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 .

Diana Gabaldon might write an episode of Outlander series five

The good news today is that  seasons 5 and 6 have been confirmed ( as if there was any doubt about that ), and that Diana Gabaldon may be writing at least one episode.

Creator of the Outlander book series that the STARZ show is based on, Gabaldon enjoys a bit more creative freedom with her creation than other authors and adaptations. Showrunner Ronald D. Moore made sure of this from the beginning — Gabs serves as a series consultant from time to time, as well as appearing in episode 4 from season 1.

Also also, Diana has written an episode of the series: season 2, episode 11, ‘Vengeance Is Mine’. The hope was that she would be able to write additional episodes, but continuing work on the ninth novel in the series prevented this from happening in seasons 3 and 4.

During the 44th Annual Saturn Awards, we were able to chat briefly with Diana on the red carpet before the ceremony, where she accepted the award for Best Fantasy TV Series on behalf of the show. (This is the third year running that the STARZ series has taken home the golden statue.)

Diana Gabaldon at the 44th Annual Saturn Awards
Photo by Mary Anne Butler

She mentioned that production was wrapping on season 4, and that she was very excited for fans to see where the season goes.

We asked her about the possibility of her returning to write an episode in the coming seasons, and she said that as long as her writing and editing schedule for book nine, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, goes well, she would be interested and available.

While Outlander will not be present at San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) this year, they will have a presence at New York Comic Con (NYCC), where at the very least, a new trailer for the upcoming season 4 is expected to drop, if not the entire premiere episode (as they did last year during SDCC).

Visit our new Drummond Castle gardens pictures gallery from Outlander tours

Outlander Season 4 filming is expected finish soon

Outlander Season 4 filming is expected finish soon. As many suspected, the fourth season will wrap by the end of this month. In July, various members of the cast have a number of projects and conventions to attend, with the first taking place from June 30 to July 1 in Paris.

Outlander news from Private Outlander tours Edinburgh .

Filming will also start for Heughan’s new movie, Bloodshot, which will reportedly happen in South Africa. Meanwhile, Balfe will soon start filming Ford vs. Ferrari (which is still to receive an official name) with Matt Damon.

The cast and crew are onto the season finale filming now, with many night shoots taking place. It’s going to be exciting to find out when the filming wraps and if there are any photos of those final glances for seven months as the cast and crew take time off before filming Outlander Season 5.

Outlander author talks about George R.R. Martin’s struggles writing The Winds of Winter

Diana Gabaldon, the author of the Outlander series and a friend of Martin’s, recently backed up that idea when speaking with fans last week. We’re not sure what question inspired her to talk about this conversation she had with Martin, but it was interesting. 

Game of Thrones doune castle
Doune Castle is Winterfell in Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Visit Doune Castle on a unique private tour of the Game of Thrones Castle in Scotland – Winterfell .

So Gabaldon asked Martin how things were going with “the newest book.” Quoth Martin, via Gabaldon:

I’m having all kinds of trouble. Have you ever killed somebody off that you later realized that you needed?…I just painted myself into a corner.

Let’s note that we don’t know when Martin and Gabaldon had this conversation. Perhaps it was years ago, and Martin has already written himself out of whatever corner he’d painted himself into. In any case, you have to wonder which dead character was/is giving him problems. It’s probably not a major one — the deaths of characters like Ned and Robb and Tywin are woven into the narrative such that we can’t imagine Martin ruing killing them off. Maybe someone like Maester Aemon or Qyentyn Martell or Kevan Lannister? It’s not the series lacks for dead people.

The idea of Martin being tripped up by a dead character he “needed” rings true. Martin is meticulous about his plotting, and has been known to rewrite parts of his books after he decides to change something. Diana Gabaldon isn’t phased, though. “This happens all the time when you write,” she says. “But you have an imagination…So if you paint yourself into the corner, I said, what you do is you get a new bucket of paint and you paint yourself back out and do the floor behind you. I mean, you can revise history — it’s easy if you try.”

Outlander –  George R.R. Martin –  The Winds of Winter –

Diana Gabaldon

Game of thrones Castle

Doune Castle is Winterfell in Game of Thrones and Monty Python’s Holy Grail. Visit Doune Castle on a unique private tour of the Game of Thrones Castle in Scotland – Winterfell .  Check availability by phoning us now on 07305-294773 or contact us online . Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Game of Thrones doune castle
Game of Thrones Doune Castle

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

The Great Hall is 20 metres by 8 metres , and 12 metres high to its timber roof, again a 19th-century replacement.The hall has no fireplace, and was presumably heated by a central fire, and ventilated by means of a louvre like the one in the modern roof. No details of the original roof construction are known, however, and the restoration is conjectural.Large windows light the hall, and stairs lead down to the three cellars on ground level.

doune castle, outlander tours

The hall is accessed from the courtyard via a stair up to a triangular lobby, which in turn links the hall and kitchens by means of two large serving hatches with elliptical arches, unusual for this period. The kitchen tower, virtually a tower house in its own right, is 17 metres (56 ft) by 8 metres (26 ft). The vaulted kitchen is on the hall level, above a cellar. One of the best-appointed castle kitchens in Scotland of its date, it has an oven and a 5.5-metre (18 ft) wide fireplace. A stair turret, added in 1581 and possibly replacing a timber stair, leads up from the lobby to two storeys of guest rooms. These include the “Royal Apartments”, a suite of two bedrooms plus an audience chamber, suitable for royal visitors.

Doune Castle has featured in several literary works, including the 17th-century ballad, “The Bonny Earl of Murray”, which relates the murder of James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray, by the Earl of Huntly, in 1592. In Sir Walter Scott’s first novel, Waverley (1814), the protagonist Edward Waverley is brought to Doune Castle by the Jacobites. Scott’s romantic novel describes the “gloomy yet picturesque structure”, with its “half-ruined turrets”.

The castle was used as a location in MGM’s 1952 historical film Ivanhoe which featured Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor. The BBC adaptation of “Ivanhoe” in 1996 also featured Doune as a location. The castle was used as the set for Winterfell in the TV series Game of Thrones (2011–present), an adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels by George R. R. Martin. The castle was used as a stand-in for the fictional “Leoch Castle” in the TV adaption of the Outlander series of novels.

Game of Thrones Castle

Check availability by phoning us now on 07305-294773 or contact us onlineToll free number 1-866-233-2644

Outlander fans meet Jamie and Claire as filming continues

Fans of Outlander continue to flock to Cumbernauld Glen in the hope of catching a glimpse of the international hit show’s stars – and yesterday, they were in luck.

Caitriona Balfe stopped to greet fans baking in the bank holiday sunshine, and avid followers have been sharing pictures taken in the park just outside Glasgow since.

Outlander news from Outlander tours Edinburgh

One fan, Andree Poppleton, even took photos of a stranger with Caitriona – who plays Claire Fraser in the time-travelling show – and is hoping to share them with her via social media.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

She commented: “I don’t know this woman but maybe she will find the pictures I took of her with Caitriona Balfe yesterday? Please share for her to find them.”

If you do recognise the woman pictured then get in touch with Andree on Twitter.

Stars Sam Heughan (who plays Jamie Fraser) and John Bell (Ian Fraser) were also spotted enjoying a rare spot of sunshine in Cumbernauld – and seeing those sunny day snaps has us raring to go for season four.