Outlander will soon (by soon, I mean in September) enter its third season, following Jamie and Claire's timeless romance. Outlander fans are a loyal bunch, championing not only to the time-travelling story, but also Starz's remarkable adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's novels. As the show is absolutely faithful to the books, the production crew went to great lengths to find the perfect locations that would translate best from the books to the screen.
From the mystical Craigh na Dun to the Culloden battlefields and the beloved Lallybroch, Outlander has featured everything from old, derelict castles to gardens and streets that seem frozen in time. Below are some of the most iconic locations used in the first two seasons of Outlander — with some directions, in case you decide to plan your own Outlander tour.
And, if you ever do visit, do all Outlander fans a favor and be mindful of the places, as many of the areas are residential!
Craigh na Dun
While the actual Craigh na Dun stone circle is definitely a figment of Diana Gabaldon's imagination, she was thorough in her research whist writing the novels. Some say her inspiration came from the Callanish Stone Circle in the Isle of Lewis, while others believe that the Clava Cairns fit best, because they're near Inverness. The shooting location for Craigh na Dun is a small hill on the side of a road near Kinloch Rannock, just south of the Dunalastair Reservoir.
The home sweet home of Jamie Fraser and his kin is actually filmed in two locations. The interior shots are filmed in a studio, and the courtyard, the façade of the tower house and the infamous gate where Jamie was first assaulted by Black Jack Randall are shot in the ruins of 16th century castle, which was formerly the seat of the Earls of Hopetoun. Midhope Castle is a 40-minute drive from Edinburgh, and you can snap a pretty selfie right in front of Lallybroch by getting a permit from the local farm store.
The seat of the MacKenzies of Leoch features in the first episode of Outlander, as Claire and her 1945 husband Frank explore its ruins. That's exactly the feeling I got as I walked around Doune Castle. The courtyard, the entrance, the corridors and Mrs. Fitz's kitchen are really well preserved. The castle even has a room dedicated to Outlander visitors, with photos from the filming and messages from the cast!
Although Claire's garden of magic herbs is located in the grounds of Castle Leoch in Outlander, in real life her garden is located in Culross Palace Gardens, near Edinburgh.
This was the moment of truth for Claire and Dougal, as he tested her story against the Liar's Spring waters. Thankfully, Claire was telling the truth; otherwise, according to legend, she would have dropped dead. This scene was filmed in a 100-feet deep gorge at the Carnock Burn, near Loch Lomond. The so-called Devil's Pulpit has some pretty wicked legends of its own. According to one such rumor, this is the place where the devil himself would address his followers! The origin of many of these legends is probably the color of the water at the Devil's Puplit, which is a sinsiter orange-red.
Any Outlander fan will pinpoint 'The Wedding' as the most iconic episodes of the series, especially because of what it meant for Jamie and Claire's relationship. Forced into a marriage with a virgin Scot she barely knew, Claire saw her whole world shift as she fell in love with Jamie. All the external shots of the wedding — including the wedding dress reveal — were shot at Glencorse Old Kirk, near Edinburgh. Interestingly enough, Glencorse is a popular wedding venue, which has been completely renovated, and is bathed in soft candelight for that perfect romantic feel.
Inverness... And Jamie's Ghost
Inverness was deemed too modern to serve as an 18th century and 1968 setting, so the village of Falkland, in Fife, took its place in Outlander. One of the most memorable scenes in the pilot is the one in which Frank sees a Scotsman glancing up at Claire through a window — whom many book readers believe to be the ghost of Jamie. Mrs. Baird's B&B is actually The Covenanter Hotel, where you can appreciate the fountain in real life — and hope Jamie's ghost is still around!
In Outlander's second season, Brianna and Roger visit Fort Williams, where (unbeknownst to them) her father had suffered tremendously at the hands of Black Jack Randall. The real Fort Williams doesn't exist anymore; in 1894, what was left of it was completely dismantled, and only a small portion of the walls are visible today. Standing in for the fort in Outlander is Blackness Castle, on the banks of the Firth of Forth. Dubbed 'the ship that never sailed' because of its shape and proximity to the Forth, Blackness Castle is open to visitation all year round.
Outlander Season 2 gave us all the opulence and colors of the French court, as Jamie and Claire tried to stall the next Jacobite uprising. The Frasers were welcomed to Louis XV's court, and it was in Versailles that Claire ran into a very much alive Jack Randall — who she thought had died in Wentworth Prison. Doubling for 18th century Versailles is Drummond Castle and gardens in Perthshire. The castle is not open to the public, but the gardens can be visited from May to October.
The Fox's Lair
Jamie had to face some family demons in Season 2, when he was forced to go to his grandfather for help in his Jacobite cause. The old Fox, as Lord Lovat was called, obviously refused Jamie's request for men to join the army, but Jamie's grandsire sent his own son to fight alongside the Bonnie Prince — guaranteeing his success, should the Prince win or fail. Beaufort Castle was the seat of Lord Lovat in Outlander, while the awkward Fraser family reunion was filmed at Dean Castle, in Kilmarnock.
The Culloden House was where the fate of the Jacobite army was decided by Charles Stuart in the last episodes of Outlander Season 2. It was also where Dougal fell at the hands of Jamie, after he had heard of the plan to kill the Bonnie Prince. In fact, Touch House — the location used for Culloden House, in Stirling — belonged to Fraser Lairds until 1408. Also, the name 'Touch' is assumed to derive from the gaelic Tulach — which Outlander fans will recognize as part of the MacKenzie clan war cry.
More on #Outlander:
- See What's In Store For 'Outlander' Season 3 With These Great Set Photos
- Outlander Season 3 Cast: Who Is Coming Back, And Who Is New To The Clan?
- Jamie Fraser's Life After Claire: Does He Find A New Love in Outlander Season 3?
Whether it is to go back and rewatch the first and second seasons, or to take an adventurous trip across the Highlands of Scotland, I hope these locations have helped you deal with your droughtlander! September seems a lifetime away, but soon enough, Claire and Jamie will be back. Soon, we'll discover the outcome of Culloden and witness another trip through the stones when #OutlanderSeason3 premieres!
Have I missed a spot? Share the other locations you know in the comments!