tv show

Scottish castles you can stay at IRL for that Outlander fix (Jamie sadly not included)

The countdown is officially on till Outlander is back on our screens.

Season three is only 36 days away (but who's counting!?!) but for fans wanting their Outlander fix right now, listen up.

The hit TV series is filmed at a number of heritage listed sites across Scotland, including Doune Castle, aka Castle Leoch, with the 13th century also used in Game of Thrones.

Image: Sony Pictures Television

Image: Sony Pictures Television

Then there's Linlithgow Palace, better known to fans as Wentworth Prison and Midhope House is Jamie’s family home of Lallybroch.

All of this means fans seeking a little Jamie and Claire inspo in real life, can visit the sites by day and stay in a bunch of Scottish castles by night, to really get that real Outlander fix... but with all the mod cons - like electricity and running water #winning.

However, we should manage expectations here... Jamie Fraser won't make his way into your room in the middle of the night, or be looking after the horses at a nearby stable.

Sadly, Jamie is not included in your Castle hotel stay. Image: Sony Pictures Television

Sadly, Jamie is not included in your Castle hotel stay. Image: Sony Pictures Television

So, if all that's got you ready to book a holiday to Scotland stat, here are some of castles you can actually stay at to feel like a laird and lady for yourself.

Ackergill Tower

Ackergill Tower is a 15th Century stunner, located in Northern Scotland on a 3,000 acre estate with magnificent water views.

The five-star hotel features individual rooms across the five-story complex, or guests can book the tower exclusively or one of five cottages perched in a sycamore tree.

Ackergill Castle. Image: Supplied

Ackergill Castle. Image: Supplied

The luxury hotel and lodgings are a favourite of celebrities, including Michael Douglas, Jack Nicholson and Billy Connolly.

More details here.

Borthwick Castle

This 15th Century Edinburgh castle is steeped in in Scottish history.

Once a refuge for Mary Queen of Scots and used to house valuables during World War II, now this small but stunning hotel is available to book into.

Borthwick Castle. Image: Supplied

Borthwick Castle. Image: Supplied

There are 10 "uniquely designed bedchambers with lavish bathrooms" along with a cottage and Gatehouse, which means the hotel accommodates 26 guests at any one time.

It also features a stone arch gateway on the property along with intimate dining and lounge areas and a spiral staircases.

More details here.

Crossbasket Castle

This stunning 17th Century structure near Glasgow is one of the most popular castles for weddings (not surprising given it looks like something out of a fairytale!)

Crossbasket Castle Hotel. Image: Supplied

Crossbasket Castle Hotel. Image: Supplied

Featuring a stone spiral staircase inside, this beauty's interiors have been restored to it's original glory.

Every bedroom features original antique furniture, including luxurious oversized beds, bed dressings, and period windows.

More details here.

Inverlochy Castle Hotel

Inverlochy Castle near Fort William is nestled among the foothills of Scotland's mighty Ben Nevis mountain, boasting stunning views.

Queen Victoria has previously stayed at the 19th Century castle, saying she couldn't pick a "lovelier or more romantic spot".

Inverlochy Castle. Image: Supplied

Inverlochy Castle. Image: Supplied

There are three dining rooms at the hotel, decked out with furniture which was gifted by the King of Norway back in the day.

More details here.

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel

For those city slickers wanting to stay in a castle, Sherbrooke is the perfect place.

Located 10 minutes from Glasgow Airport and just a five minute drive from the city centre, this is the best place to stay for a "best of both worlds" vibe.

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel. Image: Supplied

Sherbrooke Castle Hotel. Image: Supplied

The baronial building, which accommodates 200 people, includes luxurious bedrooms and has been refurbished to make it more stately.

More details here.

Castle Hotel Huntly

Seven acres of parklands and a nearby golf course, make the Castle Hotel Huntley one of the places to stay and play.

The hotel also claims to be the perfect spot for trout and salmon fishing, as well as walking distance to other nearby castles and even the local Whisky distillery - with Whiskey capital of the world Dufftown just 24kms away.

They even offer guests complimentary Sherry (oh and wifi).

More details here.

Castle Huntly Hotel. Image: Supplied

Castle Huntly Hotel. Image: Supplied

This story was originally published on Whimn and has been republished here with permission.

Downton...DON'T! Has Hollywood learned nothing from Sex & The City 2!?!

Millions of people are eagerly tuning in to watch the beginning of the end as Season 7 of Game of Thrones kicks off.

