Literature in Aberdeen City and Shire

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  • Looking down a country lane to Arbuthnott Church where author of A Scots Quair James Leslie Mitchell is buried
    Arbuthnott Church where James Leslie Mitchell - also known as Lewis Grassic Gibbon and author of A Scots Quair- is buried
  • The exterior of the Grassic Gibbon Centre, dedicated to the life and work of James Leslie Mitchell, author of a Scots Quair
    The Grassic Gibbon Centre - celebrating the life, work and times of author of A Scots Quair James Leslie Mitchell, Arbuthnott
  • The atmospheric ruins of Slains Castle with stormy skies overhead
    The atmospheric ruins of Slains Castle - believed to have inspired Bram Stoker to write his classic novel Dracula
  • St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen
    St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen

Explore Aberdeen City and Shire’s literary connections, many of which stretch back hundreds of years, and see the sites connected to great authors and poets.

See the atmospheric ruins of Slains Castle perched atop jagged cliffs overlooking Cruden Bay. The castle is said to have inspired Bram Stoker when he wrote his classic gothic horror novel Dracula while staying in a nearby hotel during one of his visits to the area.

Also inspired by his travels to the region was Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, who wrote the first 16 chapters of his world-famous novel Treasure Island whilst on holiday in Braemar in the summer of 1881. The cottage where he stayed while writing the story still stands today, and can even be rented as self-catering accommodation.

In the centre of Aberdeen, you can see a statue of Lord Byron in front of the city’s Grammar School, which he attended until the age of 10, while St Machar’s Cathedral is home to a memorial to John Barbour, who was Archdeacon of the cathedral and the author of The Bruce in the 14th century.

In Arbuthnott you can visit the Lewis Grassic Gibbon Centre, which is dedicated to the Scottish author James Leslie Mitchell. Operating under the pen-name of Grassic Gibbon, Mitchell spent most of his childhood in the Mearns and was the author of Sunset Song, widely regarded as one of the most important Scottish novels of the 20th century. Find out more about his life and work in our writer profile of Lewis Grassic Gibbon.