Jamie Fraser is now Dr Fraser

Outlander star Sam Heughan – Jamie Fraser in Outlander – has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Glasgow .
Outlander news from Outlander tours Edinburgh . Phone 07305-294773 for details of our Outlander tours.

His doctorate is in honour of the actor’s artistic success, as well as his charity work.
It is, however, a return to home turf for Heughan, who grew up there before moving to Edinburgh aged 12. The Outlander fan favourite graduated from Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama – RSAMD, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – in 2003.

Breaking news – Sam Heughan auditioned for James Bond

If you’ve seen the red-haired Sam Heughan on Amazon’s Outlander, then you’ll know that he’s the ultimate action man. It’s perhaps not that surprising then, that he Sam Heughan auditioned for James Bond. He’s been thrust back in time in Outlander and forced into the pressure zone on Doctors, so did the Bond producers miss a trick in opting for Daniel Craig?

“I did audition for Bond a long time ago when they were redoing it with Daniel Craig when he was Bond 21,” Heughan confessed on U.S. show Live With Kelly and Ryan, the Radio Times reports. His appearance was ahead of the fourth season of Outlander, which sees Heughan playing Jamie Fraser, an 18th century Scottish warrior who steals the heart of Claire (played by Catriona Balfe), as well as just about everyone watching at home. So, maybe count your blessings. If Heughan had landed the Die Another Day role, he might not have become the sexy Scottish warrior you thirst over today.

It’s not just the role of James Bond that Heughan’s had bad luck with. As he told Vulture back in 2014, he tried auditioning for Game of Thrones a whopping seven times before settling into his Scottish warrior role. “I auditioned for Renly, Loras,some of the members of the Night’s Watch. And I’d always get so close! I’d be like, ‘Guys, just give me a sword!'” While he didn’t get Bond’s gun or martini, nor Jon Snow’s Longclaw sword, he did finally get a sword when he joined Outlander.

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images News/Getty Images

He revealed in the same interview that he did feel an affinity to Jamie Fraser, as he gushed:

“Something about this one just felt right. This part felt different. I knew this character. I felt a connection with him. I knew where he had come from.”

Even though I’m unable to think of an actor better suited to the role of Fraser (Gerard Butler, maybe?), the pundits — and the actor himself — aren’t letting go of the idea that Heughan could be the next Bond. “I’ve always wanted to play James Bond. It’s a part of every British actor’s legacy,” he told the Sunday Post back in July.

As the Sunday Post also reported, Heughan’s odds to play 007 were once a beefy 50/1, but those were slashed when he played a spoof spy role alongside Mila Kunis in The Spy Who Dumped Me, which was released in the UK back in July. “Are you really in the running for James Bond? Please say yes,” he was asked by a fan during a Facebook Live interview back in July, as The Scottish Sun reported. “Well if you would like me to, of course I will. I feel like I’ve got the tuxedo and I’ve got the car from this movie so I could just take them with me,” he reportedly answered, referring to his role in The Spy Who Dumped Me. We all know about Bond’s deep Scottish roots, so it wouldn’t be any surprise if Jamie becomes James ( Bond , James Bond )

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon talks about her favourite books and writing methods

The Great American Read, hosted by TV personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, is an eight-part TV competition shining a national spotlight on the importance of reading and will feature an interview with Diana Gabaldon,   best known for her Outlander series of novels and the STARZ TV series derived from it.

Outlander news from Outlander tours .

In fact, the TV series returned Outlander to the No. 1 spot on the New York Times best seller list 23 years after it was first published.

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

Gabaldon, who is currently working on the ninth book in the series, appeared at PBS’ summer TCA session for The Great American Read. Following is a bit of what she had to say.

What was it like when you found out you made the list?

I said, “Who else is on this list?”

Is your favorite book on the list?

Trying to pick one favorite book out of the universe of books is impossible. Trying to pick one off of a list of 100 is difficult but maybe not impossible. It’s a dead heat between Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Lonesome Dove. Having made that decision, I was thinking: What do these books have in common? Why do I like them both so much? I finally decided that it’s because they share what my husband refers to in reference to my work as the “One damn thing after another” school of fiction.

