Scotland has a proud tradition of both written and spoken word. From Burns through Walter Scott and to today’s generation the country has produced many of the great works of literature across all genres. Think about great Children’s books, crime fiction or poetry and Scottish authors are always some of the first to be mentioned. What better way to immerse yourself in their imagined world than to stay at a Scottish cottage and visit some of the places that influenced these great authors.
One of the giants of crime fiction was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Born in Picardy Place in central Edinburgh Conan Doyle came from a high achieving mid Victorian family. His childhood though, was not a happy one. His father was an alcoholic and the strict Jesuit boarding school he attended was a harsh environment in which to grow up. It did help him develop his three great loves and influences on is life; writing, medicine and cricket. His literary invention he is well known for was Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson. First through serialisation in magazines and then through novels Sherlock Holmes became the byword in the literary sleuthing.
Conan Doyle’s family home on Picardy Place was right at the heart of Edinburgh and during his early years and while studying medicine at Edinburgh University the young author would have observed much the capital’s life from the house. Mackays Self Catering Scotland has two townhouses in an enviable central location just few hundred yards from Picardy Place.
Peter Pan is perhaps one of the most enduring children’s books. The classic story tells the adventures of Wendy, the ageless Peter Pan and tinker Bell the fairy in Neverland. The book itself has a timeless quality with countless adaptations for screen and stage each one bringing out an new aspect of the work. The book was written by JM Barrie who was a contemporary and friend of Conan Doyle though he came from a rather less middle class background as the ninth child of a Kirriemuir weaver. The family did have enough money to educate him and his siblings and JM Barrie was able to establish himself as an author and playwright culminating in Peter Pan at the turn of century. It is hard to trace the roots of his literary genius perhaps the death of his mother’s favourite son when he was just a boy or even in height less than 5 foot 4 may have bred in him the imaginative escapism that his books typify.
His birthplace, Kirriemuir, has many visitor attractions harking back to its favourite son but is a fascinating and historic town in its own right. Sitting on a quiet country road 4 miles from Kirriemuir Mackays offers two ground floor semi-detached Scottish cottages enjoying a lovely south facing aspect with open views over rolling farmlands and woodlands to the distant Angus Glens and the Grampian mountains.
Mackays Self Catering Scotland has many cottages in Scotland to choose from. Visit www.mackays-self-catering.co.uk to see more.