Thanksgiving at The Arch London 2018

Thanksgiving is a major celebration in the US calendar and the festivities have gradually gained attention on British shores too. Keen to kick off the holiday season with our friends across the pond, The Arch London will be offering a taste of America with a Thanksgiving menu that will be sure to spice up your evening.

Thanksgiving is held on Thursday 22 November 2018 this year,and chefs at Hunter 486 will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving feast to celebrate the US National Holiday. The special Thanksgiving set menu will be available on 22 November from Noon until 10.30pm, and is priced at £35 per person for three courses.

The menu features traditional favourites, commencing with Spiced pumpkin salad with sweet and sour dressing; then a Clam Chowder; followed by a main course of Norfolk Bronze Turkey cooked in the stone oven with bacon, sweet potato mash and cranberry sauce; and completed with a tangy Blueberry and lime cheesecake.

Thanksgiving Menu

Spiced pumpkin salad with sweet and sour dressing, rocket and toasted seeds

Clam chowder

Roast Norfolk turkey, chestnut stuffing, green beans wrapped in bacon, sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce

Blueberry and lime cheese cake

Tea, coffee and mini apple and cinnamon doughnuts

 Three courses £35.00 per person

Named after the 1950s dialling code for Marylebone, Hunter 486 has been designed with an air of nostalgic London glamour fused with contemporary touches. The restaurant features gleaming leather booths, blown glass chandeliers and statement artwork, plus an adjoining chic Salon de Champagne bar.

The kitchen is open plan and airy, allowing guests to watch the skilled chefs at work amongst the gleaming selection of copper pots and pans suspended from the ceiling.  Light streams through the large windows, treating guests to a charming view of the neighbourhood mews, and come the evening, the softly lit restaurant is an intimate and romantic setting for dinner and drinks.

The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD For reservations contact 020 7724 4700 or visit

Experience the Magic of Europe’s Festive Markets

Park Plaza provides some Festive Christmas magic

Some of us may be really looking forward to the Christmas period this year and others reluctant participants in the festivities but the Christmas markets in Europe are a sure win for Christmas fans and avoiders!

Since its first appearance in Germany in 1434, this charming tradition has been embraced by nearly every European city! With more choice and visitors than ever, the decision of which Christmas fair to visit can be overwhelming. To help you decide, Park Plaza Hotels® & Resorts shares its all-time favourite Christmas markets, giving you one less thing to organise yourself this festive season.

Nuremberg – Steeped in over 500 years of tradition, Nuremberg’s famous ‘Christkindlesmarkt’ is one of Germany’s oldest Christmas fairs, dating all the way back to the mid-16th Century. Set in the heart of the Old Town in the main market square, ‘the little town of wood and cloth’ tempts visitors with the wintertime smells of mulled wine and Nürnberger Bratwurst. 180 market stalls, aglow with twinkling lights, sell locally-made ornaments and toys. Kids will love the Nuremberg Children’s Christmas, just a short stroll around the corner. What’s more, traditional craft stalls invite children to get creative with workshops and activities, including festive baking and candle making – the perfect souvenir to take home.

Visit: Friday 30th November 2018 – 24th December 2018.

Stay: Ideal for guests who want to explore Old Town, Park Plaza Nuremberg boasts a prime location across from Nuremberg Central Railway Station. The hotel is also just minutes away from Nuremberg Airport and the A3, A6 and A9 highways, making getting to your winter mini-break super simple! PRICE: From €164 per person for two nights’ accommodation. Valid for arrival on 20th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit


For something a little different this year, why not visit Amsterdam? Every year, a 20-metre Christmas tree takes pride of place on the Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace, and together with the luminated luxury department store Bijenkorf, they symbolise the start of festivities in the city. Families will love the Museumplein Ice*Village; a fabulous place to enjoy ice-skating with a view of the beautiful Rijksmuseum. To follow, there are plenty of stalls serving local winter warmers, which you can enjoy with live festive music.

The Amsterdam Light Festival is also not to be missed. Returning this year on 29th November until 20th January, the streets and canals alike are adorned with twinkling lights creating a magical display throughout the city.

Visit: Late November – early January. The Christmas tree is put in place on 8th December and the Amsterdam Light Festival runs from 29th November 2018 until 20th January 2019.

Stay: Located in the centre of the city’s buzzing shopping district and a two-minute walk from Centraal Station, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam makes a fantastic destination for short breaks. PRICE: From €189 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Superior Room with Iconic View. Valid for arrival on 10th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit


Berlin is another fantastic German city-break for the festive season. Boasting around 80 Christmas markets dotted around the city, you certainly won’t be short of choices! One of the oldest, most delightful Christmas markets in all of Berlin is Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Rotes Rathaus. Located close to Alexanderplatz, this market offers unique stalls with a design dating back to the early 1900s, creating a traditional feel. You can spot this market from some distance away thanks to its impressively high Ferris wheel providing magnificent views of the city. Other festive gems include is its 600 square metre ice-rink – the largest in the city. It’s only a small fee to rent ice-skates otherwise you can enter the ice for free.

Visit: Berliner Weihnachtszeit at Roten Rathaus is open from 26th November – 30th December 2018.

Stay: Park Plaza Wallstreet Berlin Mitte is a quirky hotel in the heart of Berlin. Just a short stroll from top attractions including Alexanderplatz, the hotel is also close to Märkisches Museum underground station for easy access to the city’s Christmassy sites. PRICE: From €99 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Double Room. Valid for arrival on 16th December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. To book, visit


Last but not least, London offers a joyful experience for everyone with its magnificent Christmas markets and local handicraft fairs. For unique Christmas gifts and stocking fillers, head to Winter Wonderland for an overwhelming choice of 200 stalls brimming with wonderful handmade gifts. The wonderous lightshow at Kew never fails to put a smile on its visitors’ faces. This magnificent trail through the beautiful gardens will lead you past singing Christmas trees, fairy-lit tunnels and a show-stopping grand finale in front of the stunning Palm House. Don’t forget to get your skates on at Somerset House for the prettiest ice-rink in London, before popping to one of the cosy cafes to warm up with chocolate and marshmallows.

Visit: Winter Wonderland is open from 22nd November 2018 – 6th January 2018. The South Bank Winter Market runs from 9th November – 27th December 2018.

Stay: Conveniently situated on the South Bank of the Thames, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London provides the perfect base from which to visit London’s festive attractions. PRICE: From £279 per person for two nights’ accommodation in a Studio Room, including breakfast and tax. Valid for arrival on 21st December 2018. Prices are based on double occupancy and subject to change. Room can sleep 2 adults and 2 children with additional sofabed. To book, visit

Walk Japan introduces new San’In Quest tour for April 2019


Walk Japan, the pioneer of off-the-beaten-track tours of Japan, is delighted to announce its latest walking tour, The San’in Quest, which launches in April 2019 and will offer a guided exploration of the mystical, mountainous region of the Yamaguchi and Shimane Prefectures.

The fully guided nine-day, eight-night tour travels along the rugged coast of west Honshu and explores this tranquil region far removed from modern-day Japan, steeped in nature and the origin of many of Japan’s oldest myths and legends. The rural mountainous region of San’in is one of the most remote, less-explored and least populous areas of the country, retaining a charming historical atmosphere and providing a glimpse into the fascinating layers of Japan’s history.

The tour is guided by an expert Walk Japan tour leader, offering extensive insight into the captivating historical sites throughout the tour, from the Iwami Ginzan, an abandoned silver mine listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to the celestial Izumo Taisha, a grand shrine at the epicentre of the Shinto religion. The tour will also visit Takadono, an idyllic and remote valley that for over 800 years was a crucial source of steel used in the production of Japan’s famed swords wielded by samurai warriors.

The walk begins at Yamaguchi City and ends in Hiroshima, following old byways and forest trails and passing through some of Japan’s most elegant cities, towns and villages such as Yamaguchi, a city that rivalled Kyoto in power in the 16th Century and was popular with Jesuit missionaries. The tour then follows in the footsteps of Lafcadio Hearn, a Western writer who found a home in Matsue in the 1890s and whose writing was inspired by the mysticism and ghost stories of the region. Delving deeper into the mountainous heart of the San’in region, the tour makes its way through Oku-Izumo, which was the economic core of Japan’s traditional steel-making industry, tatara, for nearly a millennium. The tour ends at Hiroshima, a vibrant and lively city that encompasses an ethos of peace, the epitome of Japanese culture.

