The reel Outlaw King challenge

Fri 9 Nov 18

Two of Scotland’s top bloggers will battle it out to visit as many film and real-life locations associated with Robert the Bruce in under 36 hours, as VisitScotland celebrates the release of Outlaw King on NETFLIX.

Neil Robertson and David Weinczok, who form part of social media collective, Scotlanders, will take on the challenge set by the national tourism organisation, between 10 and 11 November, connecting social media users with the true story of the King of Scots.

Film fans will be able to take a virtual tour of the filming locations by tracking Neil’s movements using the hashtag #ReelOutlawKing, while history buffs can explore the real historical sites linked to the Bruce through David and the hashtag #RealOutlawKing, on both Twitter and Instagram.

The challenge will begin at 10am on Saturday, 10 November.

During the challenge, the bloggers will come face-to-face at The Battle of Bannockburn at 1.14pm (1314 – in reference to the year that the Battle of Bannockburn took place) on the Saturday, before finally coming together again on Sunday at Dunfermline Abbey, home to the Abbey Church which contains the resting place of the real Robert the Bruce.

Other locations the Scotlanders will visit include Glasgow Cathedral, Arbroath Abbey, Mugdock Country Park, Scone Palace and Loudoun Hill.

Outlaw King, released globally on NETFLIX this Friday (9 November), was shot entirely in Scotland (according to the borders of 1320) and is said to be the largest production, budget-wise, to be made in the country to date.

Dozens of locations were used in the production, including Craigmillar Castle, Blackness Castle, Linlithgow Palace, Glen Coe, Dunfermline Abbey, the University of Glasgow and the Isle of Skye.

Starring Chris Pine (Star Trek) as the Bruce and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick Ass) as James Douglas and directed by David MacKenzie (of Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water), Outlaw King tells the story of Robert the Bruce, from defeated nobleman in 1304 to victorious King of Scots at the Battle of Loudoun Hill in 1307.

With one in five visitors inspired to come here after seeing Scotland on the big or small screen, VisitScotland expects visitor numbers to grow further with the release of Outlaw King.

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “Robert the Bruce is a Scottish icon whose story enthrals visitors from across the globe and we’re excited to see so much of Scotland on screen in Outlaw King and streaming straight into the homes of millions of Netflix subscribers.

“Outlaw King presents an excellent opportunity for the Scottish tourism industry to turn viewers into visitors, especially as Scotland offers film fans the unique chance to not only walk in the footsteps of its on-screen stars but also those of their real-life counterparts.

“We hope the Scotlanders’ whistle-stop tour of locations during the film’s launch weekend will provide inspiration for potential visitors, with its behind-the-scenes glimpse at the real and reel life of Robert the Bruce.”

Scotlander Neil Robertson said: “We’re thrilled to join up with VisitScotland to promote this brilliant tribute to a Scottish legend. David and I are both long-term fanatics when it comes to exploring Scotland's past and we'll be visiting a diverse range of locations, over what will be a very action-packed weekend, to pay tribute to both Bruce's personal story and to the carefully-selected filming locations for Outlaw King.

“His was an extraordinary political and military adventure during one of the most tumultuous chapters in Scotland's history and we are delighted to be able to re-create at least some of it for digital audiences around the world for this campaign. Castles, cathedrals, abbeys, parks, coastal cliffs and more await as we aim to show why nowhere does historic drama better than Scotland.”

Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial & Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Productions such as Outlaw King offer a great opportunity to showcase Scotland’s history and heritage, and open up our historic sites to a whole new audience.

“I am delighted that we are welcoming David and Neil to our Outlaw King connected locations, both the filming locations and the properties that played a pivotal role in the life of Robert the Bruce.

“We are sure they will add to the excitement of the film’s first weekend of release on Netflix and inspire visitors to walk in the footsteps of Bruce - both the real man and the character played so ably by Chris Pine!”

Jonathan Brown, Operations Manager at the National Trust for Scotland’s Battle of Bannockburn experience said: “For centuries people have come to Bannockburn to pay tribute to Robert the Bruce and learn more about this fascinating period in Scotland’s history. Outlaw King takes this story out to a huge global audience and we hope will encourage even more people to explore our beautiful country getting to know more about its amazing history and heritage which our charity is proud to play a part in protecting.”

Lady Mansfield from Scone Palace said: “As the place where Robert the Bruce was crowned, Scone Palace is delighted to be part of VisitScotland’s Outlaw King challenge. Just as we love that history lovers see us as a necessary stop-off on their tours of Scotland, we’re excited to have David Weinczok include us in his unique whirlwind tour. May the #RealOutlawKing win!”

Film and history fans can track both Neil and David’s progress with the #Scotlanders hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

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