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Seven unique experiences you can only have in Scotland

As far as underrated holiday destinations go, Scotland is on the list. It’s known around the world for its whisky, tartan and bagpipes but often overlooked by British travellers who opt for the sun-kissed sands of Spain or otherworldly scenery of Iceland.

Thankfully, we’re here to show you just how wonderful this UK beauty spot really is by bringing you the amazing things and unique experiences you can only have in Scotland…
1. Take a tour of the Outlander film locations

Unique Outlander tour
– see Lallybroch , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser ( Midhope Castle)
– hear Jamie Fraser guide you around Castle Leoch ( Doune Castle )
Outlander has been filmed exclusively in Scotland and there are a growing number of film locations. Number one on the list has got to be Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle ) , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser .  Design your own Outlander tour – phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Take the Jamie Fraser Outlander tour to visit Lallybroch, Fort William and Wentworth Prison  . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £150 per tour .

2. Take a tour of the Highlands

The scenery of the Highlands is amazing and a must see for any visitor to Scotland . Our Highlands tour features a visit to Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mor, Black Mount and Rannoch Moor. This private tour of the Highlands features a drive through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond National park , passing Loch Lubhair and Loch Lubnaig and going through Crianlarich and Tyndrum .Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £250 per tour .

Scotland tours , Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands , Scotland ,
Scotland tours , Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands , Scotland , The castle sits on an island in the middle of three lochs

3. Ride the Glenfinnan Viaduct like Harry Potter

Florida and Hertfordshire have the fancy studio tours and rides but Scotland has the real-life Hogwarts Express in the form of the Jacobite Steam Train, one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. 

The train, which you can experience during a four-day tour this summer, runs from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct and running through rugged mountains and past stunning lochs.

4. Land on the beach at Barra

The world’s only scheduled beach landing is located right here on this Outer Hebrides island, where you’ll get to tick an incredible flight landing off your bucket list. You’ll land between tides on the beautifully white, sandy beach Traigh Mhor, a runway like no other.

When a take-off or landing isn’t expected, you can stroll this unique airport runway to admire Barra’s Caribbean-esque sands – but be sure to check that the airport sock isn’t flying as this is when public access isn’t permitted.

3. Meet Highland cows

These icons of Scotland are cute, photogenic and very hairy. Highland cows, or coos, are often seen lazing and grazing all over the country. 

You’ll spot them in picturesque locations like the Cairngorms National Park, Stirling Castle or during a rail trip through the Highlands. On our Highlands tour we stop outside Callendar to see a couple of huge Highland cows.

4. Spot marine life on the UK’s first whale trail

Scotland’s newly launched Hebridean Whale Trail is a must for wildlife fans, with its 30 unique sites across the west coast where you can look out across the sea and watch for whales and dolphins.

The wildlife spotting trail includes lighthouses in the Isle of Lewis, Isle of Scalpay and the mainland, as well as beaches in the Highlands, the Isle of Harris and Ullapool.

5. Take off from the water with the UK’s only seaplane airline

Now this is one way to see Scotland! Seaplanes might be common in the Maldives but you don’t have to venture to the Indian Ocean to experience one for yourself, as there’s a seaplane airline operating in Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond Seaplanes will pick you up from the shores of the loch for a tour of the breathtaking national park as you take in the famous mountains, glens and lochs.

Tours of Scotland – Seven unique experiences you can only have in Scotland .  Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £150 per tour .

Private tours Edinburgh phone 0131-549-9785Private tours of Scotland 0131-549-9785 seven days a weekPrivate tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ? For tour information call +44131-549-9785 now *** check availability now for our unique tours of Scotland +44131-549-9785 seven days a week

Outlander success makes film locations upgrade their facilities

The Outlander effect has been well documented in the last few years. The most popular film locations are now looking to upgrade their facilities to cope with the demand .

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh . Phone Edinburgh +44-131 549 9785 for information about Outlander tours and bookings .

Outlander could become “a victim of its own success” due to the huge numbers of fans flocking to historic sites linked to the show.

Research published in March revealed that attractions such as Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle ) and Doune Castle ( Castle Leoch ) in Outlander, which has turned lead actors Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe into huge stars, saw visitor numbers soar by an average of 67 per cent since it went into production in 2013.

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours

However VisitScotland said it was now trying to ensure that sites were not “over-promoted” and was encouraging Outlander’s fans to be “respecting” of the nation’s heritage and culture.

outlander tours
Outlander tours phone 07305-294773

The tourism agency said it was aware of fans having to be rescued from “dangerous” Outlander locations which had not appeared in official maps. It revealed it is also working with Transport Scotland and travel companies to try to ensure services are better linked up and reduce the risk of fans being left stranded.

Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Blackness Castle and Craigmillar Castle are among the attractions Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has allowed Outlanderto use. The agency revealed the success of the show had inspired it to “pro-actively” seek new film and TV productions to work with. But it also admitted it was more difficult to close down Outlander locations for other productions because of the risk of having to turn away huge numbers disappointed fans. It has also reported growing problems at sites which have not been used as locations, but have close links to the show, including the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis, the Ring of Brodgar in Orkney, and Clava Cairns near Inverness.

Speaking at XpoNorth, the annual creative industries conference in the Highlands, Audrey Jones, head of filming at HES, said: “We’re having issues with sites that are just so popular now. We’re looking at timed tickets, capacity management and investing in infrastructure to make it more pleasurable for people. If you had come to Doune Castle five years ago there would probably have been hardly anyone else there. You don’t want to be rammed in with a thousand other people. It’s not a nice experience.

“There are obviously people who have never heard of Outlander and don’t understand why this beautiful castle that they came to five years ago is suddenly mobbed. It’s about making sure that they also have a good experience.

“Conservation is our raison d’être. We’re trying to make sure that people don’t trample over sites like Clava Cairns, the Ring of Brodgar and the Callanish Stones.

“We now have rangers and conservation teams going around our sites checking on them and speaking to people, particularly at remote sites, which were always unmanned and where people could wander about at will. There’s now a degree of herding and trampling going on now. We’re having to police it a lot more.

Jones added: “We’ve now started to have drones everywhere. People flying them across properties where Outlander has been filmed to get aerial shots has become a major issue for us. We’ve had to increase our presence at previously unstaffed sites to cope with that and protect them.

“In some ways, Outlander has been a victim of its own success. It now costs us more to close a property down as we have more visitors. It’s a commercial challenge which we obviously try to overcome as we don’t want to be seen as the bad guys.

“It’s also become more and more challenging to afford privacy during filming. When Outlander began filming no-one had really heard about it or knew the actors. Now we have to close sites down because screaming fans are everywhere if they know filming is going on.”

VisitScotland film manager Jenni Steele said: “Moving people around sites and sustainable tourism is really important to us. We want to make sure we’re looking after our heritage and our tourism sites for the future. It’s about making sure everyone is respecting of our culture and heritage, and also making sure there’s a balance between promoting sites without over-promoting them.”

Outlander tours


Private tours Edinburgh – unique tours of Scotland 7 days a week – phone 0131-549-9785Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ?Private tours of Scotland 0131-549-9785 seven days a weekPrivate tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ? For tour information call +44131-549-9785 now *** check availability now for our unique tours of Scotland +44131-549-9785 seven days a week

Outlander fans help to restore Preston Mill’s wheel

Preston Mill stood in for Lallybroch , the Highland home of Jamie Fraser when the Redcoats came calling during the first season of the hit drama Outlander.

The appearance of 200-year-old Preston Mill on TV networks around the world has helped ensure its wheel will keep turning for a few more years at least.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh . Book your Outlander tours to the original film locations , including Lallybroch on +447305294773 .

A crowdfunding appeal sent out by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) after the iconic building’s waterwheel ground to a halt has been a raging success with donors digging deep to help pay for repairs, which have now got it moving again.

And it was the Outlander connection which help the fundraising effort smash through its £12,000 target, with an American fan of the show matching donations made by others.
A working mill until 1959, the historic Preston Mill in East Linton, East Linton, has a curious Dutch-style, red-tiled conical roof and is an architectural oddity which attracts thousands of tourists each year.

The engineer and millwright Andrew Meikle, who invented the threshing machine, was once a tenant and until September last year its machinery – powered by the River Tyne – was still turning.
It is now used to give tour groups an insight into the gruelling life of a 18th century miller, and is also beloved by painters because of its unusual design.

The mill stood in for a part of Lallybroch Castle in Outlander, in a scene where star Sam Heughan was fixing its wheel when Government troops came looking for Jacobites.

He plunged under the water to hide while time-travelling heroine Claire Fraser, played by Catriona Balfe, talked her way out of trouble.

Other scenes at ‘Lallybroch’, which the series places in Inverness-shire, were actually filmed at Midhope Castle, located between South Queensferry and Linlithgow on the edges of the private Hopetoun Estate.

But real life imitated art when the wheel stopped working last year, with the NTS appealing for help getting it moving again.

