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Is the the Outlander effect really a “double edged sword” ?

Lallybroch ( Midhope Castle) Outlander tours

The BBC have reported that tourism is booming in Scotland , not least because of the Outlander effect. But is that , as they claim , really a double edged sword ? I am quite surprised to see the BBC publishing this article based on rather flimsy evidence . Is this their attempt to emulate the Daily Mail , which publishes hundreds of articles a day on anything and everything ?

Outlander tours are run daily from Edinburgh to Lallybroch and other film locations . Phone 07305-294773 for details .

Doune Castle, near Stirling, has benefitted the most as visitor numbers have risen by 200%.

Wear and tear on footpaths and even items being taken as souvenirs are among the problems reported .

Outlander, screened on Amazon Prime in the UK, follows the adventures of time-travelling World War Two nurse Claire, played by Caitriona Balfe, and Sam Heughan’s 18th Century Jacobite Highlander Jamie Fraser.

Outlander season five is released today, 17 February ,in the UK with Scottish locations standing in for places in 18th Century North America.

All of the filming for the first four seasons was done at locations across Scotland .

Since filming was first done at Doune Castle in 2013, visitor numbers have risen from 38,000 a year to 142,000.

Visits to Blackness Castle at Linlithgow, another of the locations, have increased from 15,000 to 58,000.

Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University have studied the Outlander effect on 25 of the shows locations across Scotland and seen a 45% rise in visitors to the sites over four years, “well in excess” of increases experienced at other Scottish attractions.

Even Outlander’s theme song, The Skye Boat Song, has had an impact on tourism.

Prof John Lennon, of Glasgow Caledonian University, said “We had a researcher looking at this in the context of Skye where she found almost half the visitors she interviewed were there because of the Outlander title sequence.

“They were then asking ‘where are the stones?’, and the stones in the title sequence are actually on Lewis – the Calanais Stones.”

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Outlander Valentine gifts

Sam Heughan could be the new James Bond , Outlander tours

“Outlander” is not back on TV until next week , but a Sassenach’s love for the Starz drama never fades. Surprise your lovely lass with an “Outlander”- inspired Valentine’s Day  tour or one of these “Outlander”-themed Valentine’s Day gifts on February  14, and you’ll be able to say you’re the Jamie to her Claire. Outlander tours of Scotland – call +44131-549-9785 now for availability Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . 

What could be more romantic than an Outlander tour to Lallybroch ? Check out our special offers on Outlander tours

Our collection of these “Outlander”-themed Valentine’s Day gifts include t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, prints, posters and throw pillows.

what are the best Outlander gifts ?

a Lallybroch Outlander tour is perfect for any Outlander fan . Phone 07305-294773 for more details

Jamie and Claire fans will love an “Outlander”- inspired Valentine’s Day  tour

Ideally, an “Outlander” gift will make the hiatus easier to deal with. Season 3 ended in December with Jamie and Claire landing on the shores of the U.S. They’ll make the colonies their home in Season 4, but “Outlander” fans know that the Frasers won’t be able to avoid trouble for long. Find out more about Season 4 filming has started in Scotland .

Outlander”-themed Valentine’s Day gifts Amazing tours of Scotland – call +44131-549-9785 now for availability Private tours Edinburgh 0131-549-9785 . 

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Is Outlander’s Fraser’s Ridge a real place ?

After 20 years apart, Claire and Jamie are finally building a life together in the American colonies. And central to their storyline in Outlander‘s fourth season is the establishment of their home, Fraser’s Ridge. Once they reunite with their daughter Brianna in Wilmington, she too, returns to Fraser’s Ridge, completing their family unit.

According to Diana Gabaldon, the author of the books the show is based on, Fraser’s Ridge is located “up near Boone and Blowing Rock.”

But as this season was primarily shot in Scotland, Scottish woods had to stand in for northwest North Carolina for much of filming.

“There are sections of Scotland that we have found that do look a bit like North Carolina,” showrunner Ron Moore said in an interview with Access. “There’s a place we’ve found to put Fraser’s Ridge that does read like North Carolina, so that was the big one.”

The Outlander Community website, which is officially associated with Starz, explains that “The view of Fraser’s Ridge that we see is made of a combination of footage from a wood in Scotland and a ‘plate shot’ of North Carolina itself.” (For those unfamiliar, a “plate shot” is background footage of a location without any actors in it.)

