#Scotlanders: the real versus reel Robert the Bruce

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 this weekend, as VisitScotland celebrates the release of Outlaw King.

On the trail...#Scotlanders David Weinczok (left) and Neil Robertson will be following in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce this weekend, as they trace the king's real locations and those used in the new Netflix movie, Outlaw King.
On the trail...#Scotlanders David Weinczok (left) and Neil Robertson will be following in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce this weekend, as they trace the king's real locations and those used in the new Netflix movie, Outlaw King.

Neil Robertson and David Weinczok, who form part of social media collective, Scotlanders, will take on the challenge this Saturday and Sunday, connecting social media users with the true story of the King of Scots.

Film fans will be able to take a virtual tour of its locations by tracking Neil’s movements at twitter.com/hashtag/reeloutlawking, while history buffs can explore the real historical sites linked to the Bruce with David at twitter.com/hashtag/realoutlawking.

The challenge will begin at 10am today (Saturday). The duo will come face-to-face today at the Battle of Bannockburn site at 1.14pm (13:14, in reference to the year that the Battle of Bannockburn took place), before finally meeting up again on Sunday at Dunfermline Abbey, home to Abbey Church and the resting place of the real Bruce.

Climatic battle scene...in Outlaw King, which stars Chris Pine as the Bruce (centre), in reality took place at Loudoun Hill in Ayrshire but was filmed at Mugdock Country Park in Milngavie. (Pic: Courtesy of Netflix)

Other locations the Scotlanders will visit include Glasgow Cathedral (which serves as Greyfriar’s Cathedral in the film), Arbroath Abbey, Mugdock Country Park (used to stage climatic battle scene), Scone Palace and Loudoun Hill.

Neil 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.”

Film and history fans can track their progress with the #Scotlanders hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

Outlaw King, released globally on Netflix yesterday (Friday), was shot entirely in Scotland and is said to be the largest production, budget-wise, ever made here.

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.

Dozens of locations were used in the production, including Craigmillar Castle (as Robert the Bruce’s castle and village), Blackness Castle (Yorkshire Castle where Bruce’s wife Elizabeth is imprisoned), Linlithgow Palace (serves as both Perth Castle and Scone Abbey), Glen Coe (for sweeping landscape shot), Dunfermline Abbey (as Westminster), the University of Glasgow (where Edward I practises his archery skills and talks to his son) and the Isle of Skye (where Robert and his men take refuge).

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 its release.

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.”