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Scotland feels 'Outlander effect'

Press Release   •   Oct 30, 2015 12:50 GMT

As the first series of Outlander is released on DVD and blu-ray, Scottish locations associated with the hit television show are reporting a surge in visitor numbers.

The ‘Outlander effect’ has seen National Trust for Scotland (NTS) locations that either inspired author Diana Gabaldon’s books or were used as backdrops to the series enjoy big increases in day visits compared to 2014.

Outlander filming locations, such as Doune Castle near Stirling and Culross in Fife, are among the places being promoted in VisitScotland’s new publication, Set in Scotland: A Film Fan’s Odyssey, which was released this week.

NTS has reported the following increase in day visits (September 2014 to September 2015, compared to the previous 12-month period):

• Falkland – the Fife village which portrays 1940s Inverness in the first episode: 12% up
• Preston Mill – the doocot in East Lothian which features as a backdrop in several scenes: 26% up
• Culross – the Fife village used as the fictional village of Cranesmuir: 9% up
• Culloden – the historic Highlands battlefield which plays a key role in the books: 19% up

Meanwhile, Historic Scotland has already reported a 44 per cent surge in summer visitor numbers at Doune Castle, which has a starring role as Castle Leoch, while Blackness Castle in West Lothian, which stands in for the stronghold of Fort William, has seen a 31 per cent rise.

Anna Rathband, Filming Manager at National Trust for Scotland, said:

“Outlander is an excellent example of how film tourism has benefited the Trust and the properties that either inspired the story or were used as backdrops have all seen an increase in visitors compared to last year. We worked closely with Sony to produce a digital guide to our properties that have Outlander connections and we hope this will continue to encourage visitors to explore the real places behind the series.”

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Scotland’s new public heritage body, Historic Environment Scotland, said:

“2015 has seen a record-breaking summer season for many of our fantastic heritage attractions and the ‘Outlander effect’ has certainly played a part, particularly at Doune Castle following its starring role as Castle Leoch in the TV series.
“Over the summer, Doune reported three back-to-back record breaking months and an overall surge of 44 per cent in visitors, whilst Blackness Castle, which stood in for the stronghold of Fort William, saw a 31 per cent rise. Other sites featured in filming have also seen increased footfall, and the response from the general public on our digital channels has been phenomenal – showcasing how Scotland’s history continues to enthral and engage people from around the world in new and different ways.”

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “These impressive figures show just what an impact the television series has had on these stunning locations as fans look to discover the land that inspired Outlander.

“The release of the DVD and blu-ray will showcase Outlander, and its amazing scenery, to an even wider audience, which will be more good news for locations around Scotland.”

The first series of Outlander, which is produced by Sony PicturesTelevision and shown in the UK on Amazon Prime, is available to own on DVD and blu-ray now.
To find out more about Scottish locations associated with Outlander, go to www.visitscotland.com/outlander

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