Craigmillar Castle Outlander Location: A Complete Ardsmuir Prison Guide

Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland

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The Craigmillar Castle Outlander location was the very, very first one I ever visited! It is conveniently located in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh and though it is not the most glamorous of Outlander filming locations, it has some brilliant quirks and historic facts that help it stand out.

Craigmillar Castle is a ruined castle dating back to the late 14th century. It is Edinburgh’s “other” castle, second only to the most important castle in the country, the world-famous Edinburgh Castle. The reason why anyone has heard of Craigmillar Castle is usually due to Mary, Queen of Scots. She stayed at the castle in late 1566 where the speculated pact we call the “Craigmillar Bond” was made. Supposedly, she helped arrange the assassination of her husband Lord Darnley.

But in Outlander, it was the Ardsmuir Prison location. It is a fictional prison-based near Coigach for Jacobite rebels captured after the Battle of Culloden in 1746. So, want to learn more about visiting this Outlander location? Let’s dive in!

Where Was Outlander Filmed in Craigmillar Castle?

Craigmillar Castle Courtyard in Edinburgh, Scotland
Craigmillar Castle Courtyard

Ardsmuir Prison Outlander Scenes in Craigmillar Castle

  • “All Debts Paid” – Season Three, Episode Three

Can you believe that this Outlander filming location only appeared in one episode and that’s it? Yup, just “All Debts Paid” in season three. But it does feature prolifically throughout.

When the Redcoats finally capture Red Jamie, they take him to Ardsmuir Prison. Since he is a notorious flight risk, they keep him in chains but at least he is reunited with his clansmen Murtagh Fitzgibbons and becomes the unofficial spokesperson of the prisoners. He is also reunited with Lord John Grey, the Redcoat officer he forms a friendship with.

Craigmillar Castle was the only Ardsmuir Prison Outlander filming location though they would have shot some of these scenes from Outlander in a studio. The courtyard is unmistakable because it has a huge yew tree growing behind the front door and you can see it when Jamie arrives on a carriage. Another door/gate to the right leading to the old P-shaped pond also features, as does many of the smaller interior rooms which stand in as prison cells.

The castle’s exterior also features when Jamie and Murtagh leave Ardsmuir Prison bound for different destinations and do not know whether they will see each other again. And those are all the filming locations for Outlander at Craigmillar Castle! It is also a prominent filming location in Outlaw King (2018) which you should definitely check out if you love watching films and TV shows about Scottish history.

Read next: Outlaw King Filming Locations in Scotland

Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland
Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle: Planning Your Trip

How to Get There By Car (& Parking)

Craigmillar Castle is slightly outside of Edinburgh’s city centre which should make it easier for those travelling into the city by car to not be caught up in traffic. Use the postcode EH16 4SY to find your way there.

There is a small car park in front of Craigmillar Castle which is free but if you are visiting later in the day you may need to park elsewhere. Craigmillar Castle is directly opposite the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Hospital which has a few car parks available so that might be a good alternative.

How to Get There By Public Transport

Getting to Craigmillar Castle via public transport from Edinburgh city centre is SUPER easy. The N.33 Lothian Buses service connects Princes Street to the Royal Infirmary and then it’s an easy 10-15 minute walk. All single bus journeys currently cost £1.80 which you can pay with cash or a contactless credit card. In total, including walking, the journey should take about 15 minutes.

But if you don’t mind walking for just over an hour, you can walk the whole way from Edinburgh’s city centre! I recommend walking through The Innocent Railway path in Holyrood Park for a picturesque stroll.

Opening Times & Ticket Prices

Craigmillar Castle is currently open from 10:00 – 16:00 every day. Full price adult tickets are £6. You won’t need much longer than an hour at Craigmillar Castle because it’s not a very big place and there aren’t many information cards to read.

Check out Historic Environment Scotland for the most up-to-date opening times and ticket prices for Craigmillar Castle.

Craigmillar Castle in Edinburgh, Scotland
Craigmillar Castle Fireplace

Book Your Place on an Outlander Tour in Scotland

Why not book a place on one of the Outlander tours in Scotland as I did?! I went on the Haggis Adventures One Day Outlander Trail from Edinburgh and it was amazing. Less than £50 and we visited Linlithgow Palace, Doune Castle, Culross, Falkland and Midhope Castle. Our guide and driver was also fun, energetic and knowledgeable about Scotland we listened to some Scottish folk music on the ride, too.

Some other great Scotland Outlander tours I’ve heard of include Rabbie’s Outlander Adventure One Day Tours from Glasgow or Edinburgh. Plus, Rabbie’s do three-day tours if you want to visit Outlander locations from the books as well as filming locations for Outlander the TV show.

Check Out My Other Outlander Filming Location Guides

Midhope Castle as Lallybroch | Hopetoun House as Helswater (& more!) | Culross as Cranesmuir

 Doune Castle as Castle Leoch | Falkland as 1940s Inverness Blackness Castle as Fort William

Linlithgow Palace as Wentworth Prison | Culloden Battlefield

Outlander Filming Locations in Glasgow Outlander Filming Locations in Edinburgh

Doune Castle in Doune, Scotland
Doune Castle plays Castle Leoch in Outlander

And that’s my complete Ardsmuir Prison/Craigmillar Castle Outlander location guide! Have you visited Linlithgow Palace or watched Outlander? Let me know in the comments below!

Read next: Culross Outlander Location: A Complete Cransmuir Guide

Craigmillar Castle Outlander Location: A Complete Ardsmuir Prison Guide |

2 thoughts on “Craigmillar Castle Outlander Location: A Complete Ardsmuir Prison Guide

  1. Martin Short says:

    Visited Craigmillar on my last Scottish holiday (just prior to Covid) I was unaware of it’s location use. They don’t seem to make a big thing of it, concentrating on the real history surrounding the building. It is a wonderful place to visit and if you get up on the top you can take selfies with Arthur Seat and the city of Edinburgh in the distance behind you !!

    • Rebecca says:

      Yess you can! I really enjoyed Craigmillar and you’re right, they don’t really make a big deal out of it being a filming location site (at least not when I visited in September 2020).

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