Outlander fans set to invade the Highlands

Hundreds of Outlander fans will gather in the Highlands this weekend to celebrate their enthusiasm for the time-travelling romantic epic.

The historical swashbuckling fantasy, which has been called Scotland’s Game of Thrones, is a global television success story and it has provided a major boost for the Scottish economy in recent years.

Photograph by: Gerry McCannBattlefield of Culloden

The impact of the books and show recently propelled two of Scotland’s ancient castles into the country’s list of top tourists attractions for the first time.

Indeed, a poll organised by the Scottish Book Trust to select people’s favourite film or television adaptation of a book set in Scotland or written by a Scottish author was won overwhelmingly by Outlander.

Such is the international fascination with the Scottish setting for the story that thousands of pounds have been invested in creating a new campaign aimed at capitalising on the renewed global appeal of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite cause.

A number of Scotland’s leading tourism, history and heritage bodies have joined forces to create a new Jacobite trail for visitors. The National Museums Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Collection Trust and The National Trust for Scotland have agreed to actively promote 25 properties and attractions throughout the country whose history is intertwined with Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites.

This year’s Outlandish Gathering will play host to lovers of the books and television series from 15 countries as they gather at the MacDonald Aviemore Resort this Friday 19 May until Sunday 21 May.

Photograph by: Gerry McCannBeauly Priory

The event is once again organised by Outlandish UK, the principal UK group of enthusiasts of Diana Gabaldon’s creation.

This year’s Gathering involves myriad activities, beginning with guided tours of Outlander locations, including Culloden Battlefield and Beauly Priory. Saturday will be a convention day, which will include demonstrations, speakers and performances relating to the show along with vendors selling high-quality crafts and a charity raffle.

As part of the Gathering, one of VisitScotland’s distinctive ‘Coo Vans’ will be on site, along with two Coo-Visers, to provide advice on Scotland as well as other Outlander related attractions to discover.

This will be followed in the evening by a formal dinner and live music from Whisky Kiss.

An Outlander-themed treasure hunt is also scheduled to take place on Sunday, with funds raised to benefit Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, which is patronised by Outlander star Sam Heughan. Since its inception in 2014, Outlandish UK has raised over £25,000 for the group’s sponsored charities of Bloodwise, World Child Cancer and youth Theatre Arts Scotland.

“The Outlandish Gathering is a fantastic way for fans of the books and the show to enjoy all things Jamie and Claire in the land that inspired Outlander. I’m sure the event will be another huge success and will help keep the ‘droughtlander’ pangs at bay until the much-anticipated season three hits our screens later in the year,” said Jenni Steele, Film and Cultural Tourism Manager at VisitScotland.

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