The Writers' Museum

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© Alan Laughlin
Old Town

Must-see venue for fans of Burns, Scott or Stevenson

This museum is based in Lady Stair's House, remarkable for its sharp turnpike staircases and maze-like layout. Built by William Gray in 1622, it was given to the City of Edinburgh in 1907 and now has curios and memorabilia relating to three of Scotland's most famous writers: Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. Early editions of their works are supplemented by personal effects including a dining table and rocking horse that once belonged to Scott, a writing desk that belonged to Burns and a ring given to Stevenson by a Samoan chief. The museum shop is well stocked with the appropriate books while there is also a quaint trip-step staircase that served earlier occupants as a low-tech 17th century burglar alarm. The courtyard adjacent to the museum, Makars' Court, is worth a look as it celebrates important Scottish literary figures: short quotes from their works are engraved on the paving stones.
Venue name: The Writers' Museum
Address: Lady Stairs House
Lady Stairs Close
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (Sun noon-5pm during Aug)
Price: Free
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