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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
Outlander has been filmed exclusively in Scotland and there are a growing number of film locations. Number on eon the list has got to be Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle ) , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser . Take the Jamie Fraser Outlander tour to visit Lallybroch, Fort William and Wentworth Prison . Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . 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 .

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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.

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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

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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 .

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Is Black Jack Randall the perfect villain ?

Outlander toursEvery once in a while, a villain comes along on a television series that is so abhorrently yet enthralling to watch, that you can’t help but be intrigued by him (or her). In the case of Outlander, the main antagonist of the first two seasons was Jonathan Wolverton “Black Jack” Randall. Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

The moment we met him, we knew we were going to despise him and passionately so. He certainly left us with a bad impression when he tried to attack Claire immediately after she fell through the stones at Craigh Na Dun. His repugnant personality only served to make us hate him more with each appearance after that and yet…we couldn’t look away.

Outlander tours – visit Black Jack Randall’s HQ Fort William and Wentworth prison on our Outlander tours

Every time he was on-screen, being the menacing man we knew him to be, his cold eyes and menacing smirk immediately would send chills down our spines. The truth of the matter is, there will likely never be a better antagonist to the Frasers and their timeless love story. And while Black Jack Randall is no more after the Battle of Culloden, there is still plenty to learn about him. Or for fellow super fans, to refresh our memories about the sinister Redcoat soldier.

For all of you Outlander fans, read on to see the 24 Crazy Things Only Super Fans Knew About Black Jack Randall.

24 TOBIAS MENZIES HAD NO PROBLEM PLAYING A CHARACTER LIKE BLACK JACK

The actor who bravely portrayed both Frank Randall and Black Jack Randall was Tobias Menzies, who gave a riveting performance as both Claire’s historian husband and the Redcoat soldier who inflicts misery on both Claire and Jamie.

When producers wanted to check that he was okay with play a despicable character like Black Jack, he laughed and said he had absolutely no problem with it.

Evidently, this is because British actors like Menzies enjoy being challenged with material and characters like BJR.

23 THE “BLACK” IN HIS NICKNAME REPRESENTS HIS SOUL

Believe it or not, but Black Jack Randall didn’t get his infamous nickname from a card game. According to Jamie Fraser, the “black” in his moniker actually represents the color of his soul.

This makes perfect sense being that Randall is the epitome of evil incarnate. He literally enjoys other people’s struggle, whether it be emotional or physical. It is what truly makes him happy in life, especially if he is the one inflicting the pain.

Never has a character so perfectly emulated what it means to be a corrupt individual with a black soul.

22 THE SHOW BROUGHT BLACK JACK BACK IN A DIFFERENT WAY THAN IN THE BOOKS

When we first see Black Jack Randall on Outlander again after we assumed he had perished in the stampede at Wentworth, it is at the Versailles court in France. Of course, Claire had already learned that he had survived from his brother, Alex.

But in the books, this all happens in a much different way. While at another person’s home, Claire is running down a hall and runs directly into Black Jack. They grab onto each other to maintain their balance and Claire is immediately in shock upon seeing his face. She wonders if it is his brother, who he looks remarkably like, but realizes it is, in fact, him once she looks into his cold eyes.

In the book, too, Claire did not know that he had survived the stampede.

21 HE ISN’T BASED ON A REAL PERSON

There are plenty of characters in the Outlander series that are actually based on real-life people from history. Such as Geillis Duncan, Bonnie Prince Charlie, and other Jacobite lords. Mother Hildegarde and Lord Lovat are other notable mentions of real people from history that were featured in this tale.

But one character that definitely was not based on a real person was Jonathan Wolverton Randall a.k.a. Black Jack.

We suppose that is a good thing because he would have been one twisted man if he had actually existed back then.

20 RANDALL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY ATTACKER

During the first two seasons of the Starz series, many fans assumed his orientation based off he seems to want to physically harm men more often than women.

This is actually not the case. Author of the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon, actually clarified that he is “an equal opportunity” attacker.

If it seems like he goes for men over women, that is just because he has easier access to them at the prison. So whether he is brutally hurting Jamie for his pleasure, he’s perfectly happy to do the same with Claire, it seems that the gender of the individual he is hurting really has no bearing on his own preferences.

19 HE WAS A MINOR KNIGHT WITHIN ENGLAND

During the Jacobite Rebellion in the 18th-century, Jonathan Wolverton Randall, a.k.a. Black Jack, was a Captain Of His Majesty’s Eighth Dragoons. He was also considered a minor knight which is a prestigious title. 

Because of his rank and title, he was trusted with quashing the rebellion by the Scots and ended up, as we know, playing a pivotal role in that. It certainly helped him, too, that The Duke of Sandringham financially supported him quite a bit throughout this time period.

18 BLACK JACK ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD

This trait of his is one of the more shocking because it is a stark contrast with the evil villain we have known since he first came across Claire in the Highlands at the start of Outlander. He has rarely shown signs of being an honorable man, regardless of being in the British army.

