It has been home to Queens and Dukes, King Arthur and the Game of Thrones.

But the fame of Doune Castle, in Perthshire, is now reached one of its highest peaks in its more than 700 year history.

Although the castle has been host to a series of TV shows and films in recent decades, its prime role in the US television show Outlander, based on the best selling books by Diana Gabaldon, has provided a substantial boost to its visitors.

Outlander has utilised the castle as the fictional Castle Leoch, the seat of the Clan MacKenzie.

Its use has spurred Outlander fans to visit the site, and new figures from Historic Scotland show year-on-year visitor numbers to the castle have grown by 30.2 per cent to 49,553 in 2014-15.

Outlander, the second season of which is due to shoot in locations around Scotland this year, has also provided a boost to VisitScotland, the national tourism agency, with nearly 100,000 visits logged on its specialised Outlander website.

The hit show, made by Sony and the Starz television network, recently became viewable in the UK, via the Amazon Prime streaming service.

Graham McTavish, who plays Dougal Mackenzie in the show, will also lead the 17th annual Tartan Day Parade along the Avenue of the Americas in New York on April 11.

The series stars Scottish actor Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser and Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a modern nurse who finds herself flung back to the 18th century.

Doune Castle has a 14th century keep, which was substantially enlarged in the 15th century, although its oldest parts date back to the 1260s.

Robert Stewart, the 1st Duke of Albany, known as Scotland's 'uncrowned King' lived at Doune from 1388 until his death in 1420, and it later later became a royal residence, a dower house for widowed Queens and a Jacobite prison.

Doune featured as Camelot in the film Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975) and in the pilot episode of Game of Thrones.

It was used as a location in MGM's 1952 version of Walter Scott's Ivanhoe which featured Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor.

It is one of Historic Scotland's top 10 properties and a key attraction in central Scotland.

Mike Cantlay, chair of VisitScotland, said: "Outlander has a massive fanbase, particularly in North America, and TV audiences have been captivated by the show's blend of stunning Scottish scenery, its romance and its history.

"Scotland is the land that inspired Outlander and our locations map has already proved a big hit with visitors with many making the journey to stunning locations within the series such as Doune Castle.

"Furthermore, we are seeing more and more tourism businesses, including accommodation providers and visitor attractions, looking at ways in which they can capitalise on the show."

It has already been estimated that the filming of Outlander in Scotland has boosted the Scottish economy by £20m.

Fiona Hyslop, culture secretary, said: "Doune Castle is just the latest location to report the 'Outlander effect'.

"From Dumfries to Inverness historic visitor attractions are reporting a rise in visitor numbers thanks to the popularity of the TV show and renewed interest in the novels.

"Canada, the USA and Australia, where the series is shown, all have a shared history with Scotland, and Outlander is a great introduction to our must-visit country.

"We hope that visitor numbers increase further as viewers in the UK and Germany get to enjoy the programme."

She added: "The hit series is the largest ever direct overseas investment in our creative industries. But we want to build on this."

Ms Hyslop will travel to New York and Los Angeles for Scotland Week, attending business, tourism, cultural and film industry engagements.

Ms Hyslop's programme includes engagements with representatives of major film makers Warner Bros and Lionsgate in LA.