Category Archives: Travel – Scotland

Outlander/Scotland trip part 5

Day 8 started with my dropping Katie off at the airport and I headed back up to Linlithgow to spend some time on what happened to be the most gorgeous day of the trip.

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After a few hours on my lonesome, I met up with my Glasglow friend Eilidh to spend the rest of my time!

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We took a Glasgow tour bus and saw so much fun stuff! We stopped for tea at the highly promoted Willow Tea Rooms, where I discovered the wonder that is the EMPIRE BISCUIT. My still my heart I am still thinking about them.

We also stopped at the park that Claire ran from the British in the Outlander premiere, and admired some Highland COOS. The most amazing cows there ever will be.

Day 9 – Eilidh took me out to Loch Lomond with her kids. It was such a lovely day hanging out with a local and getting to see some additional sights.

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After that I headed back to my hotel in Edinburgh to prepare for my flight the next morning.

I may not be in Scotland anymore but a part of my heart will always remain there. Until I return I’ll carry these memories, and cherish the wonderful times I had there.

 

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Outlander/Scotland trip Part 4

Day 7 here we come!

A few more Outlander filming locations to visit.

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Our first stop on our way down from Inverness and back to Edinburgh was to stop at the Highland Folk Museum. It’s another Outlander filming location and may look familiar here:

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Photo credit Outlander Starz Instagram.

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Next stop was Falkland. Even if this wasn’t an Outlander filming location I’d still want to visit it! Talk about the most quaint, lovely little place. It’s what’s being used as Inverness in the show. The building with the black is Mrs. Bairds house, and you may see a ghost looking up into that window on the side… You can see a ton of pictures from the Falkland filming here.

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Last on the Outlander filming stops is Culross. It sounds like it’s going to be the town of Crainesmuir. This is probably where the ear nailing (sorry, spoiler!) and some Geillis scenes will be, as she’s supposed to live here. The buildings are usually white but were painted grey to be more accurate to the time period. It will be very interesting to see this place in the show. Some shots from filming can be seen here.

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When we finally made it back to Edinburgh, because we weren’t tired enough or anything, we decided to hike Arthur’s Seat. Which, BTW, is more like CLIMB Arthur’s seat. And for the love of GOD don’t let the locals talk you into thinking it will take you 30 minutes to climb either. This thing is steep and not easy to get up. The views are stunning and we are glad we did it. But maybe we wont try it at 9PM the day before Katie leaves again!

Part 5 is Heather solo, as here Katie heads back home and I press on!

 

Outlander/Scotland trip Part 3

It’s day 5 for us and we start bright and early to head to one of the places we are most excited and anxious about visiting. It’s the Culloden battlefield.

I think everyone has it in their minds how they’ll feel when they get there. I’m not sure everyone leaves feeling the way they thought they would.

When you enter the visitor center, you are weaved throughout multiple accounts of the Jacobite rebellion leading up the battle. One side is of the British, and the other of the Scottish. At the height of tension, you walk into a big room with giant movie screens on all sides, and a reenactment of the day is being played on those screens, with different angles on each one. 5 minutes in that room will probably leave you crying, overwhelmed, or at the very least with your heart pounding in your chest. I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to these things, and I just wanted to weep. To those of us that have read Outlander, Culloden is deeply important to how we feel about the Scottish. It’s was essentially a slaughter of them, and changed the face of Scottish culture from there on.

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I think it’s sufficient to say that Katie and I will be forever changed by Culloden, and what was lost there.

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Next up we went to the Clava Cairns, and we gave it the old college try on time traveling. The cleft stone is where Diana Gabaldon took her own picture…

Alas it is safe to say, we did not get transported to the 18th century.

I don’t know what it is, but standing stones have always intrigued me. I’ve climbed over fences to get to them, through fields of scared sheep. I just need to be close to them and touch them, and know their story, their history. Maybe it is because we still know so little about them that makes them so alluring. It’s probably that allure that led our heroin Claire to them in the first place.

Not pictured but worth a note is that Leakey’s Bookshop in Inverness is a must see if you are a book lover.

Day 6 we visit Beauly Priory and go on our Highland riding adventure!

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Beauly Priory is another place Outlander fans would love to see. This is in the heart of the Fraser lands and a ton of them are buried here. Besides that it’s just a stunning building and really lovely to see.

We had the most amazing ride with Highland’s Unbridled. Besides getting a guide that was an Outlander fan, we had lovely horses and got to see so much diverse scenery in just 2 short hours. We started along the beach, where seals were out sunning themselves, passed by countless sheep and cows, who paid us no mind. We saw a castle and rode right past it’s grounds, and we were able to trot and canter around the countryside without a care in the world. It was AMAZING.

