Scotland’s Literary Landscape

[Originally posted on]

Discover the literary connections of some of Scotland’s breathtaking buildings and beautiful gardens that have inspired famous Scottish authors throughout history. Why not explore some of the landmarks for yourself?

One of Scotland’s most famous contemporary authors was heavily influenced by her homeland – J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. You can see the grand building that was the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh.

Take a trip to the Highlands and board the Jacobite train, used as the Hogwarts Express in the films. Travel on board the steam train to Mallaig over the stunning Glenfinnan Viaduct, which also featured in some of the films.

Another well-known children’s story has its roots in Dumfries & Galloway – J.M. Barrie’s play Peter Pan or, as it is sometimes known, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up. Barrie’s magical ‘Neverland’ was inspired by the spectacular garden of his childhood home, Moat Brae in Dumfries, where he used to climb trees with his friends, make hide-outs and play pirates. Visit Barrie’s birthplace, 9 Brechin Road in Kirriemuir, Angus, and see his writing desk and family photos then take a look around an imaginative exhibition about Barrie’s life in the house next door. Afterwards, make your way up to the cricket pavilion on Kirrie Hill to visit one of Scotland’s three camera obscuras. A gift from Barrie to his childhood home, it offers visitors superb views of the town and the surrounding glens.

Explore the atmospheric ruins of Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire which are said to be the inspiration for Count Dracula’s castle in Bram Stoker’s gothic horror novel Dracula. Stoker heard of the castle when he stayed in a nearby hotel during one of his visits to the area and reputedly described it as ‘the castle of the dead’.

See if you can uncover the mysteries investigated by the fictional character Robert Langdon in Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code, at Rosslyn Chapel just outside Edinburgh. Rosslyn Chapel was integral to Brown’s novel and the film adaptation featured it in 2005. You can visit the chapel and try to spot the intricate carvings such as portrayals of biblical stories, gargoyles and foliage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s