What book or books really changed the way you thought?

My dad at one phase of his career was an elementary school principal. And his elementary school held a book sale — it was a very active school and all the parents brought in books by the ton — which he collected in this little janitorial room. Just before the book sale, he would let my mother, my sister and me into that room with an empty cardboard box each. We brought back the books that we had taken last year and added them to the pile, but we extracted new ones. When I was about 15, I filled my box halfway with the paperbacks that had the covers ripped off and I found out why.

What are you reading right now?

I’m in one of those phases where I’m reading four books at once because I’m actively working on the ninth book of my main series, and so I’m rereading Dorothy Sayers‘ The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club: A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery for probably the 80th time, because I love the series and the characters, but it’s a book I can step in and out of. I can put it down when it’s time to go to work myself. But I’m also running a nonfiction book in the background that I’m reading for general interest. Then, I’m also rereading parts of my own eighth book Written in My Own Heart’s Blood because I’m working on the ninth book, and there are pieces where I encounter an emotional thread that I had dropped in the last book. So, I will go back to read through it and pick that up so it will come into the new book with its original power.

When you were first writing Outlander, did you start with the love story or did you start off with the mythic quality of the show?

Neither one. I don’t write in a straight line and I don’t plan stories out ahead of time. In fact, I don’t actually know what’s going to happen in a book.

I began writing Outlander for practice. I knew I was supposed to be a novelist, but I didn’t know how; and I decided the way to learn was to actually write a novel. So, Outlander was my practice book. I was never going to show it to anyone, so it didn’t matter what I did with it. It didn’t have to have a genre, so I used anything that I like. I’ve been reading since I was a 3-year-old. I like a lot of stuff, so I used it all.

Now that Outlander has been adapted, does the image of the actors supersede in your own minds, or maybe in your readers’ minds, the characters as written?

I know that for a number of readers, because they say so on my Facebook page and so forth, the vision of the actors does, in fact, supersede their original vision of what the characters looked like. It doesn’t for me. They still look the same way they always looked.

That said, what an actor does is magic. It’s pretty much what we do but in a different venue. Their magic is to embody somebody that they aren’t. The first time I saw Sam Heughan, though, they sent me his audition tape for Jamie Fraser, and I was looking up his pictures on my way to wherever I was going, and he has a very limited filmography, not many pictures, and, frankly, the ones that he had up were strange.

Anyway, so, when I saw the audition, I didn’t know what to expect. He appeared, and five seconds into it, I was saying, “He doesn’t look anything like his photos. He looks fine.” Five seconds more, he was gone, and it was just Jamie Fraser right there. I recognized him immediately.

How did your story get discovered and championed?

Well, it’s actually extremely humdrum. The only novel thing about it was that in 1988, the internet basically didn’t exist except for a few small special interest groups, CompuServe, Delfi, GEnie, but owing to various career choices I had made, I was an “expert in scientific computation,” and I was in that world. I had discovered a group of people called the Literary Forum on CompuServe. This was not a writers’ group. This was just people who liked to talk about books. There were a few writers there, though.

I had always known I was supposed to be novelist, and when I was 36, I said, “Well, you better start writing a novel, then.” Actually what I said was “Mozart was dead at 36. You better get started.” So I did. I was not going to tell the people that I knew on CompuServe what I was doing for various reasons, and I didn’t. But one night I was having an argument with a gentleman online about what it feels like to be pregnant.

He said, “I know what that’s like. My wife’s had three children.” I laughed, and I said, “Yeah, Buster. I’ve had three children.” He said, “Can you tell me what it’s like?” I said, “I can, yes, but it’s kind of complex. I can’t fit it in a 30‑line message slot.” I said, “I have this little thing I wrote a few months ago in which a young woman explains to her brother in some detail what it’s like to be pregnant. I’ll put it in the library here for you.” My husband says I am congenitally unable to lose an argument, and he’s right. That’s why I overcame my fear of showing what I was writing, in order to win an argument, and I did, as a matter of fact, win the argument.

