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Macbeth site leaves witches spellbound

Press Release   •   Sep 15, 2015 10:48 BST

Visitors can now follow in the footsteps of Macbeth thanks to a new guide from VisitScotland which launches today (15 September 2015).

Ahead of the release of the new film by acclaimed director Justin Kurzel and starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, in cinemas on 2 October, the national tourism organisation has highlighted more than 20 Macbeth locations throughout Scotland with an online guide: Macbeth – The Man, Myth & Legend.

To celebrate the launch, three ‘Weird Sisters’ gathered in the grounds of Brodie Castle, Forres, a mere stone’s throw from Macbeth’s Hillock which, according to local folklore, is the ‘blasted heath’ where the tragic king and his friend Banquo meet the foreboding trio in William Shakespeare’s play.

The guide focuses on places associated with the real Macbeth, who reigned from 1040 to 1057; the lead character from Shakespeare’s tragedy; as well as the Skye filming locations used as stunning backdrops in director Justin Kurzel’s upcoming epic.

Locations in Macbeth – The Man, Myth & Legend include:

  • Moray – the Mormaerdom, or Kingdom, where Macbeth ruled
    Dingwall – the town in the Highlands where it is believed Macbeth was born around 1005
    Forres – where Shakespeare located King Duncan’s castle, and near the ‘blasted heath’ where Macbeth had his fateful encounter with the three witches
    Cawdor Castle – Macbeth is given the title of ‘Thane of Cawdor’ in the play
    Glamis Castle – the Bard also gives his lead character the title of ‘Thane of Glamis’, which lies in Angus
    Elgin Cathedral – although the cathedral did not exist in Macbeth’s time, it is said a mortally wounded Duncan was carried to Elgin following his battle with Macbeth in 1040
    Scone Moot Hill – where Macbeth was acclaimed (crowned)
    The Quiraing, the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr and Sligachan Glen – filming locations on Skye
  • Cameron Taylor from Moray Speyside Tourism and co-author of On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, King of Alba, served as an advisor on the guide.

    VisitScotland’s new Macbeth pages, which can be viewed at www.visitscotland.com/macbeth, also includes blogs, articles and a movie trailer.

    Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “This new guide gives visitors to Scotland a fascinating insight into one of our most enduring figures. Featuring places of historical significance, theatrical intrigue and stunning beauty, our new web pages will encourage more people to discover the places associated with Macbeth – the man, the myth and the legend. The map includes the amazing locations used in the new movie and, with 40 per cent of visitors to the UK inspired to come here after seeing a location on film or on television, this is terrific news for Skye.”

    Moray councillor John Cowe, Chair of the Moray Economic Partnership, said: “Macbeth’s true story has been part of Moray’s heritage and history for hundreds of years, so I’m delighted to see that VisitScotland’s ‘Macbeth – The Man, Myth and Legend’ trail focuses on the real Macbeth as well as on the areas made famous by Shakespeare – such as ‘a blasted heath near Forres’ – and I’m sure that fans of the new film and the Bard will enjoy discovering these atmospheric places.”

    Shona Ferguson, Property Manager at the National Trust for Scotland’s Brodie Castle, said: “This isn’t the first time these mystical beings have visited Brodie Castle – last year we were the venue for the stunning production, Macbeth The Remix. And of course, we’re in the shadow of the spot where it’s said the witches were first encountered by Macbeth.” 

    On September 27, director Justin Kurzel, Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender, and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard, who plays Lady Macbeth, will attend the UK premiere of the film at Festival Theatre Edinburgh.

    VisitScotland is working with STUDIOCANAL, the film’s distributors, on promoting the country on the back of the film’s release.

    Macbeth will be in cinemas across the UK on October 2.

    To see Macbeth – The Man, Myth & Legend guide, go to www.visitscotland.com/macbeth

    Notes to Editors

      • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
      • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
      • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
      • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
        1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
        2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
        3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
        4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
        5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
        6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
        7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
      • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
      • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
      • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
      • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
      • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
      • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
      • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com


      Year of Food and Drink 2015

      • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
      • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
      • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
      • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland