VisitScotland launch a new Literary Tourism Trail

VisitScotland launch a new Literary Tourism Trail

VisitScotland launches Scotland’s Storybook Trail where book lovers of all ages can embark on a literary adventure inspired by their favourite storybook characters!

From Peter Rabbit to Peter Pan, Harry Potter to The Howlat, Scotland has inspired some of the world’s best-loved literary creations.

Whether it’s history, landscapes, wildlife or even architecture, for decades authors have used some of the country’s greatest assets to create characters that continue to delight readers of all ages.

In recognition of this, VisitScotland has launched, Scotland’s Storybook Trail, a collection of places with links to some of the most celebrated characters in children’s literature.

The trail, which comprises of a colourful map hosted on visitscotland.com and will be available at selected VisitScotland iCentres , as well as bookshops and libraries across Scotland, will help bookworms embark on their own adventures across the country, learning more about their favourite stories and discovering new tales inspired by or written in Scotland.

Featured locations include the birthplace of Peter Pan creator, JM Barrie in Kirriemuir, Angus; the Isle of Coll, the inspiration of Katie Morag’s fictional home on the Isle of Struay; the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothian where readers can meet some feathered friends, similar to those that feature in the Harry Potter series; and Birnam Arts in Perthshire, the region that inspired Beatrix Potter’s famous creations. And it’s not just the book locations themselves that will appeal to young readers – the trail includes some great bookshops and festivals to discover around Scotland.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “In this, Scotland’s Year of Young People, the Storybook Trail not only celebrates Scotland’s rich literary heritage and incredible landscapes, but it also provides an opportunity to encourage children to read for pleasure and develop a life-long love of books."

“With so many locations across the country linked to characters in children’s literature, I am sure the trail will act as a magnet for visitors from home and abroad who will experience our beautiful, vibrant country.”

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland has world-class literary links. Our landscapes, history and people have inspired writers for centuries, helping to bring to life enduring characters that capture the imaginations of not just youngsters but grown-ups too."

“A great story has to have great characters and that’s what inspired Scotland’s Storybook Trail. We wanted to create something, as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, that encourages booklovers of all ages to discover the places and people behind these famous fictional friends."

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, said: “Scotland has a rich history of iconic literary characters, created or inspired by its places and people. Visiting locations with a special connection to favourite stories or figures is a real thrill for fans of any age, and Scotland’s Storybook Trail is packed with superb suggestions."

“Now is the perfect time to take a trip round our beautiful country and enjoy again, or for the first time, some of the greatest Scottish stories ever told and the places where the creative spark started – just don’t forget to pack a book.”

So take a magical adventure from page to place and discover just some of the Scottish locations with literary links to best-loved stories;

Harry Potter – JK Rowling
Grab your wands and prepare for a magic adventure! Visit Tom Riddle’s grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard, meet some of Hedwig’s feathered friends at the Scottish Owl Centre or join a tour of the Capital to find out how Edinburgh’s buildings and people inspired JK Rowling’s smash-hit series about a boy wizard. Film fans -make sure to hop aboard the ‘Hogwarts Express’ across the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling adventure was written during a stay in Braemar. It’s thought Stevenson based some of the characters on people he met in the village. Treasure Island is also rumoured to have been inspired by Fidra Island in East Lothian which the writer used to watch from the area known now as Yellowcraig. Today, rather than pirates you are more likely to find puffins as the island is an RSPB Scotland reserve.

Peter Pan – JM Barrie
Make sure to pack your pixie dust as you head off on an awfully big adventure in search of Peter Pan. A statue of ‘The Boy Who Never Grew Up’ can be found at JM Barrie’s Birthplace in Kirriemuir, Angus but it was Moat Brae in Dumfries, where Barrie lived as a boy, that inspired Neverland, the enchanted faraway place where Peter Pan and the Lost Boys outwit Captain Hook.

Beano, The Dandy and Oor Wullie
The antics of Dennis and his pals in Beano, and A’body’s favourite wee laddie, Oor Wullie have been published every week for decades by DC Thomson who are based in Dundee with Beano recently celebrating its 80th birthday. Look out for statues of fellow DC Thomson legends, Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx as well as Oor Wullie, in Dundee city centre. And don’t miss the chance to grab a selfie on Bash Street.

