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If you’re on an Outlander tour of Scotland like I was, then you really can’t miss out on a visit to the Highland Folk Museum Outlander location.
In 2014, the production crew spent a lot of time at this museum, using one of the townships in the series one as a film set. In Outlander series one episode 5, ‘Rent’, the MacKenzie party stop at one of the MacKenzie Clan villages to collect the rents.
The good news for Outlander fans is that this village at the Highland Folk Museum is exactly like it was in the series and hasn’t changed one bit. So, you will actually feel like you’re walking in Jacobite Scotland as soon as you walk in.
Personally, as a big fan of Outlander, I loved visiting this museum. I really wasn’t expecting it to look exactly like the Outlander film set at all! I genuinely thought a lot would have been added for the screen. So, it was surprising and surreal.
Here’s a complete guide to the Highland Folk Museum Outlander location and how you can visit!
What is the Highland Folk Museum?
The Highland Folk Museum is Britain’s first open-air museum in Newtonmore. Their aim is to educate visitors about how people used to live in the Highlands from the 1700s until the 1950s through hands-on experience.
Their site is a mile long and includes 18th-century townships, working crofts, houses, trains, schoolhouses and much more.
But, it’s anything but stuffy and boring displays. It’s a living museum and so children and adults of all ages can learn by getting involved and walking in the Scottish Highlands through time.
It’s also completely free and entry is by donation. So, if you’re looking for a great place to stop on your way up to the Highlands, this is it!
Highland Folk Museum Outlander film location
As soon as I rocked up to the museum, I asked a kind lady on reception where the Outlander location was. As I turned up only an hour or so before closing time, I didn’t have long to explore!
The Outlander location that was used at the Highland Folk Museum was the 1700s township “Baile Gean” that is at the far end of the site. So, for me, it was a mad dash.
Although I was almost jogging through the site, the walk was extremely scenic which takes you through the Pine Woods.
The township that was used for the MacKenzie Village was based on a real township in the Highlands called Kingussie. The huts were salvaged from an abandoned township and they are placed in the museum exactly how they would have been in the 1700s.
This part of the museum closes first as it’s so far away to allow for visitors to exit. So, I was basically getting kicked out at the end of the day.
I would highly advise, if you are thinking of heading here, to aim for latest entry at 3pm so you have enough time to look around. It shuts at 5.30pm from April – August.
The staff, although eager to get home at closing time, were really friendly and are there to answer any questions you may have.
Marian, a lady who works in the museum, actually featured as an extra in the Outlander series! So, I’m sure she has some incredible stories to tell.
4 Highland Folk Museum Outlander locations
Although the whole township is pretty much an Outlander film set, there are a few locations within it that you may want to visit while you’re here that featured in the ‘Rent’ episode.
Before I visited self-guided, I had no idea of what scenes to look out for at all. But, the kind staff at the museum pointed a few out to me on request. So, I thought I would I share this for any die-hard Outlander fans that want to know a little more about what exact spots were used in the township for filming.
I was also quite lucky as the day I arrived they have a re-enactment day that only happens once a year between the Highlander’s and the redcoats. So, there were a few redcoats strolling around too!
1. The MacKenzie Village
As soon as you walk through the Pine Wood and up to township, this is probably when it will hit you that you’ve stepped through time and into an episode of Outlander!
It honestly looks EXACTLY like the scene when the MacKenzie rent party rock up and start collecting money and goods from the clan folk.
Aside from a few minor details and additions, the huts are in the same place as the series.
You can even spot the hut where the Blacksmith Lieutenant Jeremy Foster, which we later find out is a redcoat, asks Claire if she is okay after her altercation with Angus.
2. The bench where Ned Gowan collects rent
You also may not be aware that a lot of the huts, fire pits, baskets, barrels and everything in between was used in the Outlander series too.
I was actually told by one of the staff, that the bench and table on display at the museum were used by Ned Gowan to collect the rents from the MacKenzie party so I had to sit and have a photo ;)
3. The place where Claire Waulks wool with the Highland women
There are a few huts in the township that were used in the series that you can walk in and have a look around.
First, up is the one where Claire is Waulking Wool with some of the other Highlander women. If you remember in the series, this is also where Claire is asked to pee in the bucket for some more supplies to Waulk the wool with.
Eventually, Angus barges into the hut and drags her out to join the rent party.
As I arrived late, they were already locking up many of the huts and so I didn’t have a chance to go inside which was a shame.
4. The hut where Dougall McKenzie makes his speech
Each evening, after the MacKenzie party, collects the rents. They ask the clan to join them for a dram and Dougall gives his infamous speeches about the Jacobite cause. As part of this, he rips off Jamie’s shirt to show them his scarred back an example of ‘British justice’ to encourage more donations.
