A wee bit of magic of a different kind?
The Merlin Trail was recently featured on ITV’s Border Life, a superb film curated and presented by Sandy McCracken. He introduces the feature, telling us about the real man behind the myth – Merlin, an enigmatic and mysterious figure in British folklore. Read on, and watch, to find out about the evidence that he lived and died in Southern Scotland.
At Hartfell, near Moffat – the place the real Merlin was to hide out for a decade, we are invited to imagine the bare hills of today covered in a vast native forest, the Caledonian Forest, some 1500 years ago.
It is here, we listen to author, historian and Merlin Trail creator, Robin Crichton discuss this nomadic druid – Merlin – the last survivor of an ancient Northern clan. We hear about Merlin on the run, of genocide, massacre and madness. Merlin was a wanted man…
We meet ‘The Quest for Merlin’ author Count Nikolai Tolstoy, who talks about his Celtic studies, Paganism and early Welsh poetry; a life-worth of study into the life of Merlin. Quite different to the more usual image of the legend of a wizard at the court of King Arthur. Tolstoy states that the earliest oral traditions all place Merlin here in the South of Scotland.
Environmental Artist, Jan Hogarth is interviewed beside The Spa back at Hartfell, a significant location on The Merlin Trail. She tells us of the healing properties of such sacred wells (and that Merlin will have drunk these waters), of the fascinating shape-shifting druid and of the layers of history here at The Spa.
On to Peebleshire where Sandy and Robin discuss Merlin’s interactions with Christian missionary St Mungo and Early Christianity at Stobo Kirk – another point on the Merlin Trail. We hear about fearsome chiefs, stormy encounters, a religious clash and an act of defiance.
The hill fort Tinnis Castle, in Merlindale on the trail, holds secrets only the haggard Merlin saw…
These clandestine secrets led to the death of Merlin, the ‘triple-death’ assassination he had predicted.
Sandy winds up the feature – would you like to be a detective, following the trail of Merlin, deciding for yourself what to believe?
The myth of Merlin has been adapted for centuries.
The Merlin Trail takes us to the real places in Southern Scotland where Merlin lived, where he found solace and meaning in our natural world. Come and engage in this beautiful landscape, discover the locations for yourself, find your own meaning and a wee bit of magic along the Merlin Trail.
Click on the link or image below to watch the Merlin Trail feature on ITV Border Life, from 29th June 2018 (the Merlin Trail feature starts at 1 minute in).
Find all the information you need about the Merlin Trail on the website here where you will find background stories, details about the trail, map of locations and beautiful galleries, videos and additional information to whet your appetite for more!