A new movie about Robert the Bruce has inspired a guide to places in the north-east with historical significance to the legendary monarch.
Outlaw King, recently released on streaming service Netflix and featuring actor Chris Pine, is based on the life of the man who led Scotland during the wars of independence and in one of the country’s most famous victories, at Bannockburn in 1314.
Tourism body VisitAberdeenshire has now created a guide for residents and visitors to the north-east so they can visit sites of historical significance relating to Robert the Bruce in and around the city.
The first suggestion for people to visit is the former Aberdeen Castle, now known to locals as the Castlegate, where the building used to stand.
It is thought it was burned down in 1308 by Robert the Bruce after battling the English Garrison, and to stop it from being taken by the English, it was destroyed.
Only a short walk around the corner there is a statue of the monarch, unveiled in 2011 outside Marischal College. Robert the Bruce helped to create Aberdeen’s Common Good Fund through a charter he issued in 1319.
Aberdeen City Council erected the statue outside its headquarters to honour the great warrior and remember the debt the city owes him as a result.
Still in Aberdeen, the Brig O’Balgownie, which runs between Old Aberdeen and Bridge of Don, also has a connection. Now a scheduled ancient monument, the popular tourist spot was originally started by Bishop Henry Cheyne, but was completed by Robert the Bruce.
Chris Foy, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “Our Outlaw King blog recognises that film tourism is an important factor for many people when deciding where to visit.
“According to VisitBritain, film, TV and literary-inspired tourism is worth about £610 million to the UK every year and VisitScotland research suggests 6% of all visitors north of the border were inspired to come to the country by a movie featuring Scotland. Making the most of our topical and historical connections is an important way of getting Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on to the tourism map.”
In Aberdeenshire, The Battle of Barra, or the Battle of Inverurie, was fought in May 1308 and was a victory for him. One of the places he made his camp was Meldrum, near the Bruce Field where the battle was carried out.
It is thought he may have sat on Bruce’s Seat, a large stone near the Oldmeldrum bypass, to direct the battle while he was ill.
Kildrummy Castle, near Alford, is where he sent his wife, daughter and sisters so they were protected following the Battle of Methven in 1306 – though they were captured and held prisoner later on.
Two Moray hotspots include Balvenie Castle, which he took in 1308 and Cullen, where his wife Elizabeth de Burgh died.