Outlander and Sam Heughan
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 running 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.
Explore the area while staying at The Ken Bridge.
The Ken Bridge, a 10 bedroom Georgian hotel, has a spectacular river bank location close by Loch Ken, in an area renowned for its tranquility and picturesque views. This 18th Century Coaching Inn was originally built to provide food, ale and shelter for travelers and coaches on the Old Edinburgh Road between Ireland and Edinburgh.
The hotel is a superb centre for fishing, golfing, hill walking, cycling on the surrounding quiet country roads, mountain biking on the world famous 7 Stanes routes, bird watching, photography, clay pigeon shooting, field and water-sports or for simply relaxing and taking in the wonderful scenery.
We are on the edge of the UNESCO Dark Skies Park created in 2009, which at the time was the only one in Britain and only the 5th worldwide. The river beside the hotel is a seasonal host to Osprey, Kingfisher and Oyster Catcher, there is also a healthy population of Otter and the hotel gardens receive regular visits from Red Squirrels. Early risers may see deer in the meadows across the river, as well as fox and badger.
The woodland to the west of the hotel is used as a roost by up to as many as 35 Red Kite which frequently soar and wheel spectacularly over the hotel.
The Ken Bridge Hotel is ideally situated enabling you to explore the whole of Dumfries and Galloway.
Dumfries and Galloway has so much to offer from Castles and Historic attractions to numerous outdoor activities. Here are just a few to help you choose when planning your holiday.
Castles and Historic Attractions
Dumfries & Galloway
Gardens in Dumfries and Galloway
Blessed by beautiful gardens.
Museums & Visitor Centres
In Dumfries & Galloway
In Dumfries & Galloway
in Dumfries & Galloway
Dumfries & Galloway is great for cycling
Golf in Dumfries & Galloway
Fishing near The Ken Bridge
In Dumfries & Galloway
Outdoor Activities not too far from the Ken Bridge Hotel
Shooting, Stalking & Clay Pigeon in Dumfries & Galloway
10 en-suite bedrooms offering single, twin, double, triple or family accommodation.
Campsite is featured on the Cool Camping website & received the highest rating by the Tiny Campsites Book
The Ken Bridge kitchen prides itself in providing chef created meals using local produce wherever possible.
“ Really enjoyed our meal. Proper pub food was just what we needed and this didn't disappoint. The staff went out of their way to open doors and get a highchair for our little one. The place was clean and reasonably priced.”
"Everything was really good from the staff, facilities, atmosphere & mostly the good. The children's ice cream with miniature smarties, wafer & chocolate sauce went down a treat with our daughter.
Definitely will return in the future if over in that direction."
"Stopped by on the off chance of food and were blown away! We are lactose intolerant and the menu was very easy to navigate for all allergies, the owners even went the extra mile to make sure we had a desert,
not something we are used to!"
"Had a Sunday roast there today, it was first class and would recommend, welcome and service was really good and coffee by the river (about ten yards from the restaurant) was so peaceful and beautiful."