Walk + Writing Workshop 8th Oct 2022: William Wells Brown and Scotland’s Border Abbeys Retold

Edinburgh Caribbean Association Member, Thalia Ostendorf is facilitating a creative writing workshop and walk as part of Historic Environment Scotland’s Border Abbeys: Retold project.

Historic Environment Scotland will compensate participants for travel and for time spent at the workshop. 

Drawing of a Black man in a jacket, waistcoat, shirt and bow tie, from 1852.
Drawing of the author William Wells Brown from his book, Three Years in Europe: Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met.
  • Sunday 8 October, 11am
  • Melrose Abbey to Dryburgh Abbey (walk of 4.4 miles, approximately 90 minutes)
  • Free + travel and time compensated
  • Questions? Email [email protected]
  • Booking required – booking form


On Sunday 8 October, 11am, participants will follow into the footsteps of William Wells Brown, a former enslaved person from America and abolitionist writer, lecturer, and novelist who toured Scotland and England to speak on the evils of slavery. During these tours, he visited some of the Borders Abbeys and recorded his experiences in his 1852 book Three Years In Europe: or, Places I Have Seen and People I Have Met,capturing its moonlit beauty and reflecting on the abbeys and their past.

The Borders Abbeys are part of many historic walking trails, including St Cuthbert’s Way and the Borders Abbey Way.

During the workshop, participants will walk from Melrose Abbey to Dryburgh Abbey (4.4 miles, approximately 90 minutes). In each location, participants will read William Wells Brown’s work and spend some time writing personal creative responses to the site and the material once we arrive at Dryburgh. With permission, they hope to record audio of participants reading the creative responses written during this workshop to create an audio experience for future visitors of these sites.

Border Abbeys: Retold and this workshop are part of the Year of Stories program.

Questions? Email [email protected]

Book your place (form)

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