All aboard Outlander in New York!

Actor Sam Heughan who stars in Outlander. Pic John Devlin
Actor Sam Heughan who stars in Outlander. Pic John Devlin

New Yorkers are being encouraged to book their tickets to the land that inspired Outlander as a VisitScotland-branded bus hits the streets of Manhattan this weekend.

Ahead of the season two launch of the hit television show tomorrow (Sunday, April 10), the bus – which will be decked out with a stunning image of the Callanish Stones along with the words “We don’t need special effects to create our drama” – will be on show on Sixth Avenue during the world-famous Tartan Day Parade.

This year, the parade’s Grand Marshall is Sam Heughan – the Dumfries & Galloway-born actor who stars as Jamie Fraser – the dashing Highland hero of Outlander.

He and Catriona Balfe, who co-stars as time-travelling nurse Claire Randall, are returning to UK screens for a second series of the romantic epic, which is shot in numerous locations around Scotland.

Last year, the likes of Doune Castle, Culloden, Falkland and Culross, which all featured in series one, enjoyed a dramatic rise in visitor numbers and national tourism organisation VisitScotland expects the return of the popular show to be further good news for the country’s tourism industry.

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland Week is an opportunity for members of the Scottish tourism industry to meet with prospective visitors from the hugely important North American market, with events such as our Diaspora Breakfast always proving popular. Outlander has taken the world by storm and it is important that we capitalise on the continued success of a series in which Scotland really is the star. “With its stunning imagery of the Callanish Stones, which are just like the ones that play such a pivotal role in the series, our bus is sure to be a big hit during the hugely popular Tartan Day Parade, which regularly attracts thousands of spectators. Hopefully it will encourage event more people to look into booking a trip to Scotland and explore the land that inspired Outlander.”

Outlander fans in New York during Scotland Week can also enjoy a special event taking place at NYC Beer Authority this evening (Friday). The Belhaven Brewery-sponsored gathering will see a number of Scottish businesses showcasing their Outlander-inspired wares, including jewellery makers Hamilton & Young, Walkers Shortbread, tour operator Mary’s Meanders and ‘Outlander Herbalist’ Claire MacKay.

Based on the bestselling books by Diana Gabaldon, the Outlander television series is produced by Sony Pictures Television and shown in the UK on Amazon Prime.

For more information on Outlander and Scotland, go to www.visitscotland.com/outlander