Castle Leoch is introduced to us in Outlander Season 1. It’s the seat of Clan MacKenzie in the story, but is it based on a real location?
While there are a lot of places in Outlander that are based on real locations, not all of them are. Of course, fans want to be able to visit the real places, and not just the locations used for filming. Castle Leoch is one on the mind of fans.
Castle Leoch is introduced in the first Outlander episode. Frank initially takes Claire there in the 20th century, where they see what has become of the ruins. When Claire goes back to the 18th century, she ends up seeing the castle in full working order. It is the seat of Clan MacKenzie with Colum in charge.
Is Castle Leoch a real place in Outlander?
Castle Leoch itself isn’t a real place. The name of the castle is fictional, and the filming location is Doune Castle.
Doune Castle is located in Stirling, and is about 23 miles northwest of Culross. It’s not in the area where Clan MacKenzie would have been.
Clan MacKenzie itself is a real clan. There was a castle that did act as the seat for the laird. This castle was known as Castle Leod and was originally given to John of Killin, 10th Chief of Clan MacKenzie after his fight at the Battle of Flodden. The castle then passed along the MacKenzie line.
There was a time of a feud between the MacKenzies and the MacLeods. In the end, Sir Roderick MacKenzie married Margaret MacLeod to end the feud and keep the castle in MacKenzie hands.
The real castle still stands and is still lived in.In the 19th century, the Hay-Mackenzies renovated the castle and then a watertight roof was added in 1992. The Earl of Cromartie now makes the castle his home, and it is available to the public on limited days if you want to add it to your Outlander tour.