Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The "OUTLANDER Effect" comes to North Carolina



Many of you have heard about the "OUTLANDER Effect" on Scottish tourism, as more and more OUTLANDER fans visit Scotland to see for themselves the locations mentioned in the books, as well as various sites used in the filming of the TV show.

But what about North Carolina? Those of us who live here (I'm a longtime resident of Raleigh, NC) have been asking that question for years, and ever since the Frasers settled in North Carolina in Season 4, it appears that OUTLANDER fans are finally starting to take notice.

Here's an interesting article on the "OUTLANDER Effect" on tourism in North Carolina.
The popularity of the TV series, which returns for its fifth season on Feb. 16, and North Carolina’s debut on it last year has brought the state’s colonial history into the lucrative world of “Outlander.” Specifically, it has sent fans to historic sites in droves seeking to follow in the footsteps of the characters.
Although I often roll my eyes at the show's concept of North Carolina's geography, which places the mountains much closer to the coast than they are in reality, I think overall they're doing a reasonably good job portraying the landscape. Is it exactly like what NC looks like in real life? No, but given that they weren't able to film here, I try not to nitpick too much. It's a thrill for me to see the story taking place not far from where I live, just as it always has been. I still have vivid memories of my first reading of DRUMS OF AUTUMN, and my surprise and delight when I realized that Jamie and Claire were going to settle here.

Diana Gabaldon visited Alamance Battleground and Tryon Palace last year, to help raise funds for the preservation of these historical sites. I think it's wonderful that the show (and the books) are inspiring fans to visit these sites and to learn more about North Carolina and its history. And there's much more to come in Season 5!

Have any of you visited the locations in North Carolina mentioned in the books or show? What do you think of the show's depiction of North Carolina so far?

7 comments:

NovelAdventures said...

Hi, Karen!

I don't know if you remember me, but you and I were in Scotland at the same time, way back in 2012. We even compared itineraries to see if we might cross paths - which, unfortunately did not happen.

Anyway, my travel companion,
Andrea, and I turned that trip into a business--you may have heard of us? We are Novel Adventures®️! ��

We hold the annual "Gathering on The Ridge" at The Mast Farm Inn in Banner Elk, NC - pretty much right where Diana has described her Fraser's Ridge to be! This year, we'll hold our 6th annual Gathering which is timed to coordinate with the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, and, due to popular demand, have added a "Fall Gathering on Fraser's Ridge" which will take place in October.

For the past 5 years, we have brought out a cast member to be a part of the fun, and will do so again this summer! �� So far, we've hosted Gillebride Macmillan (Gwyllyn the bard), Graham Mctavish, Cesar Domboy, David Berry, Gary Lewis, and this year we're bringing out Lauren Lyle.

This event has become so popular that, 2 years ago we began including a "Journey to The Ridge" where we begin in Wilmington, NC and work our way across the state, ending up on "Fraser's Ridge" just in time for the Gathering. We make stops at New Bern, Fayetteville (formerly known as Cross Creek), Old Salem, Alamance, and Cherokee. We experience historic tours at these locations, all the while walking in Jamie and Claire's footsteps and doing our very best to immerse ourselves in the very storylines which inspired us to go out and see these incredible sites.

This has been one of the most rewarding and amazing book series, and it has quite literally transformed my life. I cannot thank Diana enough! ��

Abigail Adams said...


I started reading Diana in the mid 1990s, when I retired in 2010 I began an application for Daughters of the American Revolution which lead me to North Carolina history. The books provided all the background knowledge I needed, when I found a deed for Herman Husband with an ancestors signature it was easy to explain to cousins. Trips to North Carolina for research are trips to Fraser's Ridge my cousins are finally reading the books after all my connection stories. The characters are now my ancestors which is a wonderful way for history to come alive. When an ancestor captures Fanning it becomes Jamie and the men from Fraser's Ridge. It started with Diana's books and ened up being a family story too.

C Guida said...

Thank you for sharing, Karen! Yes, as a born and raised Greensboro Kid--then lived in Atlanta for 35 yrs...living in Carolina Beach, NC since 2005 -- I am THRILLED to discover the History of our wonderful State. Tryon Palace was wonderful to tour and did so with our NC OL Group. Being from Greensboro, as a child we kids ran all over the historical places nearby NOT having a clue about them. It's been wonderful discovering how important North Carolina was at the start of our great America.

Mary Tormey said...

Hi Karen I love NC and have many realtives there and try to visit when I can and love the fact that the books and series have brought more people to visit North Carolina as they did for Scotland , am so ready for season 5 which looks bigger and better than ever will be watching Sunday Feb 16th for sure , very excited , sincerely .

Debra E. Marvin said...

My friends and I really enjoy our visit to Tryon Palace a number of years ago (after Ron picked up the show) and managed to look around (in our imagination) with Outlander in mind. I was pleased to see that there's an interest in finding much needed funding to keep that lovely site up and running. New Bern is a fabulous town, and we've enjoyed NC from the OBX to the Tennessee border!

Sarah Brown said...

A few years ago I was attending a Road Scholar program in Asheville and I rented a car and drove to Cherokee. As I drove up the hills and then had marvelous views of the valleys, I keep getting the feeling I was traveling in Claire and Jamie’s footsteps.

LMcKee said...

I live in Hillsborough, NC, my brother lives in Wilmington and I've taught in the Alamance Burlington School System. It was thrilling the first time Hillsborough was mentioned in Season 4. After reading the books, I wanted more to get me through Droughtlander so I started reading one of the books from Diana's bibliography, A History of Scots in North Carolina. It's non-fiction but has a lot of characters that are mentioned in the books because they are real people. I didn't know Cross Creek was renamed Fayetteville, that was a surprise! I'm fascinated with the real life stories and perspectives of the Highlanders. I go back and dip into the bibliography whenever I need another 17th century perspective.

I do have one burning question for Diana. What made you decide on North Carolina? Because I understand Scottish Highlanders also settled in Pennsylvania and Virginia and Nova Scotia. Was it the Regulators? Or the battles that were fought there before and during the Revolution? Or the central location on the east coast?

Thanks.