Scotland’s stunning landscapes and landscapes have often left people spellbound, from entrepreneurs and philosophers to songwriters and artists, and they have been a constant source of inspiration.
Nothing more than for writers, who have often sought the solace that Scotland’s remote places offer, alongside its vibrant towns and communities, to help them create some of the world’s most famous books.
From traditional classics like Treasure Island and Dracula to modern hits like the Harry Potter series and Outlander, here are some of the places across the country you can visit that have inspired some of the best books ever written.
Culloden – where Diana Gabaldon came up with the idea for the Highland warrior to star in Outlander
Besides being an inspiration for the setting of pivotal scenes in her hugely popular Outlander novels, Diana Gabaldon learned another thrilling fact about Culloden from Eric Linklater’s book “The Prince in the Heather”, which tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Diana Gabaldon told National Geographic in 2014 that while reading the book as part of her research for Outlander, she was inspired by a passage that states that after two days wounded Jacobite warriors who had been hiding in a neighboring farm were taken away and shot, with the exception of one man, “a Fraser from Lovet’s regiment,” who survived the massacre.
She revealed that it made her realize that if she expected her protagonist to survive Culloden, her “last name better be Fraser” – (she had already been inspired to call him Jamie d ‘ after a character from Dr Who).
How to see it: The battle site itself is free but, to make the most of your trip, check out the Visitor Center where you will find a museum with artifacts from the battle itself and a 360 battle immersion theater. degrees that plunges you into the heart of the battle.
Slains Castle, Aberdeenshire – inspired the layout of the castle in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
This atmospheric castle ruin is said to have inspired Irish author Bram Stoker as he wrote Dracula nearby in 1895.
The clifftop fortress is even believed to have been the inspiration for the infamous vampire’s Transylvanian lair, with its large octagonal hall that would have been used directly as the earl’s great hall in the novel.
How to see it: Lying on the coast of Cruden Bay, you can still visit the castle ruins today.
Fidra Island near North Berwick – would have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island
This small uninhabited island located northwest of North Berwick off the east coast is currently home to a remote lighthouse and a thriving seabird population.
However, he played a special role in one of the world’s most famous pirate stories, after the author Robert Louis Stevenson founded the history treasure map on Fidra.
A young Robert is said to have spent summers in his youth playing on nearby Yellowcraig beach, imagining stories while his father worked on the design of the lighthouse for the small island.
How to see it: Best seen from the proximity You can also experience the island at Yellowcraig Beach via live cameras from the Scottish Seabird Center in North Berwick. It is also possible to take a boat to visit the island itself.
Jura – where George Orwell wrote 1984
It is on this beautiful island that famous writer George Orwell, real name Eric Blair, escaped to write his last – and arguably most famous – book, 1984.
Staying at Barnhill, a secluded farmhouse that could only be reached by boat or walking the last six miles along a rugged track, he found the solitude and inspiration he needed to create his chef-d ‘work.
How to see it: The Jura can be reached by ferry from Islay or by plane from Glasgow, although a small community is full of things to see and do, including the island’s famous distillery.
Kirriemuir Angus / Moat Brae, Dumfries – both of whom inspired JM Barrie to write Peter Pan
Growing up in a small whitewashed cottage surrounded by his seven siblings, author and creator of Peter Pan, JM Barrie drew on the stories of his mother and those around him to embark on a career as a writer.
While Moat Brae in Dumfries, where he spent much of his youth, the gardens surrounding the house were described as “enchanted lands” which inspired much of the myth around Peter Pan, including the naughty pirates. .
How to see it: There is a lot to see around Kirriemuir, including visiting the house JM Barrie grew up in, Neverland Play Park, and Kirriemuir Camera Obscura.
While at Moat Brae, you can tour the Enchanted Lands Garden, help catch Peter Pan’s shadow, and the kids can even don a costume and perform in a play.
Edinburgh – inspired JK Rowling to write Harry Potter
It’s no secret that author JK Rowling has spent a lot of time in Edinburgh writing in the books and that inspiration for everything from sets to character names can be found when visiting the capital city.
How to see it: Visit the Elephant House on the George IV Bridge, where this writing took place, before heading to colorful Victoria Street – one of Diagon Alley’s inspirations.
End up at Greyfriar’s Kirkyard where there are tombs with familiar names, including that of Tom Riddell, who is believed to be the inspiration behind the alter ego (Tom Riddle) of the evil Lord Voldemort in books and movies.
Scott’s View – where Sir Walter Scott was inspired to write many of his best books
This breathtaking view, named after famous author Sir Walter Scott, offers a panoramic vantage point overlooking the valley of the River Tweed in the Borders.
The story goes that the writing legend would have stopped here so many times on his way back to Abbotsford that the horses he used to pull his carriage knew to stop here without being told to. .
The sight is said to have served not only as a respite, but also as inspiration for his romantic works on Scotland, including Waverley and Rob Roy.
How to see it: The view is accessible by road from St Boswells to Kelso.
You can also visit Abbotsford House where the famous Scottish writer lived and died, which is now open to the public and you can visit Scott’s original study.
Don’t miss the best cultural and heritage stories from all over Scotland. Sign up for our bi-weekly Scotland Now newsletter here.