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An Outlander Adventure

  • Scotland
  • OVERVIEW
  • ITINERARY
  • HIGHLIGHTS


An Outlander Adventure

Nine Days

With Series 4 set to be released later this year, we take you on a journey through Scotland discovering some of the secrets of Diana Gabaldon’s international phenomenon, Outlander.  This programme unearths the heritage and history of the country which inspired her to write the tale of Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall and prompted the hugely acclaimed TV series to be filmed here.

 See for yourself the landmarks where Scotland’s future was decided – in historic castles and on bloody battlefields.  Scotland takes a starring role in this journey, from the wilderness of the Highlands to the majesty of the capital city, passing ruined castles, mysterious lochs and eerie glens as you follow in the footsteps of the time-crossed lovers.

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HOLIDAY ITINERARY



Day One: Arrival Edinburgh, Scotland

Day Two: Edinburgh’s Old Town Highlights

Day Three: Hopetoun House and Blackness Castle

Day Four: Edinburgh at leisure

Day Five: The Kingdom of Fife

Day Six: The Lowlands to The Highlands

Day Seven: Culloden Moor and Clava Cairns

Day Eight: Scotland’s Most Famous Stretch of Water

Day Nine: Onward Travel

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HIGHLIGHTS

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Day One: Arrival Edinburgh, Scotland

Upon arrival at Edinburgh Airport be welcomed by your local chauffeur-guide who will accompany you for the duration of your stay.  He will ensure a safe and comfortable transfer into the city centre and to your accommodation for five nights.

It is a luxury hotel in the true sense of the word.  While many Edinburgh hotels claim to have Edinburgh’s landmarks on their doorstep, few can say their own doorstep is a landmark.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure, resting and relaxing following your international flight.

Day Two: Edinburgh, Old Town Highlights

Your local guide will meet you in the hotel foyer to accompany you as you discover the city’s historic Old Town on foot.

The Royal Mile is peppered with stores selling cashmere goods and hand crafted silver jewellery. However, in centuries gone by it was a different story: delving into the Old Town is like leafing through the pages of a dusty historical novel, as each era unfolds with its own legends and characters.

Head to the Castle, known as the “Jewel in Scotland’s Crown”.  From its volcanic rock, it towers over the city.  Step inside the ancient walls and learn of the royalty who lived and died here and the struggles for control of the nation.

Later, see Carubbers Close before perhaps following in the footsteps of Claire and Jamie by pausing for a drink in the nearest thing to Moubay’s Tavern, where they dined on oyster stew then dashed out into the pouring rain to pick up a drunken Mr Willoughby.  Afterwards, see Canongate Kirk – in the series, this is where Colum Mackenzie met Claire and Jamie for the last time.

Accompanied by a private costumed guide, explore Real Mary King’s Close: a secret warren of hidden streets, deep beneath the Royal Mile, they have remained frozen in time since the 17th century.  On your tour, see how people of different classes used to live in very close proximity to each other in cramped conditions.  Your guide will regale you with tales of murder and intrigue – from claims of spectres and nameless terrors to the close’s last resident, Mr Chesney, and the ghost of ‘little Annie’.

At the foot of the Mile is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Official Residence of HM, The Queen and the Royal Family in Scotland.  With Arthur’s Seat as its dramatic backdrop, this baroque Palace is perhaps best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots and the setting for many of the dramatic episodes in her turbulent life.  It was also here that Claire and Jamie had an audience with Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Day Three: Hopetoun House and Blackness Castle

Depart Edinburgh with your Private Guide and chauffeur for a visit to one of Scotland’s finest stately homes.  Hopetoun House is a place of beauty, tranquillity and architectural magnificence.  Dating from the 17th century, it has been home to the Hope Family since the late 1600s; the present Lord Hopetoun and his family still live here.

From the series, this outstanding property represented the Duke of Sandringham’s house.  During your privately guided tour you will see interiors from the late Georgian through to the Edwardian period, with much of the original decoration and a wonderful collection of pictures, furniture and other contents.  These reflect the tastes of a single family over several centuries.  Artworks include works by Scottish portrait painters such as Aikman Ramsay and Raeburn, in addition to works by other well-known artists such as Birley and Gainsborough.

