Pinterest 101 for Writers & Readers

I have a background in art and I’m a very visual person. I’ve always collected photos for my characters and settings, so when I discovered Pinterest . . . it was love at first sight or should I say first pin! For me, it’s a great way to take a break, relax, and see some beautiful images . . . as well as build connections with readers.

Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world. It’s now number three behind Facebook and Twitter. So it makes sense for writers and readers to learn the basics and use Pinterest to connect with reading and writing friends.

So what is Pinterest? It’s a visual discovery tool that people use to collect, organize, and share ideas for projects and interests. People create and share collections (called boards) of images (called pins). Any time you find an image on the web that you like, you can pin, or lately they say save, that image to one of your boards to view again later or share with others. You can also download images from your computer to Pinterest, but the first method is better because it links back to the place you found the image.

Maggie’s Millinery Shop

Shine Like the Dawn Releases 2/21

 

How can authors use Pinterest? Kimberley Grabas, author of Your Writer Platform Blog says, “Your goal should be to teach, entertain and inspire your audience on Pinterest. In return, Pinterest will grant you the ability to increase awareness of your author brand, drive more relevant traffic to your website, and increase your book sales.”

People head to Pinterest to find solutions, get ideas, and be inspired. Plus pinners are buyers . . . so authors can use Pinterest as a marketing tool. But like all social media, it’s important to avoid too much self-promotion. Pinterest is a quieter platform where you are mainly sharing images and connecting with readers who share similar interests.

Here are some specific ideas for authors. Create boards for each of your books and feature the cover, characters, setting, clothing, and events that happen in the story. Link those images back to your website and blog to help readers connect with you and purchase your books. These boards can be a great help to the artists who designs your covers. Visit my board for Shine Like the Dawn, my next English historical romance that releases February 21.

Morningside Manor

Northumberland, England

 

Since I write historical novels I have boards for different time periods with clothing, cars, people, and events from those eras. Those boards are a good place to keep images that link back to research articles. Authors who do this exceptionally well are Lori Benton and Laura Frantz. Check out their book boards! 

My last three novels and Shine Like the Dawn are set in the same era as Downton Abbey, and one of my marketing goals is to reach out to fans of that show. So I have a board for Downton Abbey and another for Highclere Castle, where Downton was filmed. Those are my two most popular boards with the highest number of images saved. They have helped me connect with many Downton Fans and introduce them to my books.

You can pin/save images from your blog posts or author email newsletters and link people back to your website. Pin images that lead readers to 5-star reviews and blog interviews. When it’s time for a cover reveal, launch week, or a special promotion, pin those images and share them with those who follow you on Pinterest.

You can also create boards that allow you to share your interests with others on Pinterest. I have boards for Tea Time, English Country Gardens, People I admire, Favorite Authors, Romance, Books Worth Reading, Favorite Recipes, To Your Good Health, Childhood Memories, Kids, Favorite Movies, Doors, Christmas, Favorite Verses and Quotes, Places I’d Like to Go, Scotland, England. These kind of boards give readers a taste of who you are and offer added value. Take a look at my boards.

Morningside Manor ~ Cragside

Ancient Hadrian’s Wall

 

For a great step by step tutorial on how to set up a Pinterest account, get started, and use Pinterest visit Your Writer Platform.  And for more great ideas about how you can use Pinterest to connect with readers visit: http://www.copyblogger.com/pinterest-marketing/

Are you active on Pinterest? Leave a comment below with a link to your boards and we can connect there!

Until next time, Happy Reading . . . and pinning!

Carrie

British Blooms and Books Giveaway

BritishBloomsandBooksCoverGraphic

Hello, Gentle Reader, and welcome to the first annual British Blooms and Books giveaway! This week, we’d like to celebrate the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show with you. After enjoying this post, please visit each of the other five authors’ websites (links provided below) and, after a bit of reading fun, follow one simple instruction given in each post, and then leave a comment on each to be entered to win a fabulous, British Blooms and Books prize. (US entries only, please, due to shipping the petit fours.) Thank you for stopping by!

Visiting English Gardens

Hi Friend, Carrie here….

Highclere-Castle-Garden-brick-Georgian-Wall

The Garden at Highclere Castle ~ Downton Abbey

I’ve been blessed to take two research trips to England in recent years, and visiting gardens there has been one of the highlights of those trips for me! In September 2012 my husband and I visited Highclere Castle and spent time in the gardens before we toured the house. We walked through the walled flower garden, the all white garden, and the secret garden. What a fun experience to see where Downton Abbey was filmed and imagine the characters there with me.  In The Governess of Highland Hall several scenes take place in the gardens and greenhouse, so I had those memories of Highclere to help me visualize my characters as I wrote those scenes.

