Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series has captivated legions of readers and viewers. The book is about Claire Randall, who accidentally travels back in time while honeymooning in Scotland after World War II. She ends up meeting and falling in love with Jamie Fraser, a Highlands warrior.
Whether you’re true to the book or a fan of the on-screen adaptation, “Outlander” inspires serious wanderlust. The storyline and characters are fantastic, yes. But the misty highlands and historic palaces of Scotland are stars of the show in their own right. If you’re itching to explore the Scotland of Outlander, make a beeline for these places on your next vacation.
One of the most well-known locations in the series is the stone circle at Craigh na Dun. Claire discovers that these extraordinary stones are a time travel portal. Although the stones are fictional, the stunning landscape around them is very much real. The lush greenery around is Kinloch Rannoch and should be the first stop on your Outlander quest.
We first meet a young Claire in the 1940s, enjoying a blissful honeymoon in Inverness. Most of these early scenes were shot in Falkland – a scenic village that’s an hour’s drive from Edinburgh. Visitors can even stay at the Covenanter Hotel, the same guesthouse featured in the show. The hotel is where we first glimpse Jamie’s ghost lingering around the Bruce Fountain.
Northeast of Glasgow lies a stunning 14th-century castle called Doune Castle. You’ll recognize this in the show as Castle Leoch – the legendary home of Colum Mackenzie and the Mackenzie clan.
As sinister villains go, Black Jack Randall evokes maximum fear and passionate loathing. Who can forget season one when he imprisons and flogs Jamie at the fictional Fort William? Meanwhile, in this world, fans can visit the scene of the crime at Blackness Castle. Blackness Castle is a 15th-century fort that looks remarkably like a ship run aground.
Experience glimpses of high society life in the show at Hopetoun House. To the Outlander fandom, this is the residence of the Duke of Sandringham. Hopetoun House lies on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
Jamie Fraser fans, take note! Make sure to visit Midhope Castle or the fictional Lallybroch, Jamie’s ancestral home. This 15th-century castle is part of the Hopetoun Estate. While the exteriors are intact, the building is dilapidated on the inside. Visitors need a special pass to visit.
Known in the show as Wentworth Prison, Linlithgow Palace is a short train ride from Edinburgh. Although fans of the show remember it for several gruesome episodes, this 15th-century palace is stunning and far more pleasant in real life.