Tour of four ancient Scottish castles

Four ancient Scottish castles feature in this tour – Drummond Castle and Gardens , Stirling Castle , Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace

1 Drummond Castle and Gardens

Drummond Castle and Gardens – the grounds, which date back to 1630, are considered “the best example of formal terraced gardens in Scotland”. The castle was used as the Palace of Versailles in an episode of TV drama Outlander.

Drummond Castle Gardens, which are protected as a category A listed building — in contrast to the B listed castle — already attract thousands of visitors per year, and are included on the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.The gardens — complete with peacocks — feature ancient yew hedges and the remaining beech tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1842.But the grounds — which also featured in 1995 feature film Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson — could now see a huge boost in tourist numbers thanks to the so-called “Outlander effect”.

2

Doune Castle

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in Outlander TV series .

It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip. Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.

doune castle,  outlander tours

 

 

3

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander .

Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.

Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

 

4 Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle is one of Scotland’s most impressive castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture.

From Stirling Castle’s ramparts, visitors can take in views of the Forth Valley and Ben Lomond , as well as two of Scotland’s most important battle sites – Stirling Bridge (1297) and Bannockburn (1314). The castle is at the head of Stirling’s historic old town.Like Edinburgh Castle , Stirling sits on a volcanic rock dominating the city skyline .

stirling castle tours

Stirling Castle is not only one of Scotland’s grandest and most imposing castles, it was also a real favourite with Scotland’s kings and queens. And their investment in it demonstrated just how much they loved to use it, as well as their desire to ensure it both impressed all who visited it, and represented a statement of their power and wealth. James IV created the Great Hall, the largest medieval banqueting hall ever built in Scotland, and James V’s Royal Palace, with its lavishly decorated Renaissance façades, was a masterpiece of the period.

Major conservation work has been carried out at Stirling Castle over many years to preserve the attraction as a major national and international monument. The refurbishment of the Great Hall was completed a couple of years ago . A particular feature of the Great Hall is stained glass windows featuring clan crests . A number of banquets and concerts are held in the Hall throughout the year .

Outlander tour of 5 Scottish castles

The Outlander TV series continues to be a smash hit in the UK and America .  Five Scottish castles in particular feature heavily in the story lines – Midhope Castle ( Lallybroch ) , Doune Castle ( Castle Leoch ) , Linlithgow Palace  (Wentworth Prison ) , Aberdour Castle ( Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery ) and Blackness Castle ( Fort William army headquarters ) .

1  Midhope Castle – Lallybroch
Those seeking a glimpse of the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser won’t find the real Lallybroch deep in the Highlands.
Scenes were shot at Midhope Castle on the fringes of the Hopetoun Estate near South Queensferry.
Midhope was built in the 15th Century and was built by John Martyne, laird of Medhope. It was rebuilt in the mid 1600s and remains much the same today.
Visitors are asked to admire Midhope from a distance as the interior remains largely derelict.

Midhope Castle is the external location for fictional Lallybroch, the family home of character Jamie Fraser , and it is located on the Hopetoun Estate .  Midhope Castle dates back to the 15th Century and although the exterior is relatively intact the castle is derelict inside. Midhope Castle tours can be booked on

Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Freephone 0800-6190575

on  or online .

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Doune Castle – Castle Leoch

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan.
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

doune castle, outlander tours

 

 

3
Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal pleasure palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the show.
Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.
Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

 

 

 

 

4 Aberdour Castle – Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery

aberdour castle tours
Aberdour castle tours

The Kingdom of Fife posed as the north of France in Season One when Aberdour – possibly Scotland’s oldest standing castle, was depicted as The Abbey of Ste. Anne de Beaupré.
The fictional Benedictine monastery is where Jamie Fraser was taken to recover from his ordeal at Wentworth Prison.  Happily, one of his six uncles was an abbot there.
The Old Kitchen and Long Gallery at Aberdour, in the village of Easter Aberdour, feature in the show.
The original hall house of Aberdour was built around 1200 by Alan de Mortimer with the castle largely the creation of the Douglas Earls of Morton, who held Aberdour from the 14th century.

5
Blackness Castle – Fort William army headquarters

outlander , blackness castleOne of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds, Blackness Castle near Linlithgow was used as the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall.
The 15th-century ex-artillery fortress overlooks the Firth of Forth and is known as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.
It was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons.

 

Outlander tour of 5 Scottish castles

  • 2 passengers £260
  • 3 passengers £280
  • 4 passengers £300

Entrance tickets, food and refreshments are not included . One day passes are available from Historic Environment Scotland for Doune , Blackness and Linlithgow.

Outlander tours  – Outlander photo gifts

Eilean Donan Castle inspires Pixar’s Brave

Eilean Donan Castle inspires Pixar's Brave

[ecard]
Pixar’s new blockbuster Brave film is set in Scotland and has been inspired by a number of Scottish castles, mainly Eilean Donan Castle and Dunnottar Castle. The film has made $66.7m (£42.8m) in its opening weekend, knocking Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted off the top spot. Brave is the first Disney Pixar animation with a female protagonist. Brave, which will close the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this week, is the the 13th consecutive Pixar release to open at number one. “Their track record is just unbelievable,” said Paul Dergarabedian, analyst for box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
“The Pixar brand just carries so much weight with the audience. It doesn’t matter almost what the story is about if it has the Pixar name.”
Brave’s heroine, who rebels against her family’s plans for her to marry, is voiced by Kelly Macdonald, of Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire fame.She was born and bred in Scotland , as were most of the cast, which includes Robbie Coltrane, comedian and now chat show host Craig Ferguson and Macdonald’s Trainspotting co-star Kevin McKidd, better known to American audiences for his role in Grey’s Anatomy.
Send ecards of Eilean Donan Castle .

Eilean Donan Castle inspiration

Eilean Donan has inspired many artists and photographers down the years. Images of the castle have featured in countless calendars and postcards. It is one of my favourite castles in Scotland because of the huge potential it offers throughout most of the year.


VisitScotland marketing campaign

VisitScotland found out that Mel Gibson’s film Braveheart in 1995 brought a whole flood of visitors to Scotland , mainly from America.They have decided to try and capitalise on Brave to promote Scotland and bring a whole new generation of visitors to Scotland.
VisitScotland has launched its biggest ever global marketing campaign, working alongside Disney Pixar to reach millions of potential visitors across the world. The campaign will showcase every corner of Scotland through a new TV and cinema advert, a new website and extensive marketing and events activity in countries ranging from the US and UK to France and Germany. The TV and cinema campaign will reach around 80 million people in the UK and abroad and is expected to boost the Scottish economy by around £140m.
The campaign will see the airing of VisitScotland’s first TV advert in North America for ten years – thanks to a major funding boost by the Scottish Government. The timing of the campaign is crucial, with this market showing encouraging signs of recovery. The number of American visitors increased by 15% last year and it is Scotland’s biggest overseas market, with more than 400,000 visitors spending £311m every year.
UK audiences will also be treated to the new advert in cinemas and TV in a special UK version which will launch when the film opens in August.
The new 30-second advert, which is voiced by the BBC’s historian and presenter Neil Oliver, will be broadcast on some of the world’s largest networks and in cinemas before the film, taking creative inspiration from the theme “Scotland. Where legends come to life.”

First Minister Alex Salmond attends Brave premiere

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond has done his bit to promote VisitScotland’s marketing campaign with his attendance at the film premiere and a raft of press interviews.