Edinburgh Castle


Literary Scotland | 6 Day Self-Drive

Robert Burns. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. JM Barrie. Do any of these names ring a bell? What about Sherlock Holmes or Peter Pan? This tour will take you on a journey of Scotland’s finest literary figures.

Day 1: Robert Burns National Heritage Park & Mausoleum

Pick up your car in Glasgow and drive to the picturesque town of Alloway. This is the birthplace of Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns, also known as the Bard of Ayrshire. It’s also where you can find the Burns National Heritage Park and Trail which celebrates his life and works. Head south to Dumfries where more attractions offer an insight into Scotland’s most celebrated poet, including the Robert Burns Centre, Burns House and the Robert Burns Mausoleum. Pay a visit to Burns’ favorite pub ‘The Globe Inn’ where you can toast the Bard and even see his favorite chair. If time allows, visit Ellisland Farm to the north of Dumfries. Wigtown to the west of Dumfries is Scotland’s National Booktown where you can spend time browsing the shelves of bookshops, this makes for an enjoyable diversion for booklovers.

Day 2: St Mary's Kirkyard & Abbotsford

Head north-east to St Mary’s Loch, a scenic spot with links to literary figures such as Sir Walter Scott and James Hogg. Check out the Ettrick Valley statue where James Hogg is buried. You can also visit St. Mary’s Kirkyard, a historic location where William Wallace was named Guardian of Scotland.Continue east to Melrose. Visit Abbotsford, a historic country house with breathtaking views on the banks of the River Tweed. This impressive house was also the former residence of historical novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. The house contains a treasure trove of Scottish historical and literary material.

Day 3: Rosslyn Chapel

Today drive north to Rosslyn Chapel, one of Scotland’s most remarkable buildings. It’s known more recently for playing a crucial role in the plot of the blockbuster novel The Da Vinci Code. Other literary sites in the Lothians are nearby, including Gullane in East Lothian. The attractive sandy beach here features in an exciting episode of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Catriona. Nearer Edinburgh, the little community of Swanston, below the Pentland Hills on the very edge of the city, is a setting for part of Stevenson’s St Ives.

Day 4: Writers' Museum & Literary Pub Tour

There are many more literary ties within Scotland’s capital, as it is perhaps the most literary linked place in Scotland. It’s also the setting for the annual Edinburgh International Festival – a key event in the city’s festival calendar of performing arts. Edinburgh has also the distinction of being designated the first World City of Literature by UNESCO. JK Rowling created the Harry Potter series while living here. Other notable authors born here include Kenneth Grahame, writer of the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. The city is also associated with contemporary writers, such as the detective novels of Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith. Visit the Writers’ Museum which explores the links between the city and Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson. You can also enjoy a literary pub tour, a must-see cultural attraction performed by professional actors.

Day 5: The Hermitage & JM Barrie's Birthplace

Get an early start this morning and head north for Dunkeld. Signposts from the main road here mark The Hermitage, the woodlands by the River Braan. In the 18th century, an early Duke of Atholl built a picturesque folly, which still stands, overlooking the foaming river. It was called Ossian’s Hall, a reference to the then wildly-popular Poems of Ossian by James MacPherson. He was supposedly the discoverer of ancient Gaelic texts by a bard named Ossian, though the work was mostly from his imagination. Stop and explore this beautiful area. MacPherson’s writings were the blockbusters of their day. They were translated into several European languages, and had a great impact on contemporary European literature – Goethe and Napoleon were fans! From Dunkeld, it is a very easy and pleasant drive along the edge of the Highlands to Kirriemuir. This former weaving town is the birthplace of JM Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. There is a fascinating exhibition within the cottage Barrie grew up in. Visit and learn the story of Barrie’s life. You’ll also see memorabilia such as the exact writing desk from Barrie’s London flat where he wrote Peter Pan. From Kirriemuir, return to Edinburgh and enjoy your last night in Scotland!

Day 6: Return Home

Price on Request

Departure days

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

January — December

Contact details

Crystal Travel & Tours

100 Spring St

Tour information


  • Glasgow Airport


8 Days


  • Air
  • Driver guide
  • Self drive


  • Bespoke
  • Private


  • English


  • Castles
  • City
  • Food and drink
  • History
  • Landscapes

Tour Stops

Crystal Travel & Tours

Tour company information

Crystal Travel & Tours

Crystal Travel & Tours is a tour operator based in Boston specializing in custom vacations to Scotland and Ireland. A family-owned business, Crystal Travel was founded in 1985 by Jim & Teresa Kelly and since that humble beginning it has grown into a trusted resource that has helped tens of thousands of people better enjoy their travel.

Opening times

Mon - Fri | 8am - 6pm
Sat | 9am - 5pm

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