Few TV series have been so synonymous with a landscape than Outlander is with the Scottish Highlands and the country's recent tourist boom is partially credited to the hit Starz series. However, with the Frasers getting washed up on a beach in the USA on the finale of season three, you can expect a new look to the TV show as the pair try to make a life for themselves in North Carolina.
In reality, the locations could hardly be further away but fans may be surprised that the cast and crew didn’t actually move at all. Instead, they merely scouted for substitute locations in Scotland. While they may seem like totally different landscapes, in season three they did the same for when the characters landed in Jamaica.
The main Outlander studio is Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld, which has expanded enormously to serve the production since season one. The nearby Cumbernauld Glen is also a convenient and popular spot for filming and with being open to the public, has attracted many fans during filming trying to get a glimpse of the actors.
There has been online speculation that the glen could be standing in for Fraser's Ridge, a huge plot of land where the heroes try to make their new home. Super fans also noted that one of the stars, Sam Heughan, let slip that the season finale was filmed in the glen in an interview with UK television. Both Heughan and Caitriona Balfe have also been spotted filming in period costume at Calderglen Country Park in the town of East Kilbride.
Two stunning churches are also slated to make an appearance in season four; Glasgow’s St Andrew's in the Square and Dunblane Cathedral. Believed to be taking the place of the southern plantations is Abercairny Estates, a popular wedding venue near Crieff.
Despite the production’s loyalty to Scotland, that doesn’t mean they’re not celebrating their new ties to the USA’s Deep South. Season four premiered at the Savannah Film Festival on 28 October where the cast and creators appeared in a panel discussion. An exhibition of Outlander costumes will also be at the SCAD Museum of Art until 2 December.
While not used as backdrops in the TV series, there are plenty of US locations to explore if you’d like to stay stateside. In the book, Fraser Ridge is said to be near Grandfather Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The area has a strong Scottish connection and even hosts an annual Highland Games in the summer due to so many people of Scottish ancestry settling there.
If you’ve read the subsequent books in the series, Outlander Tours NC also organises small group tours across nearly 1000 miles of the state to immerse fans into the Frasers’ life in the New World.