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Published: September 13th 2018
Tom went out and got our standard Scottish fare from around the corner (bacon & egg McMuffin and a latte) while I got myself organised then we crossed the road to the major bus stop across the road for our Rabbies Outlander Adventure (and our tour guide is wearing a kilt). Outlander is a TV series based on a series of books by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve owned the books (and obtained their author’s autograph) for years. Love them and love the Tv series. Tom watches it with me, for the action, adventure and Scottish history. I watch it for the love and romance between Jamie and Claire, and the touch of family history.
Leaving Edinburgh we went across the new Queensferry Bridge, the third bridge across the firth of the Forth (across the mouth of the river Forth). The first bridge was the railway bridge, made from steel and still standing strong. The second bridge was made back in the 1960s and is falling apart, so they’ve made a new one. Before all these they also had a train bridge made of iron that fell apart anc killed lots of people who were travelling across it. So I guess the
new one is actually the fourth Firth of Forth bridge!
Anyways... first stop was some standing stones in a paddock by the road. Second stop was the village of Culross (pronounced Coolross). Many of the houses here were built in the 1600s. Delightful village, it was used to depict Craigsmuir in the show. We could see the veggie garden used as Claire’s herb garden at the rear of Culross Palace, and Geillis‘s house. There was also an art gallery with some beautiful photography prints, including some related to Outlander.
Next stop was Doune Castle - very special for us because it was the castle for Monty Python and the Holy Grail long before it became Castle Leoch on Outlander. It was also the castle in episode one of Game of Thrones, but then they found an Irish castle for subsequent filming. There were men walking around in kilts. They even sold halved coconut shells to make the horse trotting noise.
Next stop was Linlithgow Palace which was used to represent Wentworth Prison. This was also our lunch break, before moving on to Blackness Castle, used as the fictional headquarters of Jack Randall. The castle is built to
resemble a ship - the ship that never sailed.
Final stop was Midhope Castle - used as Lallybroch, Jamie‘s home. The owner is a really wealthy guy who charges the tour companies £40 just to park. We’re not allowed into the castle but we’re able to walk over the grounds and photograph it. It is really beautiful.
Next was a drive through Queensferry and back to Edinburgh.
Our tour guide, Dougie or Doogie, was really informative. He is young, has written books, has done a lot of genealogy for other people and knows so much about Scottish history. He ripped Braveheart to shreds - totally fictional in the movie, historically inaccurate (e.g. the French princess he was supposed to marry was only 8, kilts hadn’t become the common garment, Scots actually ran into battle naked and they never wore face paint, the actual battle was on a bridge, etc etc). Scotland is one of the top financial countries in the EU, Edinburgh has a large millionaire enclave. He also pointed out the two public schools (or private as we call them in Aus) that JK Rowling based her Harry Potter stories on.
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