Experience Cinematic Scotland at Doune Castle
Located in the Stirling district of Scotland is Doune Castle. Believed to have been built in the 13th century, the castle was occupied up until the 18th century. Now the ruins of the castle are maintained by Historic Scotland and it serves as an excellent place to explore to Scotland. The castle is also noted for its appearances in films and on television.
The most recent use of Doune Castle has been on the hit show Outlander, where the castle doubles as the show’s fictional Castle Leoch. The show Outlander is seen by fans as the Scottish answer to Games of Thrones, and according to the Scotsman fans of the show have descended onto the castle in large numbers to witness the site first hand.
Perhaps the most famous film the castle featured in was Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was on the castle walls that John Cleese’s French solider told King Arthur, played by Graham Chapman, “your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.” An interesting note from The Herald Scotland is that due to the film crew being unable to get permission from other castles in Scotland, Castle Doune doubled for all castles used in the film. Visitors to the castle can listen to an audio tour narrated by Terry Jones.
Doune Castle has also featured on the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. In the first season, the castle doubled for the exterior of Winterfell, the ancestral home of the Stark family. The castle can be seen in the background when Robert Baratheon arrives at Winterfell in the pilot episode. Game of Thrones is currently the most watched and downloaded show being produced. It has spawned everything from its own version of Risk as shown on Board Game Geek, to even having a Game of Thrones 15 Lines online game from leading digital developers Spin Genie. The pilot episode was unfortunately the only episode that featured Doune Castle, as the filming of Game of Thrones moved to Northern Ireland for the rest of the series. Yet for fans of the show it is a great chance to see some television history and experience the original Winterfell.
For those who wish to explore the scenery around the castle, Walking Highlands details a quick 1.75 mile walk on their site. The walk starts in the village of Doune and encompasses the castle and nearby River Teith. The site states that the views of the castle from the river are some of the best. The walk is a small loop that comes back round the village. The district of Stirling is known as being one of the most picturesque areas of Scotland and walkers can see why it is often used as a location in films and television.
Hopefully this has inspired to take a look at Doune Castle and explore one of Scotland’s most famous on screen locations. Whether you are a fan of the time travelling show Outlander, a fan of Game of Thrones, or just like the idea of putting on a French accent and hurling insults, then Doune Castle is the place for you.