Visitors will enjoy a leisurely journey over nine days exploring this rural and mystical region, offering insight into Japan’s culture and rich past. Accommodation is provided in traditional ryokan inns, some offering relaxing onsen hot spring baths for unwinding after days spent exploring this largely untouched region. Cuisine throughout the tour celebrates the fruits of the land and seas of the fertile San’in region, offering a taste into traditional Japanese fare.

The San’in Quest Tour is a nine-day, eight-night fully guided walking tour for up to twelve participants. The first tour is running from 22 – 30 April 2019. Prices for the nine-day tour start at JPY428,000 per person (approximately £2,930.50*) and includes accommodation for eight nights; eight breakfasts, two lunches and eight evening meals; baggage transfers and entrance fees. Not included are flights, six lunches and drinks.

This Level 3 tour is suitable for reasonably fit people who can walk comfortably for 4 to 6 hours a day.

*Based on current exchange rates.

Experience the magic of Snow White with the Goring this Christmas

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” This Christmas discover the land of fairy tale at The Goring, London’s only family-owned and run five-star hotel. With tickets to The London Palladium’s Snow White – the must-see show of the season – and an enchanting cocktail to boot, there’s no better place to spend the magical festive period then at the impeccably English hotel. Not to be missed, the experience is available from 8th December 2018 – 13th January 2019.

From the same team behind last year’s Olivier Award-winning pantomime, Snow White stars Dawn French as the wicked Queen and Julian Clary as the man in the mirror. A Christmas cracker of a performance, the west-end show is a fun way to get families into the Christmas spirit. After the show, head back to The Goring for a delicious Poisoned Apple cocktail, a nod to Snow White’s near fatal miss. Made with Julien Fremont Calvados, apple blossom honey and fresh lime, the cocktail is poured into a cold martini glass and topped with a caramelised crab apple for extra sparkle. Children joining in on the fairy tale fun can enjoy a mouth-watering mocktail version.

Finally, skip Snow White’s glass coffin and enjoy a luxurious overnight stay in the hotel’s deeply comfortable guestrooms, elegantly designed with a touch of English charm. The next morning indulge in a delicious breakfast in The Dining Room, before heading out to Belgravia for a spot of Christmas shopping.

The Poisoned Apple experience starts from £792 for two people including an overnight stay in a double room with breakfast, two tickets to Snow White at The London Palladium and two Poisoned Apple cocktails. Snow White begins on 8th December 2018 and runs until 13th January 2019, subject to availability.

The Poisoned Apple will feature on the cocktail menu from 1st November and is a priced at £19.

For reservations contact / 020 73969000

The Bush Theatre, London invites visitors to a Studio 54 style Christmas

Bush Theatre.

Flares, glitter and platforms may be the order of the day (and maybe even a sequin or two) when the Bush Theatre, Shepherd’s Bush opens its auditorium to Christmas parties looking to celebrate the festive season in Studio 54 style.

The legendary New York night-spot will be transplanted to West London with the Bush Theatre’s team crafting a venue boasting glitter-balls a-plenty, a DJ playing the very best in party sounds, disco lighting, food and drink packages and a host of surprises to suit all tastes and budgets. The Bush theatre space provides the unique opportunity to use our theatrical and technical expertise in design, sound and lighting.

Bush Theatre © Jack Sain 16.3.17-2042.jpg

Available for private hire from 28 November and through December, Bush Theatre can accommodate parties from 80 – 200 with prices starting from as little as £70+ per person.  The staff in the theatre’s spacious Library Bar will be on hand to offer a wide selection of beer, wine, spirits and cocktails.

The fully accessible Bush Theatre is in TFL zone 2 and is easily accessed by both Central and Hammersmith and City underground lines as well as the Overground station at Shepherd’s Bush and numerous bus routes.

Bush Theatre. Photo Philip Vile.jpg

Shaun Johnson, Events Manager said ‘We can’t wait to welcome visitors to our unique space to celebrate the festive season in homage to the party of all parties.’

To plan your Christmas celebrations contact for further information.



Sports fans and event visitors heading to London are reminded to avoid Euston station as it closes for three summer weekends

This weekend sees the start of three weekends of closure at Euston Station.

As part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail is replacing North Wembley junction – a major intersection on Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway. Once replaced travelers and freight users will benefit from a more reliable future service.

