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

Quarriers launches Summer Appeal to give children from across Falkirk a memorable day out

Quarriers launches Summer Appeal to give children from across Falkirk a memorable day out

Social care charity launches its sixth Summer Days Appeal to give children a carefree day away!
Last Updated: 20th May 2019
Business Owners invited to Monthly Drop In Sessions

Business Owners invited to Monthly Drop In Sessions

Go Forth Stirling is launching regular drop-in sessions to give city centre business owners the chance to meet the team and talk directly about any trading issues they face.
Last Updated: 3rd May 2019
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is back!

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is back!

Jeremy Clarkson is hosting another exciting series of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and ITV are looking for contestants who can make it all the way to £1Million!
Last Updated: 2nd May 2019
Thousands turn out to enjoy feast of fun at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

Thousands turn out to enjoy feast of fun at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

More than 16,000 people turned out to enjoy a two-day feast of delicious street food and live entertainment at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival!
Last Updated: 28th April 2019
Family business scoops top award!

Family business scoops top award!

A family-run business has become Ayrshire's first ever Five Star Tourist Shop following a grading from VisitScotland!
Last Updated: 26th April 2019
James Watt artefacts unveiled at The Engine Shed

James Watt artefacts unveiled at The Engine Shed

An exhibition dedicated to the life, work and legacy of Scottish engineer and inventor James Watt opened at The Engine Shed in Stirling today.
Last Updated: 25th April 2019
Race for Culzean

Race for Culzean

Fun-seekers are being invited to put their limits to the test at the Culzean Challenge, and to explore one of Scotland's heritage treasures as the same time!
Last Updated: 25th April 2019
Theatre show on the hunt for audiences!

Theatre show on the hunt for audiences!

Do you run a group for young children? Would you like a free theatre show to come visit you? Then book Calvinball today! It's a show - it's in the fresh air - it's fun - and it's freeeee!
Last Updated: 24th April 2019
Paisley set to host its biggest and best Food and Drink Festival this weekend

Paisley set to host its biggest and best Food and Drink Festival this weekend

Foodies have been urged not to miss this weekend’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival as the town gets set to host its biggest and best culinary extravaganza yet!
Last Updated: 24th April 2019
New Manager Appointed at Stirling BID

New Manager Appointed at Stirling BID

A new manager has been appointed by Go Forth Stirling to deliver the organisation’s aims of improving and revitalising the city centre.
Last Updated: 23rd April 2019
Legendary hostel offers the perfect base for exploring the Clyde Valley

Legendary hostel offers the perfect base for exploring the Clyde Valley

Located in the heart of New Lanark World Heritage Site, the 'Wee Row' provides a unique hostel experience like no other!
Last Updated: 18th April 2019
Trix the T. rex is ready for her big Glasgow reveal

Trix the T. rex is ready for her big Glasgow reveal

Trix the Tyrannosaurus rex is all ready to meet Scottish and UK audiences at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow!
Last Updated: 17th April 2019
Top pipers on way to Paisley for British championships

Top pipers on way to Paisley for British championships

Thousands of the world’s top pipers and drummers will again descend on Paisley for one of the biggest dates in the global piping calendar!
Last Updated: 17th April 2019
Stirling Businesses to Share Grant for Shop Front Improvements

Stirling Businesses to Share Grant for Shop Front Improvements

Stirling’s shopfronts are set for a facelift following a £20K cash injection from the city’s Business Improvement District (BID).
Last Updated: 15th April 2019
Trix the T. rex arrives in Glasgow

Trix the T. rex arrives in Glasgow

For 15 weeks from Thursday 18th April, Glasgow's Kelvin Hall will host the world's only real touring Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton!
Last Updated: 13th April 2019
Dippy on Tour surpasses one million visitors milestone!

Dippy on Tour surpasses one million visitors milestone!

