NEW for 2019 – the Kelpies and castles tour

Looking for things to do in Edinburgh ? How about taking a tour from Edinburgh of two ancient castles and the Kelpies  ?

Our  Kelpies and castles tour features a visit to the amazing Kelpies  in Falkirk and two ancient Scottish castles in Stirling and Doune .  

 The Kelpies and castles tours are available daily seven days a week   .The tour spends up to an hour at each location .

kelpies falkirk tours

Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre . Five hour private tour around Falkirk for up to four passengers. Tours start at 10 am weekdays . Explore the famous Kelpies  in Falkirk .

Itinerary

  • 5 hour private tour group day trip around Falkirk and Stirling
  • Explore the world famous Kelpies , a unique tribute to the Clydesdale horses that used to pull barges along the canals of Scotland
  • visit Doune Castle and find out about its five claims to movie fame
  • visit Stirling Castle , home of Mary Queen of Scots and the Stewart kings of Scotland
  • Take in unique views of the historic Stirling and Doune Castle
  • Small private group tour with a maximum of 4 people

 

The world famous Kelpies

The Kelpies tours , the Helix , Falkirk
The Kelpies sculptures are the largest works of art in Scotland, and the largest equine sculptures in the world, designed by Andy Scott. 

The Kelpies sculptures are the largest equine sculptures in the world and they have become Scotland’s best known cultural landmark with over one million visitors .

The Kelpies are 30 metre high sculptures of Clydesdale horses , a unique tribute to the work horses of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the freight barges and coalships along the canals of Scotland in the nineteenth century . Canals shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area. The Kelpies are the centrepiece of the Helix Park in Falkirk .

The Kelpies have become the most famous equine sculptures in the world . But now they have been given another name to make them more attractive to Chinese tourists.

VisitBritain, which markets the UK abroad, has dubbed them ‘Kai Po Ju Ma’ in promotional literature in China – which translates as “glorious armoured giant horses”.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. The castle was the home of Mary, Queen of Scots and the Stewart kings of Scotland .

Stirling castle tours
Stirling castle tours

From Stirling Castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views of the Forth Valley and Ben Lomond , as well as two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town.Like Edinburgh Castle , Stirling sits on a volcanic rock dominating the city skyline .

Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.

Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. The refurbishment of the Great Hall was completed ten years ago . A particular feature of the Great Hall is stained glass windows featuring clan crests . A number of banquets and concerts are held in the Hall throughout the year .

Phone 07305-294773 for availability and bookings or contact us  online .

Doune Castle – featured in Game of Thrones and Monty Python

Game of Thrones castle tours, outlander castle tour
Game of Thrones castle tours
  • Doune Castle is unique in that it actually has five claims to movie fame
  • Game of Thrones ( Winterfell )
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  •  Outlander ( Castle Leoch )
  • the Outlaw King
  • Mary Queen of Scots

Your guide will give details of the history of the castle , information about the Game of Thrones filming plus all the other films made at Doune Castle including Monty Python and the Holy Grail .

Behind the scenes access

Visitors to the castle can get details about Game of Thrones filming in the Great Hall and courtyard of the castle .

Insider access

Take the audio tour of Doune Castle , narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones and Outlander’s Jamie Fraser ( Sam Heughan ) .

Game of Thrones t-shirts

The castle was used as the set for Winterfell in the TV series Game of Thrones (2011–present), an adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R. R. Martin. The castle was also used as  “Castle Leoch” in the TV adaption of the Outlander series of novels.

The Great Hall is 20 metres by 8 metres , and 12 metres high to its timber roof, again a 19th-century replacement.The hall has no fireplace, and was presumably heated by a central fire, and ventilated by means of a louvre like the one in the modern roof. No details of the original roof construction are known, however, and the restoration is conjectural.Large windows light the hall, and stairs lead down to the three cellars on ground level.

doune castle, outlander tours

The hall is accessed from the courtyard via a stair up to a triangular lobby, which in turn links the hall and kitchens by means of two large serving hatches with elliptical arches, unusual for this period.

The kitchen tower, virtually a tower house in its own right, is 17 metres (56 ft) by 8 metres (26 ft). The vaulted kitchen is on the hall level, above a cellar. One of the best-appointed castle kitchens in Scotland of its date, it has an oven and a 5.5-metre (18 ft) wide fireplace. A stair turret, added in 1581 and possibly replacing a timber stair, leads up from the lobby to two storeys of guest rooms. These include the “Royal Apartments”, a suite of two bedrooms plus an audience chamber, suitable for royal visitors.

The Kelpies and Castles tour costs £195 .

Check availability by phoning us now on 07305-294773 or contact us online Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

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Jamie grants Prince Charles an audience

Outlander star Sam Heughan to meet Prince Charles in Glasgow

Sam will talk to students and see performances when he visits the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Friday.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

Midhope Castle Outlander tours
 Jamie Fraser Outlander tours

Outlander star Sam Heughan , Jamie Fraser , lord of Lallybroch , will meet Prince Charles on a visit to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland later this week.

He will also speak to students from a range of disciplines and see some of their creative and performance work when he visits on Friday.

Charles is patron of the conservatoire.

Heughan, who graduated in 2003 and went on to star in Outlander. playing lead character Jamie Fraser, will later host a Q&A session with acting students.

Royal visit to Scotland
Prince Charles on a previous visit to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow (Colin Mearns/PA)

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) describes itself as one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary arts education environments, teaching music, drama, dance, production and film.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the RCS, said: “We’re delighted to have a patron who is passionate about the value of the arts to society and is committed, as we are, to the vital importance of early access to and progression in arts education.

“The arts have such a crucial role to play in the current and future well-being of individuals, communities and society as whole and this visit is a chance to celebrate the creative and performing arts at the Conservatoire and the strong commitment of our patron.”

He added: “I’m also delighted that Sam Heughan is able to join us for this special occasion.

Sam is a fantastic role model and I hope he too enjoys his visit.

“It’s always a pleasure to welcome our graduates back home to RCS to share their experiences with current students.”

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours from Private tours Edinburgh

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Diana Gabaldon takes her own Outlander tour

BEST-SELLING author Diana Gabaldon got to experience the Outlander effect for herself when she hit the tourist trail of the show’s top locations.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

The US writer stunned fans of the Jacobite telly phenomenon at the weekend as she turned up at Culross in Fife and nearby Falkland Palace.

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COLIN_HATTERSLEY
Diana relaxes in Culross Palace gardens, used as fictional Castle Leoch herb garden in series

It was almost like a surprise royal visit as gobsmacked tourists mobbed the 67-year-old, who happily posed for selfies and signed autographs.

Diana said: “It’s always fun being in Scotland but usually I’m stopping somewhere for research purposes. So it’s been nice to just feel like a tourist for a change.”

The Scottish Sun joined The Outlander creator for the day with tour company Mary’s Meanders, who specialise in the show’s location visits.

First stop was Culross, which doubles, as the fictional village of Cranesmuir in the TV series.



Photographer Graham Harris Graham, who runs The Outlander And Beyond fine art gallery in the town, praised the Arizona-born writer.

The 54-year-old told Diana: “I would like to thank you for paying my mortgage — seriously.”

Next up she visited ancient Falkland Palace, with its famous Bruce Fountain.

Outlander fans will know that’s where the ghost of Sam Heughan’s Jacobite character Jamie Fraser visits time-traveller lover Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe).

Outlander’s Sam Heughan teases fans with ‘new tv show’ set in Miami

Spanish fan Ana Garcia was completely overwhelmed when she spotted her idol.

The tearful 46-year-old from Barcelona, who works for a mobile phone company, said: “I came here to visit Outlander locations but never expected to see the woman who made it all happen. I will never forget this moment.”

The show has seen a huge boom in Scottish tourism

Victoria Arias was also delighted to meet the woman whose books have sold 35million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

The 30-year-old French blogger said: “This is my third time in Scotland to visit Outlander locations but the first time I’ve met Diana.

“It was fantastic to see the person who started it all in a place where it is actually filmed.”

Diana’s visit came after tourist chiefs announced visitor numbers continue to rocket — up 67 per cent from 887,000 to 1.5million a year — on the back of the TV smash which is shown in 87 countries around the world.

