Genre-crossing historical drama Outlander is coming to an end. Although the tenth and likely final book is still being written by author Diana Gabaldon, it has been announced that the TV rendition will conclude with its upcoming eighth season. This is difficult news for fans of the series that encompasses everything from romance to science-fiction, fantasy, and the occult, but does mean it is time to recognise the ‘Outlander effect’ on Scottish tourism.
I was entranced by the TV series when it first came out in 2016 – not just by the seriously sexy love story of lead characters Claire, a 20th-century war nurse from England, and Jamie, her 18th-century Highland laird, but also by the history and scenery. I progressed onto the books, which were even better, enhanced by the reading of Davina Porter.
Wanting to immerse myself further into the Outlander world, I travelled several times from my London home up to Scotland and researched my family history. My great-grandmother Isabel Anderson was originally a hemp weaver in Arbroath; visiting the Scottish town, I ate kippers hot off the smoker at dawn and searched St Vigeans graveyard for family tombstones. I went to the World Porridge competition and even considered starting a ‘porridge drawer’ in my kitchen dresser. I tasted whisky in Oban, and cooked an entire 18th century meal on a peat fire. I became a fan of smoky, peaty whiskies, sipping the amber liquid while watching Claire and Jamie. I’m even considering buying the Outlander tartan, designed and woven by the Ingles Buchan mill.
Continue reading this ‘Great Read’ at The National….