Visiting Scotland – An Outlander Addict’s Dream by Rebecca Heflin

Hubby and I spent two weeks in May touring Scotland, a destination that has long been on my bucket list, but even more so since I’ve joined the ranks of other Outlander addicts around the world. While there were other locations on our itinerary, like the Isle of Skye, Torridon, and Applecross, Hubby did indulge me with stops at a few Outlander film locations along the way.

The trip was that much more meaningful because I had recently learned that my 9th great grandmother had been a Fraser (Jane) born in 1628. She later migrated to the colonies, marrying John Heflin (sound familiar?).

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Bakehouse Close

Day One I hit the ground running, visiting Bakehouse Close (aka Carfax Close), the location of James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser’s (JAMMF) Edinburgh print shop in Book/Season 3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Falkland

After visiting Lochleven Castle on the way to the Highlands (Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned there for a time before she escaped), our next stop on the Outlander trail was Falkland, which served as Inverness circa 1948.

 

 

 

Not Outlander related, but definitely worthwhile, a visit to Blair Castle, where we were lucky enough to see a pipe and drum procession by the only private army in the UK. The weekend we were there happened to be the annual clan gathering. The thrilling (though brief) procession was worth standing out in the cold rain to experience.

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Culloden Battlefield Marker

No visit to Scotland is complete without a visit to Culloden Battlefield just outside Inverness. It is a solemn, windswept place where so many people (men, women and children) lost their lives in the bloody battle that changed the course of history, not just for Scotland, but for the world.

 

 

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Doune Castle

After taking in the breathtaking beauty of the Northwest Highlands, we made our way south again, stopping at Doune Castle (aka Castle Leoch in Outlander). The castle has been used in many films and TV shows, including Game of Thrones (Winterfell), and the hilarious Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Leaving Ft. William for Glasgow, we drove through the jaw-dropping landscape of Glencoe, a frequent backdrop to some of the scenes in Outlander, including the opening credits when viewers see Jamie and Claire galloping across a green valley.

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Glencoe

We capped off the Outlander pilgrimage with a visit to Hopetoun House. The beautiful 17th century estate served as the location for many diverse scenes in the first three seasons, but it is probably best known for Midhope Castle, or Lallybroch to Outlander fans, JAMMF’s ancestral home, which sits on the Hopetoun estate. I confess to going all fan-girl when I walked up the hill and first caught a glimpse of it. I went all swooney and breathless.

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Midhope Castle

I had hopes of running into the film crew, since filming for Season 5 is underway, but no such luck.

Outlander addiction aside, Scotland is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful country, whose people are warm, sincere, and welcoming. Whenever we found ourselves lost, passersby never hesitated to help. It was a trip of lifetime, but I hope to return someday to visit the home of my 9th great grandmother, Aberdeenshire, and Castle Fraser.

Have you visited Scotland? What were your thoughts of it?

About Rebecca Heflin

I've dreamed of writing romantic fiction since I was fifteen and my older sister sneaked a copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss' Shanna to me and told me to read it. Now I write women's fiction and contemporary romance under the name Rebecca Heflin. In case you're wondering, Rebecca Heflin is an abbreviated version of my great-great grandmother's name: Sarah Anne Rebecca Heflin Apple Smith. Whew! And you wondered why I shortened it. When not passionately pursuing my dream, I am busy with my day-job at a large state university or running the non-profit cancer organization my husband and I founded. I'm a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Florida Romance Writers, RWA Contemporary Romance, Savvy Authors, and Florida Writers Association. My mountain-climbing husband and I live at sea level in sunny Florida.
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6 Responses to Visiting Scotland – An Outlander Addict’s Dream by Rebecca Heflin

  1. sueberger3 says:

    My trip to Ireland to do research for my new book, Irish Magic, included a visit to Scotland and I enjoyed it. It was my 70th birthday present to myself and my dear friends Jen and James Dunning accompanied me. We stayed at Hostels along the way. Jane would never let us book into a hostel until she seen It. Scotland was delightful and we had a six hour tour which included a guy with a wonderful Scottish accent. I highly recommend taking a bus tour.

  2. Great blog. Scotland’s on my bucket list as well.

  3. Seeking inspiration, I traveled to Scotland in 2014 when I was in the initial throes of writing my Abbey Mead series. My hero, William Ferguson, is a Scot and an officer in the Royal Scots Greys cavalry unit.
    The trip to Scotland was awesome. First Edinburgh (museums and bookstores), then on to the countryside with its ruins and grand castles, the mysterious prehistoric standing stones near Inverness and on the Orkney Islands, distilleries where we sampled malt whiskey, charming small towns like Pitlochry, the Isle of Skye, Loch Garry with its quirky resemblance to the map of Scotland, and the stillness and stark beauty of Culloden. Wow!
    It was amazing, delightful, and yes – inspirational! The trip of a lifetime!
    And William was verra pleased that I made the trip!

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