But humble Diana said: “The Outlander effect is sort of a miracle — I had nothing to do with it other than writing the books.”

The mum of three was working as a professor at Arizona State University when she first began writing her story “for practice” — after famously seeing actor Frazer Hines play a Jacobite warrior in a 1969 repeat of Doctor Who.

It has since spawned nine books — with the latest, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, out later this year. And the fifth TV series — which is shown on Amazon Prime in the UK — will start filming around Scotland from next month.

We joined Diana on a scouting mission

But aside from all the official stats, Diana also receives personal testimonies about how Outlander has changed people’s lives.

She explained: “When we were filming an episode from the first series in Culross there was a little shop up the back street where myself and another writer went for a sandwich.

“But all we had on us were £20 notes and the owner didn’t have any change.

“I said ‘”We’re with the film thing and he said he knew because we had our cans — headphones — over our arms. He told us he’d trust us to come back and settle up later.

Outlander’s Sam Heughan reveals celeb crush and tells fans his favourite Scottish words

“But just as we left he came rushing after us and said, ‘I saw your name on your headphones and I’ve just realised you’re Diana Gabaldon — for you everything is free. Take anything you want’.”

She added: “Then there are people who make crafts and do art — there are thousands of Facebook pages that sell Outlander gear.

“One woman wrote to me saying she has a business doing stencils to go on bedroom walls of Outlander erotica and asked if she could use some of the more romantic quotes from my books.

“So there are these spin-offs all around the world, although Scotland is where you can see the direct financial impact it has had.”

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Sam Heughan shares about his early years before Outlander

Sam Heughan ( Jamie Fraser ) shares about his early years before Outlander

“When I was a child I was lucky to get taken to a lot of live shows by my parents, then I moved to Edinburgh as a young teenager. They had a free ticket scheme for previews at the Lyceum Theatre and we would regularly attend. It was a great insight into the acting world as sometimes things would go wrong and you’d see “behind the curtain” many a time – it made me realise there was a whole world of people working behind the scenes and all the hard work that goes into a single production.”

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours
Sam had a few jobs before his acting career took off –   “I applied to go to university to study film and English. I knew I was interested but didn’t know how to get into the industry. After taking two years out I finally applied for drama school. During that time (and in fact more as a “jobbing actor” I’ve done a whole variety of things: Bar/cafe work, an usher at the theatre, reception work, worked at Harrods, delivered sandwiches by bicycle in winter, temp at NHS and most proudly I served whisky at a sushi bar. ”

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Jamie Fraser Outlander tours featuring Lallybroch

Looking for Jamie Fraser tours from Edinburgh ? How about taking a unique tour of three key locations in the life of Jamie Fraser –  Lallybroch  ( Midhope Castle ) , Jamie’s ancestral home , Linlithgow Palace ( Wentworth Prison ) and  Blackness Castle ( Fort William ) .


Midhope Castle Outlander tours, This one of the best Outlander tours in Scotland
Midhope Castle Outlander tours

Lallybroch is Midhope Castle , a 16th-century tower house of five storeys and a garret, to which has been added a later and lower wing.

This one of the best Outlander tours in ScotlandLallybroch Castle tours can be booked on 07305-294773, toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

Tours start at 10 am . Our private group tours take up to four people to three Jamie Fraser Outlander filming locations. We also offer bespoke private tours with the option of choosing your own itinerary . This tour costs £150 .

Free pickup from your hotel, accommodation or port in Edinburgh  .

Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre , your hotel or the airport .

Other pickup points can be arranged .

  • Lallybroch – Midhope Castle, ancestral home of Jamie Fraser
  • Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison
  • Blackness Castle – Fort William
  • half day Outlander tour
  • Take in unique views of three historic castles featured in Outlander
  • Small private group tour with up to four people

Itinerary

1 . Lallybroch – Midhope Castle

The first location on this Outlander tour is Lallybroch – Midhope Castle, ancestral home of Jamie Fraser . Outlander scenes were shot at Midhope Castle on the fringes of the Hopetoun Estate near South Queensferry.

Midhope was built in the 15th Century by John Martyne, laird of Medhope. It was rebuilt in the mid 1600s and remains much the same today.

