Tag Archives: Outlander

Outlander Tours Scotland [Review 2022]

Outlander Tours Scotland Outlander Locations in Scotland

Get transported to your favourite Outlander locations! Outlander tours (Scotland) will whisk you away to walk in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire at the grand entrance of Castle Leoch, maybe pick herbs in Claire’s herb garden and stroll the cobbled streets of Cranesmuir. Our guide to Outlander tours in Scotland includes day trips and multi-day tours from Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as a popular Edinburgh walking tour.

Outlander, originally a series of books by author Diana Gabaldon, has taken the world by storm since being made into a British-American hit TV show.

Outlander has fans worldwide and sees visitors flocking to Scotland to tour the sites used during filming. Starting in 1945 Scotland Claire, played by Catriona Balfe, is a wartime nurse who returns to her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies) who whisks her away to ‘Inverness’ for a second honeymoon.

Here, after finding a collection of standing stones, Claire is hurtled back in time to Jacobite Scotland where she meets Highlander Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

Now showing Seasons 1-5, and season 6 due to air November 2022 AND season 7 confirmed, the show is massively popular.

The Outlander filming locations, mainly in Scotland, have seen their visitor numbers double, even triple and you too can see the sights of this hit show with Outlander tours from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

But aren’t some seasons set in the US?

Don’t be fooled by Jamie and Claire’s immigration to North Carolina, Scotland’s locations were still used for filming!

Outlander tours Scotland

Best Outlander Tours Scotland

Why should you book a tour of Scotland’s Outlander sites? There are a couple of reasons why visiting the hotspots as part of a tour is better than doing it alone.

Tranport in Scotland

Although Scotland’s cities are well connected by train lines, many of the Outlander filming locations are not in the city.

For example, the stunning Hopetoun House’s (season one, two, three and four) closest train station is Dalmeny (South Queensferry) but it takes at least one hour to walk from Dalmeny to Hopetoun House.

Scotland’s infrastructure is notoriously poor. The further north you go, the worse it gets.

Expect Sunday service for buses every day of the week.

Our ‘A’ rounds (single track) in the Highlands and on the West Coast are not for everyone, cautious drivers may not enjoy the experience.

The Outlander Effect

The Outlander Effect is real, most locations have seen an increase in footfall (more people visiting = busy), Doune Castle enjoyed a 91% increase in customers!

Tours often have pre-arranged time slots so you don’t have to fight your way through the crowds.

Expert Guides

You get more bang for your buck with Outlander tours. They include transport, knowledgeable and passionate guides and often entry fees.

Local History

Tour guides will give you more than just Outlander information, you get to spend time with a real local. One of my favourite things about tours is being able to ask questions about real-life topics!

Outlander Community

Bonus reason – you get to spend the duration of the trip with fans, I’m sure you can find at least one thing in common (Jamie?)

Quick Look – Outlander Tours

From Edinburgh: 1-day Outlander Explorer tour (I did this, awesome)

From Edinburgh: 2-day Outlander tour (new tour)

From Edinburgh: Outlander, Palaces and Jacobites Tour

From Edinburgh: 4-day Outlander Trail

From Edinburgh: Outlander Private Tour

From Glasgow: 1-day Outlander tour

From Glasgow: Outlander Adventure 1-Day Tour

Edinburgh City: Outlander Walking Tour

From Inverness: Full Day Outlander

Outlander Tour Edinburgh 

Tours from Scotland’s capital leave daily which means visitors do not need to attempt to tackle our infamous A roads or drive on the left.

There are a few options for Outlander day tours from Edinburgh so you can prioritise what you want to see.

Affordable Outlander Day Tours from Edinburgh

This full-day tour by a very respectable tour company in Scotland is not private but kinder on the purse strings and touches base at the following Outlander scenes:

  • Visit Doune Castle aka Castle Leoch.
  • Culross starring as Cranesmuir.
  • Falkland – Inverness 1940s (see me doing the Jamie pose below!)
  • Dysart Harbour – Le Havre Port.
  • Meeting point: 60 High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1 1TB.
  • Price £50 per person.

It’s not just an Outlander tour but also a Scottish history tour. You hear about the wars and celebrities that inspired Diana Gabaldon in her writing. You can read about my tour experience here.

» » This tour sells out – Book your spot now « « 

Mrs Baird B&B Jamie Outlander Falkland Scotland_


Outlander Edinburgh Tour (In The City)

Short on time but still want some Outlander fun? This Edinburgh Outlander walking tour might just scratch that itch.

