If you are fan of Scotland and all things Scottish then you are likely to also be a fan of the show Outlander. Now I must admit, I personally haven’t watched the show but following numerous recommendations from colleagues, customers and family members, I feel compelled to find out more.
Let’s start with the basics, Outlander is a drama series which was created based upon the series of novels written by Diana Gabaldon. What inspired Diana to write the novels? Well in 1998, she set out to write a practice novel for herself to learn the process. With experience as a research professor, she felt a historic novel would be the easiest for her to research, bearing in mind that this was before the internet had really taken off, so research was mainly done through books. Diana happened to be watching a rerun of a Doctor Who episode, in which the Doctor met a Scot from the 1740’s, called Jamie McCrimmon and this inspired her lead character, James Fraser. The story beings when Jamie’s “Sassenach” as he affectionately calls her, Claire Randall, an English nurse visits Craigna Dun in 1945, with her husband, Frank, and ends up being transported back in time to 1743, where she meets Jamie and the rest, as they say, is history!
There have been a range of five officially licensed tartans designed to celebrate the Outlander series , as they are official merchandise they can only be sold through select licensed suppliers making these tartans a little harder to get a hold of. Don’t despair though, the range of tartans were all designed with weathered and earth tone colours, to best represent the era depicted within the series. Within our range of over 500 tartans we have around 100 different weathered tartans. The Fraser’s and Mackenzie’s are the leading two families within the series and both have traditional weathered variants. You may even find that your own clan have a weathered tartan, so you can be true to your own heritage but feel part of the Outlander era.
The Fraser Hunting Weathered in particular has risen in popularity in recent years and we are pretty sure Outlander is to answer for this. It’s not just this tartan though; the slightly darker Fraser Hunting Modern has also become extremely popular. Our customer Stephanie was organising a big Outlander themed party back in November and came to us to help dress herself, her husband and their home in Fraser tartan ready for their event.
If you are a big fan of the show, as well as introducing some tartan to your wardrobe, you may like to visit some the areas mentioned within the series. Back in the early 2000s Alastair Cunningham from Clans and Castles, a local company who specialise in tailored holidays reached out to Diana to ask her permission to create a tour of Scotland based upon her novels. Diana then took Alastair up on the offer to visit the Inverness Highland Games together. On her next visit to Scotland, Diana used one of the Clans and Castles guides to take her around the Scottish Highlands are at the time she hadn’t been further north than Inverness. Clans and Castles have now been running Outlander Tours for 12 years focusing on Outlander sites and what life was like for highlanders in the 18th century. Many of the tours for 2018 are now full but there are still a few places remaining. Clans and Castles are offering an exclusive £200 discount for ScotlandShop customers when booking a 2018 tour.
There are three Outlander Tours on offer, here fact meets fiction, as you are taken to all the places from the series. You will be taken to the streets of our capital city of Edinburgh, where Jamie Fraser, one of the main characters in the series, set up his print shop and promoted the Jacobite rebellion, before it went up in flames. To Fort William to visit Lallybroch (Blackness Castle), Jamie’s family home and to Doune Castle, which fans will instantly recognise as Castle Leoch, home of the MacKenzie Clan.
Well there you have it, a little bit of the background to all things Outlander! Are you a fan? We’d love to see your Outlander inspired outfits.