Tayside and Central Scotland

Outlander visitors to Doune Castle near Stirling increase

Doune Castle Image copyright John Salmon
Image caption Visitors to Doune Castle near Stirling increase by more than 30%

The number of visitors to a Scottish castle has risen by almost a third since it featured in hit drama Outlander.

Doune Castle, near Stirling, is portrayed as the fictional Castle Leoch, the seat of Clan MacKenzie.

It also featured as Camelot in the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail and in the pilot episode of Game of Thrones.

Historic Scotland figures show year-on-year visitor numbers to the castle have grown by 30.2% to 49,553 in 2014/15.

The TV series follows the story of Claire Randell, a nurse from 1946 who is swept back in time to 1743.

Image copyright Nick Briggs
Image caption Based on a series of bestselling books, Outlander was filmed across various Scottish locations

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Doune Castle is just the latest location to report the 'Outlander effect'.

"From Dumfries to Inverness, historic visitor attractions are reporting a rise in visitor numbers thanks to the popularity of the TV show and renewed interest in the novels.

"Canada, the USA and Australia, where the series is shown, all have a shared history with Scotland, and Outlander is a great introduction to our must-visit country.

"We hope that visitor numbers increase further as viewers in the UK and Germany get to enjoy the programme."

Outlander is based on novels by US author Diana Gabaldon.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland, said: "Scotland is the land that inspired Outlander and our locations map has already proved a big hit with visitors with many making the journey to stunning locations within the series such as Doune Castle.

"Furthermore, we are seeing more and more tourism businesses, including accommodation providers and visitor attractions, looking at ways in which they can capitalise on the show."

Ms Hyslop will travel to New York and Los Angeles for Scotland Week, attending a series of business, tourism, cultural and film industry engagements.

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