From the Battlefields of Culloden to the ruins of Beauly Priory and Urquhart Castle, Inverness and Loch Ness are an absolute delight for fans of the Outlander series. It is here where the adventures of Claire and Jamie begin. Where hearts are broken, tragedy is imminent and one of the greatest love stories unfolds. The ties between Inverness and Loch Ness with the Outlander series are endless. Which is why visiting one of the many Outlander sites near Inverness and Loch Ness is on every Outlander fans’ bucket list.
Use the map below to plan your very own Outlander tour in the Scottish Highlands. Or see the boxes below for some of the famous sites we have already picked for you.
Who can forget the moment Claire and Frank first visit the Battle of Culloden on their second honeymoon to Inverness? Or when Claire and Jamie say their tearful goodbyes on the eve of one of the bloodiest battles in history? The events leading up to, during and after the Battle of Culloden is at the centre of both Scottish history and the Outlander series. It’s why a visit to Culloden Battlefield and the award-winning Visitor Centre is one of the favourite Outlander sites near Inverness and Loch Ness for Outlander fans.
Visit the site of the last pitch battle fought on British soil. Pause for a moment at the Fraser stone. And pay tribute to the fallen Jacobite soldiers who lost their lives fighting alongside Bonnie Prince Charlie on the 16th of April 1746. You can visit the battlefield all year round, but the Visitor Centre, Restaurant and Shop does close over winter.
What is a time-travelling love story without a mysterious time-travelling portal? The Clava Cairns ancient burial Ground, near Culloden, is believed to be the inspiration for Craigh Na Dun – the standing stones that swept Claire back in time to 1743 war-torn Scotland and, in turn, into the arms of Jamie Fraser. Clava Cairns is a 4,000-year-old burial ground full of well-preserved passage graves, cairns and standing stones. But Outlander fans beware. The Bronze Age burial complex contains a large ‘split stone’. So if you are passing through on Beltane and hear the stones begin to buzz, proceed with caution.
Home to where the Lovat Frasers are buried in the Outlander books, the beautiful, tranquil ruins of Beauly Priory is a place of uncertainty and heartbreak in the Outlander series. It is here, in the heart of Fraser country, that Claire meets the seer Maisri. Today the ruins are looked after by Historic Environment Scotland and are open to the public all year round. And since Beauly means ‘beautiful place’, the beautiful Priory is a wonderful place to visit for avid Outlander fans and new-to-the-series explorers alike.
If the Frasers of Lovat have always peaked your interest, you might want to visit one of the Lovat Outlander sites near Inverness and Loch Ness. The Wardlaw Mausoleum in Kirkhill (near Beauly). Wardlaw Mausoleum is the final resting place of the real “Old Fox” Lord Lovat of the Jacobite rebellion, and Jamie Fraser’s grandfather in the Outlander Series. A historic gem just outside of Inverness, Wardlaw Mausoleum is fast becoming a favourite with Outlander fans. You can even visit a secret underground chamber that contains the 11th Lord Lovat’s headless body, following his execution at the Tower of London!
Staying in Fraser Country, Beaufort Castle near Beauly is the ancestral seat of the Frasers of Lovat. While it is one of the few Outlander sites near Inverness and Loch Ness that is not open to the public as the castle is in private hands, a walk along the River Beauly offers amazing views of this stunning and historic Castle.
Urquhart Castle, an ancient fortress ruin overlooking the famous Loch Ness, may be one of the most iconic sites in all of the Scottish Highlands. But for Outlander fans, it will forever be known as the place where Claire spots the “water horse” in the Outlander series. One of Scotland’s largest castles, explore a thousand years’ of history from within the famous ruins. Climb the Grant Tower, peer inside the miserable prison cell, and image the banquets and battles that raged inside its mighty walls. Open all year round, this is one Outlander attraction you don’t want to miss.
No tour of the many wonderful Outlander sites near Inverness and Loch Ness would be complete without visiting Castle Leod. As any avid Outlander fan will know, Castle Leod is believed to be the inspiration behind the fictional “Castle Leoch” – home to the chief of the Mackenzie Clan in the Outlander series. And since Castle Leod is the official seat of Clan Mackenzie and their Chief, the Earl of Cromartie, is it any wonder? The castle is open to visitors, is a popular wedding venue and has some amazing stories for anyone interested in Highland history.
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