Midhope Castle is on the Hopetoun Estate. A vehicle pass can be obtained from the Hopetoun Farm shop which is situated off A904.
Note from Hopetoun Estates –
As from Monday 8th August when you pick up your vehicle pass from Hopetoun Farm Shop there will be a small charge of £2 per guest in your group (excluding the guide). We already know that the average group size visiting the castle is 3-4 guests so we feel this is not an unreasonable amount to charge. Any funds raised will go towards further improvements in the Midhope area including a new information board on Midhope’s history arriving soon.
Hopetoun Estates have been very accommodating with Outlander visitors, this small charge can help improve information and access to Midhope Castle. Please remember to get your pass.
In the early hours of the morning 20th September 2015 I arrived in a dark car park in Tranent. I was not alone, I had been persuaded to take part in reenactment of Riggonhead March by my friend Jan. We joined Bonnie Prince Charlie – Arran Johnston – with other reenactors to walk from Tranent to Seton.
I have the medal to prove it!
Before we set of we had the chance to have something to eat – scotch egg and soup.
It was an uneventful march – part of us getting lost at one point – but lovely to see the sun come up on a warm September morning.
This is a reenactment of a march that took place in the early hours before the Battle of Prestonpans.
On 20 September Cope’s forces encountered Charles’s advance guard. Cope decided to stand his ground and engage the Jacobite army. He drew up his army facing south with a marshy ditch to their front, and the park walls around Preston House protecting their right flank. A Highlander supporter, Robert Anderson was a local farmer’s son who knew the area well and convinced Charles’s Lieutenant General, Lord George Murray of an excellent narrow route through the marshlands. Commencing at 4 a.m. he moved the entire Jacobite force walking three abreast along that route, known as the Riggonhead Defile, in total silence arriving to the east of Cope’s army at Seton West Mains. Although Cope kept fires burning and posted pickets during the night as the Highlanders were making their move they were not spotted by the pickets until around 5 a.m. Source – Battle of Prestonpans trust
This is shown in the episode Prestonpans.
When Claire has been rescued my Jamie, Murtagh, Rupert and Angus they stop by a river. While the horses are being feed Jamie takes Claire to the side to get her to apologise.
The scene was filmed in Roslin Glen Country Park by the River Esk near the remains of Mill Lade.
My next visit of the day was to Drummond Castle Gardens. These were used in series 2 as the gardens at Versailles.
Drummond has all the characteristics of a courtly, 17th century Scottish Renaissance garden. It is a composite garden, restructured in early Victorian times and renewed again in the 20th century when the garden framework and the exceptional interest of the original 19th century design were carefully preserved. Source – Drummond Castle Gardens
The gardens are open to the public from May to October but the castle is not open to the public. Amazing gardens worth a wander around especially on a lovely warm day.
On hot summer day I went for a return visit to Castle Leoch aka Castle Doune. I had heard that there is now an Outlander part to the audio tour voiced by Sam Heughan. The main audio is done by Terry Jones of Monty Python as the castle was used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The first place there is an Outlander audio is the courtyard. Sam explains how this part of the castle was used in filming.
The next Outlander audio treat is the castle kitchen. The show was not filmed in the castle but the layout of the kitchen influenced the set design.
The last place there is an Outlander audio treat is on the second floor of the gate house tower. It describes where the shinty match took place and other views.
Before I left Doune Castle I went for a walk round the outside.
Part of the back of Hopetoun House was used in series 2 as the entrance to the brothel.
Hopetoun House was used in series 1 as the house the Duke of Sandringham was staying at and where the dual took part.
In the series finale Claire returns to Lallybroch so on a lovely Thursday morning I revisited Midhope Castle. I first had to get a parking permit from Hopetoun Estate Farm Shop. I wasn’t the first of the day – two other groups had got permits before me.
View from the driveway.
Front of the house.
Back of the house.