While many of Outlander's enthusiastic fans watch the show for its passionate love stories, rich exploration of history, and gorgeous costumes, at its core, the Starz series is rooted in science fiction. Claire Randall's entire life shifts when she travels back in time through the stones at Craigh na Dun, and without that journey, there would be no plot to thwart the Battle of Culloden, no stunning historic clothing, and no steamy sex scenes between Claire and her 18th-century husband, Jamie Fraser. Those stones are pivotal to the Outlander story.
Unfortunately for those loyal viewers seeking to see Craigh na Dun in real-life, it's a fictional place, so there's not an exact real life location to plan a trip around. But here are a few places where you can catch a glimpse of the Outlander magic.
The scenes where Claire goes through the stones were filmed at Kinloch Rannoch in Perth, near the eastern edge of Loch Rannoch.
But don't travel there expecting to see the standing stone circle. For the show, the stones were created out of styrofoam and temporarily placed on site. "We built the stones at our studio. The stones are made out of styrofoam. You could pick them up by yourself," explained showrunner Ronald Moore on the Outlander Podcast.
"They were sculpted by an artisan, a craftsman and painted to look like actual stone. And then we hauled them out to the actual location and we planted them in the ground."
The look of the stones was rumored to have been inspired by the Callanish Stones, which are located on the Isle of Lewis, but crafting the look of the props perhaps proved simpler than finding a location for the scene.
"It took a long time to find the actual location for Craigh Na Dun because it had to fit a lot of masters," Moore explained.
"It had to be big enough for all these stones to stand in a circle. It had to be level enough that dancers could actually dance around on it. It had to be on a hill with a bit of a view because we were going to have to climb up to this hill and then run back down it. It wasn't easy to find."
If it's just the name you're interested in, there's a Craig Dunain (close, but no cigar) graveyard near Inverness.
There is also a standing stone circle known as Clava Cairns near the city where Claire first fell through the stones. For those making a full day of visiting Outlander locations, it is very close to the Culloden battlefield, and open to the public.
No plans to travel to Scotland anytime soon?
You might be interested to know that stone circles exist in a number of different countries including Ireland, Italy, Somalia, and Ethiopia, among other places.
If you prefer the armchair traveler life, season five of Outlander is expected to return to Starz in 2020, but production is already underway. Watch a sneak peek video from the set below:
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