I’d love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon if it was pure fiction. Her storytelling takes hold of me and won’t let go until I’ve finished each book, which I’ve now done a few times. The fact that the series is based on real events and many real characters, and the lengths to which she has gone to make it as historically accurate as possible—except perhaps for the whole time travel thing—makes me love it even more. This really hit home when we visited Scotland in 2013.
If you’re an Outlander fan or a history buff, get yourself to the Highlands someday. The story of the final battle of the Jacobite rebellion on April 16, 1746, comes to life at the Culloden Moor Visitor Center. There’s an interesting and educational museum inside, but the battlefield itself touched me the most. You can walk a loop around it and find markers for each clan. Reg flags mark the front line for the government, blue flags for the Highlanders.
Spend some time in Edinburgh, Nairn and Inverness as well. There are tours tailored to Outlander fans; ours was not, but fortunately these stops were included. We stayed at the Newton Hotel in Nairn, which was built in the 17th century. Stay there if you can. It was once frequented by Charlie Chaplin and his family, and stands in 21 acres of mature parkland and gardens. It was there that we learned that if you give us enough alcohol, we’ll eat haggis. Let us never speak of that again.
If you haven’t read the books, start now. Then catch up on the Starz series. Books first, though. Thanks for reading Tales From the Empty Nest!