‘Mary’s the Name’: On Location

In May 2015, I visited Portree on the Isle of Skye, to gather information and details for a book I had just started writing. As you may have guessed, this book turned out to be ‘Mary’s the Name’, and this trip was vital to making Portree come alive in the novel. Here are some pictures I took on my trip, with where they fit into the story. No spoilers, exactly, but maybe best to read this after you’ve finished…


Not the most exciting photo, but this is the only one I have which (just about) features the Portee Independent Hostel. The big yellow building.


The bright harbour houses on Quay Street. Mary’s a fan of this street, one building in particular…


View of Quay Street from further away. The stony beach is where Mary meets a wee four-legged character for the first time.


The view from Iain’s house, or where I imagined Iain’s house to be. Not bad, eh?


Mary’s favourite, close up.


The little waterfall Mary and Grace visit. A foreign object ends up in the stream not long after that…


Sea Eagles Boat Trip sign. Wonder if Andy’s on duty today.


A shot I managed of a pair of sea eagles. Doesn’t do them justice!


The steps to an important landmark of the book…


The Apothecary Tower! Mary and Grace spend many a happy day here.


People like to leave their mark in its walls. Spot the word ‘MAZ’? Mary can always use this Maz person as her cover in case she’s caught.


Another piece of graffiti which made its way into the book!


View from the top of the Tower.


Could get a good game of ‘Performance’ on that platform, I reckon.


Legend says there’s a hanged man under there. Note the photographer intentionally having his thumb in the photo to add to the eeriness…


The other side of the Lump. A surprising character pops up here at one point.


The Portree Gathering Hall. I hear there’s a fancy ball here. Tickets are hard to come by, though.

I hope readers of ‘Mary’s the Name’ enjoy seeing these, and maybe fancy taking a wee trip to Portree themselves!

Bonus pic: this is a snap Michelle Rhodes of Skye History and Heritage Day Tours took of me on her tour, the same day most of these other pics were taken.




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