After that long day it was time to settle in with my first Irn Bru! A delicious drink that apparently is good for hangovers. Not sure about that, but it certainly soothed my exhausted soul and boosted my blood sugar! 🙂

Part 4 to come…

 

Outlander/Scotland trip Part 2

It’s day 3 in our journey of Scotland and after waking up in a lovely place in Glasgow, we head west past Loch Lomond (with my singing the song beautifully and to the admiration of my companion).

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Another long day planned, but we first had to drive through the amazing countryside of Glencoe. Where all travelers hearts are stolen and only a trip back can restore those hearts to their owners.

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We also stopped at the Glenfinnan Viaduct (for all you Harry Potter fans) and the Bonnie Prince Charlie monument which is right across the street.

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This is close to where we boarded our ferry to take us to Skye…

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Of all the places in the world, Skye may be the place you’ll finally hear the “old ones”, the fairies. We did the big loop around the top of Skye, seeing the Old Man of Storr, the Kilt Rock, Flora MacDonald’s Monument/Grave, Fairy Glen, and finally the Sornaichean Coir’ Fhinn Standing Stones. Skye has so much to offer, that the only regret you’ll have when you leave is that you didn’t stay longer. There are some hidden gems, like Fairy Glen, that take you far off the beaten path. But when you hear that fairy’s whistle, you’ll know you’ve been touched by the Old One’s, and the journey will have been worth it.

Day 4 took us out of Skye and on to Eilean Donan Castle and Inverness.

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Eilean Donan is iconically Scotland. It’s easy to photograph and easy on the eyes. It’s massive structure sticks out in the water, and it dares you not to be awed. They also do a great job inside of telling you the history of the place, and there are lots of things to discover as you wander around. They didn’t let us take pictures in one room, but they have artifacts of the Jacobite rebellion, and some of what is claimed to be Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair.

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Katie and I had a little fun Urquhart castle, which sits right along Loch Ness. You never know when you may see Nessie…

The castle itself is 500 years old and huge. It’s still standing after all this time and it’s history is bloody.

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After a long day we finally make it to Inverness, where we promptly find a Jame Fraser grave. Katie has some mushy peas and we await more adventures.

Part 3 to come…

Outlander/Scotland trip of a lifetime Part 1

About ten years ago when my best friend Katie gave me Outlander, I joked that we should go to Scotland for my 30th birthday. I never really thought we’d make it there together, especially since as the years passed we both got married, I acquired animals and Katie had a child.

There are things in life that just must be done, and somehow Katie and I both committed to making this trip happen, and we did.

On June 23rd of this year, we embarked on what we will forever call our trip of a lifetime. Two besties exploring Scotland together.

Since the filming started, we knew of several locations we wanted to visit, as well as just general, amazing Scottish scenery, so it’s all mixed together. Here are a few photos from our trip.

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Two girls, ready for Scotland. With pocket Jamie’s.

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Our first leg was in Edinburgh and we only had the tail end of a day to see it. It’s kind of a blur, since you know, we’d been up for over 30 hours and really just wanted sleep. But when in Scotland, you stay up and see everything you can! We took a bus to Edinburgh castle, walked the Royal Mile, and had dinner at The World’s End.

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Day 2 was pretty epic in terms of Outlander filming locations. We started by visiting Midhope Castle , a 16th century house that is used as Lallybroch for the purposes of the show. It’s a lovely house and a perfect backdrop for Lallybroch. You can just imagine the redcoats barging in and all that comes next…

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We then went to visit the Kelpies! These amazing structures did our horse loving hearts good. They are so fantastic to see up close.

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We then went to Blackness Castle, which serves as Fort William in Outlander. After a chat with the caretaker of the place, we learned where several scenes were filmed including a famous whipping scene involving Jamie and Black Jack Randall. It’s an impressive structure and walking around the inside is treacherous but so worth it.

 

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The caretaker also told us that Linlithgow palace was worth a look. And thus Linlithgow became one of our favorite spots. I get to go inside later in the trip. But the grounds are lush and gorgeous and if there is one town I would want to live in – it’s Linlithgow. Absolutely lovely place.

 

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The final stop on this day was to Doune Castle, which is Castle Leoch in Outlander. By this time it was drizzling but nothing could dampen our spirits. Claire and Frank visit the Castle and Claire is brought here by the Scottish when she falls back in time. It’s a perfect location for Castle Leoch and it’s such an interesting castle as well. Just imagine that when filming, all out front was tons of mud and little makeshift structures to make it look more village like. Pretty Incredible.

Part 2 to come…