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Louise Doughty’s Tour of A Bird in Winter locations

  • Submitted: 5th November 2023

Louise Doughty’s Tour of A Bird in Winter locations

Ever wanted to disappear? Go on the run? Louise Doughty did just that for her new fast-paced read and today it’s all happening!! She’s taking me and you with her. Got your bag packed – money (untraceable), protein bars (easy to keep the energy up) Water ( well you need this!) and ….common sense. Always need that.

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

Let’s go!

A Bird in Winter Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty (c )Faber

Louise Doughty (c )Faber

 

In the early stages of a book I have to go hunting for it and A Bird in Winter was no exception.

I had already visited Norway and Iceland before lockdown, but once restrictions lifted, I knew I needed to follow Bird’s flight from Birmingham to Scotland, Orkney, Shetland . . . it isn’t just about description, it’s about seeing something that sets the sparks going.

 

 

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

 

The Bothy

The Bothy (c) Louise Doughty

The Bothy (c) Louise Doughty

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

Bird adopts several disguises during her flight: a homeless person, a hiker . . . sometimes she sleeps rough or breaks into places to hide out, like this low, bothy-style house that I saw by the side of the road in the Highlands.

Tunnel in Woodland (c) Louise Doughty

Tunnel in Woodland (c) Louise Doughty

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

Tunnel in Woodland

I passed this tunnel on a lonely hike in the Scottish countryside. I had no phone signal and no one knew where I was. If I went into that short tunnel, I would disappear and be gone forever.

Plockton (c) Louise Doughty

Plockton (c) Louise Doughty

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

Plockton

This is the village of Plockton, on the west coast of Scotland. I really fell for it – such a beautiful, remote-feeling place, with a wide estuary and low-lying cloud.

I knew immediately that a crucial part of the novel would be set there and the scenes in Plockton are, in many ways, the beating heart of the book.

Empty Beach (c) Louise Doughty

Empty Beach (c) Louise Doughty

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

Empty Beach

I took this picture in Thurso, before I went for the ferry that would take me away from the British mainland. It was a bleak, windy day and I was the only person around.

Snow-Topped Cliffs (c) Louise Doughty

Snow-Topped Cliffs (c) Louise Doughty

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

Snow-Topped Cliffs

This was my view as my ferry departed from Scrabster on its way to Orkney, the hard chop of the snow-topped cliffs – it wasn’t difficult to feel the same surge of joy that Bird feels as the land melts away.

The ferry (c) Louise Doughty

The ferry (c) Louise Doughty

Literary locations in Bird in Winter

View of Hills from a Ferry

The feeling of escape was . . . inescapable. The mind-expanding process of journeying is what allows the ideas to flood in.

What sort of person was Bird? Well for a start, I knew she was the sort of person whose heart soared at a sight like this . . .

 

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Bird in Winter

Twitter: @DoughtyLouise

 

This interview is adapted from the article Louise wrote for her website and the photos are all taken by her fair hand! See The Faber website for more details

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