Book your Outlander tours to the original film locations , including Lallybroch on +447305294773 .Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ?Private tours of Scotland 0131-549-9785 seven days a weekPrivate tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ? For tour information call +44131-549-9785 now *** check availability now for our unique tours of Scotland +44131-549-9785 seven days a week

NEW Sam Heughan’s movie, Bloodshot, with Vin Diesel, is coming out in 2020

Sam Heughan‘s new movie, Bloodshot, with Vin Diesel, is coming out in 2020

Outlander news from Outlander tours

During an interview with Parade, Heughan shared that the movie with Vin Diesel will be out in 2020. He didn’t give an exact date and that’s not all that surprising. The studio probably hasn’t decided on a date just yet. After all, we’ve only just found out that Caitriona Balfe’s Ford v Ferrari movie will be out in November.

What we do get is a little more information about the role Heughan is playing. This was something kept under wraps during the casting announcement so it’s fun to learn more about the character.

Based on the comic book of the same name, Sam Heughan will play a Navy SEAL, who has been changed with technology after something traumatic happened. This makes him a better soldier, sure, but it also changes part of who the character is. The good thing for Heughan is that it’s completely different to Outlander’s Jamie Fraser and that gives him a new range to his acting abilities.

There are plenty of actions scenes for him by the sounds of things. Heughan admits that he had to train because it is a physical role. At the same time, it sounds like comic book fans will see a slight twist, as he explains it’s an iconic character that plays a new superhero (or maybe a supervillain) in the movie.Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ?Private tours of Scotland 0131-549-9785 seven days a weekPrivate tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ? For tour information call +44131-549-9785 now *** check availability now for our unique tours of Scotland +44131-549-9785 seven days a week

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


Private tours Edinburgh – unique tours of Scotland 7 days a week – phone 0131-549-9785Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ?Private tours of Scotland 0131-549-9785 seven days a weekPrivate tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ? For tour information call +44131-549-9785 now *** check availability now for our unique tours of Scotland +44131-549-9785 seven days a week

NEW ! Outlander and Game of Thrones tour

Our new Outlander and Game of Thrones tour is perfect for fans of the two most popular  TV shows on screen this year  .   First of all we take a unique tour of three key locations in the life of Outlander’s Jamie Fraser –  Lallybroch  ( Midhope Castle ) , Jamie’s ancestral home , Linlithgow Palace ( Wentworth Prison ) and  Blackness Castle ( Fort William ) . Then we visit Doune Castle , heavily featured in Game of Thrones , and also Castle Leoch In Outlander .

Midhope Castle Outlander tours
Midhope Castle Outlander tours

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 £190.

Tours start from your hotel or accommodation in Edinburgh or Glasgow .

 

Other pickup points can be arranged .

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

Itinerary

1 . Lallybroch – Midhope Castle

The first location on this 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 , 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 .

Outlander & Game of Thrones tours can be booked on 07305-294773 or  toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

 

2 . Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists.

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 . Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts 4  . Doune Castle Doune Castle is Winterfell in Game of Thrones and featured in Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Visit Doune Castle on a unique private tour of the Game of Thrones Castle in Scotland – Winterfell .  Check availability by phoning us now on 07305-294773 or contact us online . Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Game of Thrones doune castle
Game of Thrones t-shirts Doune Castle tours

Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland. The Game of Thrones castle private tour starts at 10 am and it includes a transfer from Edinburgh to Doune , a driver/guide , a stay of about an hour at the castle plus a return to Edinburgh . 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 the 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.

  • Doune Castle is unique in that it actually has five claims to movie fame
    • Game of Thrones
    •  Outlander
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • the Outlaw King
  • Mary Queen of Scots

Doune Castle has featured in several literary works, including the 17th-century ballad, “The Bonny Earl of Murray”, which relates the murder of James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray, by the Earl of Huntly, in 1592. In Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, Waverley (1814), the protagonist Edward Waverley is brought to Doune Castle by the Jacobites. Scott’s romantic novel describes the “gloomy yet picturesque structure”, with its “half-ruined turrets”. The castle was used as a location in MGM’s 1952 historical film Ivanhoe which featured Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. The BBC adaptation of “Ivanhoe” in 1996 also featured Doune as a location. Game of Thrones / Outlander Castle tour costs £190 Check availability by phoning us now on 07305-294773 or contact us online Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Private tours Edinburgh – unique tours of Scotland 7 days a week – phone 0131-549-9785Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ?Private tours of Scotland 0131-549-9785 seven days a weekPrivate tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . Looking for day trips Edinburgh ? How about taking an Outlander tour from Edinburgh to visit Jamie Fraser’s home in Scotland’s amazing Outlander film locations ? For tour information call +44131-549-9785 now *** check availability now for our unique tours of Scotland +44131-549-9785 seven days a week

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.

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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Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has received an award for boosting Scottish tourism

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has received an award for boosting Scottish tourism through her fantasy saga.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh .

The US writer, 67, received an International Contribution to Scottish Tourism award at the Scottish Thistle awards.

