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A Capital Adventure for Hamish McHaggis and The Clan Gathering

3 April 2009


The stunning surroundings of Edinburgh Castle have been graced through the ages by many famous Scots.  Kings, queens and clan chiefs have all passed through its historic chambers.  And now it’s the turn of another national hero – the star of the popular children’s books series, Hamish McHaggis!

On Saturday 18th April, the well-loved Scottish character from the Hamish McHaggis books will be visiting the iconic stronghold when the launch of his latest title and the eighth story book in the series, ‘Hamish McHaggis and The Clan Gathering’, is celebrated at Edinburgh Castle.   

‘Hamish McHaggis and The Clan Gathering’ is being published to coincide with the 2009 Year of Homecoming, this year’s major events programme and celebration of Scottish culture and heritage.  Appropriately, the new title sees all of the McHaggis clan coming together from all over the world and converging in Scotland to visit Hamish McHaggis’s home in ‘Coorie Doon’.

Hamish’s creator, leading Scottish children’s author Linda Strachan - who has published over 50 books and earned an international reputation for inspirational children’s fiction - will accompany Hamish to introduce his latest adventure to young visitors and treat them to readings of the book.  Linda will be joined by illustrator, Sally J. Collins, whose charming portrayals of Hamish and his friends have helped bring them to life.

Linda Strachan says: “We are delighted to be coming to Edinburgh Castle to mark the launch of our latest Hamish McHaggis title.  The castle has already featured in the series when Hamish visited the capital city and went to the Tattoo.  It’s great that this famous symbol of Scotland and its heritage is the setting for our Edinburgh launch event for this special Hamish McHaggis adventure celebrating Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.”

Linda and Sally will be in the Castle’s Queen Anne Room on the 18th from 1pm to 3.30pm.   There will be readings by Linda of ‘Hamish McHaggis and The Clan Gathering’ at 1.10pm and 2.15pm.  Copies of the book will be on sale and Linda and Sally will be signing copies.  After the readings, children will be able to watch Sally drawing, and get a chance to try out their own artistic talents in a colouring-in session.  And another highlight for children will be the opportunity for them to meet the loveable furry haggis himself and take a look at the trusty ‘Whirry Bang’ vehicle which takes Hamish and his friends on their travels around Scotland.


Date:              Thursday 9th April 2009

Time:              10.30am

At:                  Edinburgh Castle Esplanade

Hamish McHaggis - in his amazing ‘Whirry Bang’ vehicle - stops off at Edinburgh Castle on a ‘reccie’ visit in preparation for the ‘Hamish McHaggis and The Clan Gathering’ launch event on Saturday 18th April.

Photographers are invited to come along to take pictures of Hamish McHaggis and his Whirry Bang together with author Linda Strachan.

Photographers should report to Ellen Drummond Ferroni (mobile 07801 820757).


  • Edinburgh Castle is one of 345 outstanding heritage properties and sites in the care of Historic Scotland.  Ranging from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings, these include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country. Among the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, Skara Brae, and the Border Abbeys.  For further details of all of Historic Scotland’s sites visit: and for information on Edinburgh Castle and advance ticket purchasing visit:

  • Historic Scotland’s Mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

  • 2009 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great Scottish bard, Robert Burns, and Homecoming Scotland 2009 is an events programme celebrating Scotland's heritage, culture and great contributions to the world. Visit for details.

  • ‘Hamish McHaggis And The Clan Gathering’ is written by Linda Strachan, illustrated by Sally J. Collins and published by G.W. Publishing (visit  The title is paperback, 32 pages, 240 x 190mm, £4.99 UK, €8.00 EU or $9.00 US (price excludes p&p). ISBN: 978-0-9561211-2-7.  It is the ninth in the popular series (including eight stories and one activity book) following the adventures of Hamish McHaggis and his friends as they visit various destinations throughout Scotland.  Hamish is a happy-go-lucky little haggis - with orange fur, a big red nose and a tartan hat - who lives in a Hoggle with his friends: the sceptical Rupert, a travelling English hedgehog, Angus, the cheeky and mischievous Pine Marten, and Jeannie, the accident-prone Osprey.  Colourfully illustrated, the captivating series of Hamish McHaggis books helps children to learn about the geography and history of Scotland, leaving them wanting to know more about them.  For more information on the Hamish McHaggis books and their author, visit

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871