Dead Poets' Society: Our Path to Outlander and Scotland

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An Invitation to Burns' Night 

'An Invitation to Burns Night' was the message.  At the time, I had no idea what Burns' Night was. 

That evening, as is the tradition, our new Scottish friends entertained us with Burns' poems and home-cooked authentic Scottish dishes, haggis included.  (It's an annual Scottish tradition, an ode to one of Scotland's famous sons and poet, Robert Burns.)

 A Burns' Night Feast: Cullen skink (wonderful smoked haddock & potato soup); haggis (front left) and popovers.

A Burns' Night Feast: Cullen skink (wonderful smoked haddock & potato soup); haggis (front left) and popovers.

 Some Scottish biscuits, Scotch eggs, and lovely cheeses.  Our hosts did their best with the limited availability of local Scottish foods. Everything was delicious, nonetheless.

Some Scottish biscuits, Scotch eggs, and lovely cheeses.  Our hosts did their best with the limited availability of local Scottish foods. Everything was delicious, nonetheless.

Our host even donned his finest semi-formal Scottish Highland wear and adhered to tradition by reciting Burns' poetry from memory.  It was a terrific introduction to Scottish culture, and if you ever get such an invitation, I highly recommend that you take advantage of the endearing hospitality.

Little did we know this night would be pivotal to our decision to take a new adventure into the wonders of Scotland. 

Our Path to Outlander and Scotland

It had been swirling around as a potential place to visit for several months, but the decision was sealed on another different, cold, January evening. Outlander was on our list of recommended TV shows.

Outlander's Episode One got me & put me under its spell.

Sure, I was in awe of the unspoiled natural landscapes, painted in muted shades of purple and green, but the storyline was equally captivating.

My penchant for history (especially anything involving the British Isles), romance, and turn-on-a-dime plots never fail to leave me utterly riveted, and this show has it all, plus. The plus?: Sam Heughan as Jamie Fraser...but, that's another topic.  

Back to Scotland. 

After gathering information from our friends regarding the highlights of Scotland, I mapped out a plan.  (If you subscribe to the blog, you'll get the password to my Free Scotland Itinerary! Look for the Subscribe Form to your right in the sidebar.)

Touring Scotland

It comes as no surprise to Outlander fans that the show has helped give a boost to Scotland's economy very quickly. According to many of the Scottish locals and a local guide, tourism has skyrocketed at approximately 40% since Outlander premiered on Starz in 2014. Is it any wonder that these statistics are so high?  Between the novels' story lines, genealogy seekers, breathtaking vistas, and an added bonus of speaking the same language, and so much more, the country's popularity with visitors has catapulted.  

Great writing and Scotland are linked in many ways...

Edinburgh Culture Tip (+ a free admission):

If you decide to visit Scotland, particularly Edinburgh, you will find a clever, small-scale museum, devoted to three Scottish writers, Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Walter Scott, called The Writer's Museum.  Temporary exhibitions include more contemporary Scottish authors, such as J.K. Rowling.

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Aptly named, The Writers' Museum is tucked down Lady Stairs' Close (an alleyway), inside Lady Stairs' House, Lawnmarket. Admission is Free.

 Click here to check the website for days/hours of operation at the Writers' Museum.

How poetic (pun completely intended) to kick off our time in Edinburgh by paying homage to the writers who inspired us to visit Scotland in the first place!

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Extra tip: The Writers' Museum Gift Shop has some great and reasonably-priced gifts (including Outlander-related).  I bought a pretty set of silver, heart-shaped, Celtic-inspired earrings for around £6.99.  

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 The Writers' Museum is a charming and thought-provoking stop for book and poetry lovers. Stop in to get a cozy, warm feeling and browse the interesting selection in its petite gift shop.

The Writers' Museum is a charming and thought-provoking stop for book and poetry lovers. Stop in to get a cozy, warm feeling and browse the interesting selection in its petite gift shop.

 Experience the warmth and charm of The Writers' Museum and gift shop inside Lady Stairs' House, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. 

Experience the warmth and charm of The Writers' Museum and gift shop inside Lady Stairs' House, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh. 

 Click here to check the website for days/hours of operation at the Writers' Museum.