Seven unique experiences you can only have in Scotland

As far as underrated holiday destinations go, Scotland is on the list. It’s known around the world for its whisky, tartan and bagpipes but often overlooked by British travellers who opt for the sun-kissed sands of Spain or otherworldly scenery of Iceland.

Thankfully, we’re here to show you just how wonderful this UK beauty spot really is by bringing you the amazing things and unique experiences you can only have in Scotland…

1. Take a tour of the Outlander film locations

Unique Outlander tour

– see Lallybroch , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser ( Midhope Castle)

– hear Jamie Fraser guide you around Castle Leoch ( Doune Castle )

Outlander has been filmed exclusively in Scotland and there are a growing number of film locations. Number one on the list has got to be Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle ) , ancestral home of Jamie Fraser .  Design your own Outlander tour – phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Take the Jamie Fraser Outlander tour to visit Lallybroch, Fort William and Wentworth Prison  . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £150 per tour .

2. Take a tour of the Highlands

The scenery of the Highlands is amazing and a must see for any visitor to Scotland . Our Highlands tour features a visit to Glencoe, Buachaille Etive Mor, Black Mount and Rannoch Moor. This private tour of the Highlands features a drive through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond National park , passing Loch Lubhair and Loch Lubnaig and going through Crianlarich and Tyndrum .Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £250 per tour .

Scotland tours , Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands , Scotland ,
Scotland tours , Eilean Donan Castle, the Highlands , Scotland , The castle sits on an island in the middle of three lochs

3. Ride the Glenfinnan Viaduct like Harry Potter

Florida and Hertfordshire have the fancy studio tours and rides but Scotland has the real-life Hogwarts Express in the form of the Jacobite Steam Train, one of the greatest railway journeys in the world. 

The train, which you can experience during a four-day tour this summer, runs from Fort William to Mallaig, crossing the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct and running through rugged mountains and past stunning lochs.

4. Land on the beach at Barra

The world’s only scheduled beach landing is located right here on this Outer Hebrides island, where you’ll get to tick an incredible flight landing off your bucket list. You’ll land between tides on the beautifully white, sandy beach Traigh Mhor, a runway like no other.

When a take-off or landing isn’t expected, you can stroll this unique airport runway to admire Barra’s Caribbean-esque sands – but be sure to check that the airport sock isn’t flying as this is when public access isn’t permitted.

3. Meet Highland cows

These icons of Scotland are cute, photogenic and very hairy. Highland cows, or coos, are often seen lazing and grazing all over the country. 

You’ll spot them in picturesque locations like the Cairngorms National Park, Stirling Castle or during a rail trip through the Highlands. On our Highlands tour we stop outside Callendar to see a couple of huge Highland cows.

4. Spot marine life on the UK’s first whale trail

Scotland’s newly launched Hebridean Whale Trail is a must for wildlife fans, with its 30 unique sites across the west coast where you can look out across the sea and watch for whales and dolphins.

The wildlife spotting trail includes lighthouses in the Isle of Lewis, Isle of Scalpay and the mainland, as well as beaches in the Highlands, the Isle of Harris and Ullapool.

5. Take off from the water with the UK’s only seaplane airline

Now this is one way to see Scotland! Seaplanes might be common in the Maldives but you don’t have to venture to the Indian Ocean to experience one for yourself, as there’s a seaplane airline operating in Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond Seaplanes will pick you up from the shores of the loch for a tour of the breathtaking national park as you take in the famous mountains, glens and lochs.

Tours of Scotland – Seven unique experiences you can only have in Scotland .  Phone 0131 549 9785 for more details or contact us online . Tours are run daily and prices start at just £150 per tour .

Private tours Edinburgh phone 0131-549-9785

Diana Gabaldon takes her own Outlander tour

BEST-SELLING author Diana Gabaldon got to experience the Outlander effect for herself when she hit the tourist trail of the show’s top locations.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

The US writer stunned fans of the Jacobite telly phenomenon at the weekend as she turned up at Culross in Fife and nearby Falkland Palace.

Diana relaxes in Culross Palace gardens, used as fictional Castle Leoch herb garden in series

It was almost like a surprise royal visit as gobsmacked tourists mobbed the 67-year-old, who happily posed for selfies and signed autographs.