Although no substitute for seeing the real filming sites, still popular with our readers.

  • Starting at Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, your guide (in clan character) will take you through the Old Town telling tales of the Jacobite Rebellion.
  • See the famous Tolbooth Jail and Canongate Kirkyard.
  • Price £14.

» » This tour sells out – Book your spot now « « 


Private Tour Guided – Good for Small Groups

Enjoy this eight-hour small bus tour of Scotland’s Outlander literary locations.

Highlights include:

  • Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie.
  • Captain Jack Randall’s Stronghold.
  • The train station where Claire and Frank said their goodbyes.
  • Price: £595 for 4 member group.

» » Check availability of this tour led by a former member of Scottish BAFTA « 


Outlander Tours Glasgow

This Outlander day tour leaves from Scotland’s biggest (and best?!) city, Glasgow and not only focuses on the show locations but also the Jacobite story.

Looking for more around the city? Stop by Glasgow University’s in the West End (where Gemma graduated!)

The 4th oldest university in the English speaking languages is used as the show’s Harvard University where Frank teaches.

Close to the University, you will find Kelvingrove Park aka Outlander’s Boston Park. In the city centre, head to the Glasgow Cathedral to see where Claire volunteers as a nurse at L’Hospital Des Anges in Paris.

Highlights include:

  • Doune Castle, home of the Clan MacKenzie as well as Deanstoun Distillery, Jamie’s cousin’s warehouse.
  • Culross (Claire’s garden) and Falkland (Inverness) in the Kingdom of Fife.
  • Blackness Castle headquarters of Black Jack Randall.
  • Meeting point: 266 George Street, Glasgow (08:30).
  • Notes: refreshment stops along the way including a stop at Deanston Distillery.
  • Price £39 per person.

» » Popular Glasgow tour check availability and book here « « 

Culross Palace Fife - Outlander Scotland Locations


Inverness Outlander

So you’ve made it to Scotland’s real Inverness and now you are looking for an Outlander tour?

There is a one-day tour which shows you where Outlander got its influence from.

This Full-Day Outlander features the real Culloden (the filming location was Glen Affric) where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes. 

It is also where the Jacobites, who were supporters of the Roman Catholic James VII of Scotland and II of England, took their last breath as they fought for their country on 16th April 1746.

The tour also includes a stop at Clava Cairns, a Loch Ness cruise (optional), lunch at Beauly and then a dram at a Highland whisky distillery.

Culloden Scotland

10 Outlander Filming Locations – Where is Outlander Filmed?

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1. Clava Cairns/Culloden

Although Culloden wasn’t officially used for filming, the event is such a major part of the series so visiting the battlefield is an emotional and saddening experience.

The award-winning visitor centre has brilliant exhibitions and a 360-degree immersion theatre puts you right in the centre of the battle.

There is an audio guide to listen to while you walk the battleground so you can listen to Gaelic, songs and tales and immerse yourself in the story of this momentous battle.

Nearby are the amazing Clava Cairns standing stones, including a majestic cairn with an atmospheric split.

However, it must have lost its magical power as there have been no reports of transportation, only visitors staying firmly in this century, disappointingly.

Clava Cairns Outlander

Clava Cairns Outlander


» You may also like our Scotland-inspired gifts (including Outlander ideas!)


2. Highland Folk Museum

The Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore is a favourite location used by the Outlander production team.

With the mighty Cairngorm mountains set as a backdrop, the 17th-century township really makes you feel like you are in the heart of the gritty Jacobite Highlands and lucky for us, it is live all year around.

You can witness how people used to live.

The township was used in the rent episode where Claire helped Dougal to collect the rent. Every year the museum holds an Outlander day where you can “waulk the wool”, sing traditional songs and meet traditional crafters, Highland cows and fellow fans.

3. Doune Castle, Outlander 

Another of the most popular locations, Doune Castle in Perthshire, was the setting for Outlander Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his Clan.

This 14th-century courtyard castle was also used for Monty Python and the Holy Grail and (this is a lesser-known) it was Winterfell in the pilot of Game of Thrones.

A castle of many talents! Update 2018, Netflix Outlaw King also used Doune Castle as Black Douglas’s home. Find out more here.

