Fans of Scottish time travel romance Outlander will undoubtedly recognise this fort as the show’s famous Castle Leoch, the stronghold of the MacKenzie clan. Even if you have not yet fallen for the charms of Outlander’s power couple Jamie and Claire, there is a fair chance you will have seen Doune Castle on screen at another time. A married British combat nurse time-travels between World War II and 1743 Scotland, where she falls for a Scottish warrior. Watchlist Added. Castle Leoch (Season 1, Episode 2). Your Number One Slot Site As an accredited casino, Slotland has provided a safe and unique gaming environment since 1998. Our customer support team are available 24/7 to provide answers to any queries at any time, and all financial transactions are made secure with the implementation of top-quality protection technology. Doune Castle (Castle Leoch) The home of Castle Leoch, the real-life Doune castle in Stirling was a medieval fortress that is still open to the public to this day. The dramatic mountains and fabulous hills of Glencoe feature in the opening scenes of the series, and are used at the beginning of each episode in the opening credits.
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's most historically important sites and was once a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations at the castle. Knights, nobles and foreign ambassadors once flocked to Stirling Castle to revel in its grandeur with its superb sculptures and beautiful gardens. It was a favoured residence of the Stewart kings and queens who held grand celebrations from christenings to coronations. Today you can meet the costumed characters in the roles of bodyguards, court officials, maids of honour and servants who will welcome you into 16th century life. Families can have fun in the palace vaults where children can try out activities such as dressing in period costume and playing medieval instruments. Don't miss a guided tour with knowledgeable staff that will bring the castle's infamous characters and history to life in great detail. Other highlights include the Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Castle Exhibition, Regimental Museum, Great Kitchens, Tapestry Studio and the nearby Argyll's Lodging, a 17th century town house.
With a flash of tartan, throaty cries as warriors charge into battle and a blossoming romance between a Sassenach and a Scot, hit TV series Outlander has captured the imagination of people across the world.
As fans fall for the chemistry between Claire (played by Caitriona Balfe), the married combat nurse mysteriously swept back in time, and warrior Jamie (played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan), Scotland's dramatic landscape has proved to be just as enthralling.
Following series one, which broadcast on the Starz network in the US in 2014 and on Amazon Prime in the UK the following year, historic sites and small villages used for shooting the 16 episodes quickly became popular destinations for tourists keen to relive the magic and romance of the show.
The National Trust for Scotland noted visitor numbers had increased at sites associated with the show last year.
Falkland in Fife, portrayed as 1940s Inverness, had a 12% increase in visitors; Culross, which doubles as the fictional village of Cranesmuir, went up by 9%, and the battlefields of Culloden, which play a key part in the story's plot, went up by 19%.
Historic Environment Scotland also noted Stirling's Doune Castle, portrayed as Castle Leoch in the show, has had 'record-breaking' visitor numbers during the summer months.
'Doune Castle, famed for its starring role in the hit TV series Outlander as the fictional Castle Leoch, seat of the MacKenzie Clan, is just one of our sites to feel the 'Outlander effect',' explains Stephen Duncan, of Historic Environment Scotland.
'Just over 71,000 people flocked to the castle during 2015-16, an increase of 44%. This period also saw the castle report three back-to-back record-breaking summer months, welcoming 32,540 people between June and August, as well as this it also recorded its best June on record in nine years.'
While Scotland is no stranger to cinematic tourists, with the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber a popular site for Harry Potter fans and Rosslyn Chapel in Roslin, Midlothian, a key site for The Da Vinci Code, the sheer number of shooting locations for Outlander has seen fans of the show travel to Scotland just to see the scenery behind the stories.
Alastair Cunningham has been running Outlander tours for the last decade, based on the original eight-strong book series by American novelist Diana Gabaldon.
Running touring business Clans and Castles since 2000, which offers genealogy trails and historic trips in Scotland, he explains he first heard about the series from a tourist.
He says: 'I was guiding some people when they were talking about Diana Gabaldon's books.
'While I had no interest in time travelling romance at the time, I thought I'd find out more so I got the books, read them, enjoyed them and started the tours.'
Alastair's Outlander tours, which take in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh right up to Skye, have proved popular over the past ten years, but it was the launch of the television series in 2014 which resulted in his week-long excursions tripling in popularity.
They have proved so successful he has almost sold out his 2016 tour slots and fans from as far afield as Australia and the US have begged Alastair to open booking for next year.
'[The Outlander tours] are beginning to swamp the other things we offer,' he says.
'We have people insisting we start taking bookings for 2017, it really is unprecedented in comparison with previous years, which we would always fill but there is a lot more people now.'
With Outlander now two series in, with a further six books and a ninth novel currently in the works, there is the potential for the Outlander effect to continue for years to come.
Flocking to sites such as Wardlaw Mausoleum in the Highlands, fans have also helped to bring historic sites to the fore.
While it is believed the Old Fox, who is cited as the hero Jamie Fraser's grandfather in the novels, is buried at the Highland site, contention over where the headless body of 11th Lord Lovat lies could mean the remains are subject to DNA testing to prove he is in Scotland.
For Scots themselves, the show's production team is also getting them in on the act.
Contacting the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife, for filming for series two, the production team asked if its flagship exhibit, the Reaper, could be used for a scene which would translate to 18th century France.
Simon Hayhow, director of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, said: '[Outlander] were looking to set up [Anstruther] harbour to look like France and asked if the Reaper could be in the harbour.
'Some of our volunteers took part in filming, they had to move some of the more modern boats out of the harbour. It was quite exciting, they were made up to look like they were in the 18th century with make up and costumes.'
Originally built as a two-mast sailing lugger in 1902, the boat was restored to her former glory and now sits proudly in Anstruther harbour as a flagship of the Scottish Fisheries Museum.
Simon hopes the Reaper's starring role in the first episode of the second series will prompt fans of the show to visit the museum.
He said: 'We were quite proud to be a part of it, we've got tour group leaders coming coming to see it already.
'We have around 40 tour leaders from the USA and Canada coming, It's great for the Fife area and we are hoping it will boost visitor figures for the upcoming season and into next season as well.'
Meanwhile, the show's dialect coach Carol Ann Crawford believes Outlander's popularity could spark new interest in Scots and Gaelic among fans.
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Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: 'The phenomenal success of series one of Outlander had an amazing impact on a number of attractions, tours and other tourism businesses throughout the country, with Scotland's scenery, culture and heritage showcased to viewers worldwide.
'The typically Scottish traits displayed in Outlander, including the guts of Jamie and the determination of Claire, means the show ties in perfectly with VisitScotland's global marketing campaign, Spirit of Scotland, which is all about raising the spirit and profile of this country to its highest ever level.
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'We expect that, with even more Scottish locations featuring in the second series - and hopefully for many more series to come - that even more people from around the world will be encouraged to book a holiday to Scotland - the land that inspired Outlander.'