The Outlander Film Trail – Stone circles, Kilts and Corsets!

If you have been hiding under a rock (or mystical stone) you may not know about the bestselling Outlander book series by Diana Gabaldon, now an award-winning television series filmed right here in the Highlands. The books follow Claire, a brave and headstrong woman who finds herself drawn to a mysterious stone circle in the Highlands and magically transported from 1945 to 18th Century Scotland. Surrounded by battling ‘Red Coats’ she is rescued by Jamie, one of the Highlanders, and finds herself thrown into their world.

Jamie and Claire’s lives are bound together by one touch of a mystical stone. There is passion, love, war, betrayal, but can their love bridge the gap between the past and the future? There is still so much to find out in the second series.

A lot of the sets and scenes were built or filmed here in the Highlands, so why not spend some time at Strathallan Guest House and explore some of these amazing places.

The Highland Folk Museum is free to enter and is an open-air museum showcasing some of the dwellings of past Highland folk. It was used to film a lot of the external scenes of the outlander series and you can learn a lot about how Highlander communities lived and built their homes here.

Culloden Battlefield is possibly one of the most important areas in the Highlands. Visit this stunning museum to get a real sense of the build-up of the battle between the Red Coats and the Highlanders. You can get a real feel of what it was like at the time as the Highlander community prepared to battle the English. The Outlander series is set in the build up to the battle of Culloden and an interactive walk around the battlefield is a poignant reminder of the massive loss of life and the sacrifice made by those brave men.

Mystical Stones – The centre of the Outlander story has to be the standing stones. They may not transport you to the past like Claire, but being near these mystical relics can give you a real feel of past Highland communities.

  • Suenso’s Stone in Forres is more than 6m high, this is Scotland’s tallest sculpted standing stone. Carvings include rare battle scenes, suggesting it marks a 10th century Pictish victory.
  • Aviemore Ring Cairn and Stone Circle (about 2400-2200 BC) originally consisted of a rubble bank, flanked by kerbs both inside and out and surrounded by a ring of standing stones. It was probably built about 4000 years ago by farmers and herdsmen, and may have had cremated human bones placed in it.
  • Clava Cairns can be found just outside of Inverness and is a fantastic example of the distant history of Highland Scotland, dating back about 4,000 years.The cemetery was used in two periods. At around 2000 BC a row of large cairns was built, three of which can still be seen today. A thousand years later the cemetery was reused and new burials were placed in some of the existing cairns and three smaller monuments were built including a ‘kerb cairn’.

So why not re-live the story of Outlander and the characters and enjoy a visit to these amazing locations while you stay with us. These mysterious places will make you feel like you have travelled back in time and, as the series slogan says, ‘What if your future was your past?’.

(Image is owned by Sony Pictures Ltd, characters by Diana Gabaldon. TV series produced originally for the Starz Network. No copyright infringment intended.)