I didn't grow up here, but in the 20 years since my parents made the place their home, time and again, when visiting, I've found myself transported down the rabbit hole of memory to reconnect with my seven-year-old self. With its white sandy beaches, traffic-free roads (mostly single track) and sea-bathing warmed by the Gulf Stream, this southernmost of the Hebridean isles is the perfect destination for families with young children. But it's also one of the best places on the planet to experience the deep sense of relaxation that comes from conjuring up your childhood self. – from “The Scottish Isle of Simple Pleasures,” by Lennox Morrison, The Independent
Thomas Carlyle’s House, where the “great writer and historian” was born in 1795, is open to the public from June 1 to September 30. The “interior reflects life in the late 18th Century and contains collections of portraits, manuscripts and personal belonging of Carlyle.” For travel information, visit the National Trust for Scotland website.
The Undiscovered Scotland website offers an exceptional e-book of The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, by James Boswell, with its “cross linking between the text of the book and features elsewhere on the site, allowing the reader to explore beyond the text itself, finding out more about the places and people mentioned.”
The one location we've not been able to tie down on a modern map is ‘Anoch’, mentioned by both Johnson and Boswell: and neither does it appear on the 1855 OS map. Boswell describes this as 11 miles beyond Fort Augustus which, following the line of the old military road, would place it near to the junction between the modern A87 and A837 roads. Perhaps it has disappeared as a result of clearance like many Highland settlements: or perhaps there is a link with the nearby Ceannacroc Bridge and Lodge? – from Undiscovered Scotland Website
The Scottish capital is bursting with stories, but sometimes you have to tease them out. Its history seems apparent from the moment you arrive, yet there are things you'll never see unless you know where to look – or get lucky. I've lived here more than half my life, yet can't claim anything close to an encyclopaedic knowledge of the place. – from “Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh,” The Guardian
The John Buchan Centre celebrates the life and work of the popular novelist, perhaps best know for The Thirty Nine Steps. On display are “photographs and books illustrating his career, some of his own and his family’s belongings,” and work by his sister, Anna, “who wrote very popular light novels under the pen-name, ‘O. Douglas.’” The John Buchan Centre is open Easter weekend, and daily, 2:00-5:00 p.m., May through September.
From the first of 17 novels, played out in the tunnels underneath the public library, to the last, a body at the foot of the castle rock, most have centred on two or three square miles of the city centre. – from “Times Literary Walks: Ian Rankin’s Edinburgh,” by Mike Wade, The Times
Author Douglas Jackson revisits Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson, “the story that inspired him to become a writer, evoking the beauty of Scotland through wonderful imagery.” It says a huge amount about Scotland: its history and landscape. This book sparked my imagination and made me want to become a writer; I loved the fluency of the descriptions and the roundness of the characters. It takes you to places in Scotland you might never go — some of the most remote, wild and beautiful parts of the country. – from “It Moved Me: Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson,” by Douglas Jackson, The Times