Doune Castle Scotland

Doune Castle, Outlander

4. Falkland Outlander

Falkland, in the Kingdom of Fife, stood in for 1945 and 1960’s Inverness. The original thatched roof houses, cobbled streets and the pretty square made it the ideal location. Here you’ll find

  • Mrs Baird’s B&B (which is actually functioning accommodation, check out availability at The Covenanter Hotel).
  • Bruce Fountain where Jamie watches Claire in the window.
  • Campbell’s Coffee Shop (same name in real life).
  • Farrell & Sons Hardware store [Fayre Earth shop – repainted] is where Claire sees the blue vase.

Pre-Outlander effect, Falkland was a lovely village to visit, it’s great to see the show give visitors a catalyst to visit.

Falkland features as the 1940’s location in season one and then is revisited in season two when we skip to the 1960s Inverness.

» » The majority of Outlander tours visit Falkland – Click to find out more « « 

Mrs Baird B&B Outlander Falkland Scotland_

5. The Reaper Tall Ship

Sailing off into the distance on the Cristabel might not be possible but you can see the two-masted ship itself in the harbour of the fishing village of Anstruther in Fife.

Anstruther is a popular Summer village in its own right, famous for its fish and chips!

Le Harve Port is actually located at Dysart Harbour near Kirkcaldy and also worth a visit to see where Claire and Jamie escape to France from.


Heading to Fife? Don’t miss our ultimate guide on what to do there


6. Culross

If you want to see first hand what Scottish villages were like in the 17th-century visit Culross in the Kingdom of Fife.

This time warp is often said to be one of the most picturesque villages in the UK. Culross was used a lot during filming as Cranesmuir.

The ochre (yellow) Palace was used in filming and Claire’s herb garden is, in fact, the palace’s gardens, which you can explore.

The Mercat Cross was where the little boy had his ear nailed to the post and Geillis Duncan’s house is behind it.

A lot of Outlander action for such a small (but cute) village.

Dunfermline, next to Culross made it into the best places to visit in Scotland this year. Find out more here.

» » Let someone else do the driving. Read our review of the Outlander Explorer Day Tour « « 

7. Bo’ness Railway               

If you fancy a trip on a steam train while you are in Scotland why not visit Bo’ness Railway Station and take a journey on the same train Claire waved from? You can even have afternoon tea on board!

Boness Railway Station - Outlander Tours

8. Blackness Castle

The formidable Outlander Blackness Castle, overlooking the Firth of Forth was the perfect choice as the show’s version of Fort William.

The castle was once used as a prison and a military fort and was built purely for defence. The courtyard was the setting for the horrific scene of Jamie’s whipping and where Claire and Jamie ran along the walls to escape.

Blackness Castle Outlander

9. Midhope Castle aka Lallybroch

Yes, you can visit the home of Jamie at Lallyborch and see where he was flayed (whipped) at the archway.

This spot is usually very busy with tourists so you have to be patient!

The building cannot be accessed, only the exterior was used in filming Outlander, like many of the locations on the Outlander tours.

Midhope Castle Lallybroch Outlander

10. Outlander Standing Stones 

So where is Craigh na Dun? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist, but you can see where it was filmed if you look hard enough.

On the long, winding road between Queens View, near Pitlochry, to the village of Kinloch Rannoch, you may spot the hill, with the trees.

The producers added the stones. I have travelled this road at least ten times since I knew of the filming and I’ve yet to find it but I know others have. I know it’s on the left-hand side, that’s about it, so if you happen to spot it let me know.

Bonus: Glencoe

Glencoe is shown off beautifully at the very start at the opening credits and it’s the perfect place to truly see what makes Scotland so special.

If you ask any Scottish travel lover what their favourite place is in Scotland most will say Glencoe. The huge, majestic mountains tower above you as you travel through and the scenery around you is truly stunning.


» Looking to meet a man in a kilt? Here my guide on where to find them


Glencoe | Haggis Adventures Skye High 3 Day Review

 

Frequently Asked Outlander Questions

  • When will season 6 of Outlander be aired?
    Season six has been confirmed and is currently in production. It is believed it will air early 2022.
  • Where is the Outlander studio?
    Outlander is filmed at Wardpark Studios at Cumbernauld near Glasgow.
  • Outlander Craigh na Dun – is it real?
    Unfortunately not, you would have to use your imagination near Kinloch Rannoch to find the location.
  • Where are the standing stones used in Outlander?
    Like many good things in life, the standing stones are fiction but you can see similar standing stones around the UK.

Outlander Virtual Tour

Follow the steps of Jamie and Claire around Scotland without leaving your home.

All you need is access to Zoom and 1-2 hours to devote to Jamie. Not hard, right?

