The Outlander effect

OUTLANDER has been cited as helping bring a “phenomenal” boost to tourism in Scotland as new figures show an increase in visits.

Malcolm Roughead, Visitscotland chief executive, said the interest in film and television series locations like Outlander, shot and set in Scotland, has helped the rise in summer visitor numbers last year.

 

He said: “We knew anecdotally that tourism businesses across Scotland had a good summer in 2017, but it is absolutely phenomenal to see just how much growth there was compared to the same period in 2016 with overseas visits up by 14.6 per cent and domestic visits up by 10 per cent from July to September.

HeraldScotland: Outlander Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) (39539207)

“Such exceptional increases across visits and spend can be attributed to a myriad of different factors which have worked together to create a perfect blend for Scottish tourism.

“Key influences include increased capacity on air routes from countries all across the world, favourable exchange rates and of course the Outlander effect which has had a huge impact with many coming to experience the land that inspired the popular books and TV series.”

The head of the national tourism agency went on: “More than that, we are noticing a real uplift in the staycation market with less people flying out of the UK for the first time in a number of years, meaning many are simply getting out and about exploring their own country.

HeraldScotland: Outlander stars: Scottish weather adds to the atmosphere

“This is a real testament to the hard work of our tourism industry which is constantly innovating and investing to ensure visitors receive not only a quality experience, but a memorable one.

Pioneering partnerships have been at the heart of Visitscotland marketing activity including key collaborations with TripAdvisor, booking.com and E4, ensuring we reach more potential visitors globally in new and exciting ways.

Mr Roughead said: “Our focus on digital marketing and unique PR campaigns including an ambitious YouTube influencer campaign has been very successful, with Scotland punching above its weight on a global platform.

HeraldScotland: outlander filming collage.png

“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.

“We will continue to work hard to ensure the sector remains a priority for Scotland for many years to come.”

 

Overseas figures from Office of National Statistics show 11.6m UK visits and domestic tourism statistics of 3.5m visits from the Great Britain Tourism Survey from July to September last year.

Photo tours of Scotland

Our photo tours of Scotland feature visits to the top scenic locations in the Highlands and Edinburgh .

Photo tour of Rosslyn Chapel and Scott’s View , Melrose , one of the most scenic views in Scotland .
Entrance tickets are not included.

Price £175

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Outlander tours

Tours start at 9.30 am . Our private group tours take up to 4 people to three Outlander filming locations. We also offer bespoke private tours with the option of choosing your own itinerary .

Tours start from locations in Edinburgh or Glasgow .
Normal pickup point is Edinburgh/ Glasgow city centre , your hotel or the airport .

Other pickup points can be arranged , subject to an additional fee .

Itinerary

On this tour we visit various locations used for filming the hit series Outlander. Based on the best selling novels by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander is filmed in a number of locations in castles and towns in  central Scotland.

The first location on this Outlander tour is the historic town of Falkland. The town is the setting for episode one where Frank and Claire Randall come to Scotland on holiday. Falkland Palace is a historic building and shops and  features can be recognised , including the town square fountain where Frank encounters Jamie’s ghost watching Claire through the window.

doune castle outlander

Doune Castle was built in  1400 for the first Duke of Albany and provides the setting for Castle Leoch in Outlander. It was also the set for Winterfell in Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

blackness castle , outlander tour

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists.

The castle is long and narrow because of the shape of the rock on which it is situated and it is sometimes called ‘ the ship that never sailed ‘ . It guards the bay at Blackness and is only a few miles from Linlithgow Palace . The first castle was built in the middle of the 15th century by Sir George Crichton , Earl of Caithness , a member of one of the most powerful families in Scotland . King James II acquired Blackness in 1453 when he annexed the lands of the Crichtons . From then on the castle was mainly used as a prison . In 1543 Cardinal Beaton was held here for a month . Rebuilding started in the 1530s under the direction of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart who also worked at Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . He was instructed to make the castle safe from artillery , and he achieved this by making the south and east walls very thick . A new tower was built at the south end . In the 1560s , in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots , a Spur was built to protect the main gate . In the 1870s the castle was the main ammunition depot for Scotland .The Castle is a popular location for historical re-enactments and has changed little in 600 years . Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Hamlet has scenes filmed at Blackness Castle and Dunnottar Castle.
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Paul Scofield, Alan Bates, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter, John McEnery

