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Outlander film locations tour Scotland

The TV series Outlander has been a huge international success , based on the best selling novels by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander was filmed in a number of locations in castles and towns in  Scotland. On this Outlander private tour we visit various locations used for filming the hit series Outlander.

Tours start at 9.30 am . Our private group tours take up to 4 people to three Outlander filming locations.

Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre or the airport . Other pickup points can be arranged , subject to an additional fee .

Itinerary

 

The first location on this Outlander tour is the historic town of Falkland. The town is the setting for episode one where Frank and Claire Randall come to Scotland on holiday. Falkland Palace is a historic building and shops and  features can be recognised , including the town square fountain where Frank encounters Jamie’s ghost watching Claire through the window.

 

Doune Castle was built in  1400 for the first Duke of Albany and provides the setting for Castle Leoch in Outlander. It was also the set for Winterfell in Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

blackness castle , outlander tour

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

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 . King James II acquired Blackness in 1453 when he annexed the lands of the Crichtons . From then on the castle was mainly used as a prison . In 1543 Cardinal Beaton was held here for a month . Rebuilding started in the 1530s under the direction of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart who also worked at Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . He was instructed to make the castle safe from artillery , and he achieved this by making the south and east walls very thick . A new tower was built at the south end . In the 1560s , in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots , a Spur was built to protect the main gate . In the 1870s the castle was the main ammunition depot for Scotland .The Castle is a popular location for historical re-enactments and has changed little in 600 years . Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Hamlet has scenes filmed at Blackness Castle and Dunnottar Castle.
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Paul Scofield, Alan Bates, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter, John McEnery

The tour spends an hour at each location .

  • Travel by luxury car
  • Small private group tour with a maximum of 4 people

Tour costs – £200 for up to 4 people

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Videos of Scotland – Castle videos

I have been shooting videos for the last 3 years and HD videos of Scotland for the last year and I have now started to add it them to the website . This will be an ongoing process which will continue throughout this year . I have videos of Edinburgh Castle and Eilean Donan Castle which are available as downloads to mobile phones  . The project as a whole is titled ” Videos of Scotland” and will also be for sale on CD .

Two hundred year old graffiti in Edinburgh Castle’s prison vaults is one of the inspirations behind the development of a major  exhibition within the castle .The exhibition explores the castle’s connections with the American War of Independence as well as 18th century European conflicts including the French Revolution, through the stories of the men who found themselves gaoled at Edinburgh Castle.The prison vaults lie beneath the Queen Anne building in the castle’s Crown Square. The exhibition is one part of a £3.5 million construction project within the Queen Anne building to provide a permanent all-weather education centre; function and exhibition space and additional café space.

“Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most popular visitor attraction,” Dr Murray said. “More than 1 million visitors are drawn each year by its spectacular location and history. They can see the Crown Jewels, the One O’Clock Gun and the Stone of Destiny as well as the Great Hall, St Margaret’s Chapel, and Mons Meg. “This new exhibition will explore more of the castle’s complex story, with links to Scots-born John Paul Jones – renowned in America as founder of the US Navy  and in Britain for capturing one of the Royal Navy’s warships – and the turbulence of revolutionary Europe at the end of the 1700s.”Edinburgh Castle is a world-class attraction and today’s well-traveled tourists have high expectations.”The vaults at Edinburgh Castle were constructed around 1500 and later used as soldiers’ barrack-rooms and a bakehouse. However they were used for many years as prisons of war from the 1750s into the early 1800s. Graffiti carved into prison doors reveal the names and sentiments of many of the men there, and some of them etched crude drawings of their vessels. One drawing shows a gallows and noose, with the inscription Lord Nord (North) – the British Prime Minister at the time of the American War of Independence. Another shows a ship flying what appears to be the stars and stripes: one of the earliest known depictions of the American flag.
The Castle is at the top of the Royal Mile . If you walk down the Royal Mile you can see a large number of gift shops , pubs and restaurants . At the foot of the Royal Mile is the new Scottish Parliament building and the Palace of Holyroodhouse , the official residence of the Queen in Scotland.

videos of Edinburgh Castle and Eilean Donan Castle

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Eilean Donan Castle pictures

Eilean Donan Castle is one of my favourite castles to photograph . One of the unique things about it is that it is in the middle of 3 lochs and totally surrounded by water . The only approach is by a bridge . The castle has featured in a number of famous films including Highlander and one of the James Bond films. I have just added a new picture gallery of new pictures of Eilean Donan Castle. All the pictures can be downloaded to your mobile

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Free Scottish Ecards

Top ten Scottish castles ecards

Scotland has hundreds of castles old and new ,  some in ruins , some refurbished and inhabited  . I have compiled a list of my top ten castles , now available as free ecards . I have been taking pictures of castles for over 10 years and each one offers a unique challenge .  I have published a new set of castle wallpapers which can be downloaded to your mobile . These castles  are in no particular order

