A group of top Scottish bloggers is dealing with the effects of “droughtlander” by taking on a unique challenge – to travel hundreds of miles and visit nearly 30 filming locations on VisitScotland’s Outlander map in the space of just 34 hours.
The six Scotlanders – who between them boast a social media audience of more than 100,000 across eight platforms – will set off in pairs at 8am on Saturday 26 August. By 6pm the following day, they hope to have taken in 28 sites that feature in the time travel drama, the third series of which will be available on Amazon Prime Video on 11 September.
When they regroup at Doune Castle – the Historic Environment Scotland property near Stirling which doubles for the fictional Castle Leoch – the group will have clocked up more than 700 miles between them.
From Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries & Galloway up to the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, and from Troon in Ayrshire across to Preston Mill in East Lothian, the VisitScotland Outlander locations map allows people to follow in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire.
Based on the bestselling books by Diana Gabaldon, producer Ronald D.Moore describes the Outlander television series as “a love letter to Scotland”.
Other locations the Scotlanders will visit include Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, which Outlander producers transformed into a wartime London railway station; Tibbermore Church in Perthshire, which viewers will recognise as the scene of a witch trial; and Glen Coe – which features in the show’s opening credits.
Outlander fans are being encouraged to track the progress of the Scotlanders – Neil Robertson, Laura Brown, Patricia Cuni, David Weinczok, Kristy Ashton and Sophie Maulevrier – who will be using the #Scotlanders hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said:“The phenomenal success of Outlander and the popularity of set-jetting is having a fantastic impact on Scottish tourism. With the third series just around the corner, now is the perfect time to lay down this unique challenge to the Scotlanders.
“It will allow us to capitalise on the excitement among the Outlander fan community and to promote the stunning locations previously featured in the series, encouraging people to get out and visit them, or to book a trip for next year. We wish the Scotlanders the very best of luck!”
Scotlander Neil Robertson said:“This is our first Outlander campaign and we can’t wait to get started. We all share a passion for Scotland and love promoting it. Hopefully our challenge will give the army of Outlander fans a distraction while we count down the days to the start of series three.”
Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, who manage over 300 Historic Scotland visitor attractions, said:“The Outlander series has opened up our sites to a whole new audience, inspiring more and more visitors to come and discover the history behind these places, further demonstrating the enduring value and significance of heritage attractions in Scotland, such as Doune Castle and Blackness Castle, which continue to draw visitors from around the world who are fascinated to learn more about Scotland’s rich history and heritage.”
Amanda Kilburn, Business Development Director at Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway, said:“We think the Scotlanders Outlander challenge is a fantastic idea and look forward to welcoming the participants to our heritage railway. Being an Outlander location is like being part of a big family and we are always pleased to show people where the filming took place and about our time with the cast and crew of this ever-popular show.”
Victoria Collison-Owen, Executive Director at Scottish Redundant Churches Trust, which owns Tibbermore, said:“We’re delighted to welcome the Scotlanders to Tibbermore Church, best known as Cranesmuir Church, scene of the infamous Witch Trial in series one. The question is whether they will be brave enough to stand in Claire and Geillis’s footsteps in the pulpit of the church?
“We’ve seen a huge increase in visitor numbers in recent years, with Outlander fans from around the world coming to experience the unique atmosphere of a building which is steeped in history from medieval times. Outlander fans are passionate about Scotland’s heritage and keen to hear about Tibbermore’s past history, as well as its use for filming the witch trial. The support and generosity of fans has helped us carry out major repairs to the roof, and there’s no doubt that Outlander has created a new and exciting chapter in the church’s history – something that we are incredibly grateful for.”
To find out more about the Scotlanders, go to www.thescotlanders.com
Follow the progress of their Outlander challenge with the hashtag #Scotlanders