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Doune Castle opens 15 July

doune castle, outlander tours

Doune Castle will open its doors again on the 15th July after the coronavirus lockdown .

Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

Doune Castle is unique in that it actually has five claims to movie fame .

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Game of Thrones
  • Outlander
  • the Outlaw King
  • Mary Queen of Scots

Doune Castle was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as the castle of Guy de Lombard .

Take the audio tour of the castle narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones or Outlander’s Jamie ( Sam Heughan ) .

It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.

when does Doune Castle re-open ?

Doune Castle re-opens on 15th July 2020 after the coronavirus lockdown , Doune Castle is unique in that it actually has five claims to movie fame .
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Game of Thrones
Outlander
the Outlaw King
Mary Queen of Scots
Doune Castle was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as the castle of Guy de Lombard .
Take the audio tour of the castle narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones or Outlander’s Jamie ( Sam Heughan ) .
It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.
Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
For more details about availability phone 0131 549 9785 / 07305-294773 .

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

For more details about availability phone 0131 549 9785 / 07305-294773 .

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Tours of Scotland – two castles and a distillery

Tours of Scotland – two castles and a distillery

Looking for things to do in Edinburgh ? How about taking a tour from Edinburgh of two amazing castles and a whisky distillery ?

Two ancient Scottish castles and a distillery feature in this tour –

  •  Stirling Castle
  • Doune Castle
  • Deanston Highland Malt Distillery
  • Callander
  • Balquhidder Church

Doune Castle featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail , Game of Thrones and the Outlander TV series.

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and amazing architecture.

Deanston Distillery makes award-winning Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The Standard Tour finishes off with a tasting of Deanston 12 year old whisky .

Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online . Shore excursions – all of our tours are available as shore excursions from the Edinburgh ports South Queensferry, Newhaven and Rosyth .

11 Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture. Visitors to the castle can enjoy stunning 360 degree views of the Forth Valley and the Wallace Monument . Your ticket into the castle includes a dedicated castle guide (tours leave in the castle at regular times and are provided directly by the castle).

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 tours

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 a couple of 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 bookings or contact us  online .

Duration: 1 hour

12.20 Doune Castle

Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

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

Originally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

 

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online .

Duration: 45 minutes

1.20 Callander , 

the old gateway to the Highlands and explore the streets, this is also a great place to pick up a snack or lunch.

Duration: 30 minutes

2.30  Balquhidder Church Ruins, 

the old church remains of Balquhidder and the resting place of one of Scotlands greatest folk legends, the outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor. 

Duration:  30 minutes

3.45  Deanston Distillery

In 1974 Deanston produced the very first bottle of Deanston Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

The standard tour at Deanston costs £9 per person ( not included on tour price )

Each tour warmly welcomes you into the heart of the distillery, where Deanston makes award-winning Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Here you will see a traditional open top mash tun, gleaming copper stills and a must-see vaulted maturation Warehouse 2B. Join the experienced tour guides on a journey through time, taking you back to the past as a cotton mill and through the evolution of Deanston Distillery . The Standard Tour finishes off with a tasting of Deanston 12 year old whisky .

Guided tour of the distillery Includes a tasting of Deanston 12 year old , £5 voucher towards the purchase of any bottle of Deanston 70cl single malt whisky in the distillery shop Duration: 50 minutes

Every drop of Highland Single Malt is a marriage of the finest local ingredients and the skill of the craft to create the wonderful, fresh, honeyed sweetness that Deanston is known for. The Distillery has a commitment to using a traditional, hand crafted approach to our whisky embodies the honesty of our community. Our adherence to traditional methods combined with the skills and experience of our distillery team makes Deanston the unique single malt it is today.

Phone 07305-294773 for bookings or contact us  online .

Duration: 1 hour 

Private Tour –  price £300 for groups of up to 4 people.

Shore excursions – all of our tours are available as shore excursions from the Edinburgh ports South Queensferry, Newhaven and Rosyth . Private tours Edinburgh 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

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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.

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

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NEW for 2019 – the Kelpies and castles tour

visit the kelpies, the Helix, Falkirk tours

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

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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.”


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