Arrivals & Departures Seeking Outlander in the Scottish Highlands

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

When Jamie and Claire gallop horseback across the Scottish Highlands in the opening credits of Outlander, it’s easy to understand why visitors are flocking to the mystical settings that star in the television series.

While Sam Heughan’s (Jamie) Scottish lilt, uncanny knack of making a kilt look manly, and (ahem) chest are surely a contributing factor to the show’s popularity, it’s the beauty of Scotland that sets the scene.

From ancient standing stones to dramatic castles, stately homes and breathtaking landscapes, there’s a whole list of inspiring places to experience your piece of Outlander.

Just in case you’ve missed the series (season three is currently showing on Foxtel and series one and two are available on Netflix), it's based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels.

The story centres around Claire Randall, a World War II nurse living in the 1940s with her husband Frank. While on their second honeymoon to Scotland, Claire goes plant-gathering near a stone circle, where she gets mysteriously sent back in time to war-torn Scotland of 1743. She meets Scottish warrior Jamie Fraser, falls for him and is left torn between her 18th and 20th-century lives.

“Scotland looks truly stunning in the series and I can see why fans of Jamie and Claire want to experience the land that inspired Outlander for themselves,” said Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of official tourist board VisitScotland.

There are 28 Scottish sites used as Outlander backdrops that you can visit. Among them are:

Doune Castle (pictured above), near Stirling, doubles as Castle Leoch, the seat of clan MacKenzie. 

Blackness Castle, which overlooks the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, provides the setting for malicious Black Jack Randall’s headquarters.

In Glasgow, the Glasgow Cathedral doubles as L'Hopital Des Anges in Paris, where Claire volunteers to work.

Preston Mill, one of the oldest working water-driven meal mills in Scotland, provides the backdrop for a number of scenes set during the Jacobite Risings.

There are also those stunning landscapes, from Glencoe (which features in the opening credits), the seaside setting of Troon (where Claire, Jamie and Murtagh depart for France), and several country parks that provide the greenery for castle grounds and battlegrounds through the series.         

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