1 Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan is an old favourite . It in a spectacular setting in the middle of 3 lochs and surrounded by mountains . Eilean Donan Castle is one
of the most photographed castles in Scotland , if not the
world . It is on a small island in the middle of 3 lochs .
On a clear day you can see the Isle of Skye in the distance
. The original castle was built in 1220 . It was destroyed
by 3 English frigates in the 18th century and totally
rebuilt in the 1920s by the Macraes . Send a free Eilean Donan Castle ecard

2 Stirling Castle
Stirling is on a rocky crag overlooking the town with great views to the Wallace Monument and Ben Lomond  . Stirling was a vital crossing point during the Wars of Independence . William Wallace , Braveheart , won the battle of Stirling Bridge at the foot of the castle.
Send a free Stirlng Castle ecard

3 Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is perched on a spectacular rocky crag on the east coast of Scotland 4 miles from Stonehaven . In olden days the castle was impregnable because of the sheer cliffs on each side . Send a free Dunnotar Castle ecard

4 Urquhart Castle
Urquhart is on the shore of Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland . The Grant Tower is the only part of the castle which is not completely in ruins . If you’re lucky you might see the Loch Ness monster as she swims up the loch for a snack around lunch time . Send a free Urquhart Castle ecard

5 Linlithgow Palace
Birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots . The fountain has been totally refurbished

6 Blackness Castle
Blackness 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 . Send a freeBlackness Castle ecard

7 Blair Castle
Blair Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl and his own private army

8 Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfriess is an unusual triangular shape

9 Castle Campbell
Castle Campbell is high on the hillside near Dollar and it has spectacular views over the Forth Valley

10 Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle dominates the Edinburgh city skyline with views over the
whole of the city . The one o’clock gun is fired every day
to wake up sleepy tourists
Send a free Edinburgh Castle ecard

The castle wallpapers can be downloaded to your mobile

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Ben Lomond pictures – HD video of Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond is beautiful at this time of year . At the moment Ben Lomond is covered in snow and barely visible . I shot this video in HD yesterday . The video will be available as a mobile download . Loch Lomond National Park is the fourth largest national park in the British Isles, with a total area of 1,865 km² (720 mi²) and a boundary that is 350 km (220 miles) long. It includes 21 Munros (including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui, Beinn Challuim, Ben More and two peaks called Ben Vorlich), 20 Corbetts, two forest parks and 57 designated special nature conservation sites.

Starting from Balloch in the lowlands, this loch starts from remote lowland landscape, to mountainous, remote Highland landscape. Ben Lomond dominates the loch, at 3,191 ft (973 m). The West Highland Way starting from Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire goes up the eastern side of the loch all the way to Fort William. Green wooded islands stud the loch as the opening ones are the Highland Boundary Fault Line, where the Highlands meet the lowlands, that goes through Conic Hill near Balmaha. Luss and Tarbet (Loch Lomond) are two pleasure ride communities in Argyll.

The loch is the largest stretch of water in the UK. The loch is part of the Loch Lomond National Park

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Edinburgh Castle gets its one millionth visitor

Historic Scotland’s flagship attraction Edinburgh Castle is celebrating after welcoming its one millionth visitor through the door this year. No , they haven’t had one million visitors since January 1 . This is their financial year which ends in March .

Edinburgh Castle attracts 1.2 million visitors per year and despite the credit crunch the castle continues to attract visitors from around the world.

A £2.7 million visitor reception project was completed last year to improve visitor services and ensure visitors continue to enjoy world class service at this attraction.

Edinburgh Castle now has its own dedicated website.New markets have also been opening up – reflected by the recent introduction of souvenir guide books to the castle in Russian and Chinese.The one millionth visitors to the castle were couple, Britta Springstrow and Rene Woffeh from Germany.

Britta said they were delighted to be chosen, adding: “Edinburgh is such a beautiful place and the castle is stunning. It was really exciting to be chosen as the millionth visitor today as we were certainly not expecting it.”

Barbara Smith, Executive Manager at Edinburgh Castle, said: “The arrival of the millionth visitor is always a milestone. This year, it is particularly pleasing in the economic climate.

“The combination of iconic status, memorable image, unique treasures and a world class welcome make this a truly must-see attraction.”

There is still time to catch the special off-peak seasonal admission charges at the castle until the 28 February 2009 with adult tickets under £10.

 

The castle’s top 10 highlights

are:

1. The Crown Room and the Stone of Destiny – where the nations treasures are kept.

2. The Great Hall – which holds a fabulous display of arms and armour and the ‘key’ to the

Castle.

3. Royal Palace – rooms created in 1617 in honour of James VI.

4. St Margaret’s Chapel – the oldest building in Edinburgh, built to commemorate the mother

of David 1.

5. The Prisons of War – an atmospheric recreation of the life of prisoners at the end of the

18th Century.

6. Mons Meg – one of Europe’s oldest siege guns that fired stones weighing 150kg over

3.2k

7. The One O’Clock Gun – the famous time signal has been fired almost daily since 1861.

8. The Scottish National War Memorial – shrine to those who gave their lives in conflicts from World War 1 onwards.

9. A castle wedding . Wedding receptions can now be held in the castle

10. Panoramic views – across the capital, over the Firth of Forth and into Fife, which can be enjoyed from the castle’s walls.

