Outlander Jamie and Claire Lallybroch

You Don’t Need Time Travel to Step into the World of ‘Outlander.’ Just Visit These Real-Life Filming Locations

Say, could that lass be I?

Outlander (the Starz show based on Diana Gabaldon’s book series) tells the story of Claire, who time-travels from the 1940s to the 1700s, and falls in love with a Scottish highlander before traveling back to the 1940s, living into the 1960s, and traveling again to the 1700s to reunite with her beloved Jamie. Once you get past the strange premise, it is easy to fall in love with the show (or at least aspects of it). Fans are so committed to the world that Starz is developing a new prequel series, as well as more of the original series.

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Part of the appeal is that the show wraps you up in beautiful landscapes, complete with aged castles and standing stone circles. The scenery makes me want to walk through the screen and enjoy some time in the land of kilts. Although the story is fiction, it works in a lot of historical events. And the production team strives to keep the look of the various time periods as authentic as possible, to make it all feel like it could be real. Many of the locations are actual castles and landscapes that are as gorgeous as they look on film. Meaning, you don’t have to time travel to traipse around the world of Outlander—you can simply visit the real-life locations the show was filmed (your own Jamie not included, sorry). Here’s where they make the magic happen.

Scotland

Outlander Castle Leoch

(image: Starz)

Outlander completed the vast majority of the show in Scotland. Production films many interiors on sets in Wardpark Studios, but they film most of the outdoor and castle scenes at locations throughout Scotland. Unfortunately, Craigh na Dun does not have actual standing stones, Outlander‘s prop department built those, but the landscape is real, and so are many other iconic places from the show.

Castle Leoch (Doune Castle)

Lallybroch (Midhope Castle)

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Ardsmuir Prison (Craigmillar Castle)

The church Jamie and Claire were married (Glencorse Old Kirk)

Additionally, you can visit Fort William (Blackness Castle), Cransmuir (Culross), and Inverness (Falkland).

The castles and rolling highland greenery make sense for Scotland. However, it might be surprising that Scotland doubled for several places that are supposed to be in other countries. The University of Glasgow played Harvard University during the 1960s story arc. And the frontier era of America is alive in Scotland. Outlander built the Mohawk Village and the new North Carolina settlement of Fraser Ridge in Scotland to look like they would in America. Gosford House and Drummond Castle filled in for the stables and gardens of the famous French palace, Versailles. And French hospital, L’Hospital Des Anges, was filmed inside Glasgow Cathedral.

Prague

Outlander Versailles Library

(image: Starz)

Some filming takes place outside of Scotland. Much of the French exterior shots in season 2 of Outlander, they filmed in Prague. Prague became the busy French streets Claire walked up and down.

The outside of L’Hospital De Anges (Military Church of St. John Nepomuk)

The vast library of King Louis XV at Versailles (Strahov Monastery)

South Africa

Outlander Ships

(image: Starz)

During season 3 of the show, Claire and Jamie traveled from the greenery of Scotland to the tropical beaches of Jamaica. For the voyage across the Atlantic ocean, production moved to Cape Town Film Studios in South Africa. The studio also supplied the large ships featured in the trip. Scotland may be wonderful, but there are limits, and some shots had to be filmed in warmer areas.

The large and expansive governor’s mansion in Jamaica became real in South Africa. The exterior shots are from The University of Stellenbosch’s Theology Faculty Building.

Sadly, Jamie Fraser is not real. However, you can visit his home of Lallybroch and many other places in Scotland and pretend that the highlander is there with you.

(featured image: Starz)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.