Stories Experience Collection - An Overview
1 Robert Burns Minecraft Game
2 Immersive Apps Created
4 New Videos
8 Trails and Itineraries Created
50 Businesses engaged
1500 New Images of the Regions
7800 Unique Visitors To Landing Page
7000 Social Media Engagements
Literary Tourism is recognised for bringing numerous benefits to destinations and the communities involved, as well as the dissemination of the region’s intangible heritage.
Initiatives such as the European collaboration “Spot Lit” and studies including Scotland’s Literary Heartlands highlighted the South of Scotland’s strengths as a literary tourism destination.
From the storytelling traditions of the 14th – 17th century Border Ballads; as home to world-renowned writers - Scott, Burns, Hogg and Buchan; to Wigtown as Scotland’s National Book Town and The National Centre of Children’s Literature opening recently at Moat Brae in Dumfries, the South of Scotland provides the perfect location for those seeking literary tourism.
The announcement that 2022 was Scotland’s Year of Stories created the impetus to build on this ambition; for our claim to have credibility we needed bookable products so visitors to the region could have something to engage with. With no bookable, commissionable literary tourism experiences in the South of Scotland, we approached the region’s literary leaders to develop products to be marketed during 2022.
And so began our year of fruitful collaboration that closed with the Lonely Planet naming the South of Scotland as one of 30 top destinations across the world – citing in particular its historic and literary links.
The landscape that inspired our stories!
Our landscape has been the setting for stories since the 14th Century when the Border Ballads were told orally to entertain, inspire and warn new generations of Borderers. In the 18th century, Scott and Burns were at their most productive in the South of Scotland immersing their stories and poems within our countryside. And today’s bestsellers, such as William Boyd and Aline Templeton, still use our landscapes and towns for their evocative locations. Join us as we explore how three scenes might have looked.
Redgauntlet, Sir Walter Scott
The Jacobite Cause
Set primarily in Dumfriesshire and inspired by the thought of a third Jacobite Rebellion, Scott’s Redgauntlet takes the reader back to 1765 when the Jacobite cause still ran strong. In this reading, a local Laird is recounting a daring escape from the King’s Redcoats. The location for this escape is the Devil’s Beef Tub and very little of the landscape has changed since Scott was inspired to write this piece.
The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan
"A masterclass in propulsive narrative"
The landscapes and locations of the Thirty-Nine Steps have been created many times in film and although the action clearly takes place across the hills of Dumfries, the exact locations are sometimes difficult to establish. For this interpretation we were inspired by the location of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve. And although a little East of Carinsmore of Fleet, it is easy to imagine John Hannay stepping out “like a four year old” across the heather!
The Lament of the Border Widow
Execution Of A Freebooter
A chapel once stood near this tranquil location known locally as Cockburn’s Wood. The Cockburns were lairds of Henderland and one of the reiver families linked with the brutal activities in the 1500 and 1600's”. In one of King James V’s “expeditions” to the Borders to execute the most notable “thieves”, William Cockburn was executed. His widow’s sorrow was depicted in this Ballad that appeared in The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.
What Can I Do?
“Arguably the most significant, systemic trend in worldwide tourism today is the demand for experiential travel” (The Rise of Experiential Travel Report)
Take part in one of our Experience Workshops.
We continue to stake our claim as Scotland's Literary Heartland.
After a successful year with Scotland's Year of Stories, we are now looking to develop longer term strategic plans.
Want to be part of this process? Then please get in touch.
Tell Us Your Story
Got a great story, local legend or myth then we can add it to our every growing database of 'Stories of the South'
Contact us below
Industry support and recognition:
This project was possible thanks to the following funders.