Lots of you have been in touch to say how useful my Outlander filming location blog posts have been in planning your Outlander inspired vacation to Scotland. I have been meaning to add more guides for a while but wanted to wait until Season 2 was well under way to prevent any spoilers! Also there are now so many filming locations in Scotland that it is hard to keep up but I'm trying my best and as I never want to write a blog post giving advice about a place I haven't personally visited it takes that bit longer to catch up...:-)
There will be more to come but in the meantime here are 7 more Outlander filming locations to add to your list.
1. Doune Castle
Doune Castle is one of the most visited Outlander filming locations in Scotland, with visitor numbers up a third since it was featured in the show as Castle Leoch, the seat of the Clan MacKenzie. Outlander is not this castle's only claim to fame as it was also featured as Camelot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and starred in the pilot episode of Game of Thrones.
Doune Castle is a great place to visit with lots of nooks and crannies to get lost in and I highly recommend taking the audio guide to make the most of your visit to this 14th Century fortification. The audio tour is narrated by Monty Python's Terry Jones and thanks to the interest in Outlander it now also features Sam Heughan, bonus! Once you have explored the interior, make sure you find your way to the battlements as the views over the River Teith and towards the Menteith Hills and Ben Lomond are worth the effort.
The nearest city to Doune Castle is Stirling which is a 20 minute drive away. You could easily spend a couple of hours here and if you are being selective about which Outlander filming locations to include in your trip to Scotland I would definitely recommend fitting in a visit here. It can easily be combined with a trip to Deanston Distillery which is a 5 minute drive away, see details below.
Doune Castle belongs to Historic Scotland and there is an admission charge to visit. If you are going to a few of their sites the costs can add up and I recommend investigating whether a membership would work out cheaper.
2. Deanston Distillery
Handily located a 5 minute drive from Doune Castle is Deanston Distillery and if you are in need of some whisky after your tour then you need to head here. I should add that it is also an Outlander filming location so a visit here for a dram or two is totally allowed and indeed encouraged!
The distillery warehouse was featured in Episode 1, Season 2 of Outlander as the warehouse in the French port of Le Havre where the Comte St Germain stores his wine shipment.
There are several tours available of this former cotton mill and if you would like to know more about the Scotch whisky making process, taking a tour and sampling the goods is an enjoyable education.
The distillery also features in a Scottish film called The Angel's Share (give it a watch!) and in the warehouse look out for a whisky cask signed by the cast of the movie.
The distillery shop is well stocked with whisky related gifts from scented candles to flavoured chocolates to bottles of the real thing. There is also a little coffee shop if you need a caffeine boost after all that touring and whisky!
3. Linlithgow Palace
Some of the scenes from Wentworth Prison might be ones that most Outlander fans would rather forget but the filming location of Linlithgow Palace is not the grim place that you might envisage. Yes, there are a few atmospherically dark rooms and corridors which were used in the prison scenes, but overall it is a rather majestic ruin that strongly alludes to its former status as a great Royal Palace and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Climb the steps to the top of the building for superb views over Linlithgow Loch and towards the Forth bridges.
Again this is a location that I think should be included on any Outlander filming location itinerary. Linlithgow is a 40 minute drive from either Edinburgh or Glasgow and can easily be reached by train from either city making it an ideal day out if you don't have a car. Like Doune Castle, this is another Historic Scotland property site and I recommend investigating membership which can be cheaper than paying individually if you plan on visiting a few of their properties.
Mary's Meanders are a tour group based in Linlithgow and specialise in private Outlander day tours if you want to explore more filming locations in the area. They also run Outlander themed dinner show evenings and historical group walking tours of Linlithgow meaning you could potentially revel in a full day and night of Outlander activities!
They are one of the Outlander tour companies that I highly recommend as they are full of knowledge and genuine fans themselves.
4. Glasgow Cathedral
One of my favourite Outlander filming locations is Glasgow Cathedral which was transformed into L'Hôpital des Anges in Season 2. Filming took place in the Lower Church of the Cathedral which looked visually stunning on screen and is just as atmospheric in real life, a must visit location in the city. It is the most complete Medieval Cathedral on the Scottish mainland and dates back to the 1100s, long before Glasgow became a city. Although cared for by Historic Scotland, the Cathedral is free to visit and due to its size it is easy to spend an hour or more here.
