Outlander Tour of Scotland

Castle Leoch kitchen on the set of Outlander (left) and me at Doune Castle where they shot

I wasn’t planning on an “Outlander” Tour of Scotland. Admittedly, I am obsessed with the series, yet I did not plan any “Outlander” visits while on my summer birthday bucket list trip in June 2019. But the moment our (I went with my 16 year old nephew) tour guide picked us up in Edinburgh and we headed to the Highlands of Scotland for five days, he knew. He just knew he should alter the itinerary and take me to OUTLANDER!

While in the Medieval City of Edinburgh, our guide there included a pit-stop to Bakehouse Close where Jamie and Claire were reunited 20 years after their separation. A “close” is an alleyway off the main Royal Mile road that leads to private property and were once gated and closed to the public. To this day, they remain frozen in time which is why they used Bakehouse Close as Jamie’s Print Show of 1700s Edinburgh. I stood on a step with no clue that when I would go home and re-watch the series, I would be standing on the same steps where Claire could be seen entering A. Malcolm print shop.

Bakehouse Close in Edinburgh (left movie scene) (right me on same steps)

Our Highlands guide David Campbell gave me a map “Outlander – Visit the Scottish Locations as seen in the hit TV series.” I poured over each and every location on that map. We only had time to visit a few. First was Linlithgow Palace where they shot Wentworth Prison. In the center of the haunted ruins of Linlithgow was a magnificent fountain built by James V in 1538. Fed by underground water, when Bonnie Prince Charlie visited in 1745 it was made to flow wine. I couldn’t quite figure out which scenes were shot there. Maybe the creepy haunted narrow hallways.

Next we stormed Doune Castle where they shot Castle Leoch for months. The interior isn’t much, but the grounds and exterior courtyard is energetically exciting. You can really imagine castle life in those days. As an intuitive, I liked this happy castle. It talked to me and let me know that shooting the show brought back a life it had lost for centuries. The castle was pleased so many visitors were taking an interest in it. Doune was a bit lost for a long time and now it had been found again. Castle Leoch was the fictional home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th c. Misty and moody, I loved this castle visit.

Me and nephew Will at Doune Castle where they re-created a village for Outlander (left)

The 3 Sisters Mountain in Glen Coe is a highlight of the Highlands visit. Majestic world-famous Scottish landmark with high mountain peaks, ridges and rushing waterfalls. The opening credits were shot here as well as a few horse riding scenes. How could it not? Breath-taking scenery.

Glen Coe Highlands – (left) opening Outlander credits (right) out car window

The magic of the movies never gets old to me. It’s always exciting and illuminating and pings at my heart. If you make it to the Scottish Highlands and are a fan of Outlander, you must visit ALL the spots where they shot. Tell your tour guide!

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