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At the end of a narrow peninsula on the Isle of Arran, stands Lochranza Castle. The lonely bulding incorporates a rare hall-house of the 1200s.

Scott described the morning scene at Lochranza Castle in his long narrative poem, 'The Lord of the Isles'. Started as early as 1808, Scott finished this poem in winter 1814, after a summer's sailing around Scotland, when the scenery was fresh in his mind.

Listen to 'Courting the Sunbeam'

Walter Scott’s verse on Lochranza in the early morning sun.

Read 'Courting the Sunbeam'

On fair Loch Ranza streamed the early day,
Thin wreaths of cottage-smoke are upward curled
From the lone hamlet, which her inland bay
And circling mountains sever from the world.
And there the fisherman his sale unfurled,
The goatherd drove his kids to steep Ben-ghoil,
Before the hut the dame her spindle twirled,
Courting the sunbeam as she plied her toil, 
For, wake, where’er he may, man wakes to care and toil.

Sir Walter Scott - Celebrating 250 Years

In 2021-22, Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of one of its most famous sons, Sir Walter Scott. This online exhibition and audio trail of his legacies is part of the celebrations.

'Courting the Sunbeam' has been performed by actor Kirsty Stuart for Pitlochry Festival Theatre, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland. You may have seen Kirsty in TV productions of Call the Midwife, Shetland or Outlander.