Diana said: “It’s always fun being in Scotland but usually I’m stopping somewhere for research purposes. So it’s been nice to just feel like a tourist for a change.”

The Scottish Sun joined The Outlander creator for the day with tour company Mary’s Meanders, who specialise in the show’s location visits.

First stop was Culross, which doubles, as the fictional village of Cranesmuir in the TV series.



Photographer Graham Harris Graham, who runs The Outlander And Beyond fine art gallery in the town, praised the Arizona-born writer.

The 54-year-old told Diana: “I would like to thank you for paying my mortgage — seriously.”

Next up she visited ancient Falkland Palace, with its famous Bruce Fountain.

Outlander fans will know that’s where the ghost of Sam Heughan’s Jacobite character Jamie Fraser visits time-traveller lover Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe).

Outlander’s Sam Heughan teases fans with ‘new tv show’ set in Miami

Spanish fan Ana Garcia was completely overwhelmed when she spotted her idol.

The tearful 46-year-old from Barcelona, who works for a mobile phone company, said: “I came here to visit Outlander locations but never expected to see the woman who made it all happen. I will never forget this moment.”

The show has seen a huge boom in Scottish tourism

Victoria Arias was also delighted to meet the woman whose books have sold 35million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

The 30-year-old French blogger said: “This is my third time in Scotland to visit Outlander locations but the first time I’ve met Diana.

“It was fantastic to see the person who started it all in a place where it is actually filmed.”

Diana’s visit came after tourist chiefs announced visitor numbers continue to rocket — up 67 per cent from 887,000 to 1.5million a year — on the back of the TV smash which is shown in 87 countries around the world.

But humble Diana said: “The Outlander effect is sort of a miracle — I had nothing to do with it other than writing the books.”

The mum of three was working as a professor at Arizona State University when she first began writing her story “for practice” — after famously seeing actor Frazer Hines play a Jacobite warrior in a 1969 repeat of Doctor Who.

It has since spawned nine books — with the latest, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, out later this year. And the fifth TV series — which is shown on Amazon Prime in the UK — will start filming around Scotland from next month.

We joined Diana on a scouting mission

But aside from all the official stats, Diana also receives personal testimonies about how Outlander has changed people’s lives.

She explained: “When we were filming an episode from the first series in Culross there was a little shop up the back street where myself and another writer went for a sandwich.

“But all we had on us were £20 notes and the owner didn’t have any change.

“I said ‘”We’re with the film thing and he said he knew because we had our cans — headphones — over our arms. He told us he’d trust us to come back and settle up later.

Outlander’s Sam Heughan reveals celeb crush and tells fans his favourite Scottish words

“But just as we left he came rushing after us and said, ‘I saw your name on your headphones and I’ve just realised you’re Diana Gabaldon — for you everything is free. Take anything you want’.”

She added: “Then there are people who make crafts and do art — there are thousands of Facebook pages that sell Outlander gear.

“One woman wrote to me saying she has a business doing stencils to go on bedroom walls of Outlander erotica and asked if she could use some of the more romantic quotes from my books.

“So there are these spin-offs all around the world, although Scotland is where you can see the direct financial impact it has had.”

Private tours Edinburgh – unique tours of Scotland 7 days a week – phone 0131-549-9785

Sam Heughan shares about his early years before Outlander

Sam Heughan ( Jamie Fraser ) shares about his early years before Outlander

“When I was a child I was lucky to get taken to a lot of live shows by my parents, then I moved to Edinburgh as a young teenager. They had a free ticket scheme for previews at the Lyceum Theatre and we would regularly attend. It was a great insight into the acting world as sometimes things would go wrong and you’d see “behind the curtain” many a time – it made me realise there was a whole world of people working behind the scenes and all the hard work that goes into a single production.”

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours

Sam had a few jobs before his acting career took off –   “I applied to go to university to study film and English. I knew I was interested but didn’t know how to get into the industry. After taking two years out I finally applied for drama school. During that time (and in fact more as a “jobbing actor” I’ve done a whole variety of things: Bar/cafe work, an usher at the theatre, reception work, worked at Harrods, delivered sandwiches by bicycle in winter, temp at NHS and most proudly I served whisky at a sushi bar. ”

Private tours Edinburgh – unique tours of Scotland 7 days a week – phone 0131-549-9785

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours featuring Lallybroch

Looking for Jamie Fraser tours from Edinburgh ? How about taking a unique tour of three key locations in the life of Jamie Fraser –  Lallybroch  ( Midhope Castle ) , Jamie’s ancestral home , Linlithgow Palace ( Wentworth Prison ) and  Blackness Castle ( Fort William ) .


