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

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!
Last Updated: 10th August 2018
Children wanted for Nativity the Musical

Children wanted for Nativity the Musical

The producers of Natvity! The Musical are on the look-out for children aged 9-12 star in the Scottish leg of the production’s 2018 UK tour!
Last Updated: 9th August 2018
The ultimate fantasy festival line up comes to Strathclyde Park!

The ultimate fantasy festival line up comes to Strathclyde Park!

On Saturday 1st September the first ever Tributes in the Park will take place at Strathclyde Park, Motherwell and we have a fantastic 50% off ticket offer!
Last Updated: 9th August 2018
MGS announces new year round fund to replace the annual Festival of Museums

MGS announces new year round fund to replace the annual Festival of Museums

Museums Galleries Scotland has announced that the annual Festival of Museums weekend will not return in 2019.
Last Updated: 9th August 2018
Introducing GlasGLOW

Introducing GlasGLOW

itison unveils half million-pound event to make Glasgow the home of Halloween!
Last Updated: 8th August 2018
Scottish gardens map set to drive tourism in Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Scottish gardens map set to drive tourism in Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Garden tourism group, Discover Scottish Gardens, has launched a printed map of Scotland to encourage locals and tourists to visit gardens and attractions throughout the country.
Last Updated: 7th August 2018
Discounted tickets are now on sale for festivals across Scotland!

Discounted tickets are now on sale for festivals across Scotland!

Ticketmaster are holding their final Flash Sale of the summer, don't miss out on fantastic discounts for several festivals across Scotland!
Last Updated: 27th July 2018
Summer Tennis Club Saver Scheme is served in South Lanarkshire

Summer Tennis Club Saver Scheme is served in South Lanarkshire

Clubs across South Lanarkshire are serving up an exciting programme allowing more people to get on court this summer!
Last Updated: 26th July 2018
Massive indoor inflatable theme park coming to Glasgow

Massive indoor inflatable theme park coming to Glasgow

Flip Out Glasgow is expanding to offer the first permanent indoor inflatable theme park in the West of Scotland!
Last Updated: 19th July 2018
Exclusive European Championships Glasgow 2018 2 for 1 Ticket Offer!

Exclusive European Championships Glasgow 2018 2 for 1 Ticket Offer!

Europe’s top athletes will compete in the inaugural European Championships being held in Glasgow this August and we have an exclusive 2 for 1 ticket offer for several of the events!
Last Updated: 17th July 2018
Does your property have what it takes to be Home of the Year

Does your property have what it takes to be Home of the Year

Scotland is full of beautiful, surprising and absolutely unique homes. But do they have what it takes to be Home of the Year?
Last Updated: 17th July 2018
With less than a week to go, make sure you put New Lanark on your GAME PLAN this summer!

With less than a week to go, make sure you put New Lanark on your GAME PLAN this summer!

As a historic hub of learning and leisure, New Lanark World Heritage Site is delighted to be hosting the V&A Museum of Childhood’s touring exhibition GAME PLAN: Board Games Rediscovered!
Last Updated: 16th July 2018
Flip Out Glasgow launches new summer activities for kids

Flip Out Glasgow launches new summer activities for kids

Flip Out Glasgow, one of the world’s largest trampoline arenas, is offering a packed programme of activities to have children flipping their way through the summer holidays.
Last Updated: 11th July 2018
Volunteers Wanted for BBC Show

Volunteers Wanted for BBC Show

Red Sky Productions are looking for volunteers to take part in a factual entertainment TV programme on BBC Scotland.
Last Updated: 2nd July 2018
Path upgrades at Chatelherault Country Park

Path upgrades at Chatelherault Country Park

Walkers and cyclists can now enjoy 10 km of upgraded pathways in Chatelherault Country Park.
Last Updated: 2nd July 2018
New trail reveals the hidden nature of Falls of Clyde

New trail reveals the hidden nature of Falls of Clyde

A new trail has been created at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve to help families discover the wonderful wildlife that makes its home on the reserve.
Last Updated: 29th June 2018
New Great Tapestry of Scotland panel unveiled for the first time at exhibition in New Lanark

New Great Tapestry of Scotland panel unveiled for the first time at exhibition in New Lanark

The Midwives Scotland Tapestry panel was launched at New Lanark last week, in advance of its final destination at the new Great Tapestry of Scotland location in/or around 2020.
Last Updated: 27th June 2018
With one month to go, make sure you put New Lanark on your GAME PLAN this summer!

With one month to go, make sure you put New Lanark on your GAME PLAN this summer!

