If watching Outlander has given you a push to explore Scotland, perhaps in a quest to find a real life Jamie Fraser or just to wallow in the romantic scenery that the books and tv series inspire then you’ll be wanting to know all about the Outlander sites in Scotland that you can visit.
The locations are all over Scotland so no matter where you base yourself when visiting the country you’ll be able to fit some in.
I was a fan of the Outlander books when they came out, having been urged to read them by my mum, and loved the tv series too (sadly I still have some to watch – I should get on to that!). I love that it’s ignited a passion in some travellers to Scotland to see some of the history, filming locations and soak in that scenery that is so prevalent. I mean, I love Scotland but if it takes a popular tv series to fire up others so be it!
Some of these sites on this post are actual filming locations to the tv series and some are simply sites that are either mentioned in the books or were inspiration to Diana Gabaldon when writing. As the stories took place in the time of the Jacobite Rising many places are real historical sites.
If you want to see as many of these sites as possible in a limited time then it’s worth checking out some Outlander tours where you’ll be escorted to lots of these sites and often with a knowledgeable fan showing you it all. Check these out if you don’t fancy sorting your own itinerary:
Outlander sites in Edinburgh and nearby
Since most people start their Scotland trips in the capital city of Edinburgh it makes sense to start here in our quest for Outlander sites. Most are just outside the city and can be reached by public transport or as part of an organised tour.
1. Bakehouse Close
In Edinburgh itself, and while exploring the Royal Mile attractions in the Old Town head off behind the Museum of Edinburgh to find Bakehouse Close. This is on of many old streets that you can wander down and get a sense of how Edinburgh looked in years gone by. There’s a real character to the place and as you’re starting to get away from the castle, it’s a little quieter to the top of the Royal Mile.
Bakehouse Close was used in the filming of season 3 when Claire is reunited with Jamie at his print shop. Tweedale Close, further up the Royal Mile by John Knox House is also worth checking out and was used as a market place in season 3 & 4.
Check out – Outlander walking tour
2. Craigmillar Castle
Still in the city of Edinburgh, and a nearby castle that many people overlook in their quest to see the main one! Craigmillar Castle is medieval and was built in the 1300s – well before the time of Jamie and the Frasers. It’s an easy one to visit from Edinburgh as it’s well serviced by buses.
In the Outlander TV series Craigmillar Castle was used as a prison in season 3.
3. Hopetoun House & Midhope Castle
Not far from the centre of Edinburgh is Midhope Castle which sits with the Hopetoun Estate. Outlander fans will know this cute castle as Lallybroch which was the home of the Jamie Fraser.
The stately home was also used in the filming of Outlander and provided the home of the Duke of Sandringham in season 1.
You can visit both but the small Midhope Castle is on the outskirts of the estate and you need to purchase a separate ticket. You can’t go inside Midhope either as it’s a ruin – the interior wasn’t used for filming. Check out their site here if you want to visit. It’s often a part of Outlander tours as well.
4. Linlithgow Palace
This stunning ruin of a palace was actually the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. It’s perhaps not as palatial as the name might have you think but it’s a really interesting place to visit. You can climb to the top of the palace and get great views from all around as well and there’s plenty of outdoor space for a picnic.
In the Outlander tv series Linlithgow Palace was used as Wentworth prison where Jamie was held in season 1.
5. Blackness Castle
Again, not far from Edinburgh and overlooking the Firth of Forth is Blackness Castle. It dates back to the 15th century and was used as a garrison and prison over the years. It’s quite imposing but looks even better with the backdrop of the Forth Bridges in the background too.
Blackness Castle was used as the location for Fort William where Jack Randall was based in season 1.
Outlander sites in Fife and central Scotland
Let’s head just ever so slightly north over into Fife and Central Scotland (my old stomping ground) to visit some of the best filming locations for Outlander.
The small town of Culross is one I’ve visited a lot over the years and always loved it. It has such a wonderful feel to it, an immense history and some great views over the water too. You can explore the cobbled streets and admire the quirky buildings that are still around in this village where it feels like time has stopped!
Culross was used as Cranesmuir, the village in seasons 1 and 2 where Geillis Duncan lived. It was also used as Claire’s herb garden.
This is a gorgeous wee village and quite typical of many of Scotland’s small towns with small houses around a monument in the centre. For many it’s now an iconic view that reminds them of the beginning of that amazing series.