I recommend setting aside a day to explore this historic quarter of Glasgow as the Cathedral sits next to some interesting attractions which are all free to visit including Glasgow Necropolis (head to the top of the hill for city views), The Provand's Lordship which is the oldest house in the city, St Nicholas Herb Garden which has been recreated in the style of a 15th Century culinary and medicinal garden (very Outlander!) and St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art.
A mere 10 minute walk away from the Cathedral you can get a Sam Heughan fix at Tennents Brewery. He's painted on the wall outside (see below!), pinned up on posters inside and you will even find his handsome face on the TV in the visitor centre. In case you're not aware of the connection between Sam and this famous Glasgow brewery, he played Hugh Tennent in a series of TV adverts (look them up on YouTube!) and his character has now been immortalised all over the building. They run unique brewery tours here with some tastings at the end, be sure to ask for a sample of their whisky oak aged beer if you want to try something a little different.
5. Pollok Park, Glasgow
Although a few Outlander scenes have been filmed in Pollok Country Park on the south-side of Glasgow (including the duel scene between Jamie and Black Jack Randall in Season 2), they mostly featured woods and grass so there isn't a specific location to visit here. However, the park itself is the largest and only country park in the city, making it a rather nice escape. It has plenty of walking and cycling trails, a walled garden full of colourful blooms, heavy horses, adorable Heilan' coos and much more. It is also home to the grand Pollok House, the ancestral home of the Maxwell family now looked after by the National Trust of Scotland and the Burrell Collection Museum which houses over 8000 objects acquired by Sir William Burrell who gifted the collection to the city of Glasgow. The museum is free to visit although it is due to close in October 2016 for refurbishment. This is my favourite park in the city and if you have the time to visit it has a lot to offer.
The park is only 9 minutes by train from Glasgow Central Station to Pollokshaws West Train Station with a very short walk to the park entrance. There is also bike hire at Pollokshaws West Station and as the park is mostly traffic free and fairly flat, this is an ideal way to explore.
6. John Street, Glasgow
Cast your mind back all the way to Outlander Season 1, Episode 7 (I know, it seems so long ago!) and the wedding of Claire and Frank when they spontaneously get hitched at the Registrars Office. The street featured in the scene with ornate architecture and arches is very real and is found in Glasgow city centre, although the Registrars Office isn't real (just in case you have any ideas!). The filming took place in John Street, just behind Glasgow City Chambers and if you arrive here early enough in the morning you will have a much better chance of getting a photo without streams of people in it as it does tend to get pretty busy around this area.
While you're there take a free tour around the ornate interior of Glasgow City Chambers and learn more about the history of this local Government building. Tours run at 10.30am and 2.30pm Monday - Friday, no need to book, just walk in the main entrance and head to reception. Well worth doing in my opinion.
7. Finnich Glen aka The Devil's Pulpit
This mossy 80 foot deep gorge was used as a filming location in Episode 6 of Outlander Season 1 when Claire drinks from St Ninian's Spring or the Liar's Spring, leaving Dougal convinced she is telling the truth. There are lots of legends about this unique place and it is said that the Devil preached from a distinctive large stone that sits at the bottom of the gorge, it is also said to have been a meeting place for Druids. No matter what the stories, the bright green mossy walls and blood red looking water make for an eerie scene. For this reason expect the place to be surprisingly busy with keen photographers.
Getting down to the bottom of the gorge involves navigating a long flight of narrow and slippy stone steps and to be quite honest it isn't the easiest or safest thing to do! In my opinion this is an Outlander filming location that you could miss out if you are short on time as it is a bit out of the way from other locations and I don't think it provides the same reward ratio for the effort to get there. Some people rave about the place, personally I found it a bit of an anti-climax but feel free to decide for yourself.
There are no signs to indicate exactly where the glen is, however follow the direction on a map and look out for a layby just before a bridge, the way in is on the opposite side of the road, see photos below. If there are no spaces in the layby continue to the junction just after the bridge where there is room for a few more cars. Climb the wall and watch out for barbed wire, follow the path away from the bridge and you will eventually come to the set of stairs, take care!
Directions to Finnich Glen
Don't forget to check out the rest of my Outlander filming location guides here
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