Outlander Edinburgh Exploring

Top Tips for Outlander Fans in Edinburgh

If you’re a fan of the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon, you may be planning a trip to Scotland to find out more about the land which inspired your favourite characters.  We love welcoming guests to see Outlander Edinburgh, and we’ve got plenty of inspiration. The obsession of fans seems only to grow as the Outlander Starz productions reach the small screen, and particularly since the adaptations have been so exciting!

In researching the short period during which the action in Dragonfly in Amber reaches Edinburgh, I’ve become quite immersed in looking at the city and countryside around me through the eyes of the central characters. I walk through the Canongate in Edinburgh looking for buildings which would have been in existence in the mid-1700s. On every visit to a museum or gallery I’m looking for artefacts which would have been in use at this time.  You’ll want to refer to Part 6 of the book, dealing with the period from September 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie (Prince Charles Edward Stewart) was leading his army to the Battle of Prestonpans.

Visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

To understand the events which feature in Dragonfly in Amber, you should definitely visit the Jacobites Gallery to see the portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie (wearing the Order of the Garter) as well as others of the Stuart family.  It’s helpful to watch the video by the National Galleries of Scotland explaining the history behind the Jacobite cause.

Outlander Edinburgh at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

In Dragonfly in Amber, Part 6 – Flames of Rebellion

His Highness Prince Charles Edward bent his head under the lintel to enter the cottage.  Come to visit the wounded, he was dressed for the occasion in plum velvet breeches with stockings to match, immaculate linen, and – to show solidarity with the troops no doubt – a coat and waistcoat in Cameron tartan with a subsidiary plaid looped over one shoulder through a cairngorm brooch.  His hair was freshly powdered, and the Order of St Andrew glittered brilliantly upon his breast.

While you’re in the Jacobite Gallery, make sure you take a look at the beautiful collection of Jacobite glass, gifted by the Drambuie company to the Museum.  Jacobite glasses have a fascinating symbolism which you can read about here.

Visit the National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland has a whole wing dedicated to the history of Scotland, covering geology and the creation of the land, through to social history and more recent events.  Here you’ll find plenty to fascinate you, including a targe (shield) given to Bonnie Prince Charlie, but abandoned when he fled the field after the Battle of Culloden.

outlander edinburgh targe prince charles edward stuart

During 2017, the National Museum of Scotland will mount a special exhibition about the Jacobites, which will run from 23 June to 12 November 2017.  An ideal time to visit Edinburgh to find out more about the real events which inspired the Outlander stories.

Visit the Museum of Edinburgh

The Museum of Edinburgh is situated in the Canongate section of the Royal Mile, and is well worth a visit.  We particularly like to see the Jacobite Glass which is part of the collection. We’re sure you’ll find lots more to interest you on your Outlander Edinburgh adventures.

jacobite glass

This fine example is engraved with a portrait bust of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Young Pretender. There is a rose and thistles, and the motto “Audentitor Ibo” – with greater daring I shall go.

Visit Duddingston Village

On the eve of the Battle of Prestonpans, Bonnie Prince Charlie set up his military camp at Duddingston.  It’s possible to take a walk through Holyrood Park from Craigwell Cottage to visit the village of Duddingston. You will find the Sheep Heid pub, which has several claims to royal visitors including Queen Elizabeth II. Look for the house where Prince Charles Edward Stuart held his council of war on 19 September 1745 before the Battle of Prestonpans. Do spend some time exploring this peaceful little village.  It’s an ideal opportunity to take a visit Dr Neil’s Garden which has views over Duddingston Loch. You can access the garden through the car park of Duddingston Kirk.

duddingston village

We’ve been delighted to welcome fans of the books to Craigwell Cottage over the years. The reaction to our article “Where is Carfax Close?” has led us to do some more searching around Outlander Edinburgh for more ideas to interest you.

Take a look inside the cottage if you wish, or if you’re ready to book, just follow the link:
book craigwell cottage edinburgh

Further ideas for Outlander Exploring

Take a Mercat Tours history walk on the Royal Mile

Find out more about Funky Ella’s Travels enjoyment of the Tour

Extra ideas from Adventures Around Scotland for 8 Locations around Edinburgh for Outlander Fans

Read our series of blogs about Outlander Exploring

Current Day historical researchers The 1745 Association

Pin it for later – Outlander Edinburgh Exploring

edinburgh outlander exploring

Anything to add?