Midhope Castle Outlander tours, This one of the best Outlander tours in Scotland
Midhope Castle Outlander tours

Lallybroch is Midhope Castle , a 16th-century tower house of five storeys and a garret, to which has been added a later and lower wing.

This one of the best Outlander tours in ScotlandLallybroch Castle tours can be booked on 07305-294773, toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

Tours start at 10 am . Our private group tours take up to four people to three Jamie Fraser Outlander filming locations. We also offer bespoke private tours with the option of choosing your own itinerary . This tour costs £150 .

Free pickup from your hotel, accommodation or port in Edinburgh  .

Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre , your hotel or the airport .

Other pickup points can be arranged .

  • Lallybroch – Midhope Castle, ancestral home of Jamie Fraser
  • Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison
  • Blackness Castle – Fort William
  • half day Outlander tour
  • Take in unique views of three historic castles featured in Outlander
  • Small private group tour with up to four people

Itinerary

1 . Lallybroch – Midhope Castle

The first location on this Outlander tour is Lallybroch – Midhope Castle, ancestral home of Jamie Fraser . Outlander scenes were shot at Midhope Castle on the fringes of the Hopetoun Estate near South Queensferry.

Midhope was built in the 15th Century by John Martyne, laird of Medhope. It was rebuilt in the mid 1600s and remains much the same today.

The interior of Midhope is inaccessible .

Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours, Lallybroch , real life Midhope Castle , is the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser , visit the castle on our Outlander tours
Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours, Lallybroch , real life Midhope Castle ,
Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours, Lallybroch , real life Midhope Castle , is the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser , visit the castle on our Outlander tours

Midhope Castle, a 16th-century tower house, is used as Lallybroch (also known as Broch Tuarach) in Outlander . Left to Jamie by his parents, Brian and Ellen, Lallybroch is also home to Jamie’s sister, Jenny, her husband Ian Murray and their children. Lallybroch is a crucial part of Jamie Fraser’s life in Outlander .

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours can be booked on +44-7305294773 or toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

The castle was owned by the Martin family in 1478 , but passed it to the Livingstones soon afterwards. James Lindsay, Lord Lindsay, had a ratification of 1592 for the lands of Midhope, with the tower and fortalice thereof. Midhope belonged to the Drummonds of Midhope, who were in possession during part of the 16th and 17th centuries, and Alexander Drummond of Midhope remodelled the tower in 1587 and his initials with those of his wife Marjorie Bruce are on a former lintel now above a gateway. Alexander Drummond of Midhope is on record in the 1640s, then Sir Robert Drummond of Midhope in 1647 and 1661.

Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts, Outlander
Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts, Outlander

2 . Blackness Castle

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists. Jamie is whipped by Black Jack Randall at Fort William .

Blackness Castle in the Outlander TV series
Blackness Castle in the Outlander TV series

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 .

Jamie Fraser Outlander tours can be booked on 07305-294773 ,  toll free number 1-866-233-2644 or online .

3 . Linlithgow Palace

This royal palace is where Jamie Fraser was imprisoned and it featured some of the most harrowing scenes of the TV show Outlander . The Palace is also famous as the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots .

Linlithgow Palace and Loch , Wentworth prison in the Outlander TV series
Linlithgow Palace and Loch , Wentworth prison in the Outlander TV series

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. Visitors can climb to the top of the palace for a magnificent panoramic view of the Loch and Palace . 

Optional extra

Hopetoun House Outlander tours
Hopetoun House Outlander tours

The standard tour features a visit to three Outlander locations . We also offer an optional extra of a visit to Hopetoun House . Please ask the driver for more details .

This one of the best Outlander tours in Scotland . Phone 07305-294773 to make a booking .

Jamie Fraser t-shirts and gifts

All pictures are copyright David Rankin/ Private tours Edinburgh 2019

 

Private tours Edinburgh phone 0131-549-9785