With high-stakes drama and lashings of sex and violence, Outlander has become a staple of escapist entertainment. Based on Diana Gabaldon’s wildly popular novels, the Starz series follows the adventures of ex-nurse Claire Randall as she travels between post-war America and eighteenth-century Scotland.
The tumultuous events of the Jacobite rebellion take Claire and her Scottish soulmate Jamie Fraser from the Highlands to France and even the New World. True to its subject matter, though, the majority of Outlander’s filming locations are in Scotland where you can find everything from stately homes to unspoiled glens and luscious woodland.
Here are just a few of the places that have formed the backdrop to Outlander’s most outrageous and thrilling scenes.
Outlander lovers will know Midhope Castle as Jamie Fraser’s house Lallybroch. This ruined castle in Abercorn, near South Queensferry, dates back to the 15th century. In the 17th century, it passed into the ownership of the Earls of Linlithgow, where it remains to this day. Midhope Castle is now part of the Hopetoun Estate, which is also a major filming location.
Scotland’s most spectacular stately home is a place of pilgrimage for Outlander fans. Designed at the turn of the 18th century by groundbreaking architect Sir William Bruce, Hopetoun is the seat of the Earls of Linlithgow. The Red Drawing Room served as the Duke of Sandringham’s home in season one, while two dramatic fight scenes were filmed on the west lawn and back stairs respectively. One of Hopetoun’s courtyards stands in for a Parisian street in season two.
The stark landscape of Glen Coe, in the Scottish Highlands, appears in the opening credits of every Outlander episode. Glen Coe has a special resonance in Scottish history as the site of a tragic massacre in the aftermath of the 1689 Jacobite rising when around thirty members of Clan MacDonald were slaughtered by government forces. The beauty of Glen Coe is popular with producers. You might know it from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Skyfall, Highlander or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
On the western bank of the Vltava River, right next to Prague’s famous Charles Bridge, Na Kampe will be familiar from Claire and Jamie’s Paris adventures in season two. Since Paris had a radical makeover under Napoleon III in the 19th century, Prague’s medieval beauty makes it a natural stand-in for the French capital. Na Kampe appears often as a street location in this season.
Just north-west of the Highland town of Pitlochry in Perthshire, Faskally Forest was created in the nineteenth century as a model woodland. It’s now maintained by the Scottish Forestry Commission. Faskally Forest is the location of the Mohawk village in Outlander season five.
At the eastern end of Loch Rannoch in Perth and Kinross is Kinloch Rannoch. This is the setting for the fictional Craigh na Dun, where Claire travels back to the past. While the village at Kinloch Rannoch was settled and expanded after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745, the area has been inhabited since the sixth century. The standing stones may be polystyrene props, but there’s nothing fake about the ancient feel of the place.