Long before he played a Highland warrior in the hit Starz series Outlander, whose series finale airs on December 10, Sam Heughan was chasing adventure in the hills of his native Scotland. Growing up surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful wilderness meant an early obsession with the outdoors.
“I was extremely lucky to grow up in such a lovely country,” said Heughan during a filming break between seasons. “Then to get to go back there and shoot our show has been an absolute dream come true. I am a country boy that has happened to become an actor, so I love getting to go for little trips off set as much as possible.”
So when Barbour was looking for a new collaborator for its latest collection, Heughan was a natural fit—given that he grew up just a stones throw from where the founder himself was raised. The actor was brought into the designing process to help tailor a line that fit not only his tastes but also the company’s age-old heritage. Men’s Journal chatted with the Scottish gentleman on advice for how to tour his home country, and if you’re in need of a proper ride for rolling landscapes you may want to look into the plans to giveaway a tricked out 1995 Land Rover Defender 90.
Where To Go
I grew up in the South West, on old castle grounds that were also a working farm. That is an amazing area, but now I live in a region near Glasgow, which is a fantastic place to visit. There are beautiful munro peaks near by. Most recently I went to Beinn na Caillich, which was a great trip. There are many great hiking trails all over, not to mention you are too far from the water, so you get all of the experiences. Loch Lomond is a lovely place to be, and not many people know that Loch Lomond, a national park, has more water in it than all of the lake in Europe put together. Then if you want to make a trip to the arts center of Edinborough, it’s not a far trip at all.
MJ Suggested Stay: Cameron House is just 30 minutes outside of Glasgow and sitting on Loch Lomond. Steps away from scenic hikes, there is a jetty just outside where you catch a seaplane and get a bird’s eye view of the countryside.
When To Go
“The country is beautiful year-round, but the autumn is an especially nice time to be in Scotland. The hotter days means that you can enjoy the water more, which is what I plan to do. I just bought a kayak so that I can get on the Scottish lakes. But even when it is warmer on the ground, up in the mountains there can still be snow, so it’s important to pack smartly.”
What To Pack
“Everyone knows about the cold and rain in Scotland, but until you’ve experienced it you are rarely prepared,” Heughan warned us. “That is why when we designed the capsule collection for Barbour we made sure it would be good at keeping you warm. So first off, bring a nice jacket like that, with lots of pockets and zippers for your gear. Make sure that you have a pair of boots that are good at resisting water, and keep your feet dry, because that’s where you will feel it first. Then if you want the full authentic experience, you need to bring a flask with a little whiskey in it. I always have a flask around. I am working on making my own whiskey now, so I’m looking forward to always having my own brand on hand. I like to save it and toast at the top, as a celebration for making it.”
What To Eat
“I don’t bring food with me on the hikes,” Heughan says. “I eat a big breakfast of porridge with oats, something hearty that will fuel you for the morning. Then we go exploring in the morning, and back down in time for a late lunch.”
Who To Bring
“These trips are always better with friends; usually I will find whoever is around and pile them in the car,” the actor told us. “For the Barbour ads I got to spend a day with their Labradors, and they were amazing companions. I would say, if you can bring a dog, do it.”