A DAY VISITING THE OUTLANDER SERIES LOCATIONS.
When visiting Edinburgh recently Sandra & I were looking forward to an organized day tour during our stay. I had previously found a day tour that was being advertised in the Visit Scotland website that looked very interesting. It had shown a glimpse of where the TV series had been filmed as we had hoped in regard to being shown around the famous locations. What eventuated was a most enlightening day under the care and professionalism of a man called Rodney Johnston. As we had arranged to begin the tour at our accommodation front door, was the beginning of a day we will be etched in our minds forever.
From the moment we met Rodney we felt comfortable and in good hands, it was so welcoming and within minutes after our introductions we had been given a fully detailed itinerary for the day ahead. Handouts that would walk us through the day with details of places we where we were going to visit along with comments of how they related to the filming locations applicable. We also were given access to an I-pad to complement the notes with accompanying photos from scenes that they had been filmed at. Everything was at our fingertips and along with the notes Rodney gave us a running and informative commentary. Nothing had been left to chance, so that wherever we drove to we could follow the notes and photos relating to the places. However the bonus that was in store for Sandra & I was that at each location we too would pose and have our photo taken as a lasting memento of the whole experience.
In all we had an itinerary to cover thirty locations covering a distance of approx. 250 miles and a time period of 13 hours all together. We had such a geography lesson as we travelled around and we were treated to scenery as spectacular as Scotland can offer. We took in Castles, named Midhope (1550) Blackness (1440) Doune (1400) and Linlithgow Palace (1302) Stately Homes, University campus, chapel, Gardens, Landmarks of historical value in abundance. Once leaving Edinburgh we took in Sterling, Glasgow, Cumbernauld and a favourite little village called Culross a population of just 395 (2006 census). This village dated back to the 13th Century and has a prevalence of Red roof tiles which story has it they came from Holland as ballast in the ships who had delivered coal on their outward journey.
The village appears in numerous TV series and films including our interest Outlander. It was here whilst we visited that a film crew were busy making a documentary and we had an opportunity to witness the filming, just as it would have been when doing the TV series. Whilst there we met a local photographer called Graham Harris Graham whose studio was brilliantly presented and so we bought a sketch of the famous stones called Callanish what the OUTLANDER series is famous for.
It was time for a lunch beak and Rodney took us to a little restaurant in Sterling, we had a light lunch before heading off to Glasgow and continue our fascinating tour. It was in Glasgow that we covered a lot of venues along with The cloisters at the university and photo shoots in the main George square in the heart of Glasgow is very unique with a Sir Walter Scott statues that was erected in 1837. Including Robert Burns also taking pride and place amid these magnificent Victorian buildings. All the surrounded by the various venues that make up other scenes within the series.
Soon it was time to begin the journey back to Edinburgh and other interesting venues along the way. We would stop at a place called Cumbernauld that houses the enormous Wardpark Studios the home of all the indoor scenes for all the first four series. We couldn’t get access but we allowed our imagination to run wild as the scenery, props and costumes it would contain within. From there we drove to a place called Fannyside Loch, and had our photo taken on the actual place that is show during the opening credits to series 1-3 a real treat indeed. We realised just how much research that Rodney had done to be able to find and allow us to be included in these remote parts of the tour.
Dusk was approaching and so Rodney wanted us to hopefully see some other venues before the tour completed. We arrived at a little town called Falkland a place where shops and hotel building that also had significant parts to place during the series. By now darkness had enveloped us and so time to take a couple of photos and off we headed for the drive back to our accommodation.
We arrived back thirteen hours after we started our tour, however filled with amazement at what we had seen and experienced and fully satisfied with the value of the day.
Before he left us he gave us a handout and explained where other venues that we could find in Edinburgh just off the Royal Mile as we could walk to during our stay. Special thanks to Rodney and we assured him that we would certainly recommend his excellent tour and expertise when we share of our experience with our family and friends.
It was certainly well worth doing and we can now view the series with different eyes, having now experienced a historical, scenic and interesting tour indeed.