The TV series Outlander whisks you away to the romantic Scottish Highlands, into the wild and treacherous 17th century, and follows the love story between Jamie Fraser and English nurse Claire Randall. Visiting Outlander filming locations in Scotland is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the story, learn more about Scotland’s history, meet fellow fans and fall in love with this beautiful country. Where is Outlander filmed? Most of the Outlander filming took place in Scotland's central belt so if you are basing yourself in Edinburgh or Glasgow you are in the ideal place.
Outlander was a series of books before it ever became a TV series. The series of books by author Diana Gabaldon has its fair share of fans from all over the world. The first book, Outlander, or Cross stitch in the U.K., was released in 1991 and Gabaldon has since wrote another 7 books. The ninth, Go tell the bees that I’m gone, is due for release soon. There are also several short stories, novellas and graphic novels to accompany the main stories. The legions of book fans I have spoke to over the years have long known about the draw they feel to Scotland and the country has seen a large increase in tourism since the TV series began.
When the first season of Outlander, the TV series, was released in August 2014 these wonderful stories won over a whole new army of fans. Fans who visit the Outlander filming locations, who plan their trips to Scotland with a list of locations they want to see, who book Outlander tours with the many companies here that now offer them and who take away memories of Scotland they cherish and will never forget.
Scotland is a special country (I may be biased), Lonely Planet has just named it the most beautiful country in the world and I have to agree. If you have a nosy around my Scotland travel blog you’ll see why I love it so much and by exploring these filming locations I hope you begin to love it as much as I do.
You can visit the majority of the filming locations by basing yourself in Edinburgh and Glasgow and taking day trips to the locations. I would recommend hiring a car as this will make it far easier to go exactly where you want to go but it is possible to visit most by train or bus. If you don't want to hire a car buses and trains are regular, affordable and reliable. A great app to plan your journey beforehand, and while you are in Scotland is TravelLine Scotland.
Tucked away in what seems like the middle of nowhere Morton of Pitmilly is surrounded by acres of lush green fields and picturesque forest, with views of the sea never far away. You may feel like there is nothing around you, and I relished that feeling for I was in need of a little peace and quiet, but the site is actually perfectly placed between the wonderful town of St Andrews and the cute little villages of the East Neuk. The subtle signs at the end of the long and winding single track road which leads to Pitmilly don't give away the gem that awaits you when you arrive. The adorable stone building which houses the reception, the pantry and the original cottages were surrounded by beautiful flowers in full bloom when we arrived, which made for some pretty photos before we had even stepped inside.
The fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife have always been a favourite of mine in terms of places to visit, for a chippy tea at the famous Anstruther Fish Bar, to walk a section of the coastal path or to attend a festival, such as the Pittenweem Arts Festival. I’ve even spent the night there once or twice, but this week I stayed for 4 glorious nights, half way between Elie and St Monans, at the newly opened Catchpenny Safari Lodges. After a busy few weeks it was exactly what I needed, the opportunity to relax and forget about my hectic life for a few days. We were lucky enough to experience 4 of the hottest days of the year so far too so it was pretty fantastic.
Catchpenny Safari Lodges are luxury tents right on the edge of the Fife coastal path with awe inspiring views over the Firth of Forth. From the decking outside our tent we had clear views of the Bass Rock, the Isle of May, Berwick Law and Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. We fell asleep to the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore below and watched lobster and prawn boats collecting their catch in the morning. We lit the fire pit at night and toasted marshmallows and spent mornings on the beach with Crusoe. We ate giant meringues and fresh strawberries from Ardross Farm Shop, watched the beautiful pastel purples and pinks transform the sky at sunrise and read books by the light of our lanterns. It was a much needed and appreciated break.
