Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About an Outlander Tour in Scotland

Blackness Castle

I have been a fan of Outlander for over 20 years ever since I picked up my first Diana Gabaldon book. Once I got my hands on it I was transfixed on Jamie and Claire’s adventures through time. So much so, that on a birthday trip to Scotland I visited Clava Cairns and tried to see if I could be whisked back in time. Alas, no such luck. Instead, I have to settle for enjoying reading it in print and seeing it now on the Outlander TV series. But, for the true hardcore fans, there are tours daily in Scotland that take you to some key spots where the TV show was filmed. Here is everything you ever wanted to know about an Outlander Tour in Scotland.

Rabbies TourDougie - driver for Rabbies Tour

I was fortunate to work with Rabbies Tours to go on the Outlander Adventure One Day Tour from Edinburgh. The Outlander Adventure Tour from Edinburgh price ranges from £42.00 – £55.00. The tour leaves daily around 9:15 a.m. from Rabbie’s Cafe Bar, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3EG. Check-in starts before 9 a.m. in front of Rabbie’s Cafe. After myself and a fellow travel blogger, Laura from Anywheresheroams checked in we went into the cafe to pick up something to eat and drink for breakfast. The prices are reasonable for a breakfast sandwich and a coffee or tea and we could take it on the bus with us.

The bus picks you up right down from the cafe where you will meet your driver for the day. Ours was Dougie and he was a joy to listen to. He is very knowledgeable in everything Scottish and of course Outlander! He was very warm and welcoming and encouraged all of us to share why we were there (Laura and me got some chuckles when we shared our story with the group) and where we were from. The Rabbie’s Tours are unique in that they are small groups of 16 or less which helps you create connections with your fellow Outlander enthusiasts.

Tellis Standing StonesTellis Standing Stones

Our first stop on the Outlander Tour in Scotland was to the Tellis Standing Stones. We weren’t able to go over to them since they are on private land, but we were able to get some photos. It was a quick 5 minute stop and a nice precursor for the day filled with Outlander references. Tellis Standing Stones

Culross PalaceCulross Palace - Outlander Tour Scotland

The town of Culross (pronounced Curlis sounds like Curtis) has been used quite a lot for filming Outlander scenes for the town of Cranesmuir. In the center square, you will find Geillis Duncan’s house and the Mercat Cross (where Jamie helped the young boy). Walking along the cobbled streets, you will come across Laoghaire’s house as well. And Claire’s garden can be seen up high in the back of the Culross Palace even though it was supposed to be by Doune Castle (Castle Leoch). As we had an hour to walk through the town. I was glad that this happened to be my second time visiting Culross so, I already knew where to get all the good photos. I had set up to do a photoshoot for Laura while we were at all the outlander sites today. And there is no place better to start than at the Culross Abbey ruins. The ruins are perfect for any photos that you might want to have done here in Culross. Just remember to keep an eye on the time, so Dougie doesn’t have to come and find you. If you do want to go into Culross Palace the entrance fee is £10.50. Although there is so much to see in Culross that you might have to come back to see everything.Geillis Duncan’s home - Outlander Tour ScotlandMercat Cross - Outlander Tour ScotlandCulross Abbey ruins

Doune CastleDoune Castle - Outlander Tour Scotland

Built-in the 1300s, Doune Castle is probably the most filmed castle in Scotland with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Winterfell on Game of Thrones, and of course as Castle Leoch in Outlander. If you want to enter the castle, you will have to pay the fee as it is not included in the tour price. If you have the Explorer Pass you can get in free otherwise an adult fee is £9.00. Although if you mention you are on the Rabbie’s Tour you will get a 10% discount on the price. An audio guide is included with the entrance fee and I found it to be wonderful. Because, Sam Heughan, Jamie Fraser in Outlander, narrates a few of the audio spots in his Scottish brogue. Hearing his voice whisper “Mo Nighean Donn” in your ear is worth the price and more!Great Hall in Doune CastleInside Courtyard of Doune Castle

Linlithgow PalaceBack of Linlithgow Palace - Outlander Tour Scotland

One of my favorite palaces to visit is Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. I spent almost a full day exploring the entire palace on a previous trip. On this tour, you are given almost three hours, but taking time to get lunch can seriously deplete your time exploring the castle. But, I wouldn’t skip eating lunch in town. We ate at the highly recommended The Four Mary’s and it didn’t disappoint. We had a local cider and sandwiches, which gave us more energy to explore the nooks and crannies at Linlithgow Palace. Entrance fee is free with the Explorer Pass or discounted with the Cadw card (which I had), or if you don’t have any of those it is £7.20. The price is reduced because a portion of the castle is off-limits due to reconstruction.

For the filming of Outlander, Linlithgow Palace is used for the very dark scenes where Jamie is assaulted by Black Jack Randal. But, when you are visiting, the palace is anything but dark. As it is in ruins from a fire in 1746, everything is open to the light. The gorgeous King’s Fountain in the interior courtyard, the magnificent Great Hall, the King’s and Queen’s rooms, and climbing the tower to the most amazing view of Linlithgow Loch is worth spending time exploring. Did you know that Scotland has 46,000 lochs, and 32,000 of them are freshwater lochs? Thank you, Dougie, for that nugget of info. Plus, don’t forget to take a little time to visit St. Michael’s Parish Church where Mary was baptized. Interior courtyard in Linlithgow PalaceThe Great Hall in Linlithgow Palace

Blackness CastleBlackness Castle

One of the more emotional evoking scenes in Outlander is when Jamie is flogged by Randal. This scene was filmed in Blackness Castle. The 15-century castle that looks like a ship that never sailed. Entrance fee is free with the Explorer Pass or discounted with the Cadw card, or if you don’t have any of those it is £6.00. We were given an hour or so to explore the castle and with the emotion that being here evoked it was more than enough time. As this castle was used as a prison, it was thought-provoking to see the conditions of the grounds with the rocks and uneven surfaces. Although the prisoners that fell out of favor with the king had much nicer accommodations in one of the towers compared to the common folk. Laura and I enjoyed our time exploring around the castle taking photos but, the wind proved quite challenging to get great ones. Although it didn’t stop me from trying. Interior courtyard in Blackness Castle - Outlander Tour ScotlandInterior courtyard in Blackness CastleView of the courtyard in Blackness Castle from the tower

Midhope CastleMidhope Castle - Outlander Tour Scotland

This is one castle that I wanted to see on my last trip to Scotland but never got the chance. I was so excited to see that this was on the Rabbie’s Outlander tour. You can only see Midhope Castle from the outside as the inside is completely in ruins with no floors. But, there is no mistaking that this is Lallybroch from Outlander. The disappointing part is that the Hopetoun family charges for parking and asks for donations. Although it is clear that the money they get is not going to restore this amazing building.

They really should let the National Trust of Scotland take over and restore it. Maybe put in an Outlander museum or gift shop catering to Outlander Tours in Scotland to earn money honestly instead of charging people to see a ruin of a building and not putting the money to good use. If you are a little adventurous, there is a small trail by the car park that you can walk down and see where they filmed the cave that Jamie hid in. Although you will be disappointed again as it is only two rocks that they hung a black sheet behind to make it look like a cave. Ah, the magic of filming a movie!Entrance to Midhope Castle

Forth BridgeThe Forth Bridge in Edinburgh

Although this wasn’t an Outlander filming location, Dougie stopped the bus for us to get out quickly and get some photos of the bridges over the River Forth. These bridges are amazing constructions. The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge across the Firth of Forth. It was the world’s first steel structure and is still the strongest bridge in the UK and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It had the longest span over water in 1890 at 541 meters. The other bridges, the Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing Bridge are just as impressive. The three bridges are engineering marvels that span over three centuries. Oh, and I can’t forget that Dougie played the Outlander theme song at the end of the day making this one perfect day out.The Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing Bridge in Scotland

SummaryLaura and Heather at Midhope Castle

We had a fantastic day on our Outlander Tour in Scotland. The weather in Scotland can be a bit unpredictable, but we enjoyed our day filled with sunshine, clouds, and a little wind. Rabbie’s Tours definitely does a great job of taking you on a full day to Outlander filming locations. The castles, palaces, and the unique little stops make the Outlander Adventure a wonderful day out in Scotland.

Rabbies’s Outlander One Day Adventure can be booked online and they will leave from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Or you can choose their 4-day from Edinburgh or even their 9-day adventures from London or Manchester. I might consider taking one of the longer tours next time. Although I have gone to most of the Outlander filming locations by myself on previous trips. It is always nice to have a tour guide to give you that little extra background story that you wouldn’t have received otherwise.

I hope that this article has given you more insight on what an Outlander Tour in Scotland is like. Have you gone on one? Let me know in the comments which locations are your favorite.

If You Enjoyed This Outlander Tour in Scotland Post, Sign Up To Receive Posts By Email or…

Join us on Facebook for regular updates and related articles
Check us out on Instagram to see what we are up to in photos
Follow us on Twitter for links to great travel articles curated just for you
View and purchase your favorite of my travel photos on SmugMug. And if you don’t see the one you want on the site, send me a comment below, and I’ll add it.
Or share this “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About an Outlander Tour in Scotland” with others by pinning on Pinterest!Outlander Tour Scotland Pinterest Pin

Further Reading

If you are coming to Scotland for a visit, check out these posts for further travel inspiration:

Thank You to Rabbie’s Tour for offering this opportunity to go on this Outlander adventure tour. As always opinions are 100% my own.

7 Comments

  • Ann 29September2019 at 6:31 AM Reply

    I would love to visit some of these places, the Outlander series was the one that inspired both my trips to Scotland 🙂
    Cheers from Stockholm Sweden!

    • Heather 29September2019 at 7:00 AM Reply

      Hi Ann! The Outlander TV Series can definitely inspire you to travel to Scotland. There are so many sites here that they used for filming locations that you could be exploring Scotland for years!

  • Faith Coates 28September2019 at 7:46 AM Reply

    OMG I must go on this tour, I love Scotland and plan to spend an extensive period of time exploring it. I am also a rabid Outlander fan and even have my husband watching it now lol.

    • Heather 28September2019 at 7:54 AM Reply

      Faith, You definitely have to go on one of these tours, especially if you love Outlander as much as I do. Plus, I would even schedule some time to see some of these places on your own as well. I spent almost a full day at Linlithgow Palace, you need at least a half-day to see everything there. Enjoy your Scotland trip and let me know if you need any advice or tips!

  • Donna Cooper 28September2019 at 5:33 AM Reply

    Wonderful read. You girls rock. I love Scotland. I have been to some of the locations too. Was a true, pleasure to read.

    • Heather 28September2019 at 7:13 AM Reply

      Thanks, Donna! I’m glad you enjoyed it! We had a great time and I have to admit we were a little cheeky on our motives for going on this tour.

  • The Outlander Tour Scotland - Explore Castles and Be A Queen - Anywhere She Roams 27September2019 at 3:45 PM Reply

    […] As you explore through unchanged ancient villages and castle ruins, it almost feels like you are stepping back in time. I was fortunate to pair up with another travel blogger RaulersonGirlsTravel, who was happy to be my photographer for the day, and wow was I over-the-moon with her work! […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

379 Shares
Pin301
Share78
Tweet
Share
Share