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Outlander fan map goes live as part of VisitScotland drive

Tourism chiefs are launching a map of Outlander locations so that fans of the books and new TV series can follow in the footsteps of its characters.

To coincide with the US premiere of the historic time-travel show today, fans of the bestselling books can now view a new interactive VisitScotland map.

The online guide highlights real locations featured in Diana Gabaldon's first two Outlander novels as well as visitor attractions and historical sites that have a strong connection to the Scotland-set literary success.

The map was due to go live at www.visitscotland.com/outlander at midnight last night. It forms part of a wider £40,000 VisitScotland marketing campaign titled Scotland: The Land That Inspired Outlander.

The 16-part series follows the story of Claire Randall (played by Caitriona Balfe), a married English combat nurse from 1945 who, while on her honeymoon in Inverness, is swept back to the 18th century. There she meets Jamie (played by Scottish actor Sam Heughan), a chivalrous young warrior.

Among the locations featured on the map are the Palace of Holyrood House and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where the protagonists meet Bonnie Prince Charlie; Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness, where they go in search of the loch's most famous resident; and Fort William, which plays a key role in Gabaldon's novels.

In addition, the VisitScotland itinerary features attractions such as Culloden Battlefield, the Highland Folk Museum at Newtonmore, and the Clava Cairns standing stones near ­Inverness, believed to be the inspiration for the fictional Craigh na Dun - the site where Claire is mysteriously swept back in time.

Lorna Ewan, head of ­visitor experience, content and learning at Historic Scotland, said: "The Outlander books feature a number of iconic landmarks, while many of the fictional locations were inspired by real places. Craigh na Dun, a key location in the books, shares similarities with a number of prehistoric places including the Bronze Age cemetery Clava Cairns, near Inverness.

"Picturesque Urquhart Castle is also name-checked and is a must-see for Outlander fans. I am delighted that some of our most outstanding sites have provided inspiration for a story which has captured the imaginations of readers around the world."

Filming began last ­October in locations including Glasgow, Perthshire, Fife, Edinburgh and West Lothian. It has yet to find a UK broadcaster.

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