‘Outlander’ is undoubtedly one of the most successful series of Movistar +. The fifth season of Claire and Jaime’s love story has just premiered, in which time travel is mixed, narration of some of the most important historical facts of Anglo-Saxon politics and some colonialism.
The story begins in World War II, when Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), nurse and veteran, travels to Scotland accompanied by her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies). After attending a ritual ceremony, she is teleported inexplicably until 1743 and will look for all possible ways to return to the present, but the appearance of the Scottish rebel Jamie (Sam Heughan) will complicate everything.
Claire is the protagonist of the homonymous work of Diana Gabaldon, a series of novels with a legion of followers in which the heroine suffers the suspicion of being considered a spy, because she is English, educated, and nobody knows very well what she looks in the middle of the Jacobite revolution; one of Jacobo Estuardos attempts to seize the British kingdom.
This 12-day route invites us to explore the most beautiful stages of the first and second seasons of ‘Outlander’, all the filming locations located in Scotland and some of the sites through which the original book passes. So that you become a true expert and presume to have known one of the regions of Europe that never goes out of style.
Day 1: Edinburgh
With its more than 5 million inhabitants, its centennial history and a brutal and vibrant atmosphere, the capital of Scotland welcomes fans of ‘Outlander’ with a first must-see, the Hollyroodhouse Palace, now the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II in the country. It was here that Prince Carlos Eduardo Estuardo established his court for a month and a half in 1754, which appears in the series.
After the visit to the palace, it is convenient to go around the ‘Old Town’, the historic center, with its 1.8 km Royal Mile full of establishments and souvenir shops of ‘Outlander’, but also with narrow streets to get lost . This whole area of Old Town belongs to the same era of the series, XVI-XVII centuries and you can see how little has changed over time. To learn more about the Jacobite rebellion, approach the National Museum of Scotland and follow all the steps of the Jacobite Challenge: discover his sword, shield, clothing …
Day 2: Excursion to South Queensferry and castles
We leave Edinburgh to the east, half an hour by car is South Queensferry, to see the reddish bridges over the Forth estuary (pictured). We continue towards Hopetoun House, a stately mansion of the 17th century that is located on an estate of more than 2,600 hectares and that you can recognize in ‘Outlander’ as the manor house of the Duke of Sandringham, the guest room in the apartment of Jamie and Claire in Paris or the hawkins estate. In Hopetoun House is Midhope Castle, which appears in the series as Jamie’s home, Lallybroch, but to visit it you need a permit because it is in a private area.
We continue from castles, because about 20 minutes by car we will reach Blackness Castle, a fortress of the fifteenth century that in the series has been used as the barracks of ‘The Black’ in Fort William and as a location for filming of Jamie’s imprisonment.
Day 3: Arriving in Stirling
In Bo’ness the scene of the train station was filmed where Claire and Frank say goodbye before the fight. There you can take the peculiar steam train that takes, back and forth, to Manuel Station, a short route but full of charm, and if you like this theme, travel the Scotland Railroad Museum.
Our next stop of the day is Linlithgow Palace (pictured), a ruined palace that was home to the Scottish kings in the fourteenth and fifteenth century, where Maria Estuardo was born and which in the series was used for various scenes of the Wentworth prison. And finish your tour in Falkirk, to tour Callendar House, a mansion of the XIV in which our daring Prince Stuart stayed.
Day 4: Around Stirling
It is possible to be confused: when looking at the gardens of Drummond castle, anyone would say that they are those of Versailles, who were the ones who had to ‘copy’ in the series. Walk them calmly – the palace is not open to the public – and go back to your steps, to Stirling, to meet the Deanston distillery, where you can not only check the process of making the typical Scotch whiskey but also verify that its buildings were used as the wine warehouse in Le Havre where Jamie’s cousin worked in season 2.
We close our excursions today stopping by Doune Castle, which the followers of the series will immediately recognize as Leoch Castle, where Colum MacKenzie and his clan resided in the 18th century.
Day 5: From Stirling to Falkland
Today you will visit the Fife region, one of the historical areas of Scotland, located between the fjords of the Forth River and the Tay River. We leave Stirling, cross the estuary of the Forth to go on the most direct road and arrive at Culross (in the image), a beautiful medieval village of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that likes to walk in time, listening to its cobbled silence and knowing that the scenes of the town of Cranesmuir, where the witch Geillis lives, were filmed here. The garden behind the local palace was used as Claire’s herbarium in Leoch Castle.
Falkland is the capital of Fife and, since you arrive there, you need to visit it slowly. Its 16th-century palace presides over it, where Maria Estuardo built a tennis court to have a great time. In the main square of Falkland, at the Covenanter Hotel, romantic scenes were shot, such as Jamie’s watching Claire comb her hair or like a false Inverness, where the protagonist will spend her honeymoon with Frank.
