And finally… ‘Star’ castle omitted by tourist map

Scottish tourism chiefs have snubbed the main historic location used for fantasy TV show Outlander in their new official guide for fans around the world.

Doune Castle, in Perthshire, was closed twice over the past 12 months to accommodate filming and has already featured prominently in footage and stills released to promote the show.

Despite its starring role in the programme, there is no mention of the castle in VisitScotland’s official “Outlander map”.

There is also no mention of Outlander on Historic Scotland’s website and its page devoted to Doune Castle instead refers to the role for the attraction in Monty P ython and the Holy Grail, released almost 40 years ago.

The snub comes despite Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland trumpeting the roles for a string of their flagship sites in the lavish TV series.

VisitScotland insists its online guide, launched the day Outlander premiered in the United States, actually reflects locations featured in the books by Diana Gabaldon, even though Doune stands in for fictional Castle Leoch in the show.

Gabaldon pledged to take up the issue after an angry fan raised the matter during her appearance at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

But she said she had heard the makers of the programme were worried about fans heading to the castle during the filming of the next series if it was featured heavily in promotional material.

Both VisitScotland and Historic Scotland said discussions with the show’s production company Starz were ongoing over how to promote filming locations. The production has visited Falkland and Culross, in Fife, Blackness Castle, in West Lothian, Preston Mill, in East Lothian, and the Highland Folk Museum, at Newtonmore.

A spokeswoman for VisitScotland said: “Our online guide highlights real locations featured in Diana Gabaldon’s first two Outlander novels as well as numerous sites that have a strong connection to the Scotland-set literary phenomenon.”

A spokesman for Historic Scotland said: “We have been working closely with the production company and VisitScotland to capitalise on the predicted success of the series and ensure Outlander fans can make the connection between Doune Castle and the series. We are working on a suite of materials which will ensure fans are aware of Doune’s connection.”

Ms Gabaldon told The Scotsman she was surprised to hear that Doune Castle had not been included in any promotional material.

But she added: “VisitScotland have been working with Starz on various interactive guides and maps. They told me that Starz had asked them not to include Doune Castle for the time being as they didn’t want to draw a lot of attention to it when there is a possibility that they might still use it for future filming.”

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