A FOURTH series has still to be premiered in November, but the makers of the massively popular fantasy show Outlander – which has been filmed across Scotland – have confirmed that two new series will be made which could give an even bigger boost to our tourism.

The news came on the Outlander team’s official Twitter channel: “We couldna wait to tell you any longer. Outlander will return to STARZ for Season 4 this November AND for Seasons 5 and 6!”

Although Scottish locations are expected to feature in the new series, bosses at Cumbernauld’s Wardpark Studios don’t expect to hear if their services will be required until early August.

Outlander, which is based on books by American writer Diana Gabaldon, is one of the most watched shows on television, with the third series averaging 5.8 million viewers per episode.

It follows Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe), who, after serving as a British Army nurse in the Second World War, embarks on a second honeymoon in Scotland with husband Frank, an MI6 officer looking forward to a change of career as an Oxford historian.

Suddenly, she is transported back to 1743 and a mysterious world where her freedom and life are threatened.

She marries a Scottish chieftain Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) in an act of survival. Cue a passionate relationship and adventures to France, Jamaica and America, all of which leaves Claire caught between two very different men in very different lives.

Scenes for the fourth series were shot in Glasgow earlier this year, but other Scottish locations have also been used, including Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, Glen Coe, Blackness Castle, Doune Castle and Linlithgow Palace. All have seen their visitor numbers surge in what has been called the Outlander Effect.

Blackness Castle, which features as the stand-in for Fort William, saw the most significant rise in visitors last year, up 72% between April and June.

Doune Castle recorded an impressive 50% increase, while Aberdour Castle was up by 58%, Linlithgow Palace by 43% and Glasgow Cathedral 39%.

When the figures were announced, Stephen Duncan, director of commercial and tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, who manage more than 300 Historic Scotland visitor attractions, said: “This is an excellent return on the investment we have made across our estate. At Doune Castle, for example, after upgrading the visitor and retail offering, we have seen retail income increase 62% for the year to date.

“Featuring in Outlander has opened up our sites to a whole new audience, inspiring more and more visitors to come and discover the history behind these places, further demonstrating the enduring value and significance of heritage attractions in Scotland.”

Another attraction feeling the Outlander Effect is Culloden Battlefield where the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is hoping to offer its visitor centre as a “year-round” venue and has applied for a licence to do just that.

Katey Boal, property manager at Culloden, said: “Tourism in the Highlands is changing. Our visitors are no longer tied to a traditional season and we in the National Trust for Scotland are offering a year-round service at our properties.”

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead, who hailed Outlander as the new “Braveheart”, said: “We have been absolutely blown away by the response globally to the Outlander series and the direct impact it has had on visits is truly exceptional.”