Popular Outlander film location reopens

A Scottish castle made internationally famous through the hit TV show Outlander has reopened after closing its doors during the pandemic .

Midhope Castle in South Queensferry, on the edge of the private Hopetoun Estate, is best known by Outlander fans as the ancestral home Jamie Fraser , played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan , who was recently touted as the next James Bond .

Despite its popularity with tourists, the a 16th-century tower house did not escaped the impact of Covid and closed to visitors last year .

The historic site was used as an exterior film setting during both season one and two of the show, used to represent Outlander’s Broch Tuarach.

Plans were recently unveiled that could see the refurbishment of the castle with visitor rooms and the development of a new whisky distillery built near the castle. Outlander whisky anyone ?

the Kelpies double take

the Kelpies double take

Two Kelpies have just become  four ! The 2 original Kelpies have now been joined by 2 new friends, the maquettes that have travelled the world to share the unique story of the Kelpies .

Nowadays they are the jewel in the crown of the Helix Park with over 2 million visitors in five years .

    The Kelpies are a tribute to the Clydesdale horses that used to pull barges along the canals in Scotland in the 19th century.

Each one is a hundred feet high and constructed from 300 tonnes of steel .  

A metal framework provided the basis for each horse and hundreds of plates , each one a unique design , were then welded onto the structure .

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Doune Castle – Winterfell

Doune Castle has been renamed Winterfell in honour of the Game of Thrones series which has just come to an end.

Doune 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.
great hall ,doune , outlander

The Great Hall is 20 metres by 8 metres , and 12 metres high to its timber roof, again a 19th-century replacement.The hall has no fireplace, and was presumably heated by a central fire, and ventilated by means of a louvre like the one in the modern roof. No details of the original roof construction are known, however, and the restoration is conjectural.Large windows light the hall, and stairs lead down to the three cellars on ground level.

The hall is accessed from the courtyard via a stair up to a triangular lobby, which in turn links the hall and kitchens by means of two large serving hatches with elliptical arches, unusual for this period. The kitchen tower, virtually a tower house in its own right, is 17 metres (56 ft) by 8 metres (26 ft). The vaulted kitchen is on the hall level, above a cellar. One of the best-appointed castle kitchens in Scotland of its date, it has an oven and a 5.5-metre (18 ft) wide fireplace. A stair turret, added in 1581 and possibly replacing a timber stair, leads up from the lobby to two storeys of guest rooms. These include the “Royal Apartments”, a suite of two bedrooms plus an audience chamber, suitable for royal visitors.

Doune Castle has featured in several literary works, including the 17th-century ballad, “The Bonny Earl of Murray”, which relates the murder of James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray, by the Earl of Huntly, in 1592. In Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, Waverley (1814), the protagonist Edward Waverley is brought to Doune Castle by the Jacobites. Scott’s romantic novel describes the “gloomy yet picturesque structure”, with its “half-ruined turrets”.

doune castle , outlander

The castle was used as a location in MGM’s 1952 historical film Ivanhoe which featured Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. The BBC adaptation of “Ivanhoe” in 1996 also featured Doune as a location. The castle was used as the set for Winterfell in the TV series Game of Thrones (2011–present), an adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R. R. Martin. The castle was used as a stand-in for the fictional “Leoch Castle” in the TV adaption of the Outlander series of novels.