Magical Travel Guide with Moat Brae

Hand drawn illustration of a map showing a magical travel guide from Rotherham to Moat Brae in Dumfries and Galloway, with some magical places drawn along the way.

The workshops:

The Magical Travel Guide project ran for 3 months over the spring of 2021.  Grimm & Co teamed up with the fabulous Moat Brae, another creative writing charity all the way up in Dumfries.  25 young people from South Yorkshire and Dumfries & Galloway attended the digital sessions.  Their task was to create a travel guide for mortals journeying between the two locations.

This fantastical guide begins in the portal-riddled magical Dumfries.  We travel down through Cumbria via the beautiful if somewhat dangerous Solway Firth (which is of course, a huge dragon).  We then venture into Yorkshire and the strange cave of Mother Shipton, finally arriving at the number one destination for all witches – Bishop’s House.

With the help of professional writers Alan McClure and Eryl Jasper Dick, the locations were brought to life each week.  The young people reinvented each place from the perspective of the magical realm. Did you know that in magical Carlisle, the streets roam about at night?  Or that at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the statues meet at night under the lake?

The Outcome:

The finished product is a fantastic book, full of top tips, recommendations and places the unprepared traveller should probably avoid. 

We linked up with Rotherham College to enlist a team of wonderful illustrators including Olivia Rook, Caitlin Cleaver and Caroline Lee, headed by Almudena Muñoz Gracia.  They turned the young people’s ideas into vibrant and colourful images. After realising there were simply too many incredible ideas from the participants, we also brought in Shalla Gray to help edit the final piece. 

Each young person who participated on the project will receive a copy of the book.  We hope they will be fully equipped to take the treacherous, surprising and utterly magical journey from South Yorkshire to Dumfries. We are also pleased to announce that copies of the book will be available in our shop very soon. We want all our customers (magical and mortal) to be able to travel safely and know where to spot a dragon or two along the way…

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