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Doune Castle among beneficiaries as Historic Environment Scotland unveils multi-million-pound backing for top Scottish sites

Doune Castle
Doune Castle

The draw of the hit television show Outlander is to see Doune Castle turned into a major tourism attraction.

Visitors have been flocking to the medieval stronghold since it began a double life as the fictional Castle Leoch.

It has now been identified as one of 20 sites that will benefit from a share of tens of millions of pounds from Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

The body will spend £12 million during 2018/19 as part of a wider plan that runs until 2021/22 that aims to improve the condition of sites and improve the experience of visitors.

Among the sites are Arbroath Abbey, St Andrews Cathedral and Stirling Castle, whose need for an improvement in its overall condition is assessed as second only to Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh will be the most expensive of all the proposed development projects, with short term repairs preceding a long-term masterplan for the castle.

At Doune Castle in Perthshire, the visitor experience will be enhanced thanks to new external lighting around the site and an introductory exhibition on its history, based in the castle vaults. The castle’s shop was upgraded last year.

Earlier this year, VisitScotland revealed the “Outlander effect” had seen attractions such as Doune Castle enjoy “staggering increases in visitor numbers”.

Other recent investment has seen important conservation undertaken at Dunkeld Cathedral.

Historic Environment Scotland is developing a virtual reality experience for visitors and introducing new pontoon and boats at Lochleven Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was once a prisoner.


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