Actor Sam Heughan is reminding Outlander fans to be respectful of the historic sites featured in the series. Both the popular time-travel drama on Starz and the book series by Diana Gabaldon that inspired the program are a huge draw for travelers to Scotland.
“From recent research, we know that one in five people visit Scotland having seen the locations on film or TV—and a high number of those visitors cite Outlander as the inspiration behind their trip,” Jenni Steele, Film & Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, told T&C earlier this year. Often, these fans want to visit sites that play a key role in the Outlander story, like the Culloden Battlefield, and its gravesite. Heughan wants to let visitor know that these locations aren’t film sets, but a place where people have died and are buried.
“Hopefully, reading our book or other books, people will understand the history of what happened and treat historic sites with the respect they are due,” Heughan said in a recent interview with the Times.
In a 2019 interview with the BBC, Raoul Curtis-Machin, who serves as the National Trust for Scotland’s operations manager at Culloden, noted that specific preservation measures are being taken as the site has become so popular with Outlander fans.
“Worst hit recently is the area around the Fraser Stone, which has become a site of pilgrimage for Outlander fans,” he said.
“Last year, this was not really an issue because the ground stayed hard in the dry weather, but this year it has become very muddy with the heavy rain,” he continued.
“Visitors still have full access to the whole area—we have just cordoned off the worst patch immediately in front of the Fraser Stone.”
Heughan’s Men in Kilts co-star Graham McTavish also wanted to make it clear that visitors should not take souvenirs from the historic spaces.
“I certainly don’t agree with people taking souvenirs,” he said.“These places are to be shared by everybody and if you start dismantling them for your own selfish gain then that’s not helping anybody at all.”
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