Filming of the Outlander TV series has taken place in Scotland . One of Outlander’s first scenes was filmed in the picturesque town of Falkland, which stands in for Inverness in the 1940s . The show is based on American author Diana Gabaldon’s series of historical novels, which sees nurse Claire Beauchamp Randell mysteriously swept back from 1945 to 1743 Highland Scotland
 .  Falkland features some familiar sights from the TV series , including  Mrs Baird’s Guesthouses (actually the Covenanter Hotel), the Bruce Fountain where Claire comes across the ghost of Jamie, and the building that doubles as Farrell’s Hardware and Furniture Store.
Most of the filming will take place in Scotland,  according to the show’s executive producer Ron Moore . 
Scotland’s stunning landscape, with its rolling hills, rugged mountains, picturesque towns and villages, castles and sprawling beaches has provided the perfect backdrop for the world of cinema.
The show is based on American author Diana Gabaldon’s series of historical novels, which sees nurse Claire Beauchamp Randell mysteriously swept back from 1945 to 1743 Highland Scotland where rebellion and romance are afoot.  Executive Producer Ron Moore has commented on Scotland : “The landscape itself is a character in the show. There’s a particular quality to the light in Scotland, even to the grass and the trees.” 
Outlander season 2 is expected to premiere sometime in the first half of 2016

The tour spends an hour at each location .

  • Travel by luxury car
  • Small private group tour with a maximum of 4 people

Tour costs – £200 for up to 4 people .

Lunch , refreshments and entrance tickets are not included in the price.

Outlander set locations tour from Edinburgh £200

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Outlander series 3 – Jamie and Lord John Grey

In what proved to be a tender moment on Season 3 of Outlander, Jamie (Sam Heughan) offered himself to Lord John Grey (David Berry) to ensure the safety of his son, Willie. Although the scene was well done given its complexity – Grey is a closeted soldier while Jamie was sexually abused in Season 1 – Berry admitted it was challenging to pull off in such a short time frame.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Berry revealed the sex offer was tricky for him and Heughan, and required a few rewrites to get perfect. Berry explained how they wanted viewers to buy into the idea that Jamie would do everything in his power to keep Willie safe, even if that meant essentially getting raped by Grey. In the books, the scene in question takes place over several chapters. The show, however, had to condense that down to a few quick scenes, which made everything more complicated.

“It was important for both Sam and I to endow Jamie’s proposal with as much sincerity as possible so that we could then subvert the expectations of the audience when Grey rejects him. And for Grey it was important for the rejection not to seem cruel but come from a place of honor and compassion for Jamie,” Berry shared. “This helps the audience to understand the depth of their friendship. Grey loves Jamie but would never abuse or transgress his friendship with Jamie for his own selfish purposes.”

Speaking of Jamie’s sacrifice for his son, Outlander executive producer Matthew B. Roberts recently opened up about casting Clark Butler for the role. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roberts explained how it didn’t take long for them to cast Willie and how they were not looking for somebody who resembled Jamie. Instead, they picked an actor who was best for the character, and Butler immediately stood out above the rest.

Roberts also revealed that casting has undergone a lot of changes over the past few years. Most of the casting is now done online, and the entire crew can review auditions on their own time. Fortunately for Butler, everyone quickly agreed that he was the perfect fit for the role.

While Butler did a great job as Willie in episode four, titled “Of Lost Things,” we won’t be seeing much of his character for the remainder of the season. Willie was part of a handful of characters who were quickly introduced and sent away during the installment, including Isobel Dunsany, Geneva Dunsany – whom Jamie slept with to keep his identity safe – and Lord Ellesmere.

Bespoke private tours

Alongside our normal choice of tours , Private Tours Edinburgh also offers bespoke private tours and one day Outlander tours customised to the requirements of each customer .

You can set your own itinerary and decide exactly where you want to visit . Customers interested should contact us online for a quote

Tours normally start at 9.30 am .

Normal pickup point is Edinburgh or Glasgow city centre or the airport .

Your tour can feature a visit to Outlander film locations ,  the Kelpies , the Falkirk Wheel , Edinburgh Castle , Stirling Castle or any other visitor attraction .

Stirling Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in central Scotland . The castle features the Royal Palace , the Great Hall and the castle.

Stirling Castle has been named Scotland’s best visitor attraction at the inaugural 2016 Scottish and Outdoor Leisure Awards. The castle, which attracts about 460,000 visitors per year, beat competitors including Edinburgh Zoo and Dynamic Earth.
If you go into the Great Hall in the castle you can take a seat at the top table and picture yourself as the King or Queen of Scotland .

