“The part of ‘Outlander’ that I love the most is the history: the clan culture, the folklore and back stories (and consequences) of the Jacobite Rising,” said Sam Heughan, 42, who has played the heartthrob Highland warrior Jamie Fraser in the time-travel series since 2014.
This love of history feeds his passion for the ancient city of Glasgow. A typical day for Mr. Heughan involves meandering past medieval cathedrals, Victorian cobbled lanes, Georgian architecture constructed when the city was a major tobacco and sugar hub, and 19th-century tenements built during the Industrial Revolution, when steel and ships were mass-produced here. “Glasgow has got beautiful parts and grit. The combination, plus incredibly good-natured people, are the city’s charm,” he said.
Beyond the long-running series, Mr. Heughan just completed shooting a television show called “The Couple Next Door” for Starz and Britain’s Channel 4, and is launching a “wild Scottish” gin under the Sassenach label, a whisky-focused spirits brand that he founded in 2020. (The name means “a foreigner” in Gaelic, and is also Jamie Fraser’s term of endearment for Claire, his wife, played by Caitríona Mary Balfe.)
When he does have free time, Mr. Heughan is out and about. “I love walking and running along the River Clyde to Glasgow Green with a possible stop at the microbrewery Drygate for a beer,” he said. Hiking is another pastime (Mr. Heughan’s recent memoir, “Waypoints: My Scottish Journey,” chronicles his experience tackling the 96-mile West Highland Way hike). “A wee walk, or stravaigin in old Scots speak, is good for mental health,” he said.
He is also a fan of Citizens Theatre in the working-class Gorbals area, which puts on avant-garde productions and is involved in community engagement. “I came here as a child, performed here as a student and did my first professional show here called ‘Outlying Islands.’ It holds a lot of memories,” he said. (The theater is currently closed for refurbishment. )
On the topic of the kilt, yes, Mr. Heughan does sport one in real life. “Kilts are about a feeling. They make you stand taller, and walk stronger. Scots wear them for any excuse. If you go to a pub in one, you’ll be getting a free drink at some point in the evening.”
Here are five of his favorite places in Glasgow.
A tiny whisky bar tucked into the Finnieston area, a hipster pocket of the West End, is deemed “a Glasgow institution” by Mr….