But what happened was that everyone who had been following the argument went and read this piece, and they all came rushing back, and they said, “This is great. What is it?” And I said, “I don’t know.” They said, “Well, where’s the beginning?” I said, “I haven’t written that yet.” And they said, “Well, put up some more of it. This is fascinating.”

I don’t write in a straight line. I write in little bits and fit them together. Whenever I had a bit that would stand alone without too much discussion, I put it up. And people got more and more interested. They said, “This is great. Diana has a new chunk. Have you read it?” This was my first experience with the power of word of mouth, also the power of giving out free samples, which I have employed ever since.

And essentially what happened is that I was introduced to an agent who I had my eye on by a CompuServe friend who was this man’s client as well, and he said, “You’re almost ready to look for an agent. Would you like me to introduce you to so and so?” And I said, “Yes.” I wasn’t finished writing the book, but I was afraid my friend would be run over by a bus or leave CompuServe, so I said, “Yeah. Go ahead and ask him.”

So he wrote a perfectly straightforward typed letter to Perry Knowlton, who was the agent. Perry, God rest his soul, was a much older gentleman who never touched a computer in his life. So, I followed up my friend’s note with my own query letter. Mind you, my book was still not done. It said, “Dear, Mr. Knowlton, I’ve been writing and selling nonfiction by myself for several years. But now that I’m working on a novel, I understand that I need good literary representation. You’ve been recommended to me by John and these other people who all think you walk on water.” I said, “I have this very long book. I don’t want to waste your time reading it, it’s a long historical novel. Would you be willing to read excerpts from it?” I didn’t tell him it wasn’t done. Excerpts were all I had.

He very kindly called me back and gave me a heart attack and said, yes, he would read my excerpts. So, I hastily wrote a 26‑page single spaced synopsis of what I thought I knew about the rest of the story and sent it with my bundle of excerpts, and he took me. It is not usual to buy an unfinished book as a first novel, but I was very lucky. I actually finished the book six months later, gave it to him, and he sent it to five editors who he thought might like it. Within four days, three of them had called back with offers to buy it. So, he negotiated amongst them for two weeks. He emerged with a three‑book contract, and bing, I was a novelist. Like I said, it’s very humdrum.

New episodes of The Great American Read premiere September 11 through October 23 on PBS. Voting opened with the launch of the two-hour premiere episode on May 22 and continues throughout the summer, leading up to the grand finale on October 23.

Outlander tours

Midhope Castle – Outlander’s Lallybroch

Midhope Castle – Outlander’s Lallybroch

midhope castle 34
Midhope Castle

Located on the Hopetoun Estate is Midhope Castle which is the external location for fictional Lallybroch, the family home of character Jamie Fraser. Midhope Castle dates back to the 15th Century and although the exterior is relatively intact the castle is derelict inside and not open to the public . Book your Outlander tours on 07305-294773 .

Lallybroch being an important part of the Outlander story, much use is made of Midhope Castle.

Hopetoun House

Hopetoun House was designed by William Bruce and then altered and extended by William Adam, Hopetoun House is one of the finest examples of 18th century architecture in Britain.

The magnificent interiors which have remained virtually unchanged for three centuries reflect the elegance of the Georgian era and are decorated with the best period furniture, paintings, tapestries and clocks, with beautifully crafted finishes of carving, gilding and plaster work.

Outlander fans visitor numbers to the Clan Fraser memorial are up

Historians who maintain the Culloden Battlefield in Scotland are reportedly blaming fans of the novels and TV series for trampling the area around the Clan Fraser memorial .

The property manager of Culloden says more than 180,000 people visited the battlefield last year, up 28 percent from 2016. Some even left behind little cutouts of Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on the Starz drama.

Outlander news from Outlander tours .

The Battle of Culloden was teased at the end of season 2 and depicted in the premiere episode of season 3 on Outlander. It was a brief re-creation of the actual confrontation that took place on April 16, 1745 between British troops and the Jacobite forces of Bonnie Prince Charlie. In the series, it’s where Jamie finally kills Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies).