‘ So let us pass … to the ports of Sterling ; where stands a beautiful and embellished Castle, elevated on the precipice of an impregnable rock , that commands the vallies ( as well as the town ) and all those habitable parts about it … ‘- Richard Franck , Northern Memoirs , 1656

Stirling Castle is built on the volcanic rock high above the town. From the castle you can see Stirling Bridge and the Wallace Monument.

Prices begin at £300 per day for 1 person to £350 for 4 people.

  • Exclusive private tours for up to 4 people
  • Bespoke itinerary based on your interests
  • Beginning in Edinburgh or  Glasgow . Other pickup points are available

 

 

 

Outlander gifts

The Outlander TV series has been a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic ,  with much of the series shot in Scotland . Three castles and the town of Falkland feature heavily. This our selection of unique Outlander gifts featuring the film locations in Scotland .

Doune Castle – Castle Leoch

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan.
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Outlander photo gifts

 

 

Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the show.
Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.
Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

Outlander photo gifts

38 different gifts available

 

 

Blackness Castle – Fort William army headquarters

outlander , blackness castleOne of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds, Blackness Castle near Linlithgow was used as the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall.
The 15th-century ex-artillery fortress overlooks the Firth of Forth and is known as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.
It was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons.

Outlander photo gifts

 

Outlander tours

Outlander tour of 5 Scottish castles

The Outlander TV series continues to be a smash hit in the UK and America .  Five Scottish castles in particular feature heavily in the story lines – Midhope Castle ( Lallybroch ) , Doune Castle ( Castle Leoch ) , Linlithgow Palace  (Wentworth Prison ) , Aberdour Castle ( Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery ) and Blackness Castle ( Fort William army headquarters ) .

1  Midhope Castle – Lallybroch
Those seeking a glimpse of the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser won’t find the real Lallybroch deep in the Highlands.
Scenes were shot at Midhope Castle on the fringes of the Hopetoun Estate near South Queensferry.
Midhope was built in the 15th Century and was built by John Martyne, laird of Medhope. It was rebuilt in the mid 1600s and remains much the same today.
Visitors are asked to admire Midhope from a distance as the interior remains largely derelict.

Midhope Castle is the external location for fictional Lallybroch, the family home of character Jamie Fraser , and it is located on the Hopetoun Estate .  Midhope Castle dates back to the 15th Century and although the exterior is relatively intact the castle is derelict inside. Midhope Castle tours can be booked on

Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Freephone 0800-6190575

on  or online .

2
Doune Castle – Castle Leoch

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan.
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

doune castle, outlander tours

 

 

3
Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the show.
Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.
Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

 

 

 

 

4 Aberdour Castle – Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery

aberdour castle tours
Aberdour castle tours

The Kingdom of Fife posed as the north of France in Season One when Aberdour – possibly Scotland’s oldest standing castle, was depicted as The Abbey of Ste. Anne de Beaupré.
The fictional Benedictine monastery is where Jamie Fraser was taken to recover from his ordeal at Wentworth Prison.  Happily, one of his six uncles was an abbot there.
The Old Kitchen and Long Gallery at Aberdour, in the village of Easter Aberdour, feature in the show.
The original hall house of Aberdour was built around 1200 by Alan de Mortimer with the castle largely the creation of the Douglas Earls of Morton, who held Aberdour from the 14th century.

5
Blackness Castle – Fort William army headquarters

outlander , blackness castleOne of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds, Blackness Castle near Linlithgow was used as the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall.
The 15th-century ex-artillery fortress overlooks the Firth of Forth and is known as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.
It was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons.

 

Outlander tour of 5 Scottish castles

  • 2 passengers £260
  • 3 passengers £280
  • 4 passengers £300

Entrance tickets, food and refreshments are not included . One day passes are available from Historic Environment Scotland for Doune , Blackness and Linlithgow.

Outlander tours  – Outlander photo gifts

Edinburgh Airport transfers

Airport Transfers to Edinburgh Airport from Linlithgow take just 15 minutes by taxi from Linlithgow.
Phone now or contact us online. Bookings and payments can be made online or on freephone 0800-6190575 .

For a quote from  Falkirk  or a taxi to Edinburgh Airport  , phone 07576-127097

Phone now or contact us online. Bookings and payments can be made online or on freephone 0800-0029165.
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The taxi cost Edinburgh Airport to Linlithgow is from £22 depending on the time of day and which part of Linlithgow you are travelling to .