Pittenweem is a charming village in Fife on the east coast of Scotland. The name comes from a combination of the Gaelic and Pictish words for 'place of the cave'. This pretty village is one of several along the Fife coast, collectively known as the East Neuk. There are many things to do in Pittenweem and the surrounding area so it really is an ideal place to stay for a short break, a relaxing weekend away or a wee romantic getaway. In this guide I'll show you what you can do here, how to get here, what the weather is like, where you can stay and where you can eat.
Edinburgh Zoo is a brilliant day out with the kids, it lets you get out of the city for a while, for a change of scenery and a break from shopping. The kids will thank you, they would mostly much prefer gazing at animals than clothes. If the kids love their animals as much as my daughter doe you can even splash out on a Keeper Experience at Edinburgh Zoo, you can read my review of our experience below. It's easy to get to, Lothian buses number 12, 26, and 31 can be boarded near both Waverley and Haymarket train stations as well as many stops in the city centre and there is a bus stop directly outside the zoo. Make sure if you visit to wear comfortable shoes, the zoo is on a hill side and can be steep in places. There is a small bus which takes you from the entrance to the top of the zoo, where you will find the zebras and then you can slowly make your way back down if you don't fancy walking up hill.
Edinburgh Zoo prices
It is slightly cheaper to buy your tickets online but they can be purchased on the door too (prices as of April 2019)
Adult £17.95 (online), £19.95 (on the door)
Child 3-15 £9.00 (online), £9.95 (on the door)
Child -3 Free
Concession £15.50 (online), £17.50 (on the door)
Car Park £4.00
Edinburgh Zoo tickets can be bought online here
When it comes to stunning places to visit, dominating mountains, mesmerising lochs and fascinating history, finding the best of Scotland is actually pretty easy, as there is so many places that are utterly gorgeous.
Scotland is a beautiful country, there is no denying that. I feel incredibly lucky that I have a Scotland d travel blog and I get to travel around Scotland, there are so many places where I have to stop the car, just to soak up the view. I never get anywhere fast, Taylor will confirm that, she appreciates how gorgeous Scotland is but gets slightly annoyed when I can't drive for more than 10 minutes without pulling over and taking photos. Living in Fife gives me pretty easy access to Edinburgh, Dundee and Perthshire and it's not too difficult to get over to the west coast or up into the Highlands.
Glencoe is one of my favourite places to go in Scotland, and I'm not the only one. What makes Glencoe so special is a combination of things. It's atmospheric, the mountains have an allure, a mystical pull that draws you in. It’s a magical place and you can’t help but feel it, surrounded by dominating mountains, with the fresh Highland air filling your lungs. I think the best time to capture Glencoe is when the weather is dull and drizzly, it makes them even more mystical and mysterious. If you are driving to Glencoe from the south don’t forget to stop off at Rannoch Moor (below) too.
Scotland has a wonderful range of accommodation available to choose from. There is everything from 5 star luxury hotels to cosy traditional cottages. I, though, can often be found looking for unusual places to stay in Scotland. I like to look for something quirky and unique, something with the wow factor, something you just can't find anywhere else. Sometimes it will seem relatively normal and it will be the outstanding location that makes the property stand out, being on the edge of a white sand beach or tucked away in a picturesque forest, sometimes it will have facilities and amenities that I've never experienced before, a handmade wood-fired hot tub or a rustic honesty shop with fresh food from the farm, sometimes it will be so pretty that I just can't bring myself to turn it down. I do enjoy being pampered but I'm just as happy to challenge myself without the basics if it means I get the opportunity to have a digital detox in a breathtaking location. Accommodation in Scotland varies greatly so wherever you fancy staying and however you fancy doing it you'll probably find what you're looking for here in Scotland. Just check out these bonnie wee places.
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Four Sister Boatel, Edinburgh
Moored in the Lochin Basin in Edinburgh Quay, this 4 star luxurious boat is certainly an unique place to stay. There is a full kitchen, 2 cabin bedrooms, a kids bunk room, a flat screen TV, free WiFi and a beautiful shower room. It’s a pretty special way to experience ‘city glamping’ and as you lay in bed, bobbing gently, you’ll feel a million miles away from the centre of Edinburgh. With a lovely little sun terrace to enjoy your breakfast as you watch the locals begin their day, or with a glass of wine in the evening after a delicious meals in one of the many nearby restaurants a stay here is a quirky alternative to a city hotel.
