Yes - more Outlander filming sites! So far, the places we've been this year I went to last year, but it is still so much fun to re-visit them, and this time Dory is with me. And, again, as in the previous post I did about going to Culross and the "Black Kirk", it's funny how your mind wants you to think that the characters in the books are real and were actually at these places. It's also hard to suspend belief that the actors portraying those characters, who were there filming , were indeed NOT the"real" people in the book. I think that the "Outlander" TV series has done such a fabulous job of re-creating those books, and the actors have done such an incredible job of making you believe that they are indeed Jamie and Claire and Blackjack Randall, et al, that your mind just kind of takes you there. It doesn't hurt that all these places do have a history of their own that you learn about once you are there, so it's a win win situation.
In typical Scottish fashion, it was absolutely POURING as Dory and I left Portobello to head out to Blackness Castle in Linlithgow, which was used to film the scenes at Ft William between Jamie and Blackjack Randall. The windshield wipers could barely keep up with the pounding rain. But I knew it was going to be OK, cause I could see blue skies here and there. True to form, by the time I'd made the ~45 min drive, I arrived at the castle with the skies opening up to brilliant blues and puffy whites of the remaining clouds. And, though windy at this location, it was actually warm.
The rest of the family, and our visitors who are here from the states, (yes, we already have very welcome visitors - the Betz family), were doing a few errands, (which somehow also included another visit to Mary's Milk Bar in Grassmarket in Edinburgh :) ), so they were to arrive a little later to the castle. This was no problem at all for Dory and me, as we relaxed on the lawn for a bit and took in the fact that we could, indeed, actually relax.
After a bit, we decided to go exploring, and since I had been here before I knew my way around. There were very few people about yet (I think the torrential downpours of the morning backed a few people off for awhile). I was able to get some fun images without people in the way - a very unusual circumstance in the middle of summer. Compared to where she started, Dory is becoming a master at stairs, and we actually climbed the spiral staircases to the very top of the towers. Each place I went I remembered the Outlander scenes that were shot here, and just tried to imagine what it must be like to be a part of a filming crew at a location like this.
Soon everyone arrived, and since I had already walked about, Dory and I stayed on the expansive lawn and rested in the sun. I can't remember the last time I layed on my back and watched the clouds float by in their ever-changing forms. Year's ago? And that same thought kept coming to mind - I actually live here. This is something I can do at anytime I want to.
Our next stop was to be.....yes, "Lallybroch" - Jamie's home in the series. In actuality it is Midhope Castle, originally built in the 1400s, and much altered over time. Basically no one knew about this place until the series filmed there. We noticed that compared to last year there is now a "guard" station at the bottom of the incline you climb to get to the site, and there is now a plaque telling the history of the site.
You can't go inside "Lallybroch" as it is sealed off because of concern for the safety of the building. If you go around back, you can see a huge crack from top to bottom about 1/3 of the way across the building. Even so, just walking around the exterior evokes the feelings of the much loved home of our fictional character, Jamie, and also the sadness that Claire felt upon re-visiting it twenty years later when she was back in her own time, not back in time with Jamie. Such a beautiful place.
So, that's 3 Outlander sites down, and many more to go. Jealous yet? Tee Hee!
Here are the images first from Blackness Castle - aka - "Ft William":
And then images from Midhope Castle - aka "Lallybroch":