The hit STARZ show Outlander — based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon — features Scotland in all its glory. Credited with helping along the recent tourist boom in the country, this British-American television drama series has become something of a cultural phenomenon. Though the show takes its time-travelling characters to numerous locations around the world, most Outlander filming locations are actually in Scotland.
The show follows Claire Randall, a married WWII combat nurse who mistakenly falls back in time to 1743 and meets Scotsman Jamie Fraser. You can explore many of the breathtaking landscapes of this fictional world, from its ancient standing stones to its imposing castles and magnificent stately homes. So why not get swept away into Claire and Jamie’s world and experience all that it has to offer?
WARNING: Mild spoilers for Seasons 1-4
While most of the action in this season (and the book it’s based on) takes place in the Scottish Highlands, most of the locations for the show are in Central Scotland.
Kinloch Rannoch (Craigh na Dun)
The idyllic area around Rannoch Moor in Perthshire can be seen in the very first episode of the show, where Claire and her husband Frank Randall enjoy their second honeymoon after the end of World War II. It is also where the show sets up the (unfortunate fake) stones that make up the mysterious circle of Craigh na Dun where Claire starts her time-travelling journey.
Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway (Wartime London)
This historic Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and museum near Falkirk was turned into a bustling train station in 1940s wartime London, where Claire and Frank part from each other for the duration of the war. The railway and museum also offer scenic rides on vintage trains to visitors.
Falkland, Fife (Inverness)
The picturesque town of Falkland in Fife stands in for the city of Inverness in scenes set during both the 1940s (in Season1) and the 1960s (in Season 2). Numerous buildings are used in the show, such as Covenanter Hotel, which becomes Mrs Baird’s cosy guesthouse
Doune Castle (Castle Leoch)
Dating back to the 14th century, the stunning Doune Castle near Stirling becomes Castle Leoch, the fictional home of Clan MacKenzie. It can also be seen featured in Games of Thrones and Monty Python & The Holy Grail. In the show, we get to see the castle as both a ruin (in the scenes from the 1940s) and in all its imposing (and computer generated) 18th-century glory. The real life seat of Clan MacKenzie is at Castle Leod.
Glencorse Old Kirk (Claire and Jamie’s Wedding)
Located on the grounds of Glencorse House near Edinburgh, this charming church was where Claire and Jamie get married in the first Season. It is also a popular wedding venue for many modern-day couples.
Culross, Fife (Cranesmuir)
This small rustic town in Fife has barely changed since the 17th century and was thus the perfect place to shoot scenes for the village of Cranesmuir. The town’s Mercat Cross area was heavily featured as the home of Claire’s friend Geillis Duncan. The area behind Culross Palace also became Claire’s herb garden at Castle Leoch.
Blackness Castle (Fort William)
Set along the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, the impressive 15th-century Blackness Castle was the setting for Fort William in the show (the real fort, near the town of Fort William, has since been dismantled). It served as the headquarters of Black Jack Randall and was where Jamie was once imprisoned and tortured.
Hopetoun House (Duke of Sandringham’s Estate)
The grand and splendid Hopetoun House is also located near Edinburgh and was used numerous times in the show. Its best-known appearance is as the stately home of the Duke of Sandringham in Season 1 (parts of the estate were also filmed at Drumlanrig Castle and Callendar House). It also doubles as the Hawkins Estate in Season 2, and can also be seen in various shots of Paris. The house is owned by the Marquis of Linlithgow and is open to visitors in the summer.
Highland Folk Museum (MacKenzie Village)
This charming museum in Newtonmore contains replicas of 18th-century turf-roofed Highland cottages. It was the perfect location to shoot scenes set in the Highland villages of the MacKenzie clan. You can visit the museum to how the Scottish Highlanders lived.
Midhope Castle, Scotland (Lallybroch)
Located on the Hopetoun Estate, this 16th-century tower house was used as Lallybroch, the ancestral home of the Fraser clan. The estate is still a working farm, though Midhope Castle itself is quite derelict and unsafe to enter.
Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth Prison)
This beautiful palace was once the royal seat of the Stewart kings of Scotland and the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. However, it’s elegant courtyards were used as the harrowing (but fictional) Wentworth Prison in the show.
Aberdour Castle (Abbey of Ste. Anne de Beaupré)
Built in the 12th century, Aberdour Castle is located along the coast in Fife and is one of the oldest standing stone castles in Scotland. It was used as the fictional Abbey of Ste. Anne de Beaupré, where Claire and Murtagh take Jamie to recover from his ordeal at Wentworth Prison.
Other Outlander filming locations you can visit include the seaside town of Troon, where Claire, Jamie and Murtagh board a ship to go to France, and the forests of Tulloch Ghru where numerous scenes were shot. You can also check out the legendary Glenfinnan Monument where the real Bonnie Prince Charlie started the Jacobite Rising of 1745 and the sweeping mountainous landscape of Glencoe.
This season takes the characters to Paris, and while many of the locations are still filmed in Scotland, the cast and crew did head to Prague to truly capture the essence of 18th century France.
Dysart Harbour (Le Havre, France)
The picturesque Dysart Harbour in Fife was transformed into the French port of Le Havre in the 1740s, where Claire and Jaime land after escaping to France. Like so many scenes, parts of Scotland were used for international locations.
Strahov Monastery, Prague (Library of Versailles)
However, the crew did film many scenes set in Paris in Prague. The elaborate and opulent library at the 12th century Strahov Monastery was used as the royal library of King Louis XV in the palace of Versailles.
Drummond Castle Gardens (Gardens of Versailles)
Drummond Castle near Crieff has one of the most stunning formal gardens in the country. They are designed in the Italian parterre style and were used to stand in as the opulent gardens of Versailles. While you can visit the gardens, the castle itself is closed to the public.
Military Church of St. John of Nepomuk, Prague (L’Hopital des Anges)
Located near Prague Castle, the exterior of this church served as the entrance of L’Hopital des Anges in Paris where Claire goes to treat the ill. However, the interior scenes were filmed in the crypts at the medieval Glasgow Cathedral.
Dean Castle (Beaufort Castle)
This 14th-century castle in Kilmarnock became home of Lord Lovat, Beaufort Castle. Claire and Jamie visit it in Season 2 to persuade the lord to send men to help Charles Stuart. Dean Castle is currently closed for restoration.
You can also visit the Radnicke Schody in Prague, a 127-step staircase lined with shops and houses that were used to portray the bustling streets of Paris, and the Deanston Distillery, in Perthshire which became Jamie’s cousin’s warehouse in France. Also don’t miss Culloden Moor, where both the real and the fictional Battle of Culloden takes place between the Government forces and the rebel Jacobite army.
Large parts of Season 3 take place away from Scotland – specifically in Boston and in Jamaica. While many scenes were still shot in Scotland, the crew also filmed in Cape Town, South Africa. However, most filming in here took place at Cape Town Studios, which is inaccessible to the public.
Glasgow University (Harvard University)
In this Season, Claire and her family move to Boston in the 1960s. Glasgow University was used to shoot scenes set in Harvard University where her husband Frank taught. Glasgow University is one of the oldest universities in the UK and was established in 1451. Don’t miss its iconic arches (found in the university’s cloisters) which are also featured in the show.
Kelvingrove Park (Boston Park)
Kelvingrove Park in the West End of Glasgow is located near Glasgow University along the River Kelvin. It was used to film scenes for a park in Boston frequented by Claire and her daughter Brianna. The nearby Dowanhill Street was also used as the Randalls’ neighbourhood in 1950s-1960s Boston.
Craigmillar Castle (Ardsmuir Prison)
This ruined medieval castle in Edinburgh was featured in the show as the fictional Ardsmuir Prison. Jamie and Murtagh were incarcerated in this fortress along the coast following the failed Jacobite rising of 1745 and the Battle of Culloden.
