Doune Castle

Film location for Game of Thrones and Outlander

Doune Castle

Doune Castle is one of Scotland's best-preserved 14th Century castles. Significantly damaged in the Scottish Wars of Independence, it became a ruin before being rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, King Robert II of Scotland's son.

You may know Doune Castle from the famous Monty Python film, “Life of Brian.” Outlander fans will certainly recognise this late medieval fort as the seat of Clan MacKenzie. Doune Castle also doubled as Winterfell in the first season of the Game of Thrones. So we have a real movie star of a Castle. 

Despite being a film set for well-known shows, Doune Castle is a genuinely interesting place, a time capsule of the past. Include a stop at Doune while on a driver-guided Private Tour of Scotland.

Outlander film location

A brief history of Doune Castle

The Romans
Roman occupation dating back to the first Century exists in the form of ramparts and ditches adjacent to the castle site. They would have identified the natural defensive position formed by the two adjacent waterways, the Ardoch Burn and the River Teith, which meet at this point.

The middle ages and war
Much the same thinking would have been behind the decision to build a castle here in the 13th Century. The castle became damaged during the Wars of the Scottish Independence, which were fought during the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

The Wars of Scottish independence were essentially two long periods of warfare, the First War between 1296-1328 and the Second War between 1332-1357. Within each was a series of military campaigns, ultimately leading to English recognition of Scotland's independence.

The 15th Century
The castle became a Royal property, who used it as a retreat, a hunting lodge, and a convenient home for Royal widows. Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed in the castle as did King James VI, who contributed funds towards its upkeep. He also used it as a prison for dissenters; People became classified as dissenters if they refused to conform to the Church of England doctrine.

The 17th and 18th Centuries
In 1654, Oliver Cromwell attempted, unsuccessfully, to occupy Scotland. In the Jacobite risings of 1745, the castle was occupied by Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite Highlanders. The plan was to regain the British throne for his father, James Stewart. Following his defeat, he fled to Skye, and, with help from Flora MacDonald, who dressed him up as an Irish spinning maid, he escaped to France. Tales of his escape became famous and became immortalised in the 'Skye Boat Song.'

The battles took their toll on the castle, which, among other damage, lost its roof. Restoration work by George Stewart, 14th Earl of Moray, helped restore the and the interiors.

Today, the castle is a Category A listed building in Historic Environment Scotland's care and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Detail of the Doune Castle
The Duke of Albany's ambitions for the magnificence of the castle were not constrained by budget. Ostentatious displays of wealth and status were essential to convey authority, and everything is large. The tower provided spacious living quarters; the kitchen was large and impressive. Not least remarkable is the Great Hall some 11 metres (36ft) high into its open-timbered roof, minstrels' gallery, and massive open fireplace. The total floor area is some 170 sq mtrs with narrow passages and private stairs leading off - It's a great day out. 

Touring and accommodation
Our Tour-Designers are here to tailor a private tour of Scotland for you. There are many options for tours of Scotland and day excursions from Edinburgh. For a first time visit choose our Classic tour of Scotland; it includes all the famous sights and is flexible on the day, like everything we do.

Pitlochry sits in centre of Scotland allowing you access to most of the Highlands, the Whisky TrailSt Andrews and Stirling Castle are within reach. For those with limited time is makes sense to stay in Edinburgh and Pitlochry only. This will allow you to tour the Highlights of Scotland. For any itinerary Pitlochry is a town which is useful as a launch pad to exploring large swathes of Scotland. 

Within the same region of is Scotland’s greatest resort, Gleneagles Hotel. Our recommended Pitlochry Hotel is Fonab Castle Hotel - Fonab is a short walk from the town centre, and has all the amenities you would expect from a five star property. Doune Castle is an easy day tour from both Gleneagles Hotel and Fonab Castle Hotel. 

For those that prefer a high-end boutique hotel, Cromlix Hotel fits the bill. Set in 34 acres of gardens and woods with luxurious rooms and the excellent “Chez Roux” restaurtant.

Edinburgh has a vast choice of accommodation. We look for quality, service and our ability to include complimentary amenities. Stay in the elegant New Town at The Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. Enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle from the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel. There are many options we can discuss you with you. Please contact us for details.

An Enthralling Relic

Meet the Film Star Castle

  • Game of Thrones Film Location
  • Outlander Film Location
  • Monty Python Film Location
  • Preserved by Historic Environment Scotland 

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Whether you are a honeymoon couple, a family or a corporate incentive group, our team’s collective resources will be brought together to build the experience that’s right for you.

We will require your arrival and departure dates, details of your personal preferences and places that you would like to visit as well as the events you would like to experience.

We will then prepare a draft itinerary and send it to you by email for your approval. Once agreed, we will send you a Booking Confirmation with Personalised Itinerary and Information Pack via email.

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