For Julie Fenton, from East Lothian, the chance to accompany the bestselling Edinburgh crime writer on an unforgettable walk around Edinburgh’s literary landmarks was a “dream come true”.
As the lucky winner of the exclusive, money-can’t-buy experience put up for grabs as part of the Forever Edinburgh’s The Story Never Ends campaign, Julie also enjoyed a two-night stay at YOTEL Edinburgh, a Champagne lunch on board Royal Yacht Britannia, dinners at Fazenda and BABA on George Street, and a tour and tasting at Holyrood Distillery.
Her prize also included return travel to Edinburgh, lunch at the Haggis Box in the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and a tour of Mary King’s Close, the city’s subterranean street.
Julie, an NHS secretary, said: “I was over the moon to win the competition, it really was a dream come true.
“Taking a literary-themed walk around Edinburgh with Ian Rankin was just incredible.
“It was amazing to learn and see so much more of what it’s got to offer – there seem to be fascinating stories around every corner!”
Named the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature in 2004, Edinburgh is bursting with literary heritage, both past and present.
Rankin, winner of several national and international awards, used the tour to tell stories of writers inspired by the Scottish capital including Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, Irvine Welsh, Alexander McCall Smith and JK Rowling.
Julie and Ian’s walking tour took them past key landmarks – including the statue of Greyfriars Bobby and the Writers’ Museum in the heart of the historic Old Town and the legendary Oxford Bar, made world-famous in the Rebus novels.
Rankin said: “Like all the great novels, Edinburgh has a captivating story to tell that’s packed with intriguing characters, fascinating locations and many twists and turns along the way.
“It’s hard not to be inspired by a city that has such natural and architectural beauty, rich history and diverse character.”