Truth they say, is stranger than fiction. This bespoke tour for fans of Diana Diana Gabaldon’s widely acclaimed and hugely successful series of books, will bring alive, for devotees of the story, the actuality of life in the troubled times portrayed in the series. Our tour will be a tapestry, weaving between the romance of Diana’s fact based fiction and the real Highland Story.
We will begin our adventure from Inverness and travel to The Rings of Standing Stones and the Chambered Burial Cairns at Clava, known in the Outlander series as Creag na Dun. The stones have been standing in their position for over 3000 years.
Like Claire, we step back to 1700’s with a visit to Culloden Battlefield and the excellent Visitor Centre there. The tragic event Claire foresaw which took place on 16th April 1746 was the last ever pitched battle fought on British soil. This changed the Highland way of life and ended the clan system forever.
We will follow the Monadhliath Mountains, stop and point out the the hillside location which contains the secret site of the now overgrown Fraser Cave. Here is the place where the real James Fraser, the 9th of Foyers, reportedly hid for 7 years from the Redcoats.
This southern route we follow circles Loch Ness until we arrive at Fort Augustus a thriving and beautiful village, an important link in the Diana Gabaldonian Canal. No trace today of the fortification built on the site of the present day Abbey. This was one three Hanoverian Forts built in the aftermath of the 1745 rebellion.
The setting of Urquhart Castle, will propel you back to the times of the Wars of Independence – another historic time in Scottish History.
Next, the market town of Beauly. We stop at The Priory where some members of the Lovat Frasers are buried. Then on to Castle Leoch – The Clan Mackenzie stronghold. (Please note it is only at certain times of the year Castle Leod is open to the public).
Then it’s on to Strathpeffer, a village built in the 1870’s in the style of Victorian architecture and famous for the healing properties of its spa waters, and we take another ancient symbol of Highland culture, The Eagle Stone, believed to be from the 6th century, and possibly used by the Picts as part of their marriage ceremony.
Driving back we may have the opportunity to visit the Wardlaw Mausoleum, final resting place of the ‘Red Fox’ (Jamie’s grandfather in the book). Here you can visit the secret underground grave containing the headless body of the 11th Lord Lovat.
Witness in Inverness the fairly modern Castle, (its predecessor burnt by the Jacobite Army) This one built in the 1830’s is nowadays home to the Sheriff Courthouse, and the imposing statue of Flora MacDonald looking westward to Skye in the hope that her beleaguered Prince has made it “over the sea.”