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure has been visited by more than one million people, breaking records at every venue visited so far!
Last Updated: 10th April 2019
Enjoy a staycation with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts this summer

Enjoy a staycation with Macdonald Hotels & Resorts this summer

With heatwaves and Brexit on the horizon, a 'staycation' has never been more popular, research shows more than half of Brits are expected to ditch overseas travel in favour of a Great British break!
Last Updated: 10th April 2019
Scottish festivals bring biggest artists in the World to Glasgow and Edinburgh this Summer

Scottish festivals bring biggest artists in the World to Glasgow and Edinburgh this Summer

Don't miss artists such as Stormzy, Catfish and the Bottlemen, George Ezra, Gerry Cinnamon, Snow Patrol, The Cure, CHVRCHES, Courteeners and more in Glasgow and Edinburgh this Summer!
Last Updated: 10th April 2019
VIBES Awards urge Stirling businesses to become sustainable leaders and boost growth

VIBES Awards urge Stirling businesses to become sustainable leaders and boost growth

Stirling businesses are being encouraged to become world leaders in sustainability and embrace the economic opportunities that environmental changes can bring.
Last Updated: 9th April 2019
The Stirling Landtrain has returned to the city streets for the Easter holidays.

The Stirling Landtrain has returned to the city streets for the Easter holidays.

The train is running daily until Friday April 12 and over the Easter weekend taking visitors from the city centre via the Top of The Town to Stirling Castle and back.
Last Updated: 5th April 2019
Fun on the menu for kids at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

Fun on the menu for kids at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

There’s plenty of fun on the menu for kids at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival with a range of hands-on foodie experiences and amazing live entertainment.
Last Updated: 3rd April 2019
Young Heroes Wanted for Aerial Dance Workshops in the Easter Holidays

Young Heroes Wanted for Aerial Dance Workshops in the Easter Holidays

All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre & Room 2 Manoeuvre are looking for young people to take part in a week of aerial dance workshops followed by the students performing a short piece at FTH.
Last Updated: 3rd April 2019
High School Pupil Celebrated Reindeer Trail Win

High School Pupil Celebrated Reindeer Trail Win

A striking reindeer created by high school pupil Nina Harrison has been voted the most popular design on Stirling’s first Reindeer Trail.
Last Updated: 28th March 2019
Run Scotland on The Ultra Tour of Arran

Run Scotland on The Ultra Tour of Arran

Rat Race Adventure Sports will again stage the audacious 100km off-road running challenge on the Isle of Arran, Scotland in miniature, on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th April!
Last Updated: 25th March 2019
Award winning Gin71 bar to offer perfect serve for visitors to Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

Award winning Gin71 bar to offer perfect serve for visitors to Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

The award-winning Gin71 bar is coming to the Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 to give visitors the chance to enjoy a perfect serve of top artisan gins.
Last Updated: 24th March 2019
Stirling Reindeer Trail Winner Celebrates with an iPad

Stirling Reindeer Trail Winner Celebrates with an iPad

A family was celebrating this week after being named the winner of Stirling’s first Reindeer Trail.
Last Updated: 22nd March 2019
The Coming Back Out Ball invites LGBTI Elders to join Social Dance Club

The Coming Back Out Ball invites LGBTI Elders to join Social Dance Club

A year-long cultural engagement programme created for the LGBTI+ elder community in Scotland has launched which will culminate in a spectacular final event in Glasgow 2020!
Last Updated: 21st March 2019
ReTreeT to the Forest with Macdonald Resorts

ReTreeT to the Forest with Macdonald Resorts

Macdonald Resorts is encouraging people to make the most of the lighter days and get back to nature this spring.
Last Updated: 21st March 2019
Rewind Festival announces fun filled family friendly activities!

Rewind Festival announces fun filled family friendly activities!

Not only is Rewind Festival returning this summer with a fabulous line-up -celebrating music icons of the 80s and beyond, this year, it will also offer a brand new array of family-friendly activities!
Last Updated: 19th March 2019
Come and enjoy the Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

Come and enjoy the Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019

Beer lovers will be able to enjoy all the fun of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival as organisers are teaming up to host a Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent.
Last Updated: 16th March 2019

Sponsored Links

Popular Events

Vibration Festival 2019
Join us for Vibration Festival, Scotland's newest boutique family friendly music festival, in the stunning grounds of Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday 25th May.
Wuthering Heights
Chapterhouse Theatre Company is proud to present an evening of theatre beneath the stars with the wild and tempestuous love story of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.
A Walk With Wallace
Enjoy a 45-minute guided walk with costumed actors recreating scenes from William Wallace’s famous encounter with the army of King Edward I at the Battle of Stirling Bridge.
Canal Carnival
Join Scottish Canals and their partners for the Canal Carnival on Saturday 25th May celebrating the re-opening of the Lowland canals at The Falkirk Wheel!
Dunblane Fling
The Dunblane Fling is an annual festival of music, culture and family fun and this year's Fling is on Saturday 25th May.

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 »