Outlandish Tour in the Kingdom of Fife

Fife is a council area and historic county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and widely held to have been one of the major Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, and is still commonly known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland.

There are many Outlander filming locations in the Fife region. Depending on the time you have available you could rush through and take in lots of the sights in a day trip. But, to really enjoy the richness of experience, have a look here at the number of great places to visit and make time to savour the experience. So, take your time if you can, but if time is really limited, here’s a plan to take in the main Outlander sites in a day.

This tour has 4 stops, and is about a 3 hour round trip from either Glasgow or Edinburgh. Of course, thats driving time only so you need to add the amount of time you might take to see the Outlander spots in the various places. Particularly allow plenty of time to see Culross, a fascinating village with so many Outlander connections.

The route from Edinburgh

The Route from Glasgow

First stop CULROSS (pronounced coo-ross)  –

Culross is a charming village where you feel that you really have stepped back in time. Its almost as it was in medieval time – except for electricity, running water and a few mod cons like that. Attractions include The Culross palace, which features in outlander Season 1 to 4, ‘the black kirk’, the town square in ‘Crainsmuir’ and Geillis Duncans house.  Lots to see for the outlander fan as you stroll around this lovely place. Do remember, its Scotland, so of course come prepared for all weathers.

Here’s a suggested walking tour for your time in Culross.

First Stop  CULROSS PALACE which is run by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). The NTS visitor centre and shop is right next to the Palace and of course the staff there are right up to speed with all things Outlander. They have information and maps to help you find your way around the village. Right next door to the NTS shop is the studio/shop of Graham Harris Graham who will captivate you with his wonderful images of Scotland (including many with an Outlander twist) and conversation.

But, back to the palace. At the entrance, you’ll recognise the place where Claire did some impromptu dentistry ahead of the battle of Culloden

Inside, many rooms have been used for Outlander filming. The war council with Bonnie Prince Charlie, Geillis Duncan’s parlour, Bree’s room and the kitchen when she stayed with Laoghaire and Joanie in Season 4, Down the Rabbit Hole. The palace pantry and kitchens were used as the tavern where Claire was taken before she was handed into the custody of the Duke of Sandringham.

Sophie Skelton and Nell Hudson filming scenes at Culross Palace for ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ in February 2018

Keen fans waiting for a glimpse of the stars between takes

Sam Heughan at Culross Palace for the filming of the war council scenes. 

Behind the palace are the wonderful gardens that were used as the gardens of Castle Leoch in Season 1, where Claire met Geillis and decided to go and investigate the Tammas Baxter case.

Next stop on your Culross walk is Mercat Cross, which was used as the centre of Crainsmuir in Season 1. Claire and Geillis looked down on the boy with his ear nailed to the pillory and some of the Crainsmiur witch trial street scene were shot in Tanhouse Brae which leads into the Cross.

The town centre of Crainsmuir

Author and Aussie travel buddy, Judy at Geillis Duncan’s House

At the Wee Causeway, keep a look out for the house that was used for the gardens ant Laoghaire’s house – where Bree and wee Joanie, did some gardening and hairdressing together – before things got ugly!

Graham Harris Graham caught these images of the crew preparing the gardens for action. 

Next on your agenda is a wee uphill walk to ‘The Black Kirk’ actually called ‘The West Kirk”, it is uphill but on a well-made easy to follow path, and remember its downhill all the way back! Its well worth it to see the place where those iconic scenes were shot between Jamie and Claire as she ponders the cause of Tammas Baxter’s illness. A very atmospheric experience.

 

By this time you might be thinking, we could stay the whole day here, but, if you need to press on, the next stop is

FALKLAND

Falkland is a huge centre for Outlander locations from Series one through 4. Falkland stands in for Inverness way back at the beginning  in the 1940’s when Claire and frank are on their second honeymoon. Later in the 1960s we see Claire and Roger in Inverness, Claire seeking records and Roger desperately trying to find answers for Brianna’s disappearance. Falkland is a beautiful historic village, it has a palace run by the NTS which has a lovely shop and cafe, and there are numerous other shops, cafes and narrow streets and lanes to roam around.

Most of the Outlander locations are in or very close to the central square.

We first saw Falkland when Frank and Claire were on their second honeymoon in the first episode, Sassenach. They stayed at Mrs Baird’s and you can stay there too, if you like. Its called the Covenanter Hotel.

 

 

The shop where Claire yearned for a blue vase, dressed for the time period and ready for filming

Check out the Cottage Craft Centre in Sharps Close – they have lots of pictures and info about Outlander filming in the town.

Familiar faces in the front window of the shop.

In the 196os the village was set up with a different look, vehicles and supporting actors setting the scene.

 

Shooting the scene where Roger asks the taxi driver about Bree’s journey to Craigh Na Dun

Looking down on the town square from the office where Claire looked for the deeds to Lallybroch

DYSART HARBOUR

This lovely little harbour on the Fife coast stood in for the French port of Le Havre where Jamie, Claire and Murtagh arrived to begin life anew after Jamie’s ordeal at Wentworth Prison. In true Outlander style its not long before they get into strife and make some new enemies – first up, the formidable Comte Saint Germain.

All the little seaside villages in Fife are charming and fascinating – and don’t forget if you’re up for a walk and have the time, you could do all or parts of the Fife Coastal Path. Its a great walk. I did a part of it back in 2017 and when I was catching the bus back to where id left my car I met a Scotsman who’d just returned from living in Australia for 3 years. Such a small world.

 

ABERDOUR CASTLE

For Outlander Fans Aberdour Castle was used for both interior and exterior scenes in that harrowing episode from Season 1 – ‘To Ransom a Mans Soul’

Aberdour Castle is located in the village of Easter Aberdour, Fife, Scotland. Parts of the castle date from around 1200, making Aberdour one of the two oldest datable standing castles in Scotland, along with Castle Sween in Argyll, which was built at around the same time. Check the website for opening times as there are seasonal variations. A cafe operates throughout the summer months.

Poor Claire – Murtagh to the rescue 

Claire brings Jamie back from the brink

So, Fife is the place to be for outlander adventures. If you can, take your time, there is so much to see and do in the wonderful part of the world.

Happy travels!

 

Andrée Poppleton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *