused for scenes set in France and Elsmere so visitors can travel through the seasons without leaving the estate.
This luxurious estate is much more than just an Outlander filming site though. Hopetoun House has been the ancestral home of the Hope family for 300 years and one wing is still lived in by the current Earl of Hopetoun.
Hopetoun House is open between April and September with Adult tickets costing £11.50.
Doune Castle in Outlander aka Castle Leoch
It’s easy to see why this formidable fortress outside Stirling was chosen for Castle Leoch with enormous walls guarding the River Teith. Doune Castle was well known on TV before becoming an Outlander filming location though. It has also played a part in Ivanhoe, Game of Thrones and Monty Python.
Many of Outlander’s most popular characters were first introduced here at the home of Clan Mackenzie. While the outer walls are easily recognized, the interior played its part in the show as well.
The courtyard and the great hall are both worth exploring combined with the audio tour narrated by none other than Sam Heughan.
In real life, the castle was home to one of Scottish history’s bogey men, the Duke of Albany. This nefarious figure was a far cry from the noble Mackenzie clan portrayed in Outlander.
Albany was brother to the King of Scots, but he murdered one of his nephews and left the other to rot in an English prison. When his brother died, Albany stepped in to rule Scotland from Doune Castle as if he was King himself.
Doune Castle is open all year round and run by Historic Scotland. Tickets should be prebooked, costing £9 per Adult.
Linlithgow Palace aka Wentworth Prison
It was mostly the inside of Linlithgow Palace that was used for Outlander filming but the location above Linlithgow Loch is outstanding. These historic scotland walls doubled as the dark, dank Wentworth Prison which might come as a surprise to those that visit this bright, open ruin. Even for those who haven’t enjoyed Outlander yet, this is a very interesting place.
Climb to the very top of Linlithgow Palace to Queen Margaret’s Bower for spectacular views. The Queen stood and watched every day for the return of her husband, King James IV.
Unfortunately, he never returned, and some say that the spirit of Margaret waits there still. Back on the ground, a magnificent fountain would flow with wine on special occasions.
Bonnie Prince Charlie himself stopped here while the Jacobites marched north to Culloden which ties in perfectly with the Outlander story. Unfortunately, the Duke of Cumberland’s army followed, setting fire to the Palace and leaving us with only these remains.
Linlithgow Palace is open all year round and run by Historic Scotland. Tickets should be prebooked, costing £7.20 per Adult.
Blackness Castle in Outlander aka Fort William
This fortress jutting out into the Firth of Forth is known as the ship that never sailed or more commonly, Blackness Castle. Darkly named, during Outlander filming it portrayed the even darker Fort William and the site of Jamie’s flogging. There is no better word to describe Blackness Castle than grim.
While it’s a long way from the real Fort William, this Scottish castle actually was used as a cold, damp, political prison. Its miserable residents were thrown into a pit that would slowly fill with seawater during high tide.
Blackness Castle is open all year round and run by Historic Scotland. Tickets should be prebooked, costing £6.00 per Adult.
Falkland aka 1940s Inverness
The village of Falkland stands in for 1940s Inverness with its iconic central fountain and centuries-old carved door lintels. Outlander fans can even rent a room in the B&B that Claire and Frank stay in which is the modern-day Covenanter Hotel.
However, it’s not until you step outside the lens of Outlander that you really appreciate this hidden gem.
Falkland is nestled at the foot of the Lomond Hills with spectacular Scottish woodlands walks nearby. The most obvious attraction is Falkland Palace which surprisingly wasn’t used during Outlander filming.
Step inside to explore the remains of one of Scotland’s most luxurious royal buildings. Outside you will find the oldest functioning tennis court in the world, used by Mary Queen of Scots.
Falkland Palace is run by the National Trust for Scotland and open between May and October. Tickets are £13 per Adult.
Culross aka Cranesmuir
The old village of Culross is like stepping back in time without the need for magic standing stones. The cobbled streets and painted buildings needed practically no work to transform them into Cranesmuir.
You can visit Claire’s Herb Garden in the Culross Palace grounds and see the Mercat Cross which marks the site of public punishment.
Don’t limit yourself to only the Outlander locations here. Walk a short way up the hill to look in at the 13th Century Culross Abbey. The grounds are free to enter, incredibly peaceful and offer a spectacular view back across the Firth of Forth.
Book This Trip to Castles and More in Outlander
Start planning your historic adventure to Scotland today. Be prepared with insider tips on how to get around, hotel or VRBO accommodations, local restaurant reviews and more through TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
Plan your routes and make reservations together for planes, trains and car rentals through OMIO Travel Partner. Be sure to protect your big trip from flight cancellations, lost luggage, unexpected sickness and anything else with Squaremouth.
Check out our Scotland Travel Guide for more on what to see and do in Scotland.
Author’s Bio: Graeme is the writer and storyteller behind Scotland’s Stories. In love with the history and folklore of Scotland, his mission is to share these stories in an engaging way to help people appreciate their travel more.