For Outlander fans, Inverness is a very special place to visit. The popular series of books and TV shows is set largely in the Scottish Highlands during the 18th century. And creator, Diana Gabaldon, drew much of her inspiration from real places and stories from Scotland’s rich history. There are many sites in and around Inverness, which are mentioned in the Outlander books or feature as filming locations.< Go Back to Things to Do
Inverness is, in fact, where Claire’s time travel adventures start. While visiting in 1945, she touches the ancient standing stones of “Craigh na Dun” and falls back through time to the year 1743. Here she meets Highlander Jamie Fraser and their story begins. Although Craigh na Dun is not a real place, it was inspired by ritual stones and burial cairns like the Clava Cairns in Inverness. Surrounded by mystery and folklore, they make the perfect setting for this magical event to occur.
Much of early part of the story focuses on the Jacobite Risings and the Battle of Culloden in particular. This tragic battle between the British Army and the Jacobite Rebellion, took place in 1746 at Culloden, just east of Inverness. Today, you can visit the atmospheric Culloden Battlefield and visitor centre. Where you’ll learn both sides of the story and take part in a new immersive theatre experience.
Many other locations near Inverness feature in Jamie and Claire’s world. Such as Castle Leod, the seat of the Mackenzie Clan and the inspiration behind “Castle Leoch” in the series. Urquhart Castle, where Claire encounters a water horse from the depths of Loch Ness. Wardlaw Mausoleum, burial place of Simon Fraser or Old Fox, the 11th Lord Lovat, a real-life historical figure who appears in Outlander as Jamie’s grandfather. Furthermore, Abertarff House, the oldest house in Inverness once belonged to Jamie’s grandfather.
Beauly Priory, where Claire meets the seer Maisri in the books. Additionally, the previous castle which sat on the same site as Inverness Castle housed captured soldiers in the Jacobite era. Inverness Old Church also holds some interesting links. Jacobites were imprisoned here and executed and the musket ball marks can still be seen to this day on the wall! And across the river, you can see Balnain House. Here the British Army used it as a field hospital during the Battle of Culloden giving the red coats a good view of the happenings at the church.