The weekends that the closure will be in place are:-

  • 18-19 August
  • 25-27 August (bank holiday weekend)
  • 1-2 September

Work will also be taking place at Coventry station over the August bank holiday (25 – 27 August) with buses replacing trains between Birmingham International and Rugby.

These works will impact all London Northwestern Railway services between London Euston and Birmingham / Crewe.

Martin Frobisher, managing director for Network Rail’s London North Western route said:“There is never an ideal time to shut the railway but these three weekends are the least disruptive times to do it.

“We have worked together for the past three years with train operators to carefully plan this closure of the railway in a way that minimises the impact on customers.

“It’s vital the track at North Wembley is replaced to continue to safely meet the huge demand of passenger and freight rail services on the West Coast main line. This work will result in better, more reliable journeys in future.”

Peter Broadley, executive director for customer, operations and safety at Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “With no services into or out of Euston we strongly advise our customers to avoid travelling to London on the days affected. We know this will impact on people’s travel plans, particularly over a Bank Holiday weekend so we encourage customers to plan ahead and where possible travel at other times.”

Andrew Conroy, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway said:“Our aim is to keep people moving if they have to travel on these dates. Improvement works are never convenient for anyone, but we have a tried and tested plan for operating buses to connect with alternative routes to and from London when Euston is closed. We still advise customers to travel on alternative days as these options will take significantly longer.”

Alan Riley, customer services director for Chiltern Railways said: “The Chiltern Railways’ services between Birmingham and London Marylebone will be much busier than normal. However, we will be doing everything we can to make it as comfortable as possible and we’ll have extra capacity where we can and extra Chiltern ambassadors at stations to help.”

Euston’s shops and access to London Underground will remain available throughout the three weekends.

To help with planning your travels visit


Discover Padstow with Chef Paul Ainsworth

The owner of Padstow Townhouse picks his favourite ways to explore the area

Acclaimed British chef Paul Ainsworth and owner of boutique hotel Padstow Townhouse has lived in Cornwall for 12 years. Opening the hotel with his wife Emma, Paul was able to offer diners at their restaurant Paul Ainsworth at No.6 somewhere to stay, but it also enabled him to share his family’s knowledge on the best things to do and see year-round in the area. Padstow Townhouse advises guests on the finest coastal walks and hidden beaches to visit and can arrange activities such as vineyard tours and fishing trips. With something to suit everyone, Padstow Townhouse’s expert tips and activities help guests to unwind and discover the best of Cornwall.


Padstow Townhouse can provide sumptuous picnic hampers for guests looking to dineunnamed-7.jpg out and about. Served in beautiful wicker baskets and accompanied by cosy Fortnum & Mason and Joules picnic blankets, the dedicated team at No.6 preparedelightful gourmet treats such as smoked salmon sandwiches, charcuterie, handmade scotch eggs and even a cream tea, all of which can be enjoyed on the beach or on a speedboat trip. Padstow Townhouse picnics start from £70 excluding drinks.


With a fleet of four beautiful Duchess bicycles for guests to borrow, guests can explore the nearby beaches, trails and some of Paul’s favourite gardens such as the Lost Gardens of Heligan at their own pace and leisure. The team at the Townhouse are on-hand to offer guidance and maps to key attractions guests would like to visit, suggesting the best routes. With over 300 in Cornwall, guests can travel with ease to a number of nearby beaches including Constantine Bay Beach, one of the best surfing beaches in North Cornwall.

Wine tours

With English wine increasing in popularity, Padstow Townhouse can arrange a variety of exciting wine tours for discerning oenophiles, starting at £75 per person. Camel Valley offers relaxed tours as well as wine by the glass on their relaxing terrace overlooking the vineyard, an hour’s cycle from the hotel. Vineyard Trevibban Mill’s scenic tours take guests through orchards and vineyard followed by a tasting. Visitors can taste up to seven of their wines accompanied by lunch and breath-taking views across the valley. Trevibban Mill is a half-hour cycle from the hotel and guests can borrow Dubarry boots for the site tour.

Fishing trips


Known for its historic fishing harbour, a visit to Padstow is not complete without a tripout on the waters. Padstow Townhouse can arrange fishing trips on board the ‘Emma Kate’, led by skippers Lee and John who will head out to find an exciting wreck reef or offer a spot of mackerel fishing.