For transfers from Falkirk contact
Airport taxi transfers Falkirk
40 Dunvegan Place
Polmont
Falkirk FK2 0NX
Phone 01324 883305

Falkirk Wheel celebrates its 10th anniversary

The Falkirk Wheel , opened by the Queen in 2002, has celebrated its 10th anniversary. The Wheel’s iconic design has attracted visitors from around the world and it has become one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions .The Wheel enables canal boats to transfer from the Union Canal to the Forth and Clyde Canal.

Chairman Dr Jon Hargreaves said: “The Falkirk Wheel has made a great contribution to the image of Scotland and is now an intrinsic part of the Lowland canals and a perfect symbol of their renaissance and the broad economic, social and environmental public value they together deliver.”

The proposal to reopen the Forth & Clyde and Union Canal first became a real possibility in the early 1990s – a canal network enabling travel from Edinburgh to Glasgow, while regenerating the communities along the waterways.

Dr Hargreaves added: “When planning the Millennium Link, we wanted an extraordinary design which could become an icon affirming that the 18th century canal system is back and have an important role to play in travel in the 21st century.

Transfers from Linlithgow town centre take just twenty minutes and can be booked by phone . Transfers can be arranged for the surrounding areas including  Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow.

View more Falkirk Wheel pictures

Spooky castles – the most haunted Halloween castles in the UK

Linlithgow Palace 44 HDR print by David Rankin

The UK has hundreds of ruined castles. But some castles are more spooky than others. Here’s a list of the spookiest , most haunted castles in the UK , ideal for a visit at Halloween . If you’re brave enough to visit one of these castles , why not send a  free Halloween greeting card

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle commands the whole of the city centre , sitting on a volcanic rock . The castle is perhaps the spookiest in Britain because it has many ghosts. There is a drummer who only appears when the castle is
about to be attacked. A piper who disappeared in the
tunnels between the castle and the High Street comes back to haunt the dungeons. The castle is Scotland’s biggest visitor attraction with thousands of visitors each year.

edinburgh castle screensavers
Buy Edinburgh
Castle screensaver
£3.95

Send a free Edinburgh Castle Halloween e-card.

Eilean Donan Castle

This is one of the most picturesque and most photographed castles in
the world . Robert the Bruce took refuge here in 1306 . The
original castle was destroyed in 1719 when 3 English
frigates attacked the Spanish troops garrisoned there
. The castle was rebuilt in the 20th century . This castle is spooky because the spirit of
a Spanish troop is said to haunt the castle.

Send a free Halloween e-card

Eilean
Donan castle screensavers

. More pictures of Eilean
Donan Castle

Craigievar
Castle

The Blue Bedroom is the haunt of one of the Gordon clan members, who
fell from a window. He had been pushed to his death by “Red”
Sir John Forbes, a noble. Several people heard the step of
the unfortunate Gordon climbing the stairs to the Blue
Bedroom, as if he was living the moment before his death
again and again.One of the
other ghosts is one of a musician, who is very selective (he
shows himself just to people with the name of Forbes). He
fell in the moat of the castle and drowned. Send free Halloween e-cards

Linlithgow Palace

This was the castle of the Stewart kings of Scotland from the 15th
century . In 1512Mary , Queen of Scots was born here .
Queen Margaret’s Tower at the top of the stair towers
, is said to be haunted by the Queen’s mother , Mary of Guise , waiting for the
return of her husband , James V .

More pictures of Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow travel guide

Crathes
Castle

In the oldest part of the castle, the double tower, there is a room
known as the Green Lady’s Room, because of the several
apparitions of this unknown woman with a baby. It is said
that she’s a member of the Burnett family, proprietor of the
castle.These
apparitions began after the discover of two skeletons,
during renovation work : one of a woman and one of a baby.
The baby is said to be the child of a man who preferred to
kill the baby and the mother to hide their
relationship.The fact
that the apparitions continue, even after the discover of
the bodies means than the two poor beings will never be able
to rest in peace.

Stirling Castle

The castle stands on volcanic rock overlooking the town of Stirling and
the countryside . Mary , Queen of Scots was crowned in the
old chapel in 1533 . The Pink Lady , a beautiful woman in a
pink silk gown , has been seen many times at the castle . It
may be Mary , Queen of Scots. Others say it is the ghost of
a woman searching for her husband who had been killed when
Edward I captured the castle .

Free Stirling Castle e-cards

More pictures of  Stirling Castle
Free Halloween greeting cards


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