Day 6: En route through the Highlands
The Highlands, with its peculiar orography, are the largest region in Scotland and one of the most beautiful, with its green valleys, mountains and fortresses that belonged to the clans of yesteryear. We go from Falkland to the north, towards the town of Newtonmore, where we are imbued with all the customs of the area in the Highland Folk Museum, an outdoor space to learn about the crofts or farms in the 18th century; those of this museum appear in season 1 of the series.
Already very close to Inverness, we pass through the battlefield of Culloden (in the image) where the homonymous battle in which Jamie participates took place in 1746 and in which Carlos Eduardo Estuardo was finally defeated by the troops of the Duke of Cumberland. A few minutes from there, Clavas cairns (burials and prehistoric monuments) were the inspiration for the menhirs of Craigh na Dun, where Claire travels to the past.
Day 7: The home of the monster
Spend the morning to meet Inverness, capital of the Highlands, where Claire and Frank go on a second honeymoon in Diana Gabaldon’s books. The Victorian market, with its stores under a curious iron vault; Leakey’s, to ceaselessly browse through the largest second-hand bookstore in Scotland; the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, with several pieces from the Jacobite era, etc.
Just outside, you have to approach the Lake Ness; Yes, where they say a monster has lived since time immemorial – even Claire saw it in the original novel. The landscape is magnificent; the lake has more water than all of England and Wales and on its northwestern shore is the urquhart castle, of the thirteenth century, in ruins since government troops decided to destroy it with explosives in 1692 so that it did not fall into the hands of Jacobites.
Day 8: For the Great Glen
Today you can dedicate it to travel to the southwest and cross the Great Glen, a magnificent succession of valleys that follows the line of a tectonic fracture, which were the ones that crossed Claire and Jaime after their wedding. Leaving Inverness, we take the road to Glenfinnan, next to Lake Shiel. In 1745, the last Jacobite rebellion began in 1745 when Carlos Eduardo Estuardo raised the flag on that monument. Half an hour from there, by car, the West Highland Museum helps us understand the history of the region, with Jacobean pieces such as the mortuary mask of Carlos Eduardo Estuardo, one of his silk vests or a secret portrait.
If you don’t have too much vertigo, go to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the United Kingdom with its 1,344 meters. You can explore it from above, riding in the cable car (closed in winter and in cold weather) and, once on top, walk and regain strength.
Day 9: To the other big capital
From the mountainous interior, we approach the surroundings of Glasgow, the other great Scottish city. To do this, if we leave from Fort William, we will have to travel south through the valley of Glen coe, one of the most impressive places in the country. ‘Skyfall’, ‘Harry Potter’ and the ‘Outlander’ entrance are some of the productions filmed here and it is convenient to stop for a moment and reserve time to walk along its paths.
Going through the Loch Lomond & Tirossachs National Park, you will arrive at the port city of Glasgow, which is the largest Scottish city and the third British, after London and Birmingham. Curiosea its cathedral, whose crypt of the 13th century was L’Hopital Des Anges in Paris, where Claire volunteered to work in the second season of ‘Outlander’. And if you are looking for one of the great romantic sites of the series, go to George Square, where Frank declares himself to be the protagonist in 1940. Take the picture, install it and enjoy in any of the restaurants in the area.
Day 10: A little more in depth
Do not worry; A city as big as Glasgow needs at least one more day to be explored. You need time to see its magnificent and Victorian public buildings and all the traces of the influential architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as those old industrial spaces that have been recovered for culture and citizenship.
Among the museums, the stranger Hunterian of the University of Glasgow It will surprise you with its findings of zoology, anatomy and biology. Between public spaces, Pollok House, an historical building from the 18th century where you can lose yourself in its halls and the rooms of the servants, in addition to walking incessantly through the gardens, which are used in ‘Outlander’ as the grounds surrounding the castle of Leoch and to emulate the French countryside .
Day 11: Around Galloway
We are already closing the circular route through Scotland; driving just over an hour to the southeast we will arrive at the castle of Drumlanrig, a beautiful 17th-century fortress that in the series was Bellhurst Manor, the mansion in which Carlos Eduardo Estuardo slept on the way to the battle of Culloden. Visit it and reserve time to walk through its 36,500 hectares of land and also to visit the nearby Galloway Forest Park, near the place where Sam Heughan was raised, the actor who brings Jamie to life in ‘Outlander’.
Day 12: The taste of history
You have spent almost two weeks traveling soaking up the history of Scotland and its echoes in ‘Outlander’. The last day will not be less and, thus, from Galloway and on our way back to Edinburgh, the penultimate stop will be Traquair House (in the picture), the oldest inhabited Scottish house, dating from the early twelfth century. The counts of Traquair supported the Jacobite cause, and in their house slept the ‘candidate’ to the throne.
We will finally stop at the historic Robert Smail press, to get an idea of what it was like in which Jamie worked at the Royal MIle, although this one you will visit is from 1866, much later than the book.
Tour elaborated with information from VisitScotland.