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

Renfrewshire set for spectacular spring and summer events

Renfrewshire set for spectacular spring and summer events

It’s starting to hot up in Renfrewshire with a host of spectacular events taking place this spring and summer!
Last Updated: 22nd February 2019
Red Bull Homerun comes to the UK for the first time!

Red Bull Homerun comes to the UK for the first time!

Red Bull Homerun has attracted daredevils from around the globe for the past 10 years. Now it will take place on UK snow for the very first time, on Glencoe Mountain Resort.
Last Updated: 22nd February 2019
The Lion King

The Lion King

Season confirmed for Disney’s THE LION KING at the Edinburgh Playhouse from 5th December and Relaxed Performance announced.
Last Updated: 18th February 2019
The Traverse Theatre Company announces May to June 2019 Programme

The Traverse Theatre Company announces May to June 2019 Programme

The Traverse Theatre announces May-June 2019 Programme showcasing some of the brightest and most adventurous playwrights from Scotland and beyond.
Last Updated: 13th February 2019
Edinburgh Dance School launches Classes for Babies and Toddlers

Edinburgh Dance School launches Classes for Babies and Toddlers

Edinburgh dance school 'DN Dance' has announced details of its new venture - a dedicated dance school for babies and toddlers from just 6 months of age.
Last Updated: 13th February 2019
Elrow Town Festival touches down in Scotland for the First Time

Elrow Town Festival touches down in Scotland for the First Time

The first ever elrow Town Festival in the north of the UK, and elrow's biggest Scotland show to date, touches down on Saturday 27th July 2019.
Last Updated: 12th February 2019
Easter Wilderness Camp in the Heart of the Cairngorms

Easter Wilderness Camp in the Heart of the Cairngorms

Kelvinside Academy are delighted to introduce the first of their new KA Activity Camps, based at our Wilderness Campus in the Cairngorms for children aged 11-18 years.
Last Updated: 7th February 2019
Mouthpiece Transfers to Soho Theatre, London in Spring 2019

Mouthpiece Transfers to Soho Theatre, London in Spring 2019

Traverse Theatre is excited to reveal that Mouthpiece, Kieran Hurley’s critically-acclaimed smash hit, will transfer to Soho Theatre, London in April.
Last Updated: 7th February 2019
Edinburgh International Book Festival Presents an Exclusive Event

Edinburgh International Book Festival Presents an Exclusive Event

Edinburgh International Book Festival presents an Exclusive Event with Angie Thomas, Best-Selling Author of The Hate U Give on Saturday 9th March.
Last Updated: 3rd February 2019
Single and ready to mingle!

Single and ready to mingle!

Hungry Bear Media, the production company behind shows like Michael McIntyre's Big Show and All Round to Mrs Brown's are on the hunt for Scotland's singletons!
Last Updated: 3rd February 2019
ESPC Launches Prize Draw for First Time Buyers

ESPC Launches Prize Draw for First Time Buyers

ESPC have launched the latest first time buyers’ prize draw – the lucky winner will get £3,000 towards their first home deposit and also benefit from free conveyancing.
Last Updated: 2nd February 2019
Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show Competition Terms & Conditions

Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show Competition Terms & Conditions

We have a fab giveaway for you, thanks to the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show, Scotland's largest exhibition!
Last Updated: 1st February 2019
Macdonald Spa Collection show some love with the ultimate Valentines Day retreat

Macdonald Spa Collection show some love with the ultimate Valentines Day retreat

Whether you’re looking to spoil your loved one or for the ultimate pamper treat with the girls, Macdonald Spa Collection is making it a day to remember with its Valentine’s Spa Break.
Last Updated: 30th January 2019
Imaginate launches new programmes at Bute House to mark its 30th birthday

Imaginate launches new programmes at Bute House to mark its 30th birthday

Imaginate has announced the programme for its 30th anniversary year, which will feature an enhanced Children’s Festival programme.
Last Updated: 30th January 2019
Dippy wows 24,000 during opening weekend at Kelvingrove

Dippy wows 24,000 during opening weekend at Kelvingrove

Dippy, the UK's most famous dinosaur, wows more than 24,000 visitors in his opening weekend at Kelvingrove Museum!
Last Updated: 28th January 2019
New Year, new people and new outlook at Loch Lomond Shores

New Year, new people and new outlook at Loch Lomond Shores

2019 is going to be a big year for Loch Lomond Shores with lots going on thanks to an enthusiastic new management team with a fresh outlook and eagerness to make sure visitors have a great experience!
Last Updated: 26th January 2019
Augmented Reality Trail Launches at Edinburgh Zoo

Augmented Reality Trail Launches at Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo, one of Edinburgh’s most popular visitor attractions, has launched a new and innovative interactive trail using augmented reality technology aimed at younger visitors (7-14 years).
Last Updated: 23rd January 2019
Dippy on Tour, A Natural History Adventure, is now open at Kelvingrove!

