Popular film location closes until 2021

A Scottish castle made internationally famous through the hit TV show Outlander has revealed it will remain closed until 2021.

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 Sam Heughan.

Despite its popularity with tourists, the a 16th-century tower house has not escaped the impact of Covid and is to remain shut until next 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.

A post on the Hopetoun Estate Facebook read: “It is with regret that in light of updated Scottish Government advice regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have taken the decision to close Midhope Castle for 2020.

“We thank you for your support and visits to the castle.”

Plans were also recently unveiled that could see a new whisky distillery built at the site of the castle.

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.

Outlander film locations tour Scotland

The TV series Outlander has been a huge international success , based on the best selling novels by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander was filmed in a number of locations in castles and towns in  Scotland. On this Outlander private tour we visit various locations used for filming the hit series Outlander.

Tours start at 9.30 am . Our private group tours take up to 4 people to three Outlander filming locations.

Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre or the airport . Other pickup points can be arranged , subject to an additional fee .

Itinerary

 

The first location on this Outlander tour is the historic town of Falkland. The town is the setting for episode one where Frank and Claire Randall come to Scotland on holiday. Falkland Palace is a historic building and shops and  features can be recognised , including the town square fountain where Frank encounters Jamie’s ghost watching Claire through the window.

 

Doune Castle 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.

blackness castle , outlander tour

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists.

The castle is long and narrow because of the shape of the rock on which it is situated and it is sometimes called ‘ the ship that never sailed ‘ . It guards the bay at Blackness and is only a few miles from Linlithgow Palace . The first castle was built in the middle of the 15th century by Sir George Crichton , Earl of Caithness , a member of one of the most powerful families in Scotland . King James II acquired Blackness in 1453 when he annexed the lands of the Crichtons . From then on the castle was mainly used as a prison . In 1543 Cardinal Beaton was held here for a month . Rebuilding started in the 1530s under the direction of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart who also worked at Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . He was instructed to make the castle safe from artillery , and he achieved this by making the south and east walls very thick . A new tower was built at the south end . In the 1560s , in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots , a Spur was built to protect the main gate . In the 1870s the castle was the main ammunition depot for Scotland .The Castle is a popular location for historical re-enactments and has changed little in 600 years . Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Hamlet has scenes filmed at Blackness Castle and Dunnottar Castle.
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Paul Scofield, Alan Bates, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter, John McEnery

The tour spends an hour at each location .

  • Travel by luxury car
  • Small private group tour with a maximum of 4 people

Tour costs – £200 for up to 4 people