Scotland business

Guide maps out Scotland's literary locations

Slain's castle, Aberdeenshire
Image caption Slain's castle is said to have inspired Bram Stoker - the author of the gothic horror Dracula

A new guide which maps Scotland's literary heritage has been produced by VisitScotland and Glasgow University.

The publication includes the settings for world-famous novels, the scenery that moved poets and the birthplaces and homes of distinguished writers.

Literary Scotland: A Traveller's Guide, which is divided into 13 geographical areas, was written by Prof Alan Riach.

It will be available from VisitScotland Information Centres and to download from its website from 21 February.

It will also be available on the websites of Creative Scotland and the university's Scottish Literature and the Association for Scottish Literary Studies.

The guide, which highlights 60 literary locations across Scotland, explains where to find Beatrix Potter's woods and also the castle which inspired part of the gothic horror Dracula.

Prof Riach said it was "only a beginning - a first list of locations".

"I've included many familiar and also many unfamiliar names and places: Burns and Scott and MacDiarmid are all there of course, but also Mary MacLeod and Catherine Carswell, John Buchan and Irvine Welsh, Duncan Ban MacIntyre and Liz Lochhead," he said.

Valuable introduction

Also featured in the guide is Loch Katrine - the setting for Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake, an 1810 poem credited with kick-starting literary tourism in Scotland.

Iain Banks, the Scottish author of more than 20 novels, including The Bridge, Complicity and The Crow Road, described the guide as: "A valuable introduction to the many fascinating links between Scotland and literature."

VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: "We hope that this fascinating new guide will appeal to people living in Scotland who want to learn more about its heritage as well as provide an interesting hook to visitors from further afield.

"We've seen a lot of interest over the years from people visiting film locations in Scotland, so we hope the literary angle will have a similar effect."

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