It is the time-travelling, kilt-wearing, chest-baring romance that has thrilled fans across the world for four seasons.
With the stars of Outlander announcing the start of filming on season five in April, fans will be eager to see what the next adventure will be for Sam Heughan’s dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe’s time-travelling World War II nurse, Claire Randall.
Until then however, they are likely to continue the Outlander tourist boom that has seen fans of the show, based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, travel from around the world to visit filming locations in Scotland.
So if you can’t bear to be without an Outlander romance fix for the next few months, here are eight of the most romantic locations from the show to visit.
Featured in the opening credits from the very first episode, Glencoe is a world-famous Scottish landmark which never fails to stir the heart thanks to its spectacular beauty. Close by is the legendary Glenfinnan Monument where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard and started the Jacobite Rising of 1745 – another key moment in the show. And film fans may also recognise the stunning scenery from James Bond’s Skyfall and several Harry Potter movies.
Great Moor of Rannoch
Nothing says romance to an Outlander fan like a trip to the very spot where Claire and her 20th-century husband Frank go for the romantic honeymoon trip that sets off her adventures into the past. The idyllically-located area around Rannoch Moor in Perthshire is the site of Craigh na Dun, where Claire visits the stone circle and is thrown back in time to 1743. Visiting fans will be able to spend hours exploring the awe-inspiring mountain scenery. Although they probably won’t find magical time travelling stone circles.
The stunning Doune Castle near Stirling will be instantly recognisable to fans of the show, where it is the fictional Castle Leoch – home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan in the 18th century. It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire visits the castle in ruins on a day trip. The former royal residence, famed for its grand banquet hall, has also been used as a film location for the BBC production of Ivanhoe, Monty Python and the Holy Grail – and was a stand-in for Winterfell in the pilot of Game of Thrones.
The seaside town of Troon in Ayrshire is a popular holiday resort in its own right, known for its glorious views and beautiful golf courses. For Outlander fans though, it is also the setting for the scene where Claire, Jamie and Murtagh arrive at the coast and board a 17th-century ship to deliver Jamie to France after his escape from prison.
Often referred to as ‘the ship that never sailed’, the striking 15th-century Blackness Castle, looking out over the Firth of Forth, was used for the Fort William headquarters of the evil Black Jack Randall – and the location of Jamie’s stirring rescue of Claire in season one (considered by some Outlander fans to be the most romantic moment in the whole show), and also the heart-wrenching scene of Jamie’s incarceration. It was also a location for Ivanhoe and the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots.
The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway
The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway in West Lothian was transformed into a wartime London railway station where Claire and Frank said their emotional goodbyes. As well as reliving the moment, fans can explore Scotland’s largest railway museum, and take advantage of the chance to board a vintage steam train.
The 12th-century Aberdour Castle, once a luxurious Renaissance home, is amongst the oldest standing masonry castles in Scotland. It doubles as the fictional monastery where Claire and Murtagh bring Jamie to recover after his ordeal at the prison, allowing the pair to share some romantic moments.
Pollock Country Park
Featured as a location in seasons one and two of the series, Pollok Country Park doubled as the gorgeous grounds surrounding the fictional Castle Leoch, where Jamie and Claire first began to fall in love. It also stands in for the French countryside that the characters travel through between Le Havre and Paris in season two.
Dysart Harbourmaster’s House
The beautiful harbour of Dysart and the Harbourmaster’s House were transformed to portray the French port of Le Havre in the 1740s where Jamie and Claire land at the start of season two, following their dramatic escape to France and it’s an unmissable stop for outlander fans. It is also on the Fife Coastal Path, and an ideal start for a tour of the area.
A church full of character, set in a walled graveyard, this is the site of season two’s terrifying witch trials, and visitors can relive the moment Claire and Geillis stand in the pulpit – before Jamie’s romantic rescue of his beloved. One for the true fans, it has seen plenty of visits from Outlander tourists over the years.
As well as being one of the finest examples of Scotland’s grand architecture, Hopetoun House near South Queensferry is also one of the favourite locations for the Outlander crew. Encompassing some of the show’s most romantic moments, it doubles as the stately home of the Duke of Sandringham in season one, while in season two it’s the backdrop for Parisian streets, the spare room in Jamie and Claire’s Paris apartment, and the Hawkins Estate. In season three it’s Ellesmere and the stables at Helwater. Visitors might be surprised to learn that it’s actually much bigger in real life, with producers digitally erasing part of the house.