Neverland may not exist outside the pages of Peter Pan, but the newly renovated Moat Brae House in Dumfries, Scotland comes close to J.M. Barrie's vision. As The Guardian reports, the townhouse and gardens that inspired the author's iconic play have been transformed into Scotland's first-ever National Centre for Children's Literature and Storytelling.
Born in Kirriemuir, Scotland in 1860, Barrie attended the Dumfries Academy as a teenager. He ended up spending much of his free time at the nearby Moat Brae House, where two of his friends lived, and later credited the property's idyllic gardens as the inspiration for Peter Pan.
On Saturday, June 1, Moat Brae reopens under its new title. At the National Centre for Children's Literature and Storytelling, guests will find a theater with props and costumes, an attic modeled after the Darling children's nursery, and a library containing thousands of books. J.M. Barrie memorabilia, like the bell he rung to signify Tinkerbell's appearances in the original stage play, will also be on display.
A decade ago, the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust saved the building from demolition with the aim of preserving its literary heritage. In addition to paying homage to J.M. Barrie's life, the site intends to create an environment for children "where storytelling is integral to growing up," according to its website. The items inside are meant to be played with, and even if they don't buy a ticket, community members will still have access to the house's free children's library.
The Moat Brae House will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, and admission will cost around $8 for adults and $3.15 to $6.30 for children (babies get in free). And if you're looking for more literary landmarks to visit, there's no shortage of them in Europe.
[h/t The Guardian]