You can walk into this hut in the township and have a look around. Although it’s not as well lit as in the series. It’s almost pitch black and a fire is lit during the day.
Again, I was getting kicked out so I didn’t have much time to explore inside.
Highland Folk Museum Outlander Day
Each year in June, the Highland Folk Museum holds an Outlander day to celebrate all things, Outlander!
Throughout the day you can get involved in demonstrations Waulking wool and signing songs. They even invite Badenoch Waulking Group that featured in the episode too.
There’s also sword fighting, fancy dress and you can get pictures with Jamie and Claire…as cardboard cutouts!
Make sure you put it in your calendar if you’re about in June. It’s a fantastic event for any Outlander fan. Click here for more details.
What else is there to do at the Highland Folk Museum?
There is so much to do at the Highland Folk Museum for all ages, beyond being an Outlander location.
For children, there’s huge play parks, trains, historical school rooms and experiences to get involved in. It’s the perfect place to distract them for a few hours.
Plus, there are also lots of adults to learn too. There are over 10,000 items at the museum that were collected by Dr Isabel F Grant in the early 1900s.
There’s agricultural history, house through time that you can explore, learn about trade and crafts in the Highlands, arts and costumes, transport and plenty more!
How long to spend at the Highland Folk Museum
My biggest regret is not spending enough time here, you’re probably bored of me saying I got here late and was being kicked out but that’s what happened!
But lesson learned, next time I would make sure I left enough time to explore. If the museum closes at 4.30pm as it does in Winter, I would get here latest 2pm to have a good look around. If it shuts at 5.30pm, 3pm is a good time to show up!
The museum recommends at least 3-5 hours to fully experience the tour.
There is far more to experience here in this museum beyond the township that featured in Outlander. So, grab a map and plan the adventure.
How to reach the Highland Folk Museum
If you’re interested in visiting the Highland Folk Museum is located on Newtonmore near Kingussie.It’s located in the Cairngorm National Park and is 16miles from Aviemore.
If you’re driving to or from the Highlands in Inverness, it’s the perfect stopover on the way. Use the A9 and A86 road to access.
Highland Folk Museum Opening Times and Prices
Like most of Scotland, the opening times greatly depend on the season;
- November – March: CLOSED
- April – August: 10.30am: 5.30pm each day
- September – October: 11am – 4.30pm each day
The price of entry is completely FREE to the museum but donations are welcome.
Highland Folk Museum parking
There is plenty of parking for cars, camper vans, minibuses and coaches so don’t worry about not getting a space. But, considering it is in the middle of nowhere it does get really busy!
There is an overflow car park as well at the last resort.
Where to eat at the Highland Folk Museum
There are quite a few facilities at the museum itself for food like a shop and a café. I had to beg to be sold a Fab Ice cream as they were cashing up lol.
If you didn’t fancy buying any food, there are many picnic benches if you fancied bringing lunch along instead.
If you wanted to eat more of a hot lunch, you would need to find a restaurant nearby. There are plenty in Newtonmore and Aviemore. I’ll leave a link to some of the top-rated restaurants here.
Outlander locations near the Highland Folk Museum
As we’re heading up towards the Highlands, there will be less and fewer Outlander locations to explore.
Most of them are in the Lowlands, the heart of Scotland, near Stirling, Glasgow and Edinburgh. But, there are a few you can stop at on the way in the area.
Kinloch Rannoch in Perthshire is the place that started it all, the prehistoric stone circle of Craigh Na Dun!
Or, you can visit Talluch Gru that featured in the first-ever episode which is where Claire meets Jamie for the first time. Read more in my ultimate list.
Glencoe in the Highlands features in the intro for the series and is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland to experience too. Click here to read my complete guide!
You can read my ULTIMATE list of Outlander locations in Scotland here, or read my Outlander in Edinburgh & Outlander in Glasgow guides
More Outlander locations to visit in Scotland
Hopetoun Estate has over 17 Outlander locations around the area. You can visit Lallybroch, the ancestral home of Broch Tuarach, at Midhope Castle. Abercorn Church also sits nearby that featured in season 4.
Drummond Castle Gardens doubled up as the grounds of Versailles and Castle Leoch, the seat of Clan MacKenzie, can be found at Doune Castle. Or, why not take a whisky tour in Deanston Distillery to see Jared’s wine warehouse in Le Havre?
Outlander locations around Edinburgh
On the Royal Mile, there are plenty of Outlander locations to visit including Bakehouse Close or the Outlander print shop.
Afternoon tea at the Colonnades will also transport you straight into the Governor’s Mansion in Jamaica.