Exploring Culross, Outlander’s Cranesmuir

culross outlander - cover

#Droughtlander is a thing of the past.

Season 4 of Outlander, the hit US show filmed in Scotland, is now streaming on Amazon Prime with a new episode released every Monday.

Outlander’s plot has captured the attention of millions of people around the world.

The new season is the perfect remedy to any Monday Blues as you reach for the blankets to shield you from the cold Winter night and tune in to the ever popular show.

To those of us that only watch Outlander for the history (a popular internet meme), we thought it would be great to take a look at the real-life Cranesmuir, the historic former Royal Burgh of Culross.

Bit of Trivia – Culross is actually pronounced Coo-russ with an emphasis on the Coo!

Found in the Kingdom of Fife, Culross lies on the shores of the Firth of the Forth and is around 10 miles away from former Scottish capital Dunfermline of Andrew Carnegie and Big Country fame.

Just under an hour away from capital Edinburgh, Culross is on the northern side of the recently opened Queensferry Crossing.

A journey from the capital will take you past, or potentially across (if you venture by train), the iconic Forth Rail Bridge, a bridge that is seemingly never finished with being painted thanks to the corrosive Firth of the Forth.

History along the Firth of Forth

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We take a look at the former Royal Burgh of Culross and the historic highlights found close by in Dunfermline, just 10 miles away.

Dating back to around the 6th century, Culross is one of Scotland’s truly historic villages

It’s beauty has been captured not only in Outlander but also in the superhero blockbuster ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’.

In the heart of the town lies Culross Palace, a mustard yellow, with red tiled roof, local landmark that thanks to the success of the hit Starz show, is one of Scotland’s most popular attractions.

Once you arrive in the historic part of the village, you will be forgiven for thinking that you have somehow travelled back in time.

culross outlander - street

The few signs of modern life – the road markings and lamp posts – will bring you back to reality.

Best explored on a clear day, we were greeted by some typical Scottish gales that tried to conceal the beauty of this wonderful village.

It’s safe to say the rain did not dampen our spirits or opinion of the village.

As you walk through the village, there are signs of its thriving industrial past that can be traced right through to modern times.

Once a busy trading port, Culross today lies close to the former Longannet Power Station where buildings were recently demolished in spectacular fashion.

Historic village buildings are wonderfully preserved and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland.

Beside the Palace, other local landmarks include the statue of Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane, the wonderful Clock Tower and the old Pier.

culross outlander - statue

A notable seaman that grew up in the village, it is believed that Cochrane was the inspiration for the fictional character created by C.S Forester, Horatio Hornblower.

A notable Scottish adventurer, Cochrane is known around the world, and once had exciting nickname ‘The Sea Wolf’.

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The village’s Clock Tower, resting close to the Palace, is the tallest point in the village and a good point of reference if you get lost amongst the houses on one of the very narrow roads (very narrow!).

culross outlander - pier

The literally slippery when wet (trust us on that one), pier stretches out into the water and is an indicator of the village’s former bustling sea port past.

To reach the pier, you have to cross a train line used to transport coal to both Kincardine Power Station and Longannet Power Station, so please be careful crossing.

Visit nearby Dunfermline

Culross outlander - carnegie monument

Depending on your selected route to Culross, you may have already driven through Dunfermline.

Dunfermline has its own historic buildings and glen worth exploring whilst visiting this part of the world.

Feeling peckish? We recommend grabbing a bite to eat at local bakers Stephens if you are looking for some essential picnic food.

The baker’s famous Steak Bridie or a cup of Stovies will provide the some essential Winter fuel to fight against the cold Winter weather.

culross outlander - glen

Pittencrieff Park was once a private park before being handed over to the public by Andrew Carnegie, an industrialist that emigrated to Canada in the 1800’s and built his fortune on the growing demand for rail travel throughout the American continent.

A popular tourist attraction, you can actually visit Andrew Carnegie’s Birthplace, now a museum dedicated to the famous former resident of Dunfermline.

Recently refurbished, the museum charts Carnegie’s life, including his famous decision to give the majority of his fortune away to charities and organisations he was passionate about.

Visitors can tour the former home, full of exhibits relating to Carnegie’s life.

Found within the Park, or ‘The Glen’, be sure to stop by the ruins of King Malcolm’s Tower.

A former lookout tower to protect against invaders, the ruins of the tower are now protected by the local Squirrel and Peacock population.

Take care making your way up to these ruins as the steps can be tricky to navigate.

culross outlander - palace

Close to the limits of the Glen lies the grand Dunfermline Abbey and the ruins of Dunfermline Palace.

Both are welcoming to visitors.

The Abbey is the stunning final resting place of a number of notable monarchs including Robert the Bruce, recently depicted by Chris Pine in the Netflix film ‘Outlaw King’.

The tomb can only be observed at certain points throughout the year, normally between March and October.

Handily, the majority of Dunfermline’s key landmarks and attractions can be found in or close to Pittencrieff Park.

There are multiple car park available before setting off in search of history.

Visit Fife

View a fantastic range of accommodation in and around Fife here.

Browse a great range of accommodation available in Edinburgh here.

Have you visited historic Culross?

Let us know by leaving us a comment on facebook if you have visited Culross or nearby Dunfermline and have any travel tips.


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