Outlander is the new hit TV series based on the best-selling books worldwide by Diana Gabaldon, some 26 million copies at last count. Its hero Jamie Fraser is played by Sam Heughan who was born in 1980 in the conservation village of New Galloway, the smallest burgh in Scotland, situated in the scenically stunning Glenkens, Dumfries and Galloway, South-West Scotland. He's the clean handsome one among the rest of the Highland scruffs. His fandom includes the Heughliverse and the Heughligans. Heughan is an old Galloway name. Although many viewers pronounce it 'Hyoo-Han' the 'gh' sounds like 'ch' in loch. He is a true Galloway man. It is said of him that 'when it comes to gleaning any personal details he's about as forthcoming as his onscreen alter ego under interrogation from the Redcoats'!
His stage and film credits, going back to 2004, are impressive. Sam grew up playing around nearby Loch Ken. He has confided that as a child 'I spent a lot of time runing about outdoors with a wooden stick pretending it was a sword. I was obsessed with King Arthur legends and Robert the Bruce.' Glenkens remains a paradise for anyone smitten by history. The Romans passed through. Arthurian traditions are preserved the twelfth-century romance 'Fergus of Galloway'. One of the most important Viking hoards ever discovered anywhere was recently found at nearby Balmaghie. The Lords of Galloway hunted in the great Galloway Forest. There are many stories in the area of the exploits of Robert Bruce who fought Scotland's way to independence. There were well-recorded conflicts between covenanters and the Stewart kings. The haunting ruins of Kenmure Castle, where Sam also no doubt developed his historical imagination, stand at the head of Loch Ken. The last Earl of Kenmure was executed for his part in the Jacobite Rising of 1715. Outlander is set during the last Jacobite rebellion of 1745-6. Until Diana Gabaldon came along nobody in the 1740s suspected that a beautiful woman from 1945 was about to appear, sweeping Sam out of his kilt. The series is pretty full on but so too is the unrivaled scenery of our glen.