Falkland was the scene of 1940s Inverness and where the tv series starts as Claire goes on holiday there. If you want the ultimate Outlander experience you might even want to stay at the Covenanter Hotel and look out for Jamie’s ghost! It will book up early so check if it’s available here.
8. Doune Castle
Each year goes by and another iconic tv series or film seems to use Doune Castle as its location. It’s been in Outlander, Game of Thrones and Outlaw King but many people will know it from the old classic Monty Python! It’s situated near Stirling and on the edge of the Trossachs, a beautiful area that’s well worth exploring if you can.
Doune Castle in this iteration was Castle Leoch which was home to Colum MacKenzie in Season 1 of Outlander. It was also where Claire took a visit to
Outlander sites in Inverness and the Highlands
The Highlands of Scotland are a great place to learn about the Jacobite rising and see some sites that are related to Outlander. Not so much was filmed here but there is much to see for fans.
9. Culloden Battlefield
The Battle of Culloden is something that Claire knew all about as she found herself in the past. She also knew it didn’t end well for the clans.
Culloden Moor battlefield is an easy day trip from Inverness as it’s located just outside the city. The battlefield is a solemn place to come and think about the lives lost here, much of them from Scottish clans. If you want to know more about the history of the battle then the visitors centre is great to learn more and ask questions – the history can be complicated but they do a great job of explaining the lead up to it all and what happened.
For Outlander fans you’ll want to look out for the Clan Fraser marker. Do remember that it’s a scene of loss and a burial site – not the place for selfies.
10. Clava Cairns
Almost directly around the corner from Culloden Battlefield is an ancient site that is one of the inspirations for Craigh Na Dun, the stone circle that Claire visits and takes her back in time.
Clava Cairns consists of circular burial cairns that you can walk around as well as many standing stones. There’s even a cleft stone that looks like it’s been split – just like in the books!
11. Fort George
Fort George was built after the Battle of Culloden and as a consequence of it. It was used as a base for the army and would show the strength of the English after the battle and to squash any further attempts of an uprising. You can learn about the history of the place, including what life was like for soldiers there.
It’s really not far at all from Inverness, Culloden and Clava Cairns so it makes sense to include a visit if you can. Look out for dolphins from the ramparts!
12. Highland Folk museum
On the A9 at Newtonmore, south of Inverness is a really good and interesting museum that is well worth a visit. Not only can you learn about Highland life in the time of Outlander, but it was also a filming location too!
With replicas of the kinds of houses that highlanders on crofts lived in it was used to film any scenes like that including in season one when rent was being collected by Dougal.
Other Outlander Sites in Scotland worth visiting
These sites will complement any Outlander fan’s trip, especially if the history of the time is of interest.
A visit to the standing stones of Callanish isn’t just something you can tack on to a trip around some Outlander sites because it takes a much more determined person to travel to it. It’s located on one of Scotland’s islands, in the Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis.
Like Clava Cairns, it was one of the inspirations for Craigh Na Dun and is one of Scotland’s most impressive stone circles. If you want to feel the magic of Outlander then this has to be worth adding to your list!
To the west of Fort William is a beautiful spot that is rather more famous for another book lately but has a lot to offer for fans of Outlander too.
Glenfinnan brings tourists looking for a glimpse of the steam train going over the viaduct – yes the Harry Potter train – but look the other way and you’ll see a towering monument.
This monument marks the place where Bonnie Prince Charlie came ashore and from where the Jacobite rising really began, eight months before the Battle of Culloden. There’s a great little museum here too that I recommend spending some time in. The top of the monument gives stunning views around too!
Finally we have the wonderful Glencoe which I always suggest as a place to visit for those who haven’t been to the Highlands. It’s a stunning place to walk and explore for anyone but for people interested in Outlander and clan history it also has something else to offer.
Glencoe has a gruesome history and it’s where there was massacre of the MacDonald Clan. It’s a long and complicated history but they apparently were too slow to pledge allegiance to William of Orange, the king who took over after James VII of Scotland was deposed. It was a precursor to much of the events of the Jacobite Rising and the clans fighting against the English.
The scenery might be familiar to those who watched the TV show as it was used in the opening credits.
Which Outlander site is on your Scotland Bucket List? Let me know in the comments!