Got a bright and early start today. The lovely Miss Stephenie took the train up to join us for the day, so we picked her up at the train station and hit the road to see just how many Outlander film sights we could hit in one day. I was very excited as most of these were not locations I had seen before.
First up was Craig na Dun. The great part about Steph being with us is that she tells me when I need to turn. The down side is that I usually don’t know how to get back to places (just as Lu how long it took to find the West Kirk), so don’t ask me exactly how to get there, but we did find that actual location used to film Craig na Dun in Outlander. The standing stones were long gone as they were only brought in for filming, but it was still pretty magical to be able to walk up the same hill that Claire, Frank and Sam did for the show. I wonder if they had to dodge all the same sheep dung we did, or if there is some poor intern somewhere in charge of sheep sh*t removal. I don’t think the hill looks as big in real life as it does on TV, but we spent plenty of time examining it. Summer even found a rock to sit on in contemplation. That or she had frozen solid waiting for us to finish taking pictures. It was just a bit windy and cold!
Next up was a drive to the Rest and Be Thankful rest stop. We think this is the location used for the photo shoot used for the Key Art posters. We would have been happy (and thankful) to have rested, but as we neared the car park, we started to see little signs pointing to base unit. We looked at each other (well, I didn’t really look since I was driving) and said ‘Nah…what are the chances.’, but sure enough, the car park had been closed because it was being used as the base unit for some film crew. After some surreptitious sleuthing and a consultation with the expert, we were fairly certain that the film crew in question was not for Outlander. When we finally found someone to ask, we were told it was for a BBC Comedy. We’ll be on the lookout though, just in case. Regardless, we had to content ourselves with photos from a random layby.
At this point, we stopped for a quick bite to eat in Arrochar and then headed south along the ‘bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond’ towards our next filming site. Unfortunately though, Dunmore Park (site of the WWII hospital) is no longer accessible. After some quick research on our phones, we discovered that the site is being approved for restoration. I’m pretty happy to hear that because it is a lovely shell of a building. While investigating, we were asked if we needed help by a lovely Scottish farmer, so the trip was not completely wasted. 😉
Next stop was Preston Mill. We navigated southwards, very thankful that we were not in the queue of people trying to make it back into Edinburgh at the end of a Bank Holiday weekend. Not hampered by traffic we arrived at the sight of the infamous mill-pond. We thought Jamie might need a towel. 😉 We enjoyed the late afternoon sunshine and poked around the exterior as the site was already closed for the day.
Taking advantage of the long Scottish evening, we managed to squeeze in one more location for the day. The ‘Tearing my guts out, Claire’ scene was filmed not too far from Preston Mill at the spectacularly beautiful Roslin Glen. After parking the car, we hiked deep into the Glen to find the magical spot by the river where Jamie and Claire had the go at each other. The site is an old gunpowder mill and you can still find tons of pottery shards from the 18th and 19th centuries down by the water.
Our day’s touring complete, we dropped Steph off at the bus stop back to Edinburgh, and began to make our way north. After a much-needed pit stop at McDonalds for a toilet, french fries and some wi-fi, we made our way along the highway viewing the ever-changing and most spectacular sunset I think I have ever seen. Ginger tried to take some pics and video. If they turned out well, I’ll try to post them. I’ve truly never seen anything like it.
Arriving home at last, I put that final tally for the day’s driving at about 350 miles. All in a day’s work for an Outlander fan. 😉 Ready for rest, I had a quick Skype with Mom and then enjoyed a spot of Outlander Kitchen’s Atholl Brose recipe and a peanut butter cookie. It’s good to know an Outlandish Baker.
Tomorrow, we’re off to Inverness and plan to hit Newtonmore Highland Folk Museum, Culloden, and Clava Cairns before meeting up with some of the Inverness Outlanders for dinner.
Slàn leat an-dràsta.