The super sweet Anne and Emma from the award-winning Mary’s Meanders have lots of experience of running Outlander tours, six years to be exact.

In this online Outlander tour, you join your guide and fellow Outlander fans/friends via conference call and enjoy a tour of some of the below Outlander locations in my home country, Scotland!

For more information and the booking form, click here.
Tell them Two Scots Abroad sent you! 


Final Thoughts

These locations are just the start. With more Outlander locations being added every year and Outlander Season 6 in production there will always be more.

You can download an Outlander locations map from Visit Scotland and why not consider an Outlander style wedding?!

Save for later + share with others
Pin our Outlander map of Scotland

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Are you an Outlander fan?

Tell us more in the comments below

» » Not found what you are looking for?
Here are all of the Outlander tours in Scotland  « « 


This Outlander tour review is a collaboration with Gemma (Two Scots Abroad) and Nicola (FunkyEllas Travel). Nicola is a Scottish Travel blogger from, you guessed it, Scotland. She likes to inspire people to visit with epic tales from around the country. Nicola explores with daughter and pup and loves nothing better than a forest walk, a castle ruin or a beautiful beach. She loves the outdoors, colourful villages, quirky places to stay and good food to eat. A little Outlander obsessed and thrilled that it’s being filmed in Scotland so she can visit the filming locations. She’s also over the moon that it’s promoting Scotland’s stunning scenery.


Highland Explorer Tours One-Day ‘Outlander Explorer’ Review

Mrs Baird B&B Outlander Falkland Scotland_

You’ve fallen in love with the hit TV show and now it’s time to discover the filming locations! In this Highland Explorer ‘Outlander Explorer’ Tour review we are going to take you to Castle Leoch, Cranesmuir, 1940s Inverness, France (Le Havre Port) and Jamie’s house (Lallybroch). This day trip from Edinburgh lasts nine hours, stopping at five Outlander locations.

Highland Explorer Tours Outlander Explorer Review

Edinburgh – Doune Castle

  • One hour drive

Leaving the Highland Explorer offices on the Old Town Royal Mile at 08:45 (check-in 08:30), your guide/driver (hi, Fiona!) will get you on the road to Doune Castle, or Castle Leoch as you know it. This stretch of the tour has the right balance of information and chill out time to an eclectic mix of Scottish music (no bagpipes).

Learn why Edinburgh has the nicknames ‘Old Reekie’ and ‘Athens of the North’ as you drive down the historic Royal Mile and then the New Town’s Princes Street with Edinburgh Castle looking glorious in the background. Not an Outlander fan? Dragged along by your partner? No problem, the tour caters for Scotland lovers too with its funny stories and historical accounts.

Doune Castle, Castle Leoch

After a sneak peek at Linlithgow Palace from the bus window, the striking Kelpies in Falkirk and Stirling castle from afar, you arrive at Doune Castle. At first, you’ll think it’s a grey structure with a saltire flying high but don’t be fooled by its simplicity.

As you walk up to the castle’s black metal gates a steward will hand over an audio guide packed with historical information about Castle Doune and also, the reason you are here, the filming of Outlander!

The hour spent at Castle Leoch goes by quickly, you need to hit start on the audio guide immediately to fit in the historical stories narrated by the one and only Terry Jones from Monty Python. Did you know that Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed here too? From chapter 17 you will hear a familiar voice; Sam Heughan who plays Jamie Fraser.

Heughan talks you through the stage kitchen where Mrs Fritz boiled hot water for nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall/Fraser (Caitriona Balfe) to tend to Jamie’s wounds. He also discusses the Scottish language, Gaelic, and sport, shinty.

Back on the bus to the next stop, Culross in Fife, your guide chats more about Scottish history and explains the Jacobite uprising. The Jacobite uprising has a silly double meaning. You’ll need to book your spot to find out what it is (you’ll giggle). Doune Castle is not shy of the silver screen it appears, now starring the new Netflix film, Outlaw King. You learn more about the film and its place in Scotland here


» Looking for other Outlander tours? Click to read our extensive guide


Doune Castle Window Scotland

Culross, Cranesmuir

  • 30 mins drive

Culross is home to Cranesmuir which is where Claire and Geillis Duncan are accused of witchcraft. It is also one of the region, The Kingdom of Fife’s, cutest villages. Expect cobbled streets and the stunning Culross Palace where Claire’s herb garden (at Castle Leoch) can be found. The stop lasts for thirty minutes and like Doune Castle, you independently manage your time. The cost of entering Culross Palace is £2.50. The ‘free’ view on the gardens is poor, pay the small fee to see it. Well worth the price of a cheap coffee.