Aimee Spinks/Starz

“Some of the things I have seen at Culloden have really got my back up,” Alasdair MacNeill of the Circle of Gentlemen, a Jacobite appreciation society, tells the Daily Record. “A lot the visitors are American and seem to think they are on a film set rather than a war grave. They maybe don’t know the history. But how would they feel if I walked my dog across Gettysburg?”

The National Trust for Scotland is reportedly hoping to reseed the area around the monument. In the meantime, Outlander series author Diana Gabaldon weighed in on the phenomenon with a not-so-subtle message to fans to tread lightly on such hallowed ground.

Diana Gabaldon

@Writer_DG

Katey Boal and her team do a wonderful job in conserving, curating and presenting this precious part of Scotland’s heritage, and I’m sure that all Outlander fans are more than grateful and appreciative of their efforts, and I am sure they will make every effort to support them. https://twitter.com/ScotlandNow/status/985868066021142528 

 

 

 

 

Outlander tours

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

doune castle outlander

Tours start from locations in Edinburgh .
Normal pickup point is Edinburgh city centre from your hotel or accommodation .

Other pickup points can be arranged .

Itinerary

On this tour we visit various locations used for filming the hit series Outlander. Based on the best selling novels by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander is filmed in a number of locations in castles and towns in  central Scotland.

The first location on this Outlander tour is the historic town of Falkland. The town is the setting for episode one where Frank and Claire Randall come to Scotland on holiday. Falkland Palace is a historic building and shops and  features can be recognised , including the town square fountain where Frank encounters Jamie Fraser ’s ghost watching Claire through the window.

Falkland is transformed into Inverness for Outlander
Falkland is transformed into Inverness for Outlander

Doune Castle was built in  1400 for the first Duke of Albany and provides the setting for Castle Leoch in Outlander. It was also the set for Winterfell in Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s Holy Grail.

Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

blackness castle , outlander tour

Blackness Castle goes back to 1440 . The castle provides the setting for Fort William, as the original fort no longer exists.

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 . King James II acquired Blackness in 1453 when he annexed the lands of the Crichtons . From then on the castle was mainly used as a prison . In 1543 Cardinal Beaton was held here for a month . Rebuilding started in the 1530s under the direction of Sir James Hamilton of Finnart who also worked at Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle . He was instructed to make the castle safe from artillery , and he achieved this by making the south and east walls very thick . A new tower was built at the south end . In the 1560s , in the reign of Mary Queen of Scots , a Spur was built to protect the main gate . In the 1870s the castle was the main ammunition depot for Scotland .The Castle is a popular location for historical re-enactments and has changed little in 600 years . Doune is one of the best preserved medieval castles in Scotland.

Hamlet has scenes filmed at Blackness Castle and Dunnottar Castle.
Director: Franco Zeffirelli
Starring: Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Paul Scofield, Alan Bates, Ian Holm, Helena Bonham Carter, John McEnery


Filming of the Outlander TV series has taken place in Scotland . One of Outlander’s first scenes was filmed in the picturesque town of Falkland, which stands in for Inverness in the 1940s . The show is based on American author Diana Gabaldon’s series of historical novels, which sees nurse Claire Beauchamp Randell mysteriously swept back from 1945 to 1743 Highland Scotland
.  Falkland features some familiar sights from the TV series , including  Mrs Baird’s Guesthouses (actually the Covenanter Hotel), the Bruce Fountain where Claire comes across the ghost of Jamie, and the building that doubles as Farrell’s Hardware and Furniture Store.
Most of the filming will take place in Scotland,  according to the show’s executive producer Ron Moore .
Scotland’s stunning landscape, with its rolling hills, rugged mountains, picturesque towns and villages, castles and sprawling beaches has provided the perfect backdrop for the world of cinema.
Executive Producer Ron Moore has commented on Scotland : “The landscape itself is a character in the show. There’s a particular quality to the light in Scotland, even to the grass and the trees.”

The tour spends up to an hour at each location .

  • Travel by saloon car
  • Small private group tour with a maximum of four people

Tour costs – £200 for up to 4 people .

Lunch , refreshments and entrance tickets are not included in the price.

Outlander set locations tour from Edinburgh £200

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