Pop Culture Travel: Outlander (Scotland)
The television series Outlander has become a worldwide phenomenon. Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander pairs real historical intrigue with more fantastical elements, the most important being time travel. Though visitors may not be able to travel back to the 1700s like heroine, Claire Randall, the same magic can be captured by touring the Scottish Highlands and getting to see the breathtaking landscapes firsthand.
Standing in for the town of Inverness back in the 1940s, Falkland is a picturesque town in the historic county of Fife. It is here that Claire first travels with her husband Frank and here where, one can argue, the magic all began. You can stay where Claire and Frank stayed during their travels. To them, it was Mrs. Baird’s Guesthouse but in reality, it is the charming Covenanter Hotel.
The nearby town of Culross may look familiar for it is the substitute for Gabaldon’s fictional village of Cranesmuir. Cranesmuir is better known in the series as the home of Claire’s friend Geillis Duncan, who may or may not be a witch. With its 16th century buildings, including the notable Culross Palace, as well as the lovely cobblestone alleyways that make up the Back Causeway, being in Culross will make you feel as though you truly have traveled through time. Near the palace, be sure to take a stroll through the lush garden where Claire can often be found gathering herbs for her work as a healer.
One of the most important stops for any Outlander fan will be Doune Castle, or as it is known in the show, Castle Leoch. Castle Leoch is home to Colum Mackenzie as well as the rest of Clan Mackenzie and is where Claire is initially brought to stay when she first falls back in time. This 14th century castle has been used as a filming location for other notable projects, such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Another memorable filming location for fans will be the village of Kinloch Rannoch. Located on the eastern end of Loch Rannoch, this area serves as the setting for when Claire touches the standing stones and is magically transported. The surrounding Rannoch moorland boasts stunning scenery, hence why it was used as a filming location multiple times throughout season one.
Of all the iconic moments throughout the series, few are as close to fans’ hearts as Jamie and Claire’s wedding. Head South of Kinloch Rannoch to find the Glencorse House at Milton Bridge. The house serves as an actual wedding venue today and is as popular for real-life couples as it is fictional ones.
With historic castles and villages set against rolling fields, the Scottish countryside is a dreamlike setting, not only for the hugely-popular television series, but for any traveler’s next adventure.