With detailed local knowledge and Dubarry boots available for guests to borrow, Padstow Townhouse can recommend some of the best walks in Cornwall. One of Paul’s top trails is the Trevone to Padstow route, a moderate walk that covers 12 kilometres across the rockpools at Newtrain Bay, with panoramic views on Stepper Point and sandy beaches at Hawker’s Cove. Another favourite walk of Paul’s is from Daymer Bay back to Padstow. Passing though sand dunes towards Rock, guests should look out for St Enodoc’s Church, the burial place of Sir John Betjeman before hopping on the passenger ferry and finishing with a visit to the golden sand beaches of Harbour Cove and St George’s Cove. Padstow Townhouse is near plenty of beautifully maintained gardens and stately homes, including Lanhydrock and Prideaux Place. Don’t miss the Japanese Garden and Bonsai Nursery, where East meets West in a unique oasis of Japanese maples, Koi ponds, bamboo groves, Zen gardens and bonsai trees.

Speedboat trips

For an exhilarating excursion around Padstow’s bay, Padstow Townhouse can arrange speedboat trips for both private and group tours in wooden Riva-style boats. Guests choosing to book a private Padstow speedboat trip can also bring along a bespoke picnic hamper freshly prepared at Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, the perfect treat for exploring the beautiful Cornish waters and relaxing in the sea breeze. Padstow speedboat trips start from £12 per person.

The Eden Project

Head to the internationally acclaimed Eden Project to discover the world’s largest indoor rainforest. With plenty of events happening throughout the year, Padstow Townhouse can arrange taxis for guests to attend their ‘Eden Sessions’ to see the likes of Elton John and Ben Howard perform in a truly spectacular setting.

The six-suite Padstow Townhouse is set in Old Town Padstow. Each room of the adult-only hotel was decorated by Emma and interior designer Eve Cullen-Cornes. Each individualised guestroom is playfully and stylishly inspired by traditional British sweets, such as the sumptuously patterned Rhubarb & Custard with its deep orange and red hues.


Smell & Stay – new ‘Aroomatherpy’ from easyHotel

  • easyHotel trails bespoke odour sachets for guest rooms
  • ‘Aroomatherapy’ fragrance options include bacon, bread, coffee, chocolate, fresh grass, popcorn and bubble gum for guests who want all the comforts of home

easyHotel, the super-budget hotel chain, is trialling a range of room fragrances to give guests the opportunity to personalise their rooms.

The service will be trialled in the new easyHotel Sheffield, easyHotel Leeds and easyHotel Barcelona, which are all set to open in September. Each fragrance sachet will cost £4.99.  Guests simply place a fragrance order at reception and are given a sachet that they can open in their room.

Laurie Walters, head of aromatherapy at easyHotel, said: “Feeling comfortable in our surroundings is so much about being surrounded by sounds and fragrances that we love.  We’re trialling ‘fume service’ to see whether tailored room fragrances make a difference to how guests feel about staying in their rooms.”

“Many pricey hotels provide expensive potpourri and soaps that give off fragrances that aren’t every guest’s cup of Lapsang Souchong.  Rather than automatically charge our guests for these unnecessary and often unwanted or disliked extras, we decided to give our guests the option to buy a room fragrance of their choice.”

Psychologists have studied the effect of scents for many decades.  According to experts, a positive scent, such as baking bread, can trigger a sense of security and positive emotional memories.  Scents can also have different effects on people depending on their cultural heritage.  In North America and Europe, for instance, citrus scents are perceived to be bright and happy smells and lavender is perceived as calming.  Fresh cut grass is often associated with positive memories and bread or bacon evoke memories of ‘home sweet home.’

A poll for easyHotel found that the smells we associate with comfort are:

  1. Freshly baked bread
  2. Coffee
  3. Bacon
  4. A partner’s scent
  5. Personal brand of washing detergent
  6. Bookshops
  7. Christmas dinner
  8. Baking cakes
  9. Sea air
  10. Petrichor

Laurie Walters said: “We’re going to ask customers to vote for their favourite smells and we may add more scents to the list, depending on demand.  We’ll consider any options within reason!”


