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30 Scottish castles re-open on 30 April

Historic Environment Scotland ( HES ) have made the announcement we have all been waiting for – the Scottish castle drawbridges will be opening on 30 April . Edinburgh Castle , Striling Castle and Linlithgow Palace are among the most popular castles ready to re-open . WhatsApp +447305294773 for Scottish castle tours or be book online .

Following the First Minister’s welcome announcement that COVID-19 restrictions are expected to relax with the arrival of spring, HES can now announce that 26 of staffed sites and hundreds of open air, free-to-access sites will be ready for you to visit again from Friday 30 April. 

All visits must be booked in advance .

Castle reopening plans

HES are opening over 250 sites in phases over the coming months.Read our press release

Plan a spring visit  

Between now and the end of April, HES teams are working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready for your visits to Scotland’s iconic sites. 

On Friday 30 April, you can book tickets to visit:

Aberdour CastleFort George
Arbroath AbbeyGlasgow Cathedral
Blackness CastleHuntly Castle
Caerlaverock CastleInchcolm Abbey
Craigmillar CastleJedburgh Abbey
Dirleton CastleLinlithgow Palace
Doune CastleMelrose Abbey
Dryburgh AbbeySkara Brae
Dunblane CathedralSt Andrews Castle
Dundonald CastleSt Andrews Cathedral
Dunfermline AbbeyStirling Castle
Edinburgh CastleTantallon Castle
Elgin CathedralUrquhart Castle

Tickets must be booked in advance. 

HES are closely monitoring Scottish Government plans and considering the circumstances in each local area. If anything changes after you’ve booked tickets, we’ll automatically cancel and refund bookings within 30 days – there’s no need to contact us.  

Please always check the Scottish Government’s latest advice before you travel. 

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Midhope Castle Tours

Ten years ago Midhope Castle was just another ancient ruined castle in Scotland – unknown and neglected . Nowadays it is the centre of filming for the smash hit TV series Outlander . Midhope Castle is the external location for Outlander’s Lallybroch, the family home of character Jamie Fraser , and it is located on the Hopetoun Estate .  Midhope Castle dates back to the 15th Century and although the exterior is relatively intact the castle is derelict inside. Filming takes place outside the castle , but interior scenes are filmed at Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld .

Midhope Castle, a 16th-century tower house, is used as Lallybroch (also known as Broch Tuarach) in Outlander . Left to Jamie by his parents, Brian and Ellen, Lallybroch is also home to Jamie’s sister, Jenny, her husband Ian Murray and their children. With Lallybroch being an important part of the Outlander story, many scenes were filmed at Midhope Castle.

Midhope Castle tours from Edinburgh can be booked on

Toll free number 1-866-233-2644

Freephone 0800-6190575

or online .

Outlander news is brought to you by Outlander tours Edinburgh.

We see this iconic location several times. Our introduction to Lallybroch comes in a flashback scene during the second episode of season one , when Jamie attempts to rescue Jenny from the Redcoats, only to end up being whipped and carried off to Fort William. Later in episode twelve , Jamie returns with Claire. Then, in season 2 we see Claire and Jamie return home after their time on France.

In season three we find out that the story of Lallybroch is not yet finished. After Culloden, Jamie is returned home, where he hides from the British before eventually surrendering to the army.

Midhope Castle is located in Abercorn, just west of South Queensferry, on the Hopetoun estate. It is every bit as impressive as Lallybroch, with the familiar approach and entrance to the building.

If you’re looking for a glimpse of the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser you won’t find the real Lallybroch deep in the Highlands.
Scenes were shot at Midhope Castle on the fringes of the Hopetoun Estate near South Queensferry.
Midhope was built in the 15th Century and was built by John Martyne, laird of Midhope. It was rebuilt in the mid 1600s and remains much the same today.
Visitors are asked to admire Midhope from a distance as the interior remains largely derelict.

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Eilean Donan Castle on film – Made of Honor

 the Made of Honor filming locations

We all know about the blockbuster movies made at Eilean Donan Castle – James Bond and Highlander . But what about film comedies ? Made of Honor was a huge hit in the 80s and it was filmed in a number of locations in Scotland , most notably at Eilean Donan Castle .One of the main locations of Made of Honor filming in Scotland is definitely Eilean Donan Castle. It is located on the mainland of Scotland quite close to the Isle of Skye. The ancestral home of Colin’s family, the McMurrays, is in Made of Honor, but it was a stronghold of the Mackenzie and its allies, the Macrae clan, in real life. Another location is the harbour town where Hannah’s bridesmaids are taking her to her hen’s party. Although it’s about an hour’s drive from the castle of Eilean Donan, it seems like it’s just up the road in the film.

Kevin McKidd is one of the co-stars of Made of Honor and he is the only Scottish actor in the film . Kevin McKidd was born and raised in Elgin, Scotland . Kevin made his screen debut as the vicious gangleader, “Malky Johnson”, in Gillies MacKinnon‘s Small Faces (1995). His next role was as the tragic, gentle giant, “Tommy”, in Trainspotting (1996). Kidd also starred in Grey’s Anatomy .

Made of Honor actually used three different locations in Scotland – three different castles . The film was shot in at Eilean Donan Castle, Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye and Broughton Castle ,Edinburgh .

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Joanna Lumley revisits Eilean Donan Castle

In her new TV series Joanna Lumley reveals Eilean Donan Castle has a special place in her heart – it was the location where she filmed her first episode of the Avengers ( sixties TV series , not Marvel’s epic science fiction film series )

Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home – Travels in My Own Land is the new UK travel series on ITV.

After a lifetime of travels that have taken her across the globe, Joanna Lumley is making her most personal journey yet. Joanna Lumley starred as Purdy in the Avengers.

Over three episodes, she’ll travel from the Yorkshire Dales to St Michael’s Mount, from the Highlands of Scotland to the cobbles of Coronation Street, retracing old steps, meeting inspiring people, and exploring the wonders of the country she calls home.

Joanna Lumley said: “I seem to have spent a lifetime travelling the world, but as I get older, I realise there’s so much of my own country I haven’t seen. So, I decided that using my traveller’s eyes…I’m going to turn that vision onto this country, the place that I now call home.” .

Joanna Lumley’s Home Sweet Home episodes 2021

Episode 1 – 2 February
After a lifetime of travels that have taken her across the globe, Joanna Lumley is making her most personal journey yet. Starting at Tilbury Docks in Essex she heads north, making a nostalgic return to Coronation Street, before ending the journey in Whitby.

Episode 2 – 9 February
This week Joanna travels through Scotland and Northern Ireland. Starting in the Outer Hebrides, she explores the Harris Tweed industry and drives a herd of Highland Cattle across the sands at low tide to their winter grazing. Next Joanna heads to Eilean Donan Castle, the location for her very first episode of the New Avengers, where she strikes some Purdy moves as she scales the battlements.

Crossing to Northern Ireland, Joanna visits the Dark Hedges, made famous in Game of Thrones, before having a laugh with one of the Derry Girls . She then meets the inspiring founder of the Children in Crossfire charity and finds out how a new generation is working to break down old barriers.

Eilean Donan Castle tours are available all year round . Phone +447305-294773 for details.

The Scottish castles collection features pictures of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland by photographer David Rankin. Take one of our Eilean Donan Castle photo tours to visit the castle and get some great pictures of it .

Eilean Donan Castle was originally built in 1220 and owned by the MacKenzies of Kintail. The MacRae Clan who settled in the area came from the Beauly Firth where they had protected the Clan Fraser.

In 1719 it was held by Spanish Jacobites. Three English frigates sailed into Loch Duich and bombarded the castle with cannon fire until it was in ruins. The castle them lay in ruins for nearly 200 years. In 1911 John MacRae-Gilstrap bought the castle and start work to restore the castle over a period of twenty years at a total cost of a quarter of a million pounds. Local materials were used wherever possible.

More recently the castle featured in the film Highlander and a James Bond movie, the World is not enough .

Our James Bond tours feature a visit to the castle