But it was the show’s Greens department, or those on the crew responsible for dealing with the foliage, who were really responsible for truly transforming the wood.

“The importance of ‘fraise’, meaning strawberry in French, at Fraser’s Ridge (commonly associated with the etymology of the surname ‘Fraser’) was a fun element for the Greens Department,” reads the site. “They cleared the bramble and then redressed with moss, grasses, and bushes to create texture and shape for the area. They wanted to introduce plants that might really grow on a cliff-face: blue grasses, azaleas, ferns, and then incorporated around 300 strawberry plants.”

All that said, don’t expect Starz to reveal the exact plot of land where scenes at Fraser’s Ridge filmed.

“There is a right-to-roam law in Scotland, where you can pretty much go anywhere you want,”Because of that, we like to try to protect some of these people [who live near shooting locations] so they don’t have too many people visiting their properties.”

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Craigh na Dun mystery

doune castle Outlander tours

Craigh na Dun

The mystical and enchanting spot where Claire and Frank first come across the standing stones that soon after were to propel Claire back in time. They have been an ever-present since, including in Season four . No standing stones actually exist here but I think they are based on a combination of  Clava Cairns and Callanish , both of which are outstanding Scottish tourist sites. Even without the presence of the colossal pillars, this spot in Perthshire is a fantastic selection as Craigh na Dun.

Outlander tours from Private tours Edinburgh, phone +44131-5499785

Finding the exact spot of Craigh na Dun is not immediately clear but the site of filming is at Kinnloch Rannoch in Perthshire. On the south side of the Dunalastair Reservoir in Tay Forest Park under the gaze of the spectacular Schiehallion mountain, this is scenic Highlands at its best. You will recognise the mound from the roadside and it’s just a short walk out to the site. Kinnloch Rannoch was used in numerous other scenes , mainly because it’s one of the most remote and beautiful areas in the country.

Tours of Scotland from Edinburgh, phone +44131-5499785

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Clan Fraser site sealed off

Glencoe tours, Outlander

A ‘pilgrimage’ site for Outlander fans at Culloden Battlefield has been sealed off to the public for repair amid the pressures of rising visitor numbers.

The Clan Fraser stone at the historic battlefield has become a key stop off by fans of the book and spin-off television series, many on Outlander-themed tours, who are keen to tick off Highland landmarks with links to story.Outlander news from Outlander tours Scotland

Clan Fraser is one of the key families in the Outlander story, with lead character Jamie Fraser fighting for the Jacobites at Culloden.

Now, the grave marker, which marks real grave pits dug deep beneath the battlefield, has been cordoned off as the ground becomes eroded, raising concerns about how heritage sites linked to Outlander are conserved amid rising visitor numbers.

Last year, owners National Trust for Scotland sought scheduled monument consent to repair the ground given similar problems. It now appears that these works have not been adequate to deal with the problem, with talks ongoing with Historic Environment Scotland to find a suitable solution.

The Clan Fraser grave marker at Culloden - which marks nearby grave pits of those who fell in the battle - has become a must-see destination among fans of Outlander, which features the Fraser Clan. PIC: Flickr/Heather Loy.
The Clan Fraser grave marker at Culloden – which marks nearby grave pits of those who fell in the battle – has become a must-see destination among fans of Outlander, which features the Fraser Clan. PIC: Flickr/Heather Loy.

Raoul Curtis-Machin, National Trust for Scotland’s Operations Manager at Culloden said: “The area around the grave markers had been suffering wear and tear because visitors had been walking off the main footpath to take a closer look at the stones.

“Worst hit recently is the area around the Fraser Stone, which has become a site of pilgrimage for Outlander fans.

“Last year this was not really an issue because the ground stayed hard in the dry weather, but this year it has become very muddy with the heavy rain. Visitors still have full access to the whole area – we have just cordoned off the worst patch immediately in front of the Fraser Stone.

“We will be topdressing and re-seeding the area in the meantime, according to the Scheduled Ancient Monument consent which has been granted, and we are exploring other solutions with Historic Environment Scotland.”

Last year, a 28 per cent increase in visitor numbers was recorded at the Culloden visitor centre with the ‘Outlander effect’ said to be driving the rise.

VisitScotland is currently analysing how much the Outlander series, which charts the romance of a Highland clansman and his English wife during the 18th Century in Scotland and North America, is worth to the Scottish economy given its huge popularity, particularly amongst the American market.