On the weekend we visited Midhope Castle, aka Lallybroch to the Outlander fans out there.
Despite being located just 20 minutes from where we live, this was our first time visiting the castle.
Located on the Hopetoun Estate (home to another historic building, Hopetoun House), Midhope was relatively unknown before the phenomenon that is Outlander chose the castle to play the part of Jamie Fraser’s highland home.
Did you know that we provide private driving tours in Scotland? We have an awesome Outlander day tour we think you’d love! Visit our website Kiwi and Haggis Tours for more information.
The journey to Lallybroch
An army of tall Scots pines hugged the side of the road that led to the castle. We kept a careful eye out for pheasants crossing the road (during this time of year, there are many about). Their blue and bronze feathers reflected the light of the sun, standing solo in the sky, free from cloud cover.
We get a few unexpected blasts of warmth during April, I’ve come to learn. The only reason I pay attention is because it’s my birthday month, and I grew up celebrating my birthday during atrocious weather in autumnal New Zealand.
While you cannot go inside the castle (it’s derelict and the exterior is essentially a shell) you can stroll around the grounds outside, and take a few photos (full Outlander regalia optional).
The real history of Midhope Castle
Midhope Castle was built in the 15th century by John Martyne. Little is known about him, but after his death in 1478 the castle was inherited by Henry Levingstone. The proximity of the castle to Linlithgow indicates that Henry Livingston may have been related to the Lords of Livingston (later the Earls of Linlithgow).
One of the most interesting examples of the castle’s history is the carving on the gate that reads ‘AD 1587 MB’. This reveals when the castle came into ownership by Alexander Drummond and Majorie Bruce.
In the 17th century the castle fell into the hands of the Earls of Linlithgow, and later on to John Hope of Hopetoun.
In 1851, there were 53 people living at Midhope, including 4 gamekeepers, 4 foresters, 2 labourers, a groom, a carter, a gardener, a joiner, and a number of paupers.
Planning your visit
Location: Abercorn, West Lothian (35 mins from Edinburgh city centre)
Cost: £5 per adult (when purchased online, £6 per adult when purchased at the castle).
How to get there: By car, taxi or tour (public transport options are limited)