The Diana Gabaldon Trail
The 'Outlander' TV series has taken North America by storm! This itinerary takes you to the principal places featured in the books and many of the film locations.
Please note that this is a self-guided tour. If you would be interested in a guided tour, then click here.
We suggest two nights in Edinburgh at the start. This gives you time to recover, adjust and see the main sights. You probably won’t want to embark on Edinburgh Castle on the day you arrive, but instead take an open top bus tour of the city and then make your way to the ‘Royal Mile’ on the look-out for burnt out print shops, Moubray's Tavern (which you won't find) and the World's End (which you will), along with the Canongate Kirk and Carubbers Close. We provide you with a short 'Guide to the Royal Mile for Outlander Fans'. At night, there are several excellent (and rather unsettling!) tours of the nether parts of Old Edinburgh. We have assumed a four star hotel close to The Royal Mile.
On Day Two you see the castle where there are excellent audio guides (allow at least two hours). Then either head down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse or explore some of Edinburgh’s (18th century) ‘New Town’ including the Georgian House in Charlotte Square.
Fife and Perthshire
Pick up your rental car on Day Three and navigate to impressive Craigmillar Castle (Ardsmuir in Season Three). Then, after admiring the Forth Bridges from South Queensferry, cross the road bridge and head along the Fife Coastal Route to Dysart (barely recognisable as Le Havre) and up to Falkland, easily recognisable as Inverness 1940s and 1740s. After lunch at ‘Mrs Baird’s B&B’, head across to Gleneagles, Tullibardine Kirk (where Claire gave herself up after the Battle of Falkirk) and Drummond Castle Gardens (Versailles). Night in Crieff.
On Day Four you head up by Aberfeldy and General Wade’s famous bridge to Loch Tummel, the arterial A9 and a look at the House of Bruar. Then, after the long Drumochter Pass, divert to Newtonmore and the Highland Folk Museum (rent gathering scenes).
We suggest that you now have two nights at a four star B&B in Inverness. Next morning you will no doubt want to see Culloden Battlefield and enjoy the visitor attraction, complete with a 'total immersion' experience. Then wander out through the echoes of the Battlefield and visit the Fraser stone by the grave where they lie.
Clan Fraser Stone
A short way from Culloden are the Clava Cairns - a peaceful place by the river where three bronze age graves are surrounded by circles of standing stones, one of which is split in two. In the afternoon, we suggest a visit to Wardlaw and the Fraser mausoleum. Then to Beauly, a neat town with traditional shops, close by the ruined 13th century Priory where Claire met the prophetess.
We are now on Day Six and you head down the Great Glen, passing Urquhart Castle by Loch Ness, and head across to the west coast. Divert at Shiel Bridge over the steep and twisty Mam Rattigan Pass to Glenelg (wonderful views) and see the best remaining brochs on the mainland. After lunch at the excellent Glenelg Inn, take the small turntable ferry to Skye for a night. If you have made good time you can re-cross to the mainland on the bridge and see super-picturesque Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle
Day Seven. Take the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig, then by Loch nan Uamh (where Bonnie Prince Charlie both arrived in Scotland in July 1745 and left for France in September 1746) and Glenfinnan (where he raised his standard on 19 August 1745). From there, your road is by Fort William (only a piece of wall remains of the old fort) and Ballachulish to Glencoe. Even before the Massacre of the Glencoe MacDonalds, this must have been a dark and threatening place, but with the knowledge of events in February 1692, it's bleak indeed.
In contrast, Rannoch Moor is stunningly beautiful with shimmering pools of uncertain depth and incurably wild in all seasons. The road then winds close to the Falls of Dochart and down to Callander and Doune Castle (Castle Leoch). Night in Stirling area.
On Day Eight, committed Outlander fans will take the train to Glasgow (don’t try driving) and use the hop-on hop-off bus to see Glasgow Cathedral (L’Hôpital des Anges) Glasgow West End (Boston in Season Three) and George Square (Claire and Frank’s wedding).
Others may prefer to see Stirling Castle where the infant Mary Queen of Scots was crowned (Don’t miss the actors in the Renaissance Palace) and then perhaps the National Wallace Monument.
On the last day some iconic film locations… Blackness Castle (Fort William), Linlithgow Palace (Wentworth) and Culross (Cranesmuir and other places), also the nearby ‘Black Kirk’ . Stay at a hotel by the airport.