Seeing as you all enjoyed our last summer-themed post so much, the SWC is back with more recommendations. Whether you’re a student with the whole summer break stretching in front of you, or just looking to make the most out of your weekends, the SWC is full of suggestions for exciting, literary-inspired day trips across Scotland.
Image credit: University of Glasgow, www.gla.ac.uk
As the home of the Scottish Writers’ Centre, Glasgow’s literary scene is well-documented in this blog, but it’s always a pleasure to be a tourist in your own city! Stroll around Park Circus to explore Glasgow as shown by Alasdair Gray in his excellent novel Poor Things, or walk along to the University of Glasgow to wander around the beautiful courtyards and cloisters. The university has been attended by writers as diverse as Christopher Brookmyre, Zoe Strachan and Janice Galloway; plus (and this probably only applies if you’re an avid Harry Potter enthusiast) you can’t deny that the main building looks like Hogwarts.
Image credit: Writers’ Museum, www.edinburghguide.com
As a UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh is brimming with literary associations. Check out the truly dazzling profusion of literature-based tours that are always running: specifically designed tours cater to eager fans of Harry Potter, Trainspotting or literary pubs, or for the more general book lover, there’s a plethora of routes to choose from. Visit the Scottish Storytelling Centre on the Royal Mile to experience the art of true live storytelling – and if that motivates you to spin your own tales , then consider one of the Centre’s workshops on the ‘Art of the Storyteller’ running throughout July. And there’s always the Writer’s Museum, hidden in Lady Stair’s Close off the Royal Mile: it’s a veritable treasure trove celebrating the work of three of Scotland’s most famous writers, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and, of course, Robert Burns.
Beyond the cities…
Image credit: Abbotsford House, www.urbanrealm.com
This year, Abbotsford House are hosting an exhibition of literary reviews from Sir Walter Scott’s journalistic career, titled ‘Rave Reviewer: Scott on Frankenstein, Emma and Childe Harold’: situated in the historic Melrose in the Borders, the house will also showcase Scott’s first edition copies of classic novels Emma and Frankenstein and highlight an important, although often overlooked, aspect of Scott’s career. And if you’re a fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (recently made into a successful TV series), then look no further than the tours run by Wow Scotland: although many of the places mentioned in the books are fictional, the tour aims to capture the historical spirit of Gabaldon’s series and offers an exciting vantage point from which to explore the Highlands.
Image credit: Standing stones at Callanish, www.celtictime.com
Let us know in the comments if there’s any places you’d recommend for literary day trips across Scotland!
Words: Rachel Walker