Scottish Folk Tales and Tales from Scottish Folk

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival begins this evening. It runs from Friday 19th – Sunday 28th October and this years theme is folk tales. You can read all about the festival and get tickets on the Scottish Storytelling Centre Website.

Just now I’m on holiday in the highlands. I’ve been reading this collection of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales:

It includes traditional stories as well as tales written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth Grierson and Alasdair Maclean. I totally recommend it. The stories are exciting and mysterious, just like the landscape here in Scotland:

On the way by from Skye (above) I stopped in Mallaig and met fisherman Ewen Nicholson:

Here he is eating his last supper at the Fisherman’s mission – it closed yesterday. Ewen had been going to the mission for 30 years. He told me tales of falling in the sea drunk (he’s not touched a drop for 13 years) and I loved hearing all about his pet seal, Elsie. She climbs up two steps to get a fish from him. Ewen is 77 and he launched his first book ‘New Horizon – Tales of a Hebridean Skipper’ earlier this year. Read more in the Oban Times.

Visiting Skye, meeting Ewen and reading the Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales reminded me that Scotland is a magical place full of stories.

If you enjoyed this blog you might also enjoy ‘Are stories the solution for Scotland’s children’.


About auntyemily

Screenwriter (CBeebies), science communicator, storyteller, author, podcaster and poet. @auntyemily on twitter (:
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10 Responses to Scottish Folk Tales and Tales from Scottish Folk

  1. Lari Don says:

    My all-time favourite collection of Scottish tales is The Silver Chanter by Wendy Wood. And your lovely story about Elsie the seal also reminds me of a couple of excellent books of seal lore: Tales of the Seal People by Duncan Williamson, and The People of the Sea by David Thomson. There are so many wonderful stories out there, and what’s even more wonderful is that no matter how many stories you know, there’s always a new one over the next page, or being told at the hearthside!

    • auntyemily says:

      Thanks Lari, I must check those recommendations out! Would be great to have you write a guest blog on here if you’re up for it? (and with you being a brilliant local author!) (:

  2. Lindsay Corr says:

    Ewen has a fantastic face! I think Bea Ferguson sums it up the everlasting appeal of fairy and folk tales best at the end of a recent Scotsman article… “But tell them, rather than read them, because they’re a different animal off the page.”

    Bea is part of a trio showcasing Storytelling Theatre – East of the Sun, West of the Moon that unifies the oldest oral traditional tales: Norse, Lowland Scotland and Gaelic. It is being performed in Glasgow Tuesday and Wednesday, 1.30pm at Old Sheriff Court

  3. Pingback: Mountain Therapy « auntyemily



  5. Ann Renucci says:

    We met Ewen today 19th of Feb 2017. He made our day telling us his stories. He was upset about having to sell his beloved boat. Ordered his book from amazon, looking forward to reading it. Pleased to report he is fit and well.

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