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In conversation with Judy Lowstuter on the Outlander tour of Scotland

Well “Outlander” might be new on air but Claire and Jamie tours based on the long-running book series by Diana Gabaldon, have run for more than a decade. Thanks to the early success of Starz Adaptation, they’re again newly in demand. Claire is certainly the bullheaded British Army nurse who with the help of an enchanted stone, travels back in tome and meets the equally heedless and imprudent James Fraser, a captivating inheritor of noble spirit and with awe-inspiring red hair. They fall in love with each other and complications become inevitable and apparent.

Aforementioned complications occur across the Scottish highlands during a period of political chaos, the mid 18th century, when the Jacobite rebellions set Scot against Scot, in the service of 2 royal families, the Protestant Hangovers and the Catholic Stuarts. The circumstances that were a part of the highly intriguing book series lend themselves to a historical tour of the country, taking sights like the various castles, the Culloden battlefield and Glencoe, which are mentioned in the books and today better known due to the ongoing TV series. Here are some questions asked to Judy Lowstuter of Celtic Journeys, an Outlander Tour outfitter about his experience on organizing the tour through Claire and Jamie’s trail.

What was the motivation or stimulation behind the tour?

Judy said that the first time he went to Scotland, a friend said that he read “Outlander” because of the history associated with it. But when he went there for the first time in the year 2002, he could feel the instant connection with the people, particularly with those who fought at Culloden, which has a lateral with Gettysburgh. He thought he loved this book and Scotland as well, and he wished there was an Outlander tour that he could attend. It was then that he decided to start off with a company that specialized in travelling through Scotland.

Are there any stops that you’ve added to the travel plan straight from the show?

He replied that if he hadn’t added any locations of the actual series, then that would possibly lead to a mutiny. Without changing the body of the tour, he kept the same things but on the last day, they will go to Doune Castle, Falkland and Blackness castle, which is used as Fort William.

Are there people who ask for random stops taken from books?

No, not exactly. However, he expects people to request a stop at a clan seat, which he says he will try to accommodate if possible. Someone asked Judy to see the production studio where the entire filming was done. Since he didn’t have an inkling of where it was located, he still had to find it. He Googled, “recent industrial park sales” as the search query and found out an Isola factory and an old electronics factory in Cumbernauld. Though he was sure that they wouldn’t let them in, but the two women in the tour just had to visit this place.

What’s your take on the Outlander TV show so far, being an expert on the books?

He thought Cait (who plays Claire) and Tobias Menzies (who plays both the all-purpose enemy “Black Jack” Randall and Claire’s husband Frank) are indeed going to win awards for their performance. However, he was not so sure about Jamie’s performance. May be would put a rabbit out of his hat! It is expected that he may transition more into Jamie by the 3rd or the 4th episode.

Did you have a preferable actor who could play Jamie?

Well, people said that Gerard Butler could be the first choice for playing Jamie’s character, at least when the books first came out. Nevertheless, he felt that with time, Sam would depict more of Jamie’s personality traits, exposing his strength of character, kindness and fairness as well.

According to Judy, men also come to attend this tour! There’s an octogenarian man who’s been on it for three times and he has won the maser trivia contest. Everybody is in love with Jamie before they get to the spot but once they’re there, they’re head over heels in love with Scotland.