Outlander walking tours set for Royal Mile

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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AN Outlander walking tour of locations in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is being launched to coincide with the hit fantasy TV show’s release in the UK.

The tour features a number of locations visited by Diana Gabaldon’s fictional time-travellers characters Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser in 1745 as they join the prince as he holds court at the Palace of Holyroodhouse after his troops marched into the city.

Run by Mercat Tours the tour includes locations such as the Tolbooth Jail, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, White Horse Tavern in White Horse Close, Canongate Kirk graveyard, as well as locations identified as being nearest to fictional places described by the author in her novels.

Outlander is based on Gabaldon’s bestselling novels which follow Randall, a Second World War nurse who accidently travels back through time to the 18th century Jacobite era where she marries Highlander Jamie Fraser. The hit US television show, which has been compared to “Game of Thrones” is being shown in the UK for the first time later this month on Amazon Prime Instant Video UK.

Frances Mann, head of product and training at Mercat Tours, said there had been growing demand from fans for an Edinburgh-based tour as the series progressed and took the main characters to Edinburgh as the Jacobites marched down from the Highlands.

“The tours is entirely based on the Royal Mile and we’ll be going to places such as the World’s End Tavern and Tolbooth jail which were mentioned in books two and three of Outlander,” said Ms Mann who researched and compiled the tour.

“But we are also going into the background of the Jacobite Rebellions and the Stuarts, the 1689 Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 so that people get a good understanding of what was going on at the time.

“In the latest books Claire and Jamie meet Bonnie Prince Charlie. She wants to stop his campaign because she knows what happened at Culloden.”

Ms Mann added that the idea for the tours, which will operate on both a scheduled and private basis, came about in conjunction with Edinburgh-based Rabbie’s Tours which run tours to Outlander locations in the Highlands.

Jenni Steele, film and creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said the tour starting just as Outlander appeared on UK television was an ideal marketing opportunity for tourism businesses.

“It is fantastic to see Scottish companies seizing on the tourism opportunities presented by Outlander – a series in which Scotland is very much the star.

“The timing of this exciting new Edinburgh tour, which promises to be educational as well as entertaining, is very apt, as Outlander fans in the UK will soon be able to watch the series on Amazon Prime.”