17% increase in visits to Scotland’s historic attractions with massive Outlander effect


Historic Environment Scotland manages 300 sites across the country. Overall, there has been a significant 17% increase on 2016/17 in the 2017/18 figures passing the 5 million mile-stone. Within this however, there have been even more dramatic increases from some countries and to certain attractions.

Visits from North America went up by 27% and 19% respectively. This has been attributed to Outlander.

The top ten sites are:

Site Visitor Numbers % increase Year on Year
Edinburgh Castle 2,082,048 15%
Stirling Castle 574,348 18%
Urquhart Castle 487,837 22%
Glasgow Cathedral 400,324 27%
Doune Castle 125,772 36%
Skara Brae 110,497 18%
St Andrews Castle 90,253 16%
Linlithgow Palace 87,254 17%
Fort George 76,126 24%
Iona Abbey 66,570 3%

Since 2013, Doune and Blackness castles, which feature in the Outlander TV series, saw staggering increases of 227% and 182% respectively.


This news is by no means unusual. See these other recent reports:

Glasgow and Edinburgh push London into third place in tourism hotspots survey

Scottish tourism growth outpaces that in UK

414% increase in Chinese tourist spending since 2007!

Massive increase in Chinese visitors to Edinburgh NOT attributed to weak pound and attracted by ‘Strongman skirt parties’


3 thoughts on “17% increase in visits to Scotland’s historic attractions with massive Outlander effect

  1. liz April 18, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    Also Glasgow Cathedral was used to represent the French hospital. We need our own film studio, it should be seen as a priority.


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