The interior of Midhope is inaccessible .

Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours, Lallybroch , real life Midhope Castle , is the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser , visit the castle on our Outlander tours
Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours, Lallybroch , real life Midhope Castle ,
Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours, Lallybroch , real life Midhope Castle , is the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser , visit the castle on our Outlander tours

Midhope Castle, a 16th-century tower house, is used as Lallybroch (also known as Broch Tuarach) in Outlander . Left to Jamie by his parents, Brian and Ellen, Lallybroch is also home to Jamie’s sister, Jenny, her husband Ian Murray and their children. Lallybroch is a crucial part of Jamie Fraser’s life in Outlander .

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours can be booked on +44-7305294773 or toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

The castle was owned by the Martin family in 1478 , but passed it to the Livingstones soon afterwards. James Lindsay, Lord Lindsay, had a ratification of 1592 for the lands of Midhope, with the tower and fortalice thereof. Midhope belonged to the Drummonds of Midhope, who were in possession during part of the 16th and 17th centuries, and Alexander Drummond of Midhope remodelled the tower in 1587 and his initials with those of his wife Marjorie Bruce are on a former lintel now above a gateway. Alexander Drummond of Midhope is on record in the 1640s, then Sir Robert Drummond of Midhope in 1647 and 1661.

Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts, Outlander
Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts, Outlander

2 . Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists. Jamie is whipped by Black Jack Randall at Fort William .

Blackness Castle in the Outlander TV series
Blackness Castle in the Outlander TV series

The castle is long and narrow because of the shape of the rock on which it is situated and it is sometimes called ‘ the ship that never sailed ‘ . It guards the bay at Blackness and is only a few miles from Linlithgow Palace . The first castle was built in the middle of the 15th century by Sir George Crichton , Earl of Caithness , a member of one of the most powerful families in Scotland .

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours can be booked on 07305-294773 ,  toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

3 . Linlithgow Palace

This royal palace is where Jamie Fraser was imprisoned and it featured some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander . The Palace is also famous as the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots .

Linlithgow Palace and Loch , Wentworth prison in the Outlander TV series
Linlithgow Palace and Loch , Wentworth prison in the Outlander TV series

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel. Visitors can climb to the top of the palace for a magnificent panoramic view of the Loch and Palace . 

Optional extra

Hopetoun House Outlander tours
Hopetoun House Outlander tours

The standard tour features a visit to three Outlander locations . We also offer an optional extra of a visit to Hopetoun House . Please ask the driver for more details .

This one of the best Outlander tours in Scotland . Phone 07305-294773 to make a booking .

Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts

All pictures are copyright David Rankin/ Private tours Edinburgh 2019

 

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Jamie feels the Outlander effect

OUTLANDER star Sam Heughan has been making it big since he shot to fame in the hit sci-fi drama.

The Scots heartthrob’s fortune has soared thanks to the global success of the show. Visit Lallybroch , Jamie Fraser’s home , on our Outlander tours . Phone 07305-294773 for details .

midhope castle, Outlander tours
Lallybroch is Jamie Fraser’s ancestral home

The ‘Outlander’ effect has been credited with boosting Scotland’s economy as the number of visitors to historic sites topped five million for the first time in 2017 with fans flocking to see filming locations for the show.

And it seems its popularity has also boosted Heughan’s bank balance after his company posted an impressive set of results.


E


Accounts filed for his firm Cairn Mor Creative show it had total shareholder funds of £1.3 million .


blackness castle, outlander tours
Blackness Castle is Fort William in Outlander

Heughan, 38, set up the company, which is based in Surrey, in April, 2015, after he finished filming the first season of Outlander.

The Scots star plays Highlander Jamie Fraser in the hit show – which is currently airing its fourth season.Last month, fans celebrated the show’s 50th episode as the stars thanked fans for their support.







 





Visit Lallybroch , Jamie Fraser’s home , on our Outlander tours . Phone 07305-294773 for details .

 

We previously told how Sam sent support to she headed to the Golden Globes last week.

And Sam celebrated with as it won big at the RadioTimes Readers Awards in December.

Outlander star Sam Heughan reveals he DID audition for James Bond before Daniel Craig landed the role

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