Full-Day Outlander Experience in the Scottish Highlands from Inverness

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  • Live Guide
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Day Trip
  • Pickup Service
  • Private Tour
  • E-Ticket
  • 8 hr

The success of Diana Gabeldon’s “Outlander” novels, and the resultant TV series, has been something of a phenomenon and has brought a new focus and a virtual explosion of interest to many of the historic sites throughout Scotland.  The Highlands is the centre stage of the unfolding story both in fact and the tapestry of fictional story. Hame Tours have responded by creating an “Outlander” day, integrating features of our existing tours which have an Outlander connection into an eight-hour itinerary with visits to the actual sites which either feature in the series and books, or are almost certainly the inspiration for the characters and events portrayed.  These are, of necessity, not always where the filming was undertaken but are the real theatre and stage of this romantic, but tragic, period of history. You will visit the following places in the company of our driver/guide whose commentary will bring alive the relevance of these visits.

Itinerary Details

Operated by: Hame Tours

This is a typical itinerary for this product

Stop At: Abertarff House

Thought to be the Town House of Lord Lovat, (Simon the Fox) the house was built in 1593, and is the oldest house in Inverness. Simon, in the context of "Outlander," would have nominally been Jamie's Grandfather. In real life, Lovat was an interesting and colourful character, the subject of the book, "The Last Highlander."

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Old High St Stephen's Church

In the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden Jacobite prisoners were held in the tower of the Church. Blindfolded, they were summarily executed one by one. Since this was indeed a civil war, it was not unreasonable to believe that wounded prisoners being held at Balnain House across the river may well have witnessed brothers or other relatives being shot. You can still see the mark made by musket balls in the wall of the tower. Brutality was commonplace.

Duration: 10 minutes

Stop At: Loch Ness

This famous and mysterious body of water is 24 miles long and up to a mile and a half wide. It is thought to be up to 1,000 feet deep in parts and certainly has more water by volume than all the other fresh-water lochs and lakes in the British Isles. In common with Jamie and Claire, we travel much of its shore in our travels today.

Duration: 15 minutes

Stop At: Culloden Battlefield

Fighting with Bonnie Prince Charlie's, Jacobite Army, Jamie Fraser, the hero of Diana Gabaldon's books and the film series, lay wounded here and was thought to be dead. The Fraser stone marking where the men of his clan fell is close to the central monument on the Battlefield. It is seldom without floral tributes. The Visitor Centre is award-winning and well worth the time it takes to absorb all its attractions. Culloden was the last pitched battle ever to be fought on British soil and the defeat of the Clans marked the end of the Highland way of life forever. Post Culloden, an Act of Proscription banned the wearing of tartan, the carrying of Arms, the speaking of the Gaelic Language and the playing of bagpipes for 40 years. Virtual ethnic cleansing ensued in the King's name, levied by his son, William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, earning him the title, Butcher Cumberland.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Culloden Moor

King’s House Stables: A few hundred yards from the Battlefield, and on the day, prisoners, who appeared to be of some importance, were rounded up and secured in the barn at this location. From here, they were interviewed, and most were summarily shot or bayoneted, as were the wounded on the field of battle. In “Outlander” the wounded Jamie, was recognised by a Government Cavalry Officer as having saved the life of the officer’s brother, John Gray. He was spared because of this merciful act.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Fort George

This formidable fortress is a tangible statement by the British Government that never again will a Highland Army be raised against the British Crown. Built from 1746 in the aftermath of the ’45 Jacobite Rebellion it cost a monstrous £240,000 a huge amount of money at that time. It is still today home to the Black Watch Regiment of the British Army. It replaces three fortresses destroyed by the Jacobite Army and named after King George’s sons, William, Augustus and George. It is probably the nearest equivalent of the then Fort William, in “Outlander” the scene of Jamie’s torture by Captain Jack.

Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Clava Cairns

Admission Required This 4,000-year-old burial ground is thought to be also a communal meeting place for the Pictish community which it served, perhaps even an early parliament. The three cairns are each surrounded by a ring of standing stones and these are thought to be the inspiration for Creag Na Dun in the "Outlander" books and film. The field is built on lay lines and energy conduits are believed to travel from the stones to the cairns. Two stones, in particular, attract fans, the tallest stone at number one cairn and the butterfly stone at Cairn number three which is often used as a logo for bloggers. Both have characteristics of the stones that appear in the film version of the series. It doesn't take much of a stretch of the imagination to believe that this spiritual place was the focus of many ceremonials lost to our present-day practices. This is a special visit which has a profound effect on some people.

Duration: 40 minutes

Stop At: Urquhart Castle

Situated on a strategic headland position on Loch Ness-side this fortification, although nowadays a picturesque ruin, played a significant role in Scotland's bloody history. Changing hands over centuries between warring clans and the Scots and English, the Jacobite army did lay siege to it but abandoned the attempt for lack of heavy artillery. St Columba converted the Pictish Chief here on his deathbed, bringing Christianity to the Highlands in the 6th Century a.d. Situated, as it is, as part of the Great Glen thoroughfare, Jamie and Claire, and indeed the Jacobite and British armies would have traversed its length, from Inverness to Fort William, often in those troubled times.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

Stop At: Wardlaw Mausoleum

Built originally on the end of the Parish Church in 1634, Wardlaw Mausoleum was the family burial place for the Lovat Frasers. Notable amongst the dignitaries in the crypt here is the coffin, reputedly of Simon, Lord Lovat, the Old Fox, (grandfather of Jamie Fraser of “Outlander” fame.) A recent controversy concerning the validity of the remains, reveals doubt. A forensic investigation, by Dame Sue Black, apparently reveals that the remains, which are most intact, appear to be those of a headless woman of around 30 years of age. Simon, along with two other rebel Earls, Lord Balmerino and Lord Kilmarnock were executed on Tower Hill in London. The authorities there claim that all three were buried in the wall of the Tower. The custodian of Wardlaw is seeking permission for these remains to be exhumed. Follow this on the Wardlaw website. This is a privileged visit and requires respect and decorum to be afforded to the Fraser family and the custodians of the Mausoleum.

Duration: 20 minutes

Stop At: Castle Leod

This 12th Century Castle has survived many travails in its long history and is today the home of the Earl of Cromartie, the chief of clan MacKenzie. The filming of “Outlander” was completed at Doune Castle near Stirling and was named Castle Leoch. This is plainly a homage to the real-life home of the clan you were Jamie Fraser’s guardians and kinsmen. By special arrangement we are allowed to drive into the grounds for a photo opportunity with the Castle in the background. On a number of special days in the year, as advertised on the castle’s website, it is possible to visit the Castle and meet the Chief and maybe Lady MacKenzie. There is a very pleasant woodland walk in the grounds with some very special trees including one planted by Diana Gabeldon who is a patron and friend of the Estate.

Duration: 30 minutes

Stop At: Beauly Priory

Founded in 1230 by monks of the Valliscaulian order from Dijon in France and John Byset, a local landowner, the Abbey was visited by Mary Queen of Scots who was brought up in France and betrothed to the Dauphin. She is credited with possibly naming the town by remarking, “Beau Lieu” Beautiful Place. Many chiefs of Clan Fraser and Clan MacKenzie are buried here. The “Outlander” connection has Claire receiving advice from a female Gaelic Seer while Jamie lay wounded in the rear chapel. Ultimately this was the site of them leaving Scotland for France on a schooner anchored in the Firth. Oliver Cromwell sacked the Priory and had stone transported to Inverness by barge to build his Citadel there.

Duration: 30 minutes
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