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Dunnottar braced for ‘monster rise’ in visitor numbers

Press Release   •   Dec 02, 2015 16:38 GMT

The release of a major Hollywood movie this week could lead to a monster rise in the number of visitors to one of Scotland’s most striking castles, according to the national tourism organisation.

VisitScotland says Dunnottar Castle’s starring role in 20th Century Fox’s Victor Frankenstein, which stars James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, will inspire even more people to visit the historic Aberdeenshire property. 

The Castle is no stranger to movie fame, previously serving as the chief inspiration for Merida’s family home in Disney-Pixar’s Brave in 2012 and also doubling as Elsinore in Franco Zefferrelli’s 1990 adaptation of Hamlet, starring Mel Gibson.

In 2013, Dunnottar was shortlisted for the title of ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ in a global competition organised by Virtual Tourist.

In a dynamic and thrilling twist on Mary Shelley’s legendary tale, radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences. 

The beach beneath the castle also features in the sci-fi horror, as do Glen Callater and Loch Callater, with the crew staying at the Deeside Inn during production.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

Dunnottar Castle’s awe-inspiring clifftop setting is a magnet for film-makers and visitors alike. Set-jetting, where people visit the shooting locations of their favourite movies, is big business, so Dunnottar’s role in Victor Frankenstein is further great news for a fantastic visitor attraction which also features in our new film locations guide – Set in Scotland: A Film Fan’s Odyssey. I’m sure its thrilling role in Victor Frankenstein could lead a monster rise in visitor numbers.”

Jim Wands, Custodian at Dunnottar Castle, said:

“All the staff here are excited to see our beautiful Castle on the big screen. The film trailer features a quick shot of it, and the stunning location really adds to the dark atmosphere of the film. We are sure it will bring many visitors to ‘Frankenstein’s Castle’ and to the wider Stonehaven area.”

Councillor David Aitchison, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said:

“The benefits of this film to Aberdeenshire are wide-ranging. From the attraction of tourists to Dunnottar Castle and the wider Stonehaven area to building on the momentum of films set in the area and supported by the council’s film officer.

“The Frankenstein film and book have strong links to Scotland through the locations as well as through author Mary Shelley, who lived in Dundee. All of this should be celebrated and the VisitScotland film guide, Set in Scotland, does this in a unique way by promoting links to films and areas so people can enjoy a cultural and cinematic tour. In Aberdeenshire you can search for a local hero in Pennan, see the ‘sun set’ in Fettercairn and now visit a castle where Frankenstein was brought to life then retire from any monstrous activity to the warmth of our communities.”

The release of Victor Frankenstein further cements Aberdeenshire’s strong ties with Gothic fiction, with the Cruden Bay castles of Ecclesgreig and New Slains said to have inspired Bram Stoker during the writing of Dracula.

Victor Frankenstein is released in cinemas throughout the UK on Thursday 3 December. To view the trailer, go to

To view Set in Scotland: A Film Fan’s Odyssey, go to:

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Notes to Editors

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    • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
    • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
    • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
      1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
      2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
      3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
      4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
      5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
      6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
      7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
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    • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
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    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
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