Outlander Tour

Truth they say, is stranger than fiction.  This bespoke tour for fans of Diana Gabaldon’s widely acclaimed and hugely successful series of books, now available as DVD, will bring alive, for devotees of the story, the actuality of life in the troubled times portrayed in the series. Our tour will be a tapestry, weaving between the romance of Diana’s fact based fiction and the real Highland Story which has has all of the romance, pathos and complexity portrayed in the series and is a living, thriving and evolving reality.

 

 

Travel along with us as we begin Claire’s journey and visit some of the Highland places highlighted in “Outlander.”

 


We will begin our adventure from Inverness and travel to The Rings of Standing Stones and the Chambered Burial Cairns at Clava, known in the Outlander series as Creag na Dun. The stones have been standing in their position for over 3000 years and have seen many rituals performed, including those in the Beltane tradition. We advise you not to touch the large cracked stone ... Just in case! ....We would like you to stay with us.

 

 

 

Like Claire, we step back to 1700’s with a visit to Culloden Battlefield and the excellent Visitor Centre there.   The tragic event Claire foresaw which took place on 16th April 1746 was the last ever pitched battle fought on British soil, whilst also being one of the shortest in Scottish History. With it, and its terrible aftermath, the Highland way of life changed forever.  You will be able to walk the battlefield and see the Fraser Stone, a memorial for the Clan (to which Jamie would have belonged) They, along with many other clans lost their lives on that fateful day.

 


Following on, our tour will take you to share the journey Jamie took with his rescued lady Claire to Castle Leod (Castle Leoch in the book).  We will follow the Monadhliath Mountains, stop and point out the the hillside location which contains the secret site of the now overgrown Fraser Cave.  Here is the place where the real James Fraser, the 9th of Foyers, reportedly hid for 7 years from the Redcoats.  Apparently he killed one of their number who is buried in a nearby field although the exact spot is unclear. The “Dun Bonnet Cave” as it is known is mentioned in the novel “Voyager” from the Outlander series.

 

 

Nearby, at the hilltop, Suidhe viewpoint,  we will have a photo stop giving you the opportunity to capture this magnificent Highland landscape.  Along the way your experienced guide will tell you stories on Highland folklore and link these to the music of the time.

 

This southern route we follow circles Loch Ness until we arrive at Fort Augustus a thriving and beautiful village, an important link in the Caledonian Canal.  No trace today of the fortification built on the site of the present day Abbey .  This was one three Hanoverian Forts built in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion.   Strategically placed at 33 mile intervals between the natural barriers of the lochs of the Great Glen they were called after the Kings’ sons, George, Augustus and the notorious William,  (the Butcher) Duke of Cumberland.

 

Still going towards Castle Leod we drive alongside the shores of Loch Ness, home to our world famous ‘Water Horse’ fondly known as Nessie, before arriving at the ancient ruins of Urquhart Castle featured in Outlander.  The setting of Urquhart Castle and its history will propel you back to the times of the Wars of Independence – another historic time in Scottish History.

 

 

On this tour we want you be able to feel the Highland experience as in the Outlander series and on leaving Urquhart Castle we drive over, Culnakirk Hill into Strathglass a remote mountain glen before arriving at The Fraser Clan land,  taking you through the market town of Beauly and stop at The Priory where some members of the Lovat Frasers are buried.  Then on to Castle Leoch – The Clan Mackenzie  stronghold. The Mackenzie’s claim Castle Leod is ‘one of the most beautiful, romantic and unspoiled castles in the Highlands.’ (Please note it is only at certain times of the year Castle Leod is open to the public).

 

Then it’s on to Strathpeffer, a village built in the 1870’s in the style of Victorian architecture and famous for the healing properties of its spa waters, and we take another ancient symbol of Highland culture, The Eagle Stone, believed to be from the 6th century, and possibly used by the Picts as part of their marriage ceremony.

Driving back we may have the opportunity  to visit the Wardlaw Mausoleum, final resting place of the ‘Red Fox’ (Jamie’s grandfather in the book). Here you can visit the secret underground grave containing the headless body of the 11th Lord Lovat.
As we wind our way homeward we can go to The Black Isle and visit The Clootie Well, a holy well still used today as a pilgrimage for those who believe in the healing powers of nature.  Should you wish to take part in our ancient Celtic custom we will bring along a ‘cloot’ for you to hang on the branches. 

 

Witness in Inverness the fairly modern Castle, (its predecessor burnt by the Jacobite Army) This one built in the 1830’s is nowadays home to the Sheriff Courthouse,  and the imposing statue of Flora MacDonald looking westward to Skye in the hope that her beleaguered Prince has made it “over the sea.”