New Lanark is delighted to be hosting the V&A Museum of Childhood’s touring exhibition GAME PLAN: Board Games Rediscovered, in a month’s time, in their newly developed Mill Gallery!
Last Updated: 20th June 2018
The Enchanted Forest returns for 2018 with new show Of The Wild!

The Enchanted Forest returns for 2018 with new show Of The Wild!

Are you ready to explore a magical place like no other? Step into the hidden world of nature by night at The Enchanted Forest 2018!
Last Updated: 14th June 2018
Explore the outdoors and Go Ape this Summer in Scotland

Explore the outdoors and Go Ape this Summer in Scotland

Go Ape is encouraging Scots to live life adventurously by swinging through the tree-tops amidst some of the country’s most stunning scenery this summer.
Last Updated: 12th June 2018
New Lanark Mill Hotel achieves 4 STAR VisitScotland Accreditation as it celebrates its 20th Anniversary

New Lanark Mill Hotel achieves 4 STAR VisitScotland Accreditation as it celebrates its 20th Anniversary

New Lanark is delighted to announce the 20th Anniversary of the New Lanark Mill Hotel, with NEWLY renovated bedrooms, and NEW 4 Star status awarded by Visit Scotland!
Last Updated: 30th May 2018
Couples Come Dine With Me is back and looking for energetic couples in Glasgow!

Couples Come Dine With Me is back and looking for energetic couples in Glasgow!

Couples Come Dine With Me is returning to the city this Summer and they are looking for people from Glasgow and the surrounding areas to apply!
Last Updated: 29th May 2018
STV would like to hear from people who have been scammed

STV would like to hear from people who have been scammed

STV is making another series of Stopping Scotland's Scammers. If you or anyone you know has lost money to a scam, then please get in touch!
Last Updated: 16th May 2018
Put New Lanark on your GAME PLAN this summer

Put New Lanark on your GAME PLAN this summer

New Lanark World Heritage Site is delighted to be hosting the V&A Museum of Childhood’s touring exhibition GAME PLAN: Board Games Rediscovered this Summer!
Last Updated: 9th May 2018
Thousands turn out for biggest Paisley Food and Drink Festival yet!

Thousands turn out for biggest Paisley Food and Drink Festival yet!

The Paisley Food and Drink Festival proved a real hit with more than 10,000 people turning out to sample some of the best produce and street food from across Scotland over the two-day festival!
Last Updated: 30th April 2018
Spot wildlife in the woodlands this spring

Spot wildlife in the woodlands this spring

As the longer days and better weather filters through this spring, Forest Enterprise Scotland is encouraging people to take a walk in the woodlands and enjoy Scotland’s natural environment.
Last Updated: 27th April 2018
Last call to find Green Business Champions

Last call to find Green Business Champions

The search for Scotland’s best green businesses is drawing to a close this week with just a few days remaining for companies to enter the VIBES – Scottish Environment Business Awards.
Last Updated: 26th April 2018
Enjoy 2 for 1 tickets to Eat & Drink Festival Glasgow

Enjoy 2 for 1 tickets to Eat & Drink Festival Glasgow

We've got a fantastic 2 for 1 ticket offer for the Eat & Drink Festival Glasgow, a pioneering live experience celebrating the best the country has to offer in the world of food & drink!
Last Updated: 17th April 2018
Festival of Museums launches 2018 line up

Festival of Museums launches 2018 line up

Museums Galleries Scotland has unveiled the most fun Festival of Museums ever with more than 100 incredible events across Scotland from 18 – 20 May 2018!
Last Updated: 16th April 2018
Families wanted for Channel 4 Supershoppers

Families wanted for Channel 4 Supershoppers

Glasgow based Firecrest Films are looking for families to take part in several different items in the new series of Supershoppers!
Last Updated: 15th April 2018

Sponsored Links

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 »

Popular Events

Legally Blonde - The Musical
Both hilarious and heart-warming, Legally Blonde The Musical is so much fun it should be illegal! Catch Monklands Light Opera's production at Airdire Town Hall this November!
Luwero Fundraiser Concert
Duncanrig Luwero 2018 and Forty Clothing are holding a fundraising concert on Saturday 18th August featuring Supersonic, The Spyres, Time Machine and New Town!
Cumbernauld Comic Con
The Big Glasgow Comic Page is coming to Cumbernauld! There will be over 40 exhibitors and traders selling comics, graphic novels, crafts, art, Funko Pop figures and much more!
The Spectacular High Diving Pirates
Shiver me timbers, The Spectacular High Diving Pirates return to M&Ds Scotlands Theme Park, with a whole NEW show!
Ed’s Lab Science Experiments
Join us in Edward’s Lab at Chatelherault Country Park on Tuesdays over the Summer holidays for some fun science experiments!