I don’t watch a lot of television and I’ve seen very few movies, but earlier this year I came across Outlander and I was instantly hooked. While I had already fallen in love with the Scottish Highlands a year earlier, Outlander made my love for Scotland come alive again and ignited an interest in its history as well. The combination of heartbreak, romance and adventure creates a magical story that I know many others have also fallen in love with. I decided to explore a few filming locations on my most recent trip to Scotland. While I’m normally one to follow the path less taken, this was a great way to see towns and areas that I otherwise may never have visited. This is by no means a comprehensive list of filming locations, but might hopefully give you a few ideas and some inspiration.
Culross took me by surprise with its character. Located in Fife, this is the fictional village of Cranesmuir in Outlander (where Geillis Duncan lives). Walk through the charming alleyways and you’ll arrive at the centre of the town where the Mercat Cross scenes are set (punishment of the young theif and witchcraft trial of Claire and Geillis).
Founded in 1217, Culross Abbey boasts beautiful views and a sense of stepping back in time. While I don’t believe this was used in filming, this is a beautiful place to visit while you’re in Culross, and is reminiscent of scenes from Outlander.
West Kirk Ruins (Black Kirk)
The ‘Black Kirk’ is a 20 minute walk from Culross Abbey and the town of Culross. I was lucky enough to have this beautiful spot to myself when I arrived! The location is used for the scene where Jamie tells Claire of how they would venture out to Black Kirk as children and some would become poisoned after their visit (and Claire subsequently realising this is due to the Lily of the Valley plant that is growing there).
Doune Castle (Castle Leoch)
Doune Castle is the fictional Castle Leoch in Outlander (home to Column MacKenzie). The castle has been beautifully restored and you can explore every nook and cranny of this place, so it’s worth a visit despite the crowds at this major tourist attraction.
Kinloch Rannoch (Craigh na Dun)
This was one of the highlights of my trip to Scotland. A two hour drive East from Fort William, it is nestled in the mountains of Perthshire, and it is easy to see why this area was chosen for filming As you drive along the road towards Mt Schiehallion, you will see a gate with the familiar group of trees upon a small hill. The stones that form Craigh na Dun in Outlander are not real, but the view and surrounding area is spectacular. Such an enchanting spot which I’m glad I made the time to visit.
Representative of many of the vast landscapes seen in Outlander, Glencoe and surrounds are incredibly picturesque. I could easily spend months or even years here and still find new things to explore!
Falkland was used for filming the 1940s scenes in Inverness. This is a gorgeous little town in which I only had a short time to explore. The Covenanter Hotel is right in the middle of town and is the location for Mrs Baird’s Bed & Breakfast, where Claire & Frank stay and where the ghost of Jamie stands in the rain looking up into Claire’s room.
While I can’t confirm that this area was used for filming, I highly recommend spending a day walking through St Andrews and taking a look around Anstruther which is a 15 minute drive away. The buildings and alleyways are a delight to explore.
If you have any questions at all, or would like to add to this list (I know there are so so many more amazing locations to visit!), feel free to comment below. x