But it seems that once he gives someone his word, he sticks to it. A prime example is when he had Jamie at Wentworth and Claire showed up trying to save him. He told Jamie to give himself to him and he would let Claire go unharmed. Jamie agreed, but BJR easily could have harmed her anyway, just because he wanted to.

Instead, he actually let her go, before going back to inflict pain on Jamie.

17 HE SETS OFF MOST OF THE EVENTS THAT OCCUR BETWEEN JAMIE AND CLAIRE EARLY ON

When looking back at everything that happened from the start of the Outlander novels and series, it was Black Jack’s actions that set most of these things into motion.

With Jamie leaving because of the price on his head that Black Jack created, to Jamie meeting Claire after BJR attacked her, to the two getting married to save Claire from Black Jack’s nefarious plans for her, and so many other events that happened after that.

So if it weren’t for him, in some weird way, we never would have had the epic love story that centered around Jamie and Claire.

16 HE ONLY SHOWED HIS HUMANITY WHEN HIS BROTHER PERISHED

The only emotions we’re used to seeing from Black Jack is hate, glee from harming someone, or fury. There is not a range of other emotions we see from him because he is just a terrible person.

But there was one instance where we caught a glimpse of his humanity. This was when his younger brother, Alex, was almost at his grave.

Once his brother actually passed, you could see the despair on his face, even if he still seemed to be struggling with showing this emotion. It was so out of character for the man we had come to know but showed that even he has “normal” emotions when he loses someone he truly cared about.

15 HE DISGUISED HIS SUSSEX ORIGINS BY GETTING A PROPER EDUCATION

Black Jack Randall at the Palace of Versailles ( Drummond Castle ) Outlander tours – visit Black Jack Randall’s HQ Fort William and Wentworth prison on our Outlander tours

Sussex during the 18th-century was not considered a place where the citizens were properly educated and noble. Because of this, Jonathan Randall’s parents ensured that he would receive a proper education that would effectively disguise his origins.

Though it was not always a secret that he was originally from Sussex, he still did everything he could to hide that fact and come across as a proper Englishman with higher education. It seemed that despite his evil ways, he still wanted to play the part of English gentleman.

14 HE ATTACKS CLAIRE’S GREATEST WEAKNESSES

With Black Jack as the main antagonist in the first two Outlander novels and seasons of the show, it makes sense that he would constantly be going up against our main protagonist, Claire Fraser.

This creates a compelling struggle between the two and a more intriguing and dramatic storyline.

When he first sees Claire, his reaction is to assault her after recognizing her confidence and self-reliance. This is to cause doubt and insecurities to arise in her and ultimately take the control she has away from her. He continues this when he interrogates her in a later episode, making her feel at ease once he apologizes for his actions. But just as she thinks she is getting through to him and bringing him to the “light” with her wits, he turns everything around on her again. It’s really like watching the battle between good and evil unfold before your eyes.

13 HE BURNED FERGUS WITH HIS RING

In Dragonfly In Amber, the second book in the Outlander series, Black Jack does something unbelievably wrong, even for him. While in France, he decides instead of picking a worker, he would pick Fergus, the pickpocket who Jamie took under his wing.

Aside from being rough with the young boy, he actually burned him with his ring.

This is what caused Jamie to take notice, and immediately challenged him to a duel upon discovering what Randall had done. It was a traumatic and damaging event for Fergus, both physically and mentally.

12 IN THE BOOKS, HE LOOKED ALMOST IDENTICAL TO HIS BROTHER, ALEX

Anyone who has seen the television adaptation of the Outlander books knows that not only are Alex and Jonathan Randall night and day from each other in the personality department, but they also look damn near nothing alike.

However, in the books, they look so much alike that it’s almost hard to tell them apart. If it weren’t for Jonathan’s coldness in his eyes that are clear as day, it may even be impossible.

Of course, they had to change this part of the story for the television series, but it would have been interesting to see unfold on screen.

11 BLACK JACK LEADS BY INSTILLING FEAR

Most leaders in any capacity want to earn the respect of those who work under them in honorable ways. They don’t normally go about getting respect by instilling fear in anyone who gets on their bad side.

But that is exactly what Black Jack Randall does with all of his soldiers in His Majesty’s Eighth Dragoons. The fear that these Redcoats feel because of BJR is palpable in any scene featuring their Captain.

It’s not very shocking since we know the type of person he is, but it is definitely not the proper way to earn your troops’ respect.

10 HE MARRIED HIS BROTHER’S FIANCÉ

Jonathan Randall’s younger brother, Alex, was a good man. He cared deeply for his love, Mary Hawkins. But unfortunately, he was also very sick for a long time, which eventually led to his demise.

Before he met his end, though, he had wanted his brother, Black Jack himself, to marry his fiancé. He knew that she was pregnant and he didn’t want her to have the child on her own. Plus, the child would have then become a problem in this time period just because he had no father.

It took convincing from Claire, who had her own motives for the union, but Randall did end up marrying Mary just before his brother passed.

