The Outlaw King is a fantastic new film about one of Scotland’s national heroes: Robert the Bruce. While the film was first shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, it has just come out for an international audience on Netflix and critics are already praising it. The film was written, produced, and directed by Scottish filmmaker David Mackenzie, starring Hollywood actor Chris Pine. Here at Inspiring Travel Scotland, we have gone to great lengths to ensure that anyone who has been inspired to visit Scotland by watching The Outlaw King can take our specially designed The Outlaw King tour! In this blog post, we’ll talk a little about the film and then we’ll outline everything you can expect from the specialist tour inspired by it.
A little background about The Outlaw King
The Outlaw King is Netflix’s hot new film as the streaming service goes to greater lengths to expand beyond the TV show industry and produce big-budget films as well. Whereas Braveheart focused on the story of William Wallace (with more than a few historical inaccuracies/creative liberties), The Outlaw King focuses on Robert the Bruce as he engaged in guerrilla warfare with the much-larger English army. It’s a fast-paced action film, but the adherence and fidelity to historical facts should appeal to anyone who likes their historical action films to stay true to as many of the facts as possible.
It’s perhaps no surprise that The Outlaw King has placed particular importance on historical accuracy, as it has been created by Glasgow-based production company Sigma Films. Sigma Films’ founder, David Mackenzie was the lead writer on the project, as well as the director. It’s always more appealing, we think, when a historical drama is created by people with a real passion for history and cultural heritage, and Mackenzie has more than proven his interest and dedication to Scottish history.
The Black Douglas from The Outlaw King
One thing lots of people are talking about since seeing the film is Robert Bruce’s loyal lord Sir James Douglas — also known as the Black Douglas. While it’s great to see a film that focuses on Robert the Bruce instead of William Wallace, it’s also great to see other Scottish folk heroes like the Black Douglas shining out. In truth, Scotland has no shortage of them. In The Outlaw King, the Black Douglas is played by Aaron Tayloy-Johnson and he has an undeniable charisma and screen presence. The character took back Douglas Castle from the English with only five men proved to be an incredibly useful ally for Robert the Bruce.
The Outlaw King Scottish Tour
Anyone who watches the film can’t help but notice the exceptionally rugged beauty of the Scottish countryside, castles, and other filming locations. All of the main on-location filming took place in Scotland and it was the inspiration behind our new Outlaw King Scottish tour. We wanted to give fans of the show an opportunity to see every location they can and experience, first hand, the real history that grounded the film.
The Outlaw King seems to resonate with Americans more than others. Perhaps this is because so many Americans have Scottish descendants and identify as Scottish, or perhaps it’s because the USA also famously pushed back against the British/English and won. Whatever the reason, we’re confident that our specialist Outlaw King tour will amaze and delight any fan of the film and we would like to say a little more about some of the locations you’ll visit.
This ruined medieval castle played a pivotal role in the film, serving as the set for a medieval village that was constructed especially for filming. While the village is now gone, the castle is still there and it is open to visitors. Craigmillar Castle was built in the 14th century and it remained in use until the 17th century. The castle has played an interesting role in Scottish history and it was also featured in the television program Outlander. It’s also worth noting that the huge popularity of Outlander created demand for our Outlander Scottish tour!
This famous hill is actually a volcanic plug located in East Ayrshire. It’s known as both Loudoun Hill or just Loudounhill, and it was the scene of the Battle of Loudoun Hill, fought between Robert the Bruce and the English earl Aymer de Valence (the main antagonist of The Outlaw King). This battle was the first big victory for Robert the Bruce’s campaign and Loudounhill is protected as an area of historical significance by Historic Scotland. This battle featured in The Outlaw King, and it’s a vital spot for any Scottish history tour.
Glasgow (Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow University)
Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city and there is more than enough history and culture to keep guests amused and engaged. A few scenes in The Outlaw King were filmed on location in Glasgow — in its beautiful ancient cathedral and in the cloisters of its world-ranking university. On this tour, we give you more than enough time to explore Glasgow, visiting the various Outlaw King locations, but also just drinking in the city’s unique atmosphere and meeting its famously friendly people!
On our The Outlaw King tour, we will also take you to Edinburgh, Stirling Castle, Loch Ness, Glencoe, the Tomb of Robert the Bruce, and so much more. We’re extremely pleased that The Outlaw King has highlighted Scotland’s vibrant history and gorgeous locations, and we hope that our specialist tour will prove as popular as the film! Please get in touch if you have any questions about this tour, or if you’d like to request your very own customised Scottish tour!