Abaton Stands for A-List Relaxation

Island resort and spa in Crete on the rise as 2018’s celebrity hotspot

What do Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Oliver Proudlock, Emma Louise Connolly and Chloe Sims all have in common? Besides being young stars with enviable looks, they’ve all been soaking up the sun at Abaton Island Resort & Spa. And nothing says VIP luxury quite like this romantic escape in Crete.

The Celebrity Hotspot of 2018

As a rising boutique resort, Abaton has lured up-and-coming celebs from UK hit series, including Made in Chelsea, Coronation Street and The Only Way is Essex. TV’s freshest faces and hottest bods have posted themselves lounging by lagoon-like pools and relishing couples massages at Elemis Spa.

Dining With a View

With five waterfront restaurants serving everything from lobster to local delicacies, Abaton’s cuisine scene is certainly star-studded. In July, loved-up couple Ollie and Emma celebrated a romantic holiday before getting engaged. The pair Instasnapped their summer views and supper spreads, with pork belly buns and tiger maki rolls from WOW Sushi & Steak as firm favourites.

Honeymoon Villas

Abaton’s honeymoon villas have been another massive hit with leading personalities. Fashionista Lucy Meck matched the look of her gleaming guestroom in a white bikini. No expense was spared as Lucy posed for selfies with her fiancé, Ryan, and the two enjoyed the plush linens and premium amenities.

A-List Relaxation for All

The best part about Abaton is that the VIP treatment extends to all guests. There is even a personal butler at one’s beck and call for the villas. Why not experience the luxury life for yourself? Direct flights run from the UK to Heraklion International Airport. From there, the resort is only a 20-minute drive away!

Find out more at


The start of a journey…

… should always start with a pen, paper and a little inspiration  and TravelDineRelax is my little take on experiences and news from the leisure sector.

With many of us looking at spending more on leisure time, staycations and travel there is a wealth of the new and tried and tested to experience and on TravelDineRelax we will be looking at a snippet of the best from around the world.

Whatever your journey… enjoy!



Once upon a time…..

From Peter Rabbit to Peter Pan, Harry Potter to The Howlat, Scotland has inspired some of the world’s best-loved literary creations.

Whether it’s history, landscapes, wildlife or even architecture,for decades authors have used some of the country’s greatest assets to create characters that continue to delight readers of all ages.

In recognition of this, VisitScotland has launched, Scotland’s Storybook Trail, a collection of places with links to some of the most celebrated characters in children’s literature.

The trail, which comprisesof a colourful map hosted on and will be available at selected VisitScotland iCentres , as well as bookshops and libraries across Scotland, will help bookworms embark on their own adventures across the country, learning more about their favourite stories and discovering new tales inspired by or written in Scotland.

Featured locations include the birthplace of Peter Pan creator, JM Barrie in Kirriemuir, Angus; the Isle of Coll, the inspiration of Katie Morag’s fictional home on the Isle of Struay; the Scottish Owl Centre in West Lothian where readers can meet some feathered friends, similar to those that feature in the Harry Potter series; and Birnam Arts in Perthshire, the region that inspired Beatrix Potter’s famous creations. And it’s not just the book locations themselves that will appeal to young readers – the trail includes some great bookshops and festivals to discover around Scotland.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “In this, Scotland’s Year of Young People, the Storybook Trail not only celebrates Scotland’s rich literary heritage and incredible landscapes, but it also provides an opportunity to encourage children to read for pleasure and develop a life-long love of books.

“With so many locations across the country linked to characters in children’s literature, I am sure the trail will act as a magnet for visitors from home and abroad who will experience our beautiful, vibrant country.”

Jenni Steele, Film and Creative Industries Manager at VisitScotland, said: “Scotland has world-class literary links. Our landscapes, history and people have inspired writers for centuries, helping to bring to life enduring characters that capture the imaginations of not just youngsters but grown-ups too.

“A great story has to have great characters and that’s what inspired Scotland’s Storybook Trail. We wanted to create something, as we celebrate Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, that encourages booklovers of all ages to discover the places and people behind these famous fictional friends. “

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, said: “Scotland has a rich history of iconic literary characters, created or inspired by its places and people. Visiting locations with a special connection to favourite stories or figures is a real thrill for fans of any age, and Scotland’s Storybook Trail is packed with superb suggestions.