Planning your character dining at Disney doesn't need to be mind-boggling, but I completely understand why it can seem confusing. If you aren't sure which restaurant serves what, which characters are where, which parks the restaurants are in and how on earth you choose between them all then this blog will help make it clear. Disney World character dining is an amazing experience and the perfect opportunity to meet characters that you might struggle to find in the parks, or if you do it'll likely mean a long wait, time that you could be spending on rides or watching parades.
Find out -
Where the restaurants are (park/hotel)
Which characters you'll see
What food is served
How much money/dining credits it costs
It is recommended that you book your character dining in advance, 180 days in advance if you are staying on-site. This is especially important if you want to book Cinderella's Royal Table or if you have your heart set on meeting a particular character. Plus, booking in advance is great fun, booking day is something we look forward to it and we always make a big fuss, gathering everyone around the table with our list, it's another exciting stage of the vacation planning.
This complete guide to Disney World Character Dining will make the process a whole lot easier so you can make the best decision for you and your family.
In the parks
The Highland villages of Dunkeld and Birnam, which are neighbouring villages in the heart of Perthshire, are charming places to stop and explore, or you can stay here and use them as a base to discover the rest of beautiful Perthshire. There are so many lovely things to do in Dunkeld, Birnam and the surrounding area that it’s the perfect spot to spend a few days, eating in the fantastic cafes, doing some shopping in the wide range of independent shops, and taking strolls down by the river.
The two villages are situated on either side of the River Tay and are connected by a picturesque bridge which was built in 1809 by Thomas Telford. Thomas Telford not only designed a huge amount of bridges all over the U.K. but also constructed the Caledonian Canal. The villages are around 15 miles north of Perth, just off the main A9 road into the Highlands.
This village guide will tell you everything you need to know if you want to visit Dunkeld and Birnam so you can make the most of your trip. Find the best things to do in Dunkeld, Scotland, a little bit of history, what the village is like today, how to get there, Dunkeld weather, the best restaurants, cafes and shops and places to stay.
If you've been doing research about Scotland you'll have no doubt heard about the notorious wee beastie that goes by the name of "Midge". Conversation usually goes something like "those BLOODY midges were everywhere!" Or "I've been eaten ALIVE!!". You may not recognise the name Scottish Midge , they are also known as "no see ums" in the states (which I think is a pretty excellent and appropriate name for the little swines), sand flies in Australia, gnats and punkies. Whichever name you call them there is no denying they are a bit of a nightmare. Here you'll find out everything you need to know and how to how to get rid of midges.
For those unprepared they can indeed be a complete pain and can easily ruin your holiday but fear not, a few simple rules and some good midge repellent should make your trip to Scotland beastie free and let your enjoy your trip without the need to turn into a mad man/woman, swinging tennis bats/hand bags/frying pans around your head like you are doing the time warp.
What is a midge?
The Scottish midge is a teeny wee flying insect with a wing-span of 2-3 mm. There are actually over 35 species of biting midge in Scotland but it's the ferocious Highland midge that causes the most problems. With wings that flap 1000 times a second they have the highest wing speed of all animals worldwide and if you unfortunate enough to encounter a swarm of them they can deliver 3000 midge bites in an hour. That's the scary facts but you'll be pleased to know that only half of the midge population will bite, the males are quite content to munch on flowers. The females reach adulthood with enough eggs for one batch of eggs, after this, if she decides to have more, she needs blood so it's then that the little madams decide to feed on us.
Just a quick note as people are often confused. Midges are not mosquitoes, the are a much smaller version. You are unlikely to ever see a mosquito in Scotland.