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Snow falls in Scotland as winter sets in

A severe weather warning has been issued for eastern parts of Scotland as heavy snow moves across the country. Snow has been falling today , mainly in short showers just enough to disrupt traffic . There was traffic chaos in Falkirk as a 2 mile tailback developed from Laurieston to Brightons . The Met Office said that eastern Scotland, especially the Borders, Angus and Aberdeenshire would have up to 15cm (6in) of snow.Driving conditions in these areas will be hazardous on Tuesday morning. However snow should be confined to higher ground and conditions would ease later.

The west of Scotland should escape the worst of the icy blast, with snow probably turning to sleet and snow.

Scottish Borders Council said that all 74 schools in the region would be closed on Tuesday as a precaution. Snow falls in Scotland did not cause the disruption seen in London and the south of England on Monday. snow pictures

The picture is of Buachaille Etive Mor 43 , 19 by 13 inch giclee print . Paper size 19 by 13 inches , image size 16 by 12 inches. Photograph by David Rankin. Printed on Velvet Fine art paper , 100% cotton rag

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Scottish castles crumble under pressure of credit crunch

The National Trust for Scotland has revealed that it made a deficit of £3 million . It runs a number of well-known castles in Scotland including Culzean Castle and Falkland Palace . Culzean Castle is the Trust’s flagship property with over 200,000 vistors a year . The castle features top quality accommodation for a small number of visitors . The deficit means that the Trust is considering closing 12 of its 128 properties in Scotland . It is also looking at selling its headquarters building in Edinburgh’s New Town . Brodick Castle on Arran is not breaking even due to a slump in visitor numbers . Crathes castle in Aberdeenshire is also struggling .

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Olympic team design new Forth crossing

The Forth replacement crossing will be designed by the company responsible for the ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium at the Beijing Olympics 2008. Engineering firm Arup was also responsible for the world’s second longest spanning cable-stayed bridge, Stonecutter’s Bridge in Hong Kong.

Jacob was responsible for the design of the recently opened Clackmannanshire Bridge. Drivers using this bridge have complained about the lack of lights on the bridge at night .Public exhibitions for the Forth crossing are starting soon .
The Scottish government are meeting Treasury officials this month to try to work out the best way to finance this multi-million pound project . Transport Scotland is taking the Forth crossing exhibition to the public in exhibitions in 12 different venues .
Transport Scotland engineers and consultants from Jacobs Arup will be there to explain the work undertaken during 2008 to develop the strategy for the new crossing over the Forth .
The Forth Replacement Crossing strategy includes using the existing Forth Road Bridge for public transport vehicles only
The next step in the project is a Parliamentary Bill to be introduced towards the end of 2009.
John Howison, Forth crossing interim project director, said: “This is an exciting project and we and our world class consultants are delighted to be working on it to produce a lasting visual landmark for the Forth.”

“We have warmly welcomed the proposed ‘mono-tower’ design for the new bridge.”
The new bridge design is expected to have the longest central spans in the world for a multi-span cable-stayed bridge.
It will also be the only long span cable-stay bridge in the world to have central crossed cables. These provide enhanced stiffness to the bridge structure, minimising the size of the central tower and creating a slim, elegant appearance. The cables will run along the centre of the bridge.

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Eilean Donan Castle pictures

Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed castles in Scotland , if not the world . This is the story of the castle .

Eilean Donan means Island of Donan ( a religious figure from the 12 th century ).
Eilean Donan was the most important stronghold of Clan MacKenzie from the 13th Century .
In 1719 it was completely destroyed . Robert the Bruce was given refuge in Eilean Donan Castle by John MacKenzie, Second of Kintail when he was being hunted by the English at the begnning of the fourteenth century.

Above the entrance to the castle there is a Gaelic inscription which translates as : As long as there is a MacRae inside, there will never be a Fraser outside. Inside the courtyard is the famous Murchison Stone with an inscription about John Murchison of Auchtertyre who was killed in the Battle of Sherrifmuir in 1715. In the upper floor inside the castle there are six bedrooms named Loch Alsh,Loch Long, Eilean Donan, Ballimore, Loch Duich and Conchra. A panel shows the names of the constables ( guardians ) of the castle

Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.They acted as bodyguards to the MacKenzie chiefs.

In 1719 it was held by Spanish Jacobites.
Three English frigates sailed into Loch Duich and bombarded the castle with cannon fire .
There was a direct hit on the castle arsenal and it was left in ruins . The castle them lay totally uninhabited and in ruins for nearly 200 years . In 1911 John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the castle and start work to restore the castle over a period of twenty years at a total cost of a quarter of a million pounds. Local materials were extensively used.
The castle found fame when it was featured in the film Highlander and a James Bond movie. A shot shows Bond driving his car over the bridge from the castle .

Eilean Donan Castle is on an island in the middle of 3 lochs – Loch Alsh , Loch Long and Loch Duich

Due to a change in Scots law it is now possible to get married in a Scottish castle .
The castle is open most of the year and it is run by the Conchra Charitable Trust .
Eilean Donan Castle prints
castle videos
Eilean Donan