Before leaving, you may wish to venture into the grounds and see the 16th century tower house which doubled as Lallybroch, also known as Broch Tuarach, the small estate which belonged to Jamie’s family.

Nearby, is another film location; the setting for ‘Black Jack’ Randall’s Fort William headquarters.  Built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons, it was never destined as a peaceful, lordly residence.

Day Four: Edinburgh at Leisure

Discover the city on your own today.

Your guide from the previous couple of days will have ensured you set off in the right direction, with advice for visits that might interest you and helpful hints for off-the-beaten-track experiences.

Day Five: The Kingdom of Fife

As you cross the Firth of Forth, look to your right and see the iconic Forth Railway Bridge, built in 1890.  It is a much-celebrated Scottish landmark and a milestone in the development of railway civil engineering; such is its importance that it was recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

From the series, visit the town which featured as 1940s Inverness.  The Church became Dalneigh Parish Church, the Covenanter Hotel became Mrs Baird’s Guesthouse and Lomond Pharmacy was transformed into Campbell’s Coffee House.  The coffee shop has retained its new identity and is the ideal location for a morning coffee.

Continue to the nearest thing to a 17th century village anywhere in Scotland.  A model period garden has been recreated behind the Palace – which was used as the interior of Geillis Duncan’s home – to show the range of plants available and includes vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, soft fruits and ornamental shrubs.  The garden was designed by Claire Mackay, who advised Diana Gabaldon on all things herbal for her books.

From the series, you may recognise the village’s Mercat area as the setting of Cranesmuir village and the herb garden as that of Castle Leoch’.  See also the façade of Geillis Duncan’s home and the setting of the pillory scene.

Return to Edinburgh for a final evening.

 

Day Six: The Lowlands to The Highlands

Leave Edinburgh behind and travel north, watching the scenery change as the Lowlands give way to the Highlands.

From the series, pause and visit the location which stood in as Mackenzie Village.  These replicas of 18th century, turf-roofed Highland crofts made it an ideal choice as the backdrop for the scene where Claire, Jamie and his clansmen sheltered in the first episode and appeared again later on when Dougal collected the rent.  The mile-long site includes everything from 1700s houses through to a working 1930s croft.  Some buildings built were from scratch on site, while others were moved here from previous locations.

Travel onwards to your home for the three evenings.

Once described as “the most beautiful Regency House in Scotland”, your final accommodation is set on 20 acres of well-tended lawns, walled gardens, woodland and streams.

An ornamental lake in the grounds is stocked with brown and rainbow trout and is also home to swans, wild geese, and ducks. A series of well-kept paths connect with the house, enabling guests to explore the gardens and rest and relax in secluded seating areas or on sunny terraces.

The hotel is a winner of many accolades in particular for dining and service. The restaurant has a highly coveted Michelin Star and 4 AA Rosettes – this puts it firmly in the top four restaurants in Scotland and as one of the most notable in Britain.

 

Day Seven: Culloden Moor and Clava Cairns

This morning, enjoy a private guided walk on the moving battlefields at Culloden, site of the infamous 1746 battle where, in less than 60 minutes, the Jacobites of Scotland outnumbered by an estimated 2000 soldiers, lost to the government armies.

In the aftermath, the government ruthlessly set about dismantling Highland culture, depriving clan chiefs of their legal powers and clansmen of their weapons.  Jacobite estates were seized, speaking the native Gaelic became a hanging offence and the kilt and tartan were banned. Mighty Fort George was built nearby as a government army base.

From the series, see where Jamie valiantly fought and visit the Clan Fraser burial stone.

To follow, visit the one of Scotland’s most evocative and sacred prehistoric sites.  In a small wood by a river stand three exceptionally well-preserved burial cairns, each surrounded by stone circles. The site is thought to be an inspiration for Craigh na Dun, and even has a split stone which could lead you back to 1743…

Your chauffeur-guide returns you to your hotel late afternoon.