The international juggernaut will end after Season 8 and is set to spawn no less than four spin-off series... but here's hoping they DON'T try to bring it back for a special Season 9 on the big screen.

That's because it's a tried and tested method, which has failed more often than not!

It's the beginning of the end for GoT fans as Season 7 kicks off... here's hoping they don't take it to the big screen for Season 9. Source: IMDB

It's the beginning of the end for GoT fans as Season 7 kicks off... here's hoping they don't take it to the big screen for Season 9. Source: IMDB

Recently, Sarah Jessica Parker admitted to one of Hollywood's worst kept secrets - the Sex & The City movies, especially number two, didn't quite hit the mark.

"I can see where we fell short on that movie, and I’m perfectly happy to say that publicly," she told New York magazine's editor-in-chief Adam Moss, at the Vulture Festival in May.

Yes, Carrie Bradshaw herself admitted they'd stuffed up and as she'd say: I couldn't help but wonder... would this serve as a warning to other TV shows contemplating a movie?

Even Sarah Jessica Parker admitted Sex & The City 2 missed the mark. Source: IMDB

Even Sarah Jessica Parker admitted Sex & The City 2 missed the mark. Source: IMDB

Turns out, no.

Sadly, another TV show which ended all neat and tidy (like SATC did) is being given a big screen reboot.

Downton Abbey's opening music used to signal tea-time with a side of (read: bag of) chocolate on the side at our place on a Sunday night. 

I enjoyed the ritual as much as the show and was upset when Julian Fellowes announced it would be wrapping up at the end of Season 6 in 2015.

But now, as I finally get used to the new normal of a Sunday night, there's talk of a comeback. "Say it ain't so!" I think. But then come the news it'll be a film.

Downton was done-and-dusted so why is it coming back to the big screen? Source: IMDB

Downton was done-and-dusted so why is it coming back to the big screen? Source: IMDB

In an attempt to appease fans across the globe, they've chosen a cinema release. Noble? No. Cash grab? I think so.

In all the years Downton Abbey screened, they've had an annual movie-length Christmas episode, so I have no doubt the team can write something that stretches out the hour-long format... but there's no denying the big bucks to be made from releasing films in cinemas, instead of on TV.

I understand the built in TV audience that comes with these film releases but is Hollywood that out of ideas they need to throw crazy amounts of money at something that's essentially done-and-dusted?

All you have to do is look at the recent "just one more" movie specials of wrapped up TV shows - not all, all bad - including Absolutely Fabulous, Entourage, Inbetweeners, Power Rangers, CHIPS, 21 Jump Street, Veronica Mars... just to name a few. 

Now I'll admit, some of these got it right.

Plus popular TV shows such as Mission Impossible, Charlie's Angels and Star Trek have turned into popular fiIm franchises years later.

Another example of a movie reboot getting it right is the recent Baywatch movie.

Baywatch - same, same but very different! Source: IMDB

Baywatch - same, same but very different! Source: IMDB

Made just long enough after the original TV series wrapped up, in 2001, it doesn't take itself too seriously.

Most importantly, it doesn't try to recreate the show and in fact, makes fun of the series on a number of occasions - giving it a fresh quality, not just a reheated feeling.

But with all these TV shows "doing a John Farnham" and coming out of retirement, often soon after wrapping up, "I can't help but wonder" why they called it quits on the series in the first place. Were they out of ideas? Was it a publicity stunt? Do they now need the money? Did they realise they made a mistake?

Regardless of the reason, if you've gone to all that trouble to wrap up a series and finish something very definitively, I think the door should be left firmly shut - I mean, you don't see Kramer zooming into the room. That's because Jerry Seinfeld refuses to compromise his quality of comedy for a stint on the big screen.

Jerry Seinfeld has turned down loads of money and offers for a Seinfeld movie. Source: IMDB

Jerry Seinfeld has turned down loads of money and offers for a Seinfeld movie. Source: IMDB

"I don’t do movies because I think generally the size of that content does not lend itself to great comedy; it lends itself to people saying, ‘Hey, I made a movie’," Seinfeld wrote during a Reddit AMA.

No matter how much fans "really want to see it back" and how much you could make with a cinematic release, sometimes it's not worth tarnishing the whole brand and all those years of TV success for a few quick bucks.

So Downton creators, if by some stroke of luck you're reading this... please don't! Leave the series in the past, like the time it's set in.