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The Outlander effect continues to boost tourist numbers

The “Outlander effect” continues , telling us what we already know , that Outlander has provided a major boost to the economy in Scotland . Visitor numbers to Scotland’s attractions increased for the fifth year in a row.

Outlander news from Private tours Edinburgh

The two top sites – the National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh Castle – each attracted more than two million visits, only the second time any visitor attraction in Scotland has surpassed the two million milestone, according to the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA).

Analysis of statistics submitted by 232 of the organisation’s member sites for its annual Visitor Trends Report, confirms that 30.3 million visits were made to those sites in Scotland in 2018 – a rise of 0.1 per cent over 2017 figures. The increase comes on top of a 9.7 per cent jump in 2017, which itself followed a 6 per cent rise in 2016.

Overall, some 59 per cent of all visits were made to attractions that featured in the top 20 list, with ten of the top 20 attractions situated in Edinburgh. Dundee attractions including Discovery Point, which saw a 42 per cent uplift in visitor numbers, also fared well, boosted by interest surrounding the new V&A museum, which opened in September, the ASVA said. Another area of Scotland which fared well in 2018 was the Highlands. RZSS Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore enjoyed a major uplift in visitor numbers of 68 per cent, driven in part by the birth of Hamish, the first polar bear cub to be born in the UK for 25 years.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “Visitor attractions are a hugely popular and valuable part of Scotland’s world-famous tourism offering, allowing visitors to explore our rich history, vibrant culture, famous heritage and stunning natural environment in more detail. “A growth in visits of any size is a welcome achievement and something we hope will continue. The arrival of V&A Dundee, as well as the increasing interest in set-jetting, thanks to TV series like Outlander or films such as Outlaw King, have only strengthened Scotland’s appeal, and with the opening of Moat Brae in Dumfries and the redevelopment of Aberdeen Art Gallery taking place this year, there is plenty to look forward to in 2019.” The “Outlander effect” continued to benefit many sites featuring in the cult TV series, as well as others with Jacobite connections, with large increases in visitor numbers recorded at attractions including Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Glasgow Cathedral, Blackness Castle and Aberdour Castle.

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Outlander tour of five Scottish castles including Lallybroch

The Outlander TV series continues to be a huge hit in the UK and America .  Five Scottish castles in particular feature heavily in the story lines – Midhope Castle ( Lallybroch ) , Doune Castle ( Castle Leoch ) , Linlithgow Palace  (Wentworth Prison ) , Aberdour Castle ( Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery ) and Blackness Castle ( Fort William army headquarters ) .

1  Midhope Castle – Lallybroch
Get a glimpse of the ancestral home of Jamie Fraser at Midhope Castle .
Scenes were shot at Midhope Castle on the fringes of the Hopetoun Estate near South Queensferry.
Midhope was built in the 15th Century and was built by John Martyne, laird of Medhope. It was rebuilt in the mid 1600s and remains much the same today.
Visitors are asked to admire Midhope from a distance as the interior remains largely derelict.

Midhope Castle is the external location for fictional Lallybroch, the family home of character Jamie Fraser , and it is located on the Hopetoun Estate .  Midhope Castle dates back to the 15th Century and although the exterior is relatively intact the castle is derelict inside. Midhope Castle tours can be booked on

Toll free number 1-866-233-2644  or online .

2
Doune Castle – Castle Leoch

doune castle , outlanderOriginally dating to the 13th Century, Doune Castle near Stirling plays Castle Leoch, home to Colum MacKenzie and his clan.
It also features in the 20th century episode when Claire and Frank Randall visit the castle on a day trip.
Once a Royal residence, Doune Castle was rebuilt by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany in the late 14th Century.
Doune has appeared several times on screen and was widely used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It also represented the castle Winterfell in Game of Thrones.

doune castle, outlander tours

3  Linlithgow Palace – Wentworth Prison

Linlithgow Palace photos , 44 printThis royal palace and birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots became the backdrop for some of the most harrowing scenes of the show.
Depicted as Wentworth Prison, the prison corridors and entrance were used in episode 15 of the first series when Jamie Fraser was brutally incarcerated by his adversary, Black Jack Randall.
Built in the 1400s and 1500s, the now-ruined palace is set among the spectacular surrounds of Linlithgow Loch and Peel.

4 Aberdour Castle – Sainte Anne de Beaupré’s monastery

aberdour castle tours
Aberdour castle tours

The Kingdom of Fife posed as the north of France in Season One when Aberdour – possibly Scotland’s oldest standing castle, was depicted as The Abbey of Ste. Anne de Beaupré.
The fictional Benedictine monastery is where Jamie Fraser was taken to recover from his ordeal at Wentworth Prison.  Happily, one of his six uncles was an abbot there.
The Old Kitchen and Long Gallery at Aberdour, in the village of Easter Aberdour, feature in the show.
The original hall house of Aberdour was built around 1200 by Alan de Mortimer with the castle largely the creation of the Douglas Earls of Morton, who held Aberdour from the 14th century.

5
Blackness Castle – Fort William army headquarters

outlander , blackness castleOne of Scotland’s most impressive strongholds, Blackness Castle near Linlithgow was used as the Fort William headquarters of Black Jack Randall.
The 15th-century ex-artillery fortress overlooks the Firth of Forth and is known as “the ship that never sailed” due to its unusual shape.
It was built in the 15th century by one of Scotland’s most powerful families, the Crichtons.

Outlander tour of five Scottish castles

  • up to four  passengers £250
  • private castles tour
  • Outlander tours

Entrance tickets, food and refreshments are not included . One day passes are available from Historic Environment Scotland for Doune ,  Blackness Castle and Linlithgow Palace .

Outlander tours  – Outlander photo gifts

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