Dippy on Tour, A Natural History Adventure, is now open at Kelvingrove!

Dippy, the Natural History Museum London’s famous diplodocus, is ready to meet Scottish visitors at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow!
Last Updated: 22nd January 2019
Scottish Snowdrop Festival 2019 blossoms from this weekend!

Scottish Snowdrop Festival 2019 blossoms from this weekend!

The Gardens of a spectacular Gothic House are just one of the venues taking part in one of the country's most spectacular flower festivals!
Last Updated: 21st January 2019
Come and see Dippy, the iconic dinosaur, taking shape at Kelvingrove

Come and see Dippy, the iconic dinosaur, taking shape at Kelvingrove

After sailing across the Irish Sea Dippy, the Natural History Museum London’s famous diplodocus, has arrived at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.
Last Updated: 18th January 2019
The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland announces the return of The Lion King

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland announces the return of The Lion King

The Walt Disney Company UK and Ireland has today announced that the award-winning musical THE LION KING will return to the Edinburgh Playhouse in December 2019.
Last Updated: 14th January 2019
Landmark Year Ahead for the National Museum of Scotland

Landmark Year Ahead for the National Museum of Scotland

A landmark year lies ahead for National Museums Scotland with the completion of the transformation of the National Museum of Scotland’s iconic Victorian building in Edinburgh.
Last Updated: 14th January 2019
Get Your Paws On Plastic!

Get Your Paws On Plastic!

Marion Montgomery, PAWS on PLASTIC, invites dog owners to pick up 2 pieces of plastic while out walking their beloved hounds.
Last Updated: 10th January 2019
Five things for under fives at the IRN BRU Carnival

Five things for under fives at the IRN BRU Carnival

The kids may be back at school after the festivities but the IRN-BRU Carnival is open until Sunday 13th January and this week is the ideal time to go with little ones!
Last Updated: 9th January 2019
Holiday planning made easy... The Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show returns in 2019

Holiday planning made easy... The Scottish Caravan, Motorhome & Holiday Home Show returns in 2019

Over 200 of the UK’s leading caravan, motorhome and holiday home suppliers are set to take to the SEC, Glasgow (7 February – 10 February 2019) for Scotland’s largest exhibition!
Last Updated: 8th January 2019
Paradise Island launches the first Augmented Reality golf experience in the UK at Livingston course

Paradise Island launches the first Augmented Reality golf experience in the UK at Livingston course

Adventure golf fans in Livingston are some of the first in the UK to use Augmented Reality in their game, as Paradise Island Adventure Golf has launched an app to give players a whole new dimension.
Last Updated: 7th January 2019
Macdonald Hotels & Resorts launches luxury spa deal to help you make a fresh start in 2019

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts launches luxury spa deal to help you make a fresh start in 2019

Macdonald Spa Collection has the perfect solution to help wash away the excesses of the festive season and start afresh in 2019, with a 'New You Spa Day' for as little as £64.50 per person.
Last Updated: 7th January 2019
The crates are packed, Dippy is on his way to Kelvingrove Museum!

The crates are packed, Dippy is on his way to Kelvingrove Museum!

After delighting more than 132,000 dinosaur enthusiasts during his time at Ulster Museum, Belfast Dippy has begun his journey across the Irish Sea to Scotland!
Last Updated: 7th January 2019
Six Glasgow youngsters get early festive treat with unlimited Carnival access

Six Glasgow youngsters get early festive treat with unlimited Carnival access

The 99th IRN-BRU Carnival was officially opened by six Glaswegian youngsters who have been appointed official ambassadors for Europe’s largest indoor fun fair!
Last Updated: 23rd December 2018
Hard Rock Cafe Brings The Big Game To Edinburgh

Hard Rock Cafe Brings The Big Game To Edinburgh

On Sunday 3 February 2019, Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh will be open late especially for The Big Game live from Atlanta, Georgia.
Last Updated: 19th December 2018

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

Jersey Boys
The smash hit musical Jersey Boys, is returning to Edinburgh with a two week run at the Playhouse in 2019!
Brick Wonders
Historic Environment Scotland presents Brick Wonders at Blackness Castle featuring recreations in LEGO® bricks of amazing sights from around the world, curated by artist Warren Elsmore!
Out of the Blue Flea Market
Rummage for treasures at the monthly Out of the Blue Flea Market with over 45 stalls full to bursting with clothes, jewellery, small furniture, music, books, bric-a-brac and so much more.
Exhibition: A Child of the 60’s
This exhibition is a collaborative piece of work by Lea Taylor and a collection of artists using memories of childhood and the stories they evoke.
Free Live Music at The Fiddlers Arms
Come along to The Fiddlers Arms every weekend from 9pm and enjoy free live music with something to suit everyone’s tastes! Entry is always free.

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 »