“Now is the perfect time to take a trip round our beautiful country and enjoy again, or for the first time, some of the greatest Scottish stories ever told and the places where the creative spark started – just don’t forget to pack a book.”

So take a magical adventure from page to place and discover just some of the Scottish locations with literary links to best-loved stories;

Harry Potter – JK Rowling

Grab your wands and prepare for a magic adventure! Visit Tom Riddle’s grave at Greyfriars Kirkyard, meet some of Hedwig’s feathered friends at the Scottish Owl Centre or join a tour of the Capital to find out how Edinburgh’s buildings and people inspired JK Rowling’s smash-hit series about a boy wizard. Film fans-make sure to hop aboard the ‘Hogwarts Express’ across the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson’s swashbuckling adventure was written during a stay in Braemar. It’s thought Stevenson based some of the characters on people he met in the village. Treasure Island is also rumoured to have been inspired by Fidra Island in East Lothian which the writer used to watch from the area known now as Yellowcraig. Today, rather than pirates you are more likely to find puffins as the island is an RSPB Scotland reserve.

Peter Pan – JM Barrie

Make sure to pack your pixie dust as you head off on an awfully big adventure in search of Peter Pan. A statue of ‘The Boy Who Never Grew Up’ can be found at JM Barrie’s Birthplacein Kirriemuir, Angus but it was Moat Brae in Dumfries, where Barrie lived as a boy, that inspired Neverland, the enchanted faraway place where Peter Pan and the Lost Boys outwit Captain Hook.

Beano, The Dandy and Oor Wullie

The antics of Dennis and his pals in Beano, and A’body’s favourite wee laddie, Oor Wullie have been published every week for decades by DC Thomson who are based in Dundee with Beano recently celebrating its 80th birthday. Look out for statues of fellow DC Thomson legends, Desperate Dan, Minnie the Minx as well as Oor Wullie, in Dundee city centre. And don’t miss the chance to grab a selfie on Bash Street.

Katie Morag – Mairi Hedderwick

The Isle of Coll in the Inner Hebrides was the real-life inspiration for Katie Morag’s home on the Isle of Struay.Take a picnic to the beach, explore the island’s only real village, Arinagour, and keep an eye out for the whitewashed cottages that look just like the illustrations in Mairi Hedderwick’s books.

Peter Rabbit and Friends – Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter created her most famous fluffy friend, Peter Rabbit, following childhood summer holidays in Dunkeld, watching and drawing wildlife. Birnam Arts is a great place to learn about the region that inspired her, you may also meet some of her other characters in the Beatrix Potter Exhibition Garden.

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldsonand Axel Scheffler

Take a stroll through the deep dark wood on Ardkinglas Estate in search of the Gruffalo. Look out for the Mouse who’ll help guide you along the trail which tells the story, translated into Scots, of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s famous, loveable beast.

Thumble Tumble – AH Proctor

The Isle of Arran is the extraordinary little home of this extraordinary little witch. Visit Brodick Castle and Lochranza Castle where Thumble Tumble’s first two magical adventures were set. Keep your eyes peeled for Night Witches, Sea Dragons and Flower Nymphs – you never know what magic you might encounter on this spectacular island.

Why not continue your literary adventure with a visit to one of Scotland’s book festivals?

Edinburgh International Book Festival

11-27 August

As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is an unmissable event for book-lovers. The Baillie Gifford Children’s Programme is perfect for young readers from tots to teens, with hundreds of events including interactive sessions, fun performances, storytelling and workshops with authors and illustrators.

Killearn Children’s Festival

2 September

A fun-filled day packed with events and activities aimed a little bookworms. Learn how to draw a dragon, get tips on writing your own stories or listen to a host of tales from authors of some of the most exciting new books.

Wigtown Book Festival

21-30 September

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the annual award-winning festival takes place in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town. For ten days in September, the town buzzes with book events as well as theatre, music and a dedicated Children’s Garden offers activities to appeal to younger readers.

Borders Book Festival

13-16 June 2019

The hugely popular Baillie Gifford Borders Book Festival, which in 2018 attracted record audiences, is always a highlight of the literary calendar and regularly welcomes some of the most well-known writers in the country.The Family Book Festival offers a wonderful selection of events with sessions from some of the best-loved authors for children, as well as free activities.

To find more book festivals across Scotland visit