Katie Morag – Mairi Hedderwick
The Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides was the real-life inspiration for Katie Morag’s home on the Isle of Struay. Take a picnic to the beach, explore the island’s only real village, Arinagour, and keep an eye out for the whitewashed cottages that look just like the illustrations in Mairi Hedderwick’s books.

Peter Rabbit and Friends – Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter created her most famous fluffy friend, Peter Rabbit, following childhood summer holidays in Dunkeld, watching and drawing wildlife. Birnam Arts is a great place to learn about the region that inspired her, you may also meet some of her other characters in the Beatrix Potter Exhibition Garden.

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Take a stroll through the deep dark wood on Ardkinglas Estate in search of the Gruffalo. Look out for the Mouse who’ll help guide you along the trail which tells the story, translated into Scots, of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s famous, loveable beast.

Thumble Tumble – AH Proctor
The Isle of Arran is the extraordinary little home of this extraordinary little witch. Visit Brodick Castle and Lochranza Castle where Thumble Tumble’s first two magical adventures were set. Keep your eyes peeled for Night Witches, Sea Dragons and Flower Nymphs – you never know what magic you might encounter on this spectacular island.

Why not continue your literary adventure with a visit to one of Scotland’s book festivals?

Edinburgh International Book Festival
11-27 August
As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is an unmissable event for book-lovers. The Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme is perfect for young readers from tots to teens, with hundreds of events including interactive sessions, fun performances, storytelling and workshops with authors and illustrators.

Killearn Children’s Festival
2 September
A fun-filled day packed with events and activities aimed a little bookworms. Learn how to draw a dragon, get tips on writing your own stories or listen to a host of tales from authors of some of the most exciting new books.

Wigtown Book Festival
21-30 September
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the annual award-winning festival takes place in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town. For ten days in September, the town buzzes with book events as well as theatre, music and a dedicated Children’s Garden offers activities to appeal to younger readers.

Borders Book Festival
13-16 June 2019
The hugely popular Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, which in 2018 attracted record audiences, is always a highlight of the literary calendar and regularly welcomes some of the most well-known writers in the country. The Family Book Festival offers a wonderful selection of events with sessions from some of the best-loved authors for children, as well as free activities.

To find more book festivals across Scotland visit literaturealliancescotland.co.uk/events/find-a-book-festival

For more inspiration to entertain little book fans visit: www.visitscotland.com/blog/family-2/storybook-trail/

Last Updated: 10 August 2018 13:58

Latest Local News

Irn Bru Carnival Competition Terms & Conditions

Irn Bru Carnival Competition Terms & Conditions

We have a fab festive giveaway for you, thanks to the Irn Bru Carnival, Europe's largest indoor funfair!
Last Updated: 6th December 2018
Edinburgh International Book Festival Launches Citizen

Edinburgh International Book Festival Launches Citizen

The Edinburgh International Book Festival launches Citizen, the next phase of its year-round programme taking the Book Festival On The Road.
Last Updated: 4th December 2018
Kinky Boots Exclusive Offer

Kinky Boots Exclusive Offer

We have an exclusive offer for our readers from ATG, with reduced prices for Kinky Boots at Edinburgh Playhouse, from today until midnight Sunday 9th Dec, the week prior to it's opening.
Last Updated: 3rd December 2018
Scream if you want to go faster!

Scream if you want to go faster!

Buckle up as Europe's largest indoor funfair, The IRN-BRU Carnival returns to the SEC, Glasgow this festive season – promising to be bigger and better than ever before!
Last Updated: 3rd December 2018
Edinburgh Tattoo announces tickets for 2019 Kaleidoscope showcase on now on sale

Edinburgh Tattoo announces tickets for 2019 Kaleidoscope showcase on now on sale

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo returns from 2-24th August and tickets for its 2019 showcase are on sale from 10am today.
Last Updated: 3rd December 2018
Give the gift of adventure this Christmas with Go Ape

Give the gift of adventure this Christmas with Go Ape

Go Ape is encouraging Scots to think twice about traditional stocking staples and consider the gift of an unforgettable experience this Christmas.
Last Updated: 30th November 2018
The Traverse Theatre Announces January to April Programme 2019

The Traverse Theatre Announces January to April Programme 2019

Traverse Theatre announces January to April 2019 season, a celebration of powerful stories, innovation and playwriting talent.
Last Updated: 28th November 2018
Edinburgh International Childrens Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary

Edinburgh International Childrens Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary

In 2019 Edinburgh International Children’s Festival will celebrate its 30th anniversary, showcasing some of the world’s best theatre and dance specifically made for young audiences.
Last Updated: 27th November 2018
The 1975 announced as headliners for Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019!

