Welcome to Doune Castle:
In Cross Stitch written by Diana Gabaldon and Outlander the TV series, we become emerged into the story of Claire being taken away from the Century that she was from by falling through a stone no less, Claire arrived in Scotland at a different time.
Within not even an hour, she was being chased through the dense shrubbery of the woodland forest. She experienced an attempted rape from one of the most notorious Red Coat Soldiers, Black Jack Randall.
Although rescued, she was taken by a Clan of men who when we first meet them appear very rugged and a bit rough around the edges. At that time, we had no idea what loyal men they all really were.
Being English, she was not only met with strong suspicion where the possibility she maybe an English spy was raised or, if Black Jack Randall was correct that she was a "whore".
This was of course because when found, she was only wearing her thin white dress on a chilling Scotland day. Her dress being appropriate for Scotland in the 1940's but not the Century she fell into- the eighteenth century.
Here in these scenes we meet our favourite leading man, Jamie Fraser whom she shared a horse with as they rode to escape Jack Randall. He and the Clan of men were also escaping Captain Randall. They had quickly established a shared enemy.
Claire originally entered conversation with BJR because she thought he was the husband she left behind in her own Century. This is because the twist as we discover is that both Jack Randall and her husband Frank are played by the one and only actor, Tobias Menzies.
For hours the Clan (who we discover are Clan MacKenzie) rode without food or water in the darkness of the night, drenched by rain with only a thin blanket to share between Jaime and Claire.
The uncertainty of which time line she had found herself in loomed over her as they journeyed, as well as the fear of not knowing where she was going, who she was actually with and if she was safe. She knew from her own time after exploring her husband Frank's personal History just how much of a dangerous man BJR actually was.
Only just the day before, in the time line where she was from Claire had thought of BJR as a dead past relative of Frank's. Now she is reeling from her encounter with him where he was not only very much alive but attempting to rape her and in pursuit of both her and the MacKenzies.
They rode until the early hours of the morning where they stumble on what must have been a beautiful site for her- "Castle Leoch"- home to the Clan MacKenzie's with Colum as their Laird.
Castle Leoch is in fact Doune Castle in real life.
History of Doune Castle:
Doune Castle was given life in the 1300's and was home to the Duke of Albany (Robert Stewart). Robert Stewart ruled as Governor of Scotland for about 50 years.
The name Doune is derived from the word "dun" which means an ancient stronghold. With the Roman's fort at Ardoch, it was an important location for some protection.
Mary Queen of Scots also used Doune Castle and the forces were loyal to her Reign. Her forced abdication occurred in 1567.
At this time the castle became besieged by opponent's of Queen Mary's. After the 3rd day, Mary's followers surrendered on the condition the castle remained intact.
During civil war years Doune Castle was home to many prisoners.
In 1570 ownership passed to Sir James Stewart who became the first Lord Doune. Following this time, ownership belonged to the Earls of Moray ever since through marriage.
Doune was last used during the Jacobite rising of 1745 where Government Soldiers were imprisoned by the Jacobites after the battle of Falkirk. During this time Doune was occupied by Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie" and his Jacobite Highlanders.
For more information about Doune Castle, please visit the website where I have taken this information from which you can find HERE.
On location videos at Doune Castle:
Doune Castle Forest:
If you were doing a self Outlander drive, and enjoy a beautiful walk amongst nature, I would highly recommend you add an additional half an hour- an hour when visiting Doune Castle.
Last year, when I was looking for the path the MacKenzie's arrived in I accidentally discovered the forest. I consider myself lucky to have visited in Spring because the colours and all of the flowers were just a stunning display of art.
Many locals walk along this path and it's a very relaxing walk with some more Outlander scenes recognisable.