It comes as VisitScotland published a paper detailing how sites used in the TV adaptation have seen visitors soar.

The report says that set-jetting is a growing trend in Scotland, partly due to the “Outlander Effect”.

Ms Gabaldon has told in many interviews how she was inspired to write the Outlander series after watching an old episode of Doctor Who.

Her lead character Jamie Fraser is based on the kilted companion Jamie McCrimmon, played by Frazer Hines, who appeared during the Patrick Troughton doctor era.

Outlander follows a romance between Jamie, a Highland poacher and Claire Randall, a World War Two nurse who is catapulted through time to the Jacobite era.

OutlanderImage copyrightSTARZ/AMAZON PRIME
Image captionCaitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander

It was adapted for TV in 2014 for US network Starz, with Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in the lead roles. Filming continues to be based in Scotland, with many Scottish locations doubling as France, the Caribbean and North America.

On receiving the award, Ms Gabaldon said: “It’s fabulous. I hear a great deal from fans of mine who have read the books and seen the TV show, who come to Scotland because they all write to tell me how wonderful it was and they send me souvenirs of their trips.

“I have a stack of postcards as well as a small number of Loch Ness monsters scattered around the house.”

‘Truly extraordinary’

The Outlander Effect and Tourism paper, published on Thursday, reports that attractions that appear in the Outlander TV series have seen visitor numbers soar by 67% since 2013, from 887,000 to 1.5million.

Doune Castle, near Dunblane, which doubles as the programme’s Castle Leoch, has seen the largest surge – 226.5% between 2013 and 2017.

Numbers at Blackness Castle, near Linlithgow, which features as Black Jack Randall’s headquarters, increased by 181.7%.

And Glasgow Cathedral’s visitors increased by 66.8% after it was screened as a French hospital.

Doune Castle, which featured in Outlander, welcomed 142,091 visitors last year

All Scottish visitor attractions were surveyed to discover how screen tourism and Outlander has impacted on their business.

Almost all respondents considered screen tourism as positive for the industry and a fifth of attractions located next to filming locations said they saw an increase in visitors.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “The impact of Outlander on Scotland has been truly extraordinary.

“It has been amazing to see the global reaction to Diana Gabaldon’s stories of adventure, romance and Scottish history – and the subsequent television adaptation – and seeing it translate into visitor growth for Scotland.

“Screen tourism continues to be a growing trend, however it is Outlander which has been the story in recent times, inspiring millions of visitors, from the USA to Europe and even China, to embark on their own Scottish adventure.”

Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, added: “Scotland’s wonderful landscapes, rich history and culture continue to captivate visitors from home and abroad, making tourism one of our most important industries.”


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Historic Mary Queen of Scots documents found at Museum of Edinburgh

Some important documents signed by Mary Queen of Scots have just been found at Museum of Edinburgh . They were gifted to the museum in 1920 and then ‘lost’ until recent work by curators to inventory and restore them.

They are handwritten, dated numbered and signed and reveal some interesting facts about Edinburgh in the 16th century.

Mary Queen of Scots tours from Private tours Edinburgh

There are permits for London salt sellers allowing them to operate in Edinburgh and a permit to build a wall in Leith for the city’s defences.

Some documents are signed by Mary Queen of Scots and others by her husband James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and her grandson, James Duke of Châtellerault. Mary married James Hepburn after the death of her husband Lord Darnley.

The documents are in safekeeping at the Museum of Edinburgh but are very fragile. They will be assessed by a conservator and hopefully they will be exhibited in due course.

The 16th century documents are in the museum of Edinburgh

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener at City of Edinburgh Council said “Museum & Galleries Edinburgh hold thousands of historic treasures on behalf of the City and its visitors, many of which are on display in our venues. However, some items, such as these documents, are too fragile to be on long-term display, so putting them online is a great way to showcase them and tell their stories.”

Vicky Garrington, History Curator at Museum of Edinburgh said: “The documents provide us with an amazing bridge to the past. It’s incredible to think of Mary Queen of Scots reading through these documents before carefully applying her signature. We all know the story of Scotland’s Queen, her eventful life and eventual execution, but in these documents, we see a different side to Mary. Here, she can be seen carefully managing the everyday affairs of Edinburgh and Scotland. These documents help us to better understand her reign”.

Frank Little, Service Manager, Cultural Venues, Museums & Galleries Edinburgh said: “Our hope is that ongoing inventory work within Museums & Galleries Edinburgh will turn up new treasures. We are constantly reviewing, caring for and researching our collections, and look forward to sharing more of the City’s rich heritage with residents and visitors through our programme of exhibitions and online activities.”

Mary Queen of Scots tours

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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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