 

 

Day Eight: Scotland's Most Famous Stretch of Water

Travel to the shores of Scotland’s most famous stretch of water, Loch Ness. There can be no better way to see the water than from aboard a luxury motor cruiser which would be reserved exclusively. Sumptuous platters of Scottish delicacies are served as you sit back and admire the spectacular scenery.

In the 18th century, Claire encountered the fabled Loch Ness Monster as she went to fetch water from the loch, and later reflected that the creature may well have been displaced there by a portal similar to the stones she fell through.

Disembark to visit Castle Urquhart, one of the country’s largest castles.

It has had a lively history to say the least; it was a critical stronghold in the Highlands and was one of the great castles seized when Edward I, ‘Hammer of the Scots’ invaded in 1296, marking the beginning of the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Control for ownership continued as the Lords of the Isles regularly raided both castle and glen up until the 1500s.

Fast forward a century or two.  The last of the government troops garrisoned here during the Jacobite Risings blew up the castle when they left in 1692.  Urquhart’s iconic ruins remain, offering glimpses into medieval times and the lives of its noble residents.

Visiting this key castle in Scotland’s history coupled with private cruising on Scotland’s most famous stretch of water is likely to be the perfect finale to this Outlander inspired journey around Scotland.

 

Day Nine: Onward Travel

Your chauffeur-guide will transfer you to Inverness Airport for your onward journey.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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THINGS TO DO

CLAVA CAIRNS

A Neolithic burial site and standing stones said to be one of Scotland’s most evocative sacred prehistoric sights.

CULLODEN BATTLEFIELDS

The moving site of the infamous 1746 battle where in less than 60 minutes.

EDINBURGH CASTLE

Known as the “Jewel in Scotland’s Crown”.

BLACKNESS CASTLE

Blackness Castle was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons, it was never destined as a peaceful, lordly residence. Its enduring roles were those of garrison fortress and state prison. In Outlander, the castle is used as the setting for “Black Jack” Randall’s Fort William headquarters as well as featuring the heart-wrenching scene of Jamie’s incarceration. It is often referred to as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.

HOPETOUN HOUSE

Hopetoun House is a place of beauty, tranquillity and architectural magnificence. Dating from the 17th century, it has been home to the Hope Family since the late 1600s; the present Lord Hopetoun and his family still live in Hopetoun House. In Outlander, Hopetoun house represents the Duke of Sandringham’s house. The grounds also include a 16th century tower house, Midhope, which doubles as Lallybroch.Not only is the house filled with stunning collections but this truly remarkable and beautiful stately home sits in majestic grounds full of nature trails and scenic walks.

CASTLE URQUHART

Castle Urquhart was a critical stronghold in the Highlands and one of the country’s largest castles. Positioned on the banks of Loch Ness, its chequered history came to a dramatic end in 1692, when the castle was blown up to stop it from falling into Jacobite hands. What remains are picturesque and impressive ruins, surrounded on three sides by the cold, deep waters of Loch Ness.

 

 

PLACES VISITED

EDINBURGH

Scotland’s historic capital city. Edinburgh, sometimes referred to as the “Athens of the North”, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the neo- classical New Town, dating from the 18th The harmonious connection of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character and saw it awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 1995.

The Royal Mile, which lies at the heart of the Old Town is arguably one of the most famous streets in the world. Today, it is peppered with stores selling cashmere goods and hand crafted silver jewellery. However, in centuries gone by it was a different story: delving into the Old Town is like leafing through the pages of a dusty historical novel, as each era unfolds with its own legends and characters.

LOCH NESS

Extending 23 miles, Loch Ness provides spectacular views regardless of the time of year.The loch’s cold, deep waters are said to be home to the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie. It is said that the first sighting of the monster was in the 6th century by St. Columba, and sporadic sightings have been reported ever since.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

  • Accommodation

    From private stately castles, historic manor houses and country club resorts to luxury city hotels and Georgian townhouses, Dream Escape will find you the perfect place to call “home’ during your stay.

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