Diana Gabaldon takes her own Outlander tour

BEST-SELLING author Diana Gabaldon got to experience the Outlander effect for herself when she hit the tourist trail of the show’s top locations.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

The US writer stunned fans of the Jacobite telly phenomenon at the weekend as she turned up at Culross in Fife and nearby Falkland Palace.

” sizes=”620px” srcset=”https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 180w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 360w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 540w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 720w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 900w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1080w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1296w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1512w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1728w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1944w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2160w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2376w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2592w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2808w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 3024w” alt=” Diana relaxes in Culross Palace gardens, used as fictional Castle Leoch herb garden in series” data-credit=”Colin_Hattersley” data-sizes=”auto” data-img=”https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?strip=all&w=960″ data-srcset=”https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 180w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 360w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 540w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 720w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 900w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1080w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1296w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1512w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1728w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 1944w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2160w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2376w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2592w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 2808w, https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/03/NINTCHDBPICT000476673527.jpg?w=960 3024w” />

COLIN_HATTERSLEY
Diana relaxes in Culross Palace gardens, used as fictional Castle Leoch herb garden in series

It was almost like a surprise royal visit as gobsmacked tourists mobbed the 67-year-old, who happily posed for selfies and signed autographs.

Diana said: “It’s always fun being in Scotland but usually I’m stopping somewhere for research purposes. So it’s been nice to just feel like a tourist for a change.”

The Scottish Sun joined The Outlander creator for the day with tour company Mary’s Meanders, who specialise in the show’s location visits.

First stop was Culross, which doubles, as the fictional village of Cranesmuir in the TV series.



Photographer Graham Harris Graham, who runs The Outlander And Beyond fine art gallery in the town, praised the Arizona-born writer.

The 54-year-old told Diana: “I would like to thank you for paying my mortgage — seriously.”

Next up she visited ancient Falkland Palace, with its famous Bruce Fountain.

Outlander fans will know that’s where the ghost of Sam Heughan’s Jacobite character Jamie Fraser visits time-traveller lover Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe).

Outlander’s Sam Heughan teases fans with ‘new tv show’ set in Miami

Spanish fan Ana Garcia was completely overwhelmed when she spotted her idol.

The tearful 46-year-old from Barcelona, who works for a mobile phone company, said: “I came here to visit Outlander locations but never expected to see the woman who made it all happen. I will never forget this moment.”

The show has seen a huge boom in Scottish tourism

Victoria Arias was also delighted to meet the woman whose books have sold 35million copies and been translated into 40 languages.

The 30-year-old French blogger said: “This is my third time in Scotland to visit Outlander locations but the first time I’ve met Diana.

“It was fantastic to see the person who started it all in a place where it is actually filmed.”

Diana’s visit came after tourist chiefs announced visitor numbers continue to rocket — up 67 per cent from 887,000 to 1.5million a year — on the back of the TV smash which is shown in 87 countries around the world.

But humble Diana said: “The Outlander effect is sort of a miracle — I had nothing to do with it other than writing the books.”

The mum of three was working as a professor at Arizona State University when she first began writing her story “for practice” — after famously seeing actor Frazer Hines play a Jacobite warrior in a 1969 repeat of Doctor Who.

It has since spawned nine books — with the latest, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone, out later this year. And the fifth TV series — which is shown on Amazon Prime in the UK — will start filming around Scotland from next month.

We joined Diana on a scouting mission

But aside from all the official stats, Diana also receives personal testimonies about how Outlander has changed people’s lives.

She explained: “When we were filming an episode from the first series in Culross there was a little shop up the back street where myself and another writer went for a sandwich.

“But all we had on us were £20 notes and the owner didn’t have any change.

“I said ‘”We’re with the film thing and he said he knew because we had our cans — headphones — over our arms. He told us he’d trust us to come back and settle up later.

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“But just as we left he came rushing after us and said, ‘I saw your name on your headphones and I’ve just realised you’re Diana Gabaldon — for you everything is free. Take anything you want’.”

She added: “Then there are people who make crafts and do art — there are thousands of Facebook pages that sell Outlander gear.

“One woman wrote to me saying she has a business doing stencils to go on bedroom walls of Outlander erotica and asked if she could use some of the more romantic quotes from my books.

“So there are these spin-offs all around the world, although Scotland is where you can see the direct financial impact it has had.”

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Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has received an award for boosting Scottish tourism

Outlander author Diana Gabaldon has received an award for boosting Scottish tourism through her fantasy saga.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh .

The US writer, 67, received an International Contribution to Scottish Tourism award at the Scottish Thistle awards.

It comes as VisitScotland published a paper detailing how sites used in the TV adaptation have seen visitors soar.

The report says that set-jetting is a growing trend in Scotland, partly due to the “Outlander Effect”.

Ms Gabaldon has told in many interviews how she was inspired to write the Outlander series after watching an old episode of Doctor Who.

Her lead character Jamie Fraser is based on the kilted companion Jamie McCrimmon, played by Frazer Hines, who appeared during the Patrick Troughton doctor era.

Outlander follows a romance between Jamie, a Highland poacher and Claire Randall, a World War Two nurse who is catapulted through time to the Jacobite era.

