Whether you are a fan (or fanatic) of Outlander, or not, it is well worth a trip to various sites where the series was filmed in the early segments. The locations are historical in their own right and present a fascinating look into Scottish life, especially in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. John Martyne built the original Midhope in the mid 1400’s. Midhope Castle was the site of Lallybroch, home of the Frasers. In the town of Linlithgow, worth a visit or overnight stay all on its own, sits the Linlithgow Palace, birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. This was used as the site of Wentworth Prison. It is under renovation and the public cannot get into it for fear of falling stones. My favorite castle on this tour was Blackness Castle, a 15th century mighty fortress known as the “ship that never sailed” because of its design. Its chief use was as a garrison stronghold and a state prison on behalf of the reigning sovereign and served as the setting for Fort William in the series. Much of the interior of this castle remains and thus you climb stone steps into different rooms in the castle, including the great hall. It was built in the 15th century as a lordly residence for the Crichtons, one of Scotland’s more powerful families, but soon took on other roles. Also visited on this Outlander trek was the town of Falkland, which served as Inverness for the film. Falkland nestles between the two Lomond Hills in the Howe of Fife. It is most well known for Falkland Palace. This royal dwelling was once the country residence of the Stewart kings and queens as they hunted deer and wild boar in the forests of Fife. Built between 1501 and 1541 by James IV and James V, the palace has some of the most exceptional architecture of its time in Britain. The last stop was the lovely old village of Culross, one of Scotland’s best preserved 17th century villages and an easy day trip from Edinburgh. Outlander fans will also recognize it as Cranesmuir. Each place was fascinating and has prompted me to read more about the history and visit other Outlander filming sites, each with their own story.
Some days the ocean is just gorgeous and presenting the world with great waves for surfing!