8. 4-Day Outlander Trail From Edinburgh
Leave Edinburgh and begin following the trail of the best-known film locations featured in the Outlander TV Series. Your first stop is the charming village of Culross. You continue to the small town of Falkland to relive the first scenes of the show, where Falkland substitutes for 1940s Inverness. In the early afternoon you stop at the Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, which houses replicas of 18th century turf-roofed Highland crofts. These were used as a setting in the first episode of the show. You then pass Aviemore, where you may recognise the stunning hilly and wooded area of Tulloch Ghru. You arrive in Inverness later that afternoon, which will be your base for the next two nights.
Day 2 starts by visiting Culloden, which plays an important role in Scottish history and the Outlander books. It’s at the Culloden Battlefield where Claire and Jamie said their tearful goodbyes, before Jamie joined the Jacobite army to fight for the Stuarts. You have the opportunity to explore the visitor center and site, and pay tribute to those who lost their lives at the last battle fought on British soil. You then take a short drive to the ancient standing stones at Clava Cairns. After lunch, head continue to Castle Leod, “home of the Clan MacKenzie”, where you can enjoy a relaxing walk. The castle resembles the way that Diana Gabaldon described Castle Leoch, though she had never heard of this building prior to writing Outlander.
A short drive takes you to Beauly, the site of Beauly Priory and the tomb of Lord Lovat in the heart of Clan Fraser lands. Beauly priory is a beautiful 13th-century ruin and where the Lovat Frasers are buried in Diana Gabaldon’s book. In the afternoon, you can sample ‘The Water of Life’ with a whisky distillery tour and tasting. Afterwards, return to Inverness with time to explore the town and enjoy the city for another evening.
Day 3 starts with a visit to the majestic Glen Affric. Lochs, mountains and pine forests: this is one of Scotland’s most glorious glens. You then continue along the entire length of Loch Ness and through the Great Glen before heading to Glenfinnan. It stands framed by typically spectacular Highland scenery and bedside a section of the Jacobite Steam Train railway line famously used as the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter. Your overnight stop is in Fort William underneath the shadow of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis.
Day 4 begins with a magnificent drive through Glencoe, across the rugged Trossachs area onto Doune Castle. The castle is an extensive ruin that represents Castle Leoch in the TV program. Later, you have a photo stop at Blackness Castle on the banks of the Firth of Forth. This was used as the set for Fort William in the show and appears in many other movies because of its beautiful setting and thickly fortified walls. After your medieval adventure, you'll return to Edinburgh in the early evening.