The 1975 announced as headliners for Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019!

Glasgow Summer Sessions today announce The 1975 as a headliner for Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019 who will be joined by Twin Atlantic, You Me At Six, Pale Waves, Ten Tonnes and No Rome!
Last Updated: 26th November 2018
Celebrate National Tree Week in Craigmillar Castle Park this weekend

Celebrate National Tree Week in Craigmillar Castle Park this weekend

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and Edinburgh and Lothian’s Greenspace Trust (ELGT) invites the community to celebrate National Tree Week at its popular tree dressing event on 1st December.
Last Updated: 26th November 2018
We Will Rock You Announced For Edinburgh Playhouse In 2019

We Will Rock You Announced For Edinburgh Playhouse In 2019

The global phenomenon returns Queen and Ben Elton's ‘WE WILL ROCK YOU’ Announces 2019/2020 UK & Ireland Tour. Edinburgh Playhouse tickets on sale now!
Last Updated: 23rd November 2018
Final nominees for 2018 SSE Scottish Music Awards announced

Final nominees for 2018 SSE Scottish Music Awards announced

2018’s SSE Scottish Music Awards have today announced the final nominees for this year’s 20th ceremony, with The Script, Frightened Rabbit and Gary Clark all up for awards.
Last Updated: 23rd November 2018
Edinburgh Playhouse Will Open 20th Anniversary New UK Tour Of Mamma Mia

Edinburgh Playhouse Will Open 20th Anniversary New UK Tour Of Mamma Mia

The worldwide smash hit musical Mamma Mia! will return to Edinburgh Playhouse from 19th - 28th September to open the Mamma Mia! 20th Anniversary Tour.
Last Updated: 22nd November 2018
Rowan Glen Competition Terms & Conditions

Rowan Glen Competition Terms & Conditions

Ooooh Ya Beauty! We have a fab festive giveaway for you, thanks to Rowan Glen, one of Scotland’s favourite dairy brands!
Last Updated: 21st November 2018
Foo Fighters announced as headliners for Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019!

Foo Fighters announced as headliners for Glasgow Summer Sessions 2019!

Glasgow Summer Sessions reveal one of the biggest bands in the world to headline 2019's event... Foo Fighters!
Last Updated: 21st November 2018
A selection of the largest Japanese Whisky Collection in the World comes to Edinburgh

A selection of the largest Japanese Whisky Collection in the World comes to Edinburgh

Xavier Landais, from SexyFish, is bringing a selection of Japanese whiskies from the world’s largest collection, to Edinburgh on the 29th November.
Last Updated: 20th November 2018
Airport lounge, Hard Rock hybrid set to ready Edinburgh performers for take off

Airport lounge, Hard Rock hybrid set to ready Edinburgh performers for take off

A theatre-themed hybrid of an airport lounge and a Hard Rock Café is set to land in Stockbridge as a shop, resource and meeting place for local dancers, actors and performers.
Last Updated: 19th November 2018
Star Studded Forth Awards Ceremony celebrates Local Heroes, Sports plus Music Stars

Star Studded Forth Awards Ceremony celebrates Local Heroes, Sports plus Music Stars

Stars including Amy MacDonald, Lewis Capaldi, Ed Byrne and Go West all took to the stage in the capital on Thursday night in celebration of Forth Heroes.
Last Updated: 17th November 2018
Christmas Countdown underway with the Launch of Mission Christmas 2018

Christmas Countdown underway with the Launch of Mission Christmas 2018

The Christmas countdown is now officially underway as Forth 1 and Forth 2 Cash for Kids launch Mission Christmas 2018.
Last Updated: 13th November 2018
Gareth Nicholls appointed Interim Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre

Gareth Nicholls appointed Interim Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre

Gareth Nicholls has today been appointed Interim Artistic Director of the Traverse Theatre following the departure of Orla O’Loughlin.
Last Updated: 9th November 2018
Moving Mountains Meatless Bleeding Burger launches into Scotland

Moving Mountains Meatless Bleeding Burger launches into Scotland

Moving Mountains®, a ground-breaking British brand, leading plant-based innovation, is launching the UK’s first ever meatless ‘bleeding’ burger into Scotland, this November.
Last Updated: 8th November 2018
Alexandra Burke To Star In The Bodyguard at Edinburgh Playhouse

Alexandra Burke To Star In The Bodyguard at Edinburgh Playhouse

Producers, Michael Harrison and David Ian are delighted to announce full casting for the award-winning smash hit musical 'The Bodyguard' at Edinburgh Playhouse in July 2019.
Last Updated: 7th November 2018
Do Lunch at Bar Soba for Brain Tumour Research

Do Lunch at Bar Soba for Brain Tumour Research

On the 30th November Bar Soba are donating 10% from their lunch takings from all their sites in Glasgow and Edinburgh to Brain Tumour Research.
Last Updated: 6th November 2018
Motown The Musical to enjoy Scottish Premiere at Edinburgh Playhouse this month

Motown The Musical to enjoy Scottish Premiere at Edinburgh Playhouse this month

The countdown is on with just two weeks to go until Motown the Musical makes its Scottish premiere at the Edinburgh Playhouse.
Last Updated: 6th November 2018
Names of WW1 Fallen to illuminate Scottish Parliament as mark of respect

Names of WW1 Fallen to illuminate Scottish Parliament as mark of respect

The names of all those who died serving on behalf of Scotland in the First World War will be projected onto the Scottish Parliament building on Sunday 11 November 2018.
Last Updated: 2nd November 2018
News and Updates on the Traverse Theatre Festive Programme 2018

News and Updates on the Traverse Theatre Festive Programme 2018

The Traverse Theatre’s festive season presents a distinct programme that addresses current issues and concerns, offering something that delves a little deeper than most.
Last Updated: 1st November 2018
Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award winner is Iraqi writer Shahad Al Rawi

Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award winner is Iraqi writer Shahad Al Rawi

Organisers of the Edinburgh International Book Festival today announced that the Iraqi writer Shahad Al Rawi has won the Festival’s 2018 First Book Award with her debut novel, The Baghdad Clock.
Last Updated: 1st November 2018
Explore the Christmas markets with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

Explore the Christmas markets with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

Nothing signals the beginning of the festive season quite like the arrival of a Christmas market!
Last Updated: 1st November 2018
Kids Eat Free at Hard Rock Cafe this November

Kids Eat Free at Hard Rock Cafe this November

This November, kids under 10 eat free at Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh. From 1st until 30th November, kids can have one free meal with the purchase of one adult entrée.
Last Updated: 29th October 2018
Over 30,000 people attend the annual Paisley Halloween Festival!

Over 30,000 people attend the annual Paisley Halloween Festival!

An estimated crowd of 34,000 flocked to Paisley for a Halloween spectacle at the weekend with amazing floats, flying witches and a Mardi-Gras style parade!
Last Updated: 29th October 2018

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

Christmas at the Botanics
Explore the sights and sounds of Christmas when this magical after dark experience returns to the Royal Botanic Gardens!
24 Doors of Advent
Throughout December Edinburgh opens its doors to showcase the unique buildings in the city in this real-life advent calendar.
Christmas at the Botanics 2018
Explore the sights and sounds of Christmas in this magical after dark experience at the Royal Botanic Gardens!
3D2D Edinburgh Christmas Craft, Art and Design Fair
Don't miss the 3D2D Edinburgh Christmas Craft, Art & Design Fair at the Assembly Rooms 8th and 9th December!
A Christmas Cabaret
Join Bruce Devlin for a Christmas cracker of a cabaret show in a fast paced festive hour at The Stand Comedy Club!

Advertise With Us

Advertise With Us

Looking to reach new customers? We offer a variety of advertising options with prices starting from just £30 per month!

Click here to find out more »