Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series has tantalised fans ever since the first novel appeared in print over 30 years ago. But the television adaptation by Starz, shortly to begin screening its 7th season, created a whole new legion of fans. In addition to falling in love with the characters, viewers also fell in love with the landscape. Scotland soon enjoyed a tourism boom, as Outlander devotees from all over the world flocked to the country in order to visit some of the iconic landmarks that they had seen on screen. The “Outlander Effect” soon created the need for Outlander tours, Outlander maps and Outlander guide books, all designed to reveal some of Scotland’s hidden treasures to eager fans.
One of the best of these guide books was Outlander’s Scotland, written by Phoebe Taplin and published by Pitkin in 2018. A full colour, glossy publication, this book was packed full of information about the locations from the first three seasons, together with beautiful photographs and instructions on how to recognise the landmarks. For the keen fan, this book, reasonably priced and readily available, was all that was needed to ensure a thoroughly enjoyable do-it-yourself Outlander tour. (In fact, this reviewer did just that, back in 2019!) It is no surprise that it sold well over sixty thousand copies following its release.
Now, on the eve of the show’s seventh season, a 2nd guide book, Outlander’s Scotland seasons 4-6, has been published. Like its predecessor, this glossy paperback is full of photographs and information regarding the show’s locations. While much of the plot of these later seasons takes place in colonial America, filming was still completed in Scotland itself, so there are many new and beautiful places to be discovered and explored.
Author Phoebe Taplin, who writes regularly for The Guardian and specialises in culture, heritage and travel, also has a particular interest in walking and car-free exploration. This second volume of the guide book goes further than the last, offering 12 detailed Outlander themed walks through many different areas of Scotland, along with specific information about available public transport. The keen fan can now discover, for example, the woods close to the iconic Fraser’s Ridge, complete with the tree where Jamie carves his claim; the beach from which Brianna was rescued in season 4; or the house that doubles for River Run. Every area of Scotland is matched to the relevant part of the story, making it easy for fans to tailor their own Outlander experience. Information about season 7 locations is also included - but a word of warning for those tv series only fans: slight story spoilers accompany these details!
Priced at only £6.00, Outlander’s Scotland seasons 4-6 is a real bargain for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the Outlander universe. It can be purchased directly from https://www.batsfordbooks.com/book/outlanders-scotland-seasons-4-6/, through other online platforms such as Amazon, or for those in the UK, at many bookstores and gift shops. For the complete experience, why not purchase the original guide book at the same time? That way, no matter where in Scotland you happen to be, or which season’s locations you want to discover, you will be able to make a memorable Outlander connection!
This review was written by Susie Brown, a writer and teacher-librarian who lives in Australia. She is looking forward to the day when she can return to Scotland and try out one of the themed walks for herself!