If you head to the first cobbled street and turn left you will find Geillis and her prosecutor fiscal husband’s house. The crew painted all of the house exteriors grey and brown, thankfully now they are back to their normal bright white and colourful selves! This is also where the young boy who was caught stealing nearly faced punishment.

Geillis Duncan House Culross Outlander_

Falkland

  • 45 mins drive

Falkland, also in Fife, is home to Mrs Baird’s B&B (which is actually accommodation, check out availability at The Covenanter Hotel), Campbell’s Coffee Shop and the store where Claire admired the vase.

Of course, you have to get the mandatory shot of where Jamie’s ghost looks up at Claire by the fountain.

Mrs Baird B&B Jamie Outlander Falkland Scotland_

Here you have an hour to wander and grab lunch at one of the many cafes/pubs. I dined at Campbell’s Cafe (naturally). It was extremely busy, I struggled to finish the goats cheese and beetroot on sourdough bread in time. The staff were very efficient but I kind of felt like I was part of a London tourist attraction with the ‘wait to be seated’ queue outside. One for the diehards!

If you bring your own lunch you might just have time to visit Falkland Palace which is a Renaissance palace with a large garden.


» You may also like our guide to the Kingdom of Fife


 Dysart Harbor, Le Havre Port

  • 20 mins drive

A scenic waterfront with boats, some housing and not much else was transformed into the French Le Harve Port for Outlander.

Dysart Harbour Le Havre Port Fife Outlander Scotland_

Midhope Castle, Lallybroch

  • 35 mins with a refreshment stop

Busiest stop of the day, all the mad Outlander fans (read rude) are present at Midhope Castle. It is difficult to get a photo without someone stepping into it and doing the teapot pose. Why? This is where Jamie lives! Well, on the TV show anyway. The 16th-century tower house is not open to the public but the arch where Jamie is flayed is free to Instagram. Ouch.

If you have ample time you could also explore Outlander in the north of Scotland. Check out my friend Kay’s guide to Outlander in Inverness

Midhope Castle Lallybroch Outlander

Essential Information

  • The Highland Explorer Outlander Tour leaves at 08:45 from 66 High Street, Edinburgh. You need to check in at 08:30.
  • The bus is comfortable and spacious. There are big windows to admire the scenery from. A decent sound system for the Scottish tunes and aircon/warm air.
  • This is a popular tour, the Outlander Effect has increased footfall at Doune Castle by 91%! Book early to avoid disappointment. During Summer tours run on a Thursday and Sunday. In Winter there is now a Sunday tour (woohoo).
  • Castle Doune is an additional charge of £6, arrange this with Highland Explorer before the tour. They’ll ask you again at check-in. Everyone on our bus paid the entrance fee, it will be a long hour without access to the audio guide.
  • There are toilets Doune Castle (free), Culross (30p) and Falkland (30p). There are none at Midhope Castle.
  • Although there is minimal walking (longest we walked was five minutes from the bus to Culross then another 10 around the village), many of the streets are cobbled and Castle Doune has lots of low ceilings so watch your head and footing!
  • It rains in Scotland, even if you leave your hotel with blue skies overheard be ready for any season to hit. Pack a good quality raincoat.
  • For footwear, be cautious of cobbled streets (avoid big heels) and if you want to walk around the grassy area of Castle Doune wear shoes with grips. 
  • Bring your camera, the locations you will visit during the tour are very photogenic.

Final Words

Although the majority of the filming locations on the Highland Explorer Outlander Tour are just exteriors of the buildings, with lots of movie magic being done at the studios in Cumberland, it is still a worthwhile day trip from Edinburgh. From the crumbling walls of Castle Leoch to the cute cobbled streets of Culross, shop fronts of Falkland and arch at Midhope Castle, Outlander (and history) fans will want to book a seat on this tour, regardless of the season. This Highland Explorer Outlander Tour is actually a combo trip – you get to explore Outlander locations and learn about the history of Scotland too. A bogof tour well worth £49.

Highland Explorer Outlander Explorer Tour Scotland

Why not pin for later?

Highland Explorer Outlander Tour


» You may also like: recommended Scotland gifts (especially for Outlander fans!)


*Disclaimer: I partnered with Highland Explorer Tours – this is an honest review as always!