IMG_1543

Tyntesfied with Cathy Gholke and Carrie Turansky

Cathy Gohlke and Carrie Turansky visit Tyntesfield ~ Highland Hall.

In 2014 I returned to England with my author friend Cathy Gohlke and we visited Scotland, The Lake District, and Tyntesfield, the estate I had in mind as I wrote the Highland Hall novels. Touring the house and gardens there was very inspiring! In The Daughter of Highland Hall the heroine, Kate Ramsey, and her aunt visit the Royal Horticultural Society Exhibition in London, which was held on the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital. It was so successful that the Chelsea Flower Show has been held there since 1913. I enjoyed reading about the history of the flower show and adding some of that information to The Daughter of Highland Hall, including the Royal Family’s appearance at the event.

Highland Hall Series

The third book in the series, A Refuge at Highland Hall, takes place during World War One. Penny Ramsey brings orphans to Highland to escape the bombing in London. Taking the children outdoors to spend time in the gardens and parkland was one of the ways Penny kept the children busy. Those memories of my visits to Highclere and Tyntesfield helped me bring those garden scenes to life in my books.

Carrie and Cathy in the Inverarary Castle gardens in Scotland.

Carrie and Cathy at Inverarary Castle, Scotland

I hope you enjoyed this virtual garden tour! To enter the grand prize drawing: Please sign up for my newsletter (the sign up box at the top on the right of this page) and comment below. If you are already a subscriber just mention that in your comment.

One grand prize winner who comments on each of the six authors’ websites and agrees to the boldfaced condition posted at the end of each post will win a signed copy of the six books plus delivery of six English hat petit fours to enjoy while you read! Winner’s name will be drawn via random.org after May 28th.

Tea Hat Petit Fours.

Tea Hat Petit Fours. (Photo from Divine Delights)

Finished? Well done! Please visit these five other fabulous authors of English historical novels to see what flowers mean to them and their heroines.

Sandra Byrd’s Page: http://www.sandrabyrd.com/british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Melanie Dickerson’s Page: http://melaniewrites.blogspot.com/2016/05/british-blooms-and-books-6-book-giveaway.html

Kristi Ann Hunter’s Page: http://www.kristiannhunter.com/#!british-blooms-and-books/dtpk9

Julie Klassen’s Page: http://inspiredbylifeandfiction.com/british-blooms-and-books-giveaway/

Roseanna White’s Page: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/2016/05/british-blooms-and-books-contest.html

Discover These Amazing Downton Abbey Filming Locations

wedding-downton-abbey-carson-hughes

Downton Abbey’s sixth and final season is well underway, and I’m eager to see what will happen to the characters I’ve grown to love. I’m anticipating tears when I watch the final episode, and I have to say goodbye to the Crawley family, their staff, and friends. But until then, I’m cheering for them and hoping each one will have a happy ending. They’ve given me many hours of enjoyment and great inspiration for my novels.

I’ve traveled to England twice in the last few years on research trips. Both times I visited Downton filming locations to see what I could learn and get a sense of the era and soak up the ambience. Visit my Research Page for photos from those trips.

In my online research I came across this map created by the Wayfair.co.uk team, and they gave me permission to share it with you. If you’re a Downton fan who’s planning a trip to England you’ll want to put some of these locations on your itinerary. If you can’t fly off soon, then you can take a virtual trip via the map and Google Image Search!

Click on the icons below for more information on each location, and for an overview of all of the film locations click on the pull-out tab to the left of the title.

Map and original post: http://www.wayfair.co.uk/aresidence/2015/12/04/downton-abbey-filming-locations/

Top Ten Downton Abbey Filming Locations

  1. Highclere Castle

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

My husband Scott and I visited Highclere Castle on a beautiful September day and enjoyed a memorable tour of the house and gardens. Highclere is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived there since 1679. Highclere Castle is awe-inspiring and represents everything that makes Downton Abbey so great.

Exterior shots of the house and most of the interior upstairs activity are filmed at Highclere, using actual furniture in the home. We fell in love with this beautiful house! Highclere has to be number one on any Downton Abbey fan’s list. For more about our visit to Highclere, click over and read this bog post.

Downton’s Downstairs’ scene are not filmed at Highclere but at Ealing Studios in London. The downstairs at Highclere has a large kitchen to prepare food for events held there. Part has been converted into a tea room and another section holds a museum full of Egyptian artifacts brought back by one of the Earl’s on his expeditions to Egypt.

2. Bampton, Oxfordshire

Bampton Church

Image: World Wide Waftage.

Bampton village, Oxfordshire, doubles as the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton throughout the series. Bampton is a great place to take a stroll as there are a number of different filming locations to be found, the most iconic being St Mary’s Church. It’s know as St Michael and All Angels Church in Downton. