Friday, August 28, 2015


Aug 25, 2015 |

Hopetoun House
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan talk to the HFPA at Gleneagles Hotel

It’s easy to find locations featured on the hit drama series Outlander when you arrive in Glasgow, Scotland. So much so that the Starz series has reportedly helped boost tourism by an estimated thirty percent as the global audience has come looking for the breath-taking locations featured in the story of time-travelling 1940s nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) and 18th century Scottish clansman Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan).

“I think it’s so vital that we are here in Scotland filming because it informs everything that we do,” Balfe tells the Hollywood Foreign Press Association during a recent visit to the stunning sets on location and in four sound stages built from an abandoned circuit board factory in Cumbernauld. “The landscape is so beautiful and the places that we go to shoot- the castles and other different locations – they just add so much texture to the show.” The Irish actress also acknowledges that Scotland lived up to its reputation for being cold and rainy but tries not to complain. “That just adds a great realism to it,” she adds unconvincingly. “Some night shoots, I’ve been sitting on a horse for hours in the cold and joked with the director, ‘I’m giving you the shivering for free!’”

Sam Heughan, who is a proud Scotsman, adds: “When I started filming Outlander, I fell in love with my country again and wanted to bring our culture to the rest of the world and I think we did that. I think it’s great for Scotland and it’s generated a lot of jobs but also shown the rest of the world what we can do and what we look like, so it’s wonderful.”

Many popular tourist destinations have been borrowed for the show, from the majestic rural estate of Hopetoun House, which poses in a few episodes as the home of the Duke of Sandringham, to the 14thcentury Doune Castle, which becomes Leoch Castle, the home of Jamie’s uncle Colum MacKenzie and his clan. If it looks familiar, that’s probably because it was also used in the 1975 comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, although it’s unlikely that cast took their job promoting Scotland quite as seriously!

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