With Season 5 just around the corner, perhaps now is a good time to refresh your memories of Claire and Jamie with a Rabbies Outlander Tour in Scotland. Fancy a walk around Claire’s herb garden outside Castle Leoch? Perhaps you’re curious where they filmed the fort of Fort William when that town doesn’t have a fort! Or maybe you just want to see what and where Lallybroch really is.
5 Filming Locations Near Edinburgh
As this is a day tour with Rabbies, they don’t go too far from Edinburgh, such as the filming locations in the highlands. Still, the five spots they hit are some of the most important from the show.
Claire’s Herb Garden
Located in the village of Culross, the tea gardens as seen outside Castle Leoch in Outlander are actually the gardens of a 17th-century estate known as Culross Palace. The tour stops at this spot for a good hour, long enough to explore the gardens or, if you’re on a budget, walk around Culross and then get some photos of the gardens from the path on the hill above them. If you do want to walk around the gardens, the entrance ticket is about $12.50. Exploring Culross is a good alternative, including a visit to the abbey at the top of the hill. This village was also a filming location for Captain America: First Avenger, but sadly the scene was left on the cutting room floor.
I mentioned Doune Castle a few months ago when I wrote about it being the primary filming location for Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail. It’s an ancient castle that fell into ruin hundreds of years ago but is still a major tourist attraction primarily for the movies and shows that have been filmed there. For Outlander, it was renamed as Castle Leoch, a fictitious castle for the show. They had to bring in plenty of props to create a habitable castle. While the castle’s main audioguide is dictated by Terry Jones of Monty Python, there’s now an addition to the guide featuring the Outlander trivia dictated by none other than Jamie!
I was surprised to see how Linlithgow Palace, the castle which served as the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, featured into Outlander. This is Wentworth Prison where Captain “Black Jack” Randall whips and rapes Jamie. I’d definitely recommend paying the $8.70 to explore the castle. It’s more dilapidated than Doune Castle, having had some of the floors collapse, but also grander. There’s a beautiful fountain in the central courtyard with working plumbing that dates back centuries.
Next, we arrived at Blackness Castle on the shores of the Firth of Forth. Yet another ruin, this castle has the distinction of having some of the sturdiest fortifications of its time. It was also designed as a ship about to slide into the bay. Interestingly, the show had to use cranes to lift the props over the castle’s high walls and into the central courtyard. It’s a good setting for Fort William as the show implies, even though the real Fort William is 150 miles away and doesn’t currently have a fort.
Lastly, the tour took us to Lallybroch, Jamie’s ancestrial home. Except it isn’t a castle or even a home anymore. Perhaps it once was occupied, but the floors inside have long since collapsed and now it’s just used as a storage building for the farm on which it sits. It’s a little anticlimactic, but how could the Rabbies Outlander Tour not take you there?!
Booking the Rabbies Outlander Tour
The Rabbies Outlander Tour leaves from the east end of Princes Street in Edinburgh every day at 9:15 a.m. The cost for adults is between $55 and $67, depending on the month. The tour lasts about 8 hours. Make sure you bring a good pair of boots and a rain jacket with you. This is Scotland after all!