OutlanderImage copyrightSTARZ/AMAZON PRIME
Image captionCaitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in Outlander

It was adapted for TV in 2014 for US network Starz, with Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe in the lead roles. Filming continues to be based in Scotland, with many Scottish locations doubling as France, the Caribbean and North America.

On receiving the award, Ms Gabaldon said: “It’s fabulous. I hear a great deal from fans of mine who have read the books and seen the TV show, who come to Scotland because they all write to tell me how wonderful it was and they send me souvenirs of their trips.

“I have a stack of postcards as well as a small number of Loch Ness monsters scattered around the house.”

‘Truly extraordinary’

The Outlander Effect and Tourism paper, published on Thursday, reports that attractions that appear in the Outlander TV series have seen visitor numbers soar by 67% since 2013, from 887,000 to 1.5million.

Doune Castle, near Dunblane, which doubles as the programme’s Castle Leoch, has seen the largest surge – 226.5% between 2013 and 2017.

Numbers at Blackness Castle, near Linlithgow, which features as Black Jack Randall’s headquarters, increased by 181.7%.

And Glasgow Cathedral’s visitors increased by 66.8% after it was screened as a French hospital.

Doune Castle, which featured in Outlander, welcomed 142,091 visitors last year

All Scottish visitor attractions were surveyed to discover how screen tourism and Outlander has impacted on their business.

Almost all respondents considered screen tourism as positive for the industry and a fifth of attractions located next to filming locations said they saw an increase in visitors.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “The impact of Outlander on Scotland has been truly extraordinary.

“It has been amazing to see the global reaction to Diana Gabaldon’s stories of adventure, romance and Scottish history – and the subsequent television adaptation – and seeing it translate into visitor growth for Scotland.

“Screen tourism continues to be a growing trend, however it is Outlander which has been the story in recent times, inspiring millions of visitors, from the USA to Europe and even China, to embark on their own Scottish adventure.”

Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, added: “Scotland’s wonderful landscapes, rich history and culture continue to captivate visitors from home and abroad, making tourism one of our most important industries.”

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Historic Mary Queen of Scots documents found at Museum of Edinburgh

Some important documents signed by Mary Queen of Scots have just been found at Museum of Edinburgh . They were gifted to the museum in 1920 and then ‘lost’ until recent work by curators to inventory and restore them.

They are handwritten, dated numbered and signed and reveal some interesting facts about Edinburgh in the 16th century.

Mary Queen of Scots tours from Private tours Edinburgh

There are permits for London salt sellers allowing them to operate in Edinburgh and a permit to build a wall in Leith for the city’s defences.

Some documents are signed by Mary Queen of Scots and others by her husband James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell and her grandson, James Duke of Châtellerault. Mary married James Hepburn after the death of her husband Lord Darnley.

The documents are in safekeeping at the Museum of Edinburgh but are very fragile. They will be assessed by a conservator and hopefully they will be exhibited in due course.

The 16th century documents are in the museum of Edinburgh

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener at City of Edinburgh Council said “Museum & Galleries Edinburgh hold thousands of historic treasures on behalf of the City and its visitors, many of which are on display in our venues. However, some items, such as these documents, are too fragile to be on long-term display, so putting them online is a great way to showcase them and tell their stories.”

Museum of Edinburgh sign

Vicky Garrington, History Curator at Museum of Edinburgh said: “The documents provide us with an amazing bridge to the past. It’s incredible to think of Mary Queen of Scots reading through these documents before carefully applying her signature. We all know the story of Scotland’s Queen, her eventful life and eventual execution, but in these documents, we see a different side to Mary. Here, she can be seen carefully managing the everyday affairs of Edinburgh and Scotland. These documents help us to better understand her reign”.

Frank Little, Service Manager, Cultural Venues, Museums & Galleries Edinburgh said: “Our hope is that ongoing inventory work within Museums & Galleries Edinburgh will turn up new treasures. We are constantly reviewing, caring for and researching our collections, and look forward to sharing more of the City’s rich heritage with residents and visitors through our programme of exhibitions and online activities.”

Mary Queen of Scots tours

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is Shetland the ideal solution to Droughtlander ?

Outlander stars Claire and Jamie are just about to start filming series five . But what are Outlander fans to do in the meantime ? Some fans  need a way to fill the void that the Outlander break has caused. Shetland could be the perfect show for your needs. Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

Shetland is on its fifth season already, but there will be many who haven’t heard of it.  The good news is you can easily watch it on Netflix.

Lallybroch tours

So, should you watch Shetland to get through Droughtlander? Here are some reasons it could be perfect for you.

 It’s got a range of Outlander actors

For those who want something that immediately connects them to their favorite series, Shetland immediately has you covered. Douglas Henshall is in every single season as lead character DI Jimmy Perez.

Outlander fans will remember him as Taran MacQuarrie in four episodes of the first season. He first appeared in “Lallybroch” and his last appearance was in “Wentworth Prison.” Unfortunately, there’s no coming back for Henshall in the time-traveling drama so you’ll want to watch Shetland if you need to see him in action.

Henshall isn’t the only Outlander actor in the series. The likes of Stephen Walters, Clive Russel, and Steven Cree have appeared in the British series.

Outlander tours on Tripadvisor

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