Four ancient Scottish castles feature in this tour – Drummond Castle and Gardens , Blackness Castle , Doune Castle and Culross Palace
1 Drummond Castle and Gardens
Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.
Drummond Castle Gardens, which are protected as a category A listed building — in contrast to the B listed castle – attract thousands of visitors per year, and are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.The gardens — complete with peacocks — feature ancient yew hedges and the remaining beech tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1842.But the grounds — which also featured in 1995 feature film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson — could now see a huge boost in tourist numbers thanks to the so-called “Outlander effect”.
2 Doune Castle
Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling was a favourite place for Mary Queen of Scots .
Doune Castle has five claims to movie fame –
- Outlander – Doune was Castle Leoch , and it also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
- Game of Thrones . Doune represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- Outlaw King
- Mary Queen of Scots
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
3 Culross Palace
Built in 1597 by Sir George Bruce, the Laird of Carnock. it was visited by King James VI in 1617. It is now owned and cared for by the National Trust for Scotland.
Culross is Scotland’s most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries.
White-harled houses with red-tiled roofs line the steep cobbled streets which run from the market cross to the hilltop abbey. In the centre is the ochre-coloured palace with its beautifully reconstructed period garden, complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens. The Palace features in TV series Outlander.
Mercat Cross (in the centre of Culross) acted as the centre of Cranesmuir.
Geillis Duncan’s house and the town square where Geillis is sentenced to burn for being a witch.
Jamie and Claire rescue the thief, Tammas, when his ear is pinned to the post.
Laoghaire’s home can be seen, near Mercat Cross, on Little Causeway. A number of interior scenes were filmed inside the Palace .
4 Blackness Castle
Blackness Castle was built in 1440 by Sir George Crichton . At this time, Blackness was the main port serving the Royal Burgh of Linlithgow, one of the main residences of the Scottish monarch.In 1453 King James II annexed the castle due to a dispute with Crichton, and the castle has been crown property ever since.
In 1650 Oliver Cromwell took the castle when he invaded Scotland .
The castle was used as a state prison, holding Cardinal Beaton and the 6th Earl of Angus
Blackness Castle has three claims to movie fame –
- Outlander – Blackness Castle was Fort William , where Jamie was whipped by Black Jack Randall
- Outlaw King
- Mary Queen of Scots
The Outlaw King tells the story of how Robert the Bruce, who defied England’s King Edward I, became a hunted fugitive but turned the tables to inflict crushing defeat on the English army at Bannockburn and ultimately won Scottish independence. Film tourism is booming in Scotland, with Outlaw King and Mary Queen of Scots some of the exciting new films set to feature the country on screen. Film and TV productions not only showcase the unique mix of stunning landscapes, rich heritage and fascinating stories Scotland offers, but can inspire set-jetting fans to visit, with research showing that one in five visitors come here after seeing Scotland on the big and small screen.