Outlaw King release expected to boost visitor numbers to Melrose Abbey

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Melrose could be in for a tourism boost thanks to the global release of Netflix film Outlaw King this month.

It is hoped the film, shot entirely in Scotland, according to the 1320 borders, and telling the story of Robert the Bruce, will help bring a boost in visitors to the town’s ancient abbey.

And although the Historic Scotland-run abbey, the burial site of Sir Robert’s heart, didn’t feature in the film, tourism chiefs are expecting a surge in visitors to any location associated to the Scots King.

Jenni Steele, creative industries manager at VisitScotland, said: “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. It presents an excellent opportunity to turn viewers into visitors.”

The film has already attracted Scottish film blogger David Weinczok to Melrose Abbey, who visited last weekend as part of a challenge to visit as many film locations associated with Robert the Bruce in under 36 hours as possible.

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 covers the story of Bruce, from defeated nobleman in 1304 to victorious King of Scots at the Battle of Loudoun Hill in 1307.

Stephen Duncan, director of commercial and tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, added: “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!”