RANDALL HAS A CHILD THAT IS ACTUALLY HIS BROTHER’S

Mary Hawkins and Alex Randall were expecting a child before Alex met his untimely demise. This meant that BJR had to step up to the plate and not only marry Mary Hawkins, but he had agreed to raise the child.

This child would eventually extend the Randall lineage that would lead directly to Frank Randall, who was Claire’s first husband.

Though Black Jack had agreed to take care of the child and marry his brother’s love, he actually didn’t live long enough to make good on his word…

HE KNEW THE DAY HE WOULD GO

Just before Randall began his brutal attack on Jamie at Wentworth Prison, he let Claire go and escorted her out of the prison. Claire was angry and upset over what she knew was about to occur in that prison cell, so she decided to do the only thing she could: hurt BJR with knowledge.

Before she goes, she tells him she is a witch and that she knows the exact date of his end. She then whispers it in his ear before he pushes her into a mass grave that leads to the exit of the prison.

He never forgot this date, either. But he still fought in the Battle of Culloden, knowing he would not make it out alive.

BLACK JACK IS THE POLAR OPPOSITE OF FRANK

Say what you will about Frank Randall, but he was a great man, especially in comparison to his ancestor, Jonathan “Black Jack” Randall.

In every way, shape, and form, Frank was the exact opposite of Black Jack. While BJR was a ruthless man, Frank was a loving, empathetic, good-natured human being.

While Claire knew there was a clear difference from the first man she ever loved and the man who hurt people for fun, it makes sense that she was so wary of being around Frank once she returned to her own time. He did look alarmingly like his ancestor, after all.

THE DUKE OF SANDRINGHAM USED BJR’S PSYCHE TO CONTROL HIM

It’s no secret that The Duke of Sandringham could be just as despicable as Black Jack when he really wanted to. Which was often, apparently.

He used Black Jack as the pawn in most of his schemes, and they had some sort of sick and twisted partnership that created a lot of problems for Jamie and Claire throughout the first two seasons and books.

The Duke actually used BJR’s messed up psyche – that he was fully aware of – to get what he wanted. He knew Randall had a thing for inflicting wickedness on people, especially if his victim was Jamie, so he used that to his advantage time and time again.

BJR TRADED INFORMATION ON HIS TROOPS MOVEMENTS FOR CLAIRE’S HELP

When Black Jack’s brother, Alex, had his health declining at an alarming rate, Randall had to turn to the one person who could have easily said no to their pleas for help.

Luckily, Claire wanted to help Alex because she knew that he was not anything like his brother. Even so, she ended up getting something out of it when Alex encouraged his brother to exchange information about his troops in the upcoming battle against the Scots and their planned movements.

Against his better judgment, he does trade this information to Claire for helping his brother in his time of need.

HE ALWAYS FORCES CLAIRE TO MAKE INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT DECISIONS

Black Jack is always one step ahead of our heroine, Claire. It is because of him that many things change her life, sometimes for the better, but a lot of times for the worse. He is the reason that she ends up staying in 18th-century Scotland and marrying Jamie Fraser, which for her, at the time, was frightening.

But even after she acclimates to her new life, he still is testing and pushing her. Because of these instances, Claire must always make high stakes decisions that will change everything.

HE’S COMPETITIVE OVER JAMIE

Jamie at the Palace of Versailles ( Drummond Castle in Scotland )

After first met Jamie, he became obsessed with the Scotsman.

Because of this, once Claire entered the picture and married Jamie, he felt compelled to compete with her for Jamie. But not in the normal love triangle way we have seen several times in other shows and films.

No, he uses Claire to lure Jamie out and then proceeds to taunt the two of them and make threats. It’s a disturbing sight when he does this.

HE’S COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH JAMIE

This all began when Black Jack Randall flogged Jamie more than once and looked at his mutilated back as a work of art that he created. Even referring to it as his masterpiece. This is the first glimpse into the darkness that Black Jack has inside his soul.

After this event occurs, he becomes obsessed with Jamie Fraser. He originally offered Jamie freedom with no more flogging if he gave himself to Randall. But Jamie refused. That is what spurred Black Jack into his obsession with having Jamie all to himself. It was haunting to watch it all unfold.

BLACK JACK RANDALL IS THE PERFECT ANTAGONIST

Though BJR did not survive the Battle of Culloden, he was still the best antagonist Outlander has ever seen. For the first two seasons, we witnessed his brutality and lack of empathy being poured out into every act he performed.

As disturbing as it all was, we also couldn’t look away. And even when he wasn’t actively inflicting pain on someone, he played manipulative mind games that still greatly affected the person’s psyche. He challenged our protagonists in ways we could have never imagined, and in the end, it brought them closer together. 

He was the definition of evil and we couldn’t imagine a greater villain in the Outlander universe because Black Jack Randall was the absolute perfect antagonist.

Outlander tours – visit Black Jack Randall’s HQ Fort William and Wentworth prison on our Outlander tours

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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
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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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