Gosford House (Helwater Estate)
The lavishly decorated Gosford House was used as the fictional Helwater Estate, where Jamie serves his parole as groom to the Dunsany family. Here, Jamie fathers an illegitimate son with Dunsany’s elder daughter, Geneva, who is married to the Earl of Ellesmere. Scenes in their home, Ellesmere Manor, were also shot at Gosford House.
Bakehouse Close (A. Malcolm’s Print Shop)
Located just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Bakehouse Close is one of the best preserved historic areas of the city. It was transformed into the setting for Jamie Fraser’s (who was operating under the pseudonym Alexander Malcolm) print shop. The interiors were filmed on a soundstage, but you can visit the Museum of Edinburgh next door.
Tweeddale Court (18th Century Edinburgh)
Another historic Edinburgh street near the Royal Mile was used in to represent the capital in the 1760s. Dating back to the 16th century, this street was transformed into a bustling 18th-century marketplace, where Claire reunites with people from the past.
University of Stellenbosch Theology Faculty Building, Cape Town (Jamaican Governor’s Residence)
The impressive Faculty of Theology building was used as the Governor’s mansion in Jamaica, where Claire and Jamie attend a party. However, the interiors of the mansion were filmed at the Signet Library in the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town, especially the Colonnades tea room.
De Grendel Wine Estate (Rose Hall)
This stunning wine estate near Cape Town is known for views of Table Mountain. The House and restaurant were also featured in Season 3 as Rose Hall, the home of Geillis Duncan in Jamaica. However, the majority of the interiors were filmed on a set at Cape Town Studios. Rose Hall is also a real house in Montego Bay, Jamaica that is said to be haunted.
Other locations you can visit include the historic World’s End Pub in Edinburgh, which has been open since the 16th century. Though it features heavily in both book and show, interior scenes were filmed on a set. You can also visit Dunure Harbour in Ayrshire, which stands in for Ayr Harbour where Claire and Jamie leave Scotland for Jamaica.
BONUS: SEASON 4
Unlike previous seasons, season 4 was mostly filmed in studio lots and on private estates – in part to hide from growing crowds of fans and also to properly depict the forest landscapes of 18th century America, where most of the action takes places. Many scenes were also filmed at Wardpark Studios in Cumberland. However, some filming locations are accessible such as:
Abercairny Estates (River Run)
Just like the rocks of Craigh na Dun, you won’t actually find Aunt Jocasta’s River Run here. It was specially built (and amplified digitally) at Abercairny Estates, a private estate often used for weddings and other events. The interiors were filmed on a set in Glasgow.
River Edge Lodges (Carolina Scottish Festival)
These popular holiday lodges near Perth were used as the cabins where Bree and Roger stay while visiting the Carolina Scottish Festival. The interiors of one of the cabins was transformed to look like it was from the 1970s.
Kinclaven Bluebell Wood (The “Witness Trees”)
Located just to the north of Perth, these woods (also called Ballathie Woods) are home to the ‘witness trees’ seen at the edge of Jamie and Claire’s land in Season 4. However, the trees are located deep in the woods, so be sure to ask for directions when looking for them.
Newhailes House (Governor’s House)
Newhailes House, which is located in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, was used as the lavish house of Governor Tryon in Season 4. This 17th-century mansion was once owned by the Dalrymple family but is now run by the National Trust for Scotland.
Faskally Forest (Mohawk Village)
One of the locations used for season 4 filming was Faskally Forest (located to the south of Cairngorms National Park), which was used to portray the Mohawk village. The entire village of longhouses was built here, and over 100 First Nations actors from Canada flown in to play the many Native American roles.
This churchyard in Linlithgow was used as the site of Frank’s final resting place after his fatal car crash. The church, and its graveyard, have been used as far back as the 1600s, and it is located close to other Outlander filming locations, such as Hopetoun House and Blackness Castle.
Other Season 4 Outlander filming locations to visit include the 12th century Dunblane Cathedral, Calderglen Country Park, the 18th century St Andrew’s in the Square in Glasgow, Beecraigs Country Park, and Cumbernauld Glen, which is located next to the show’s main studio.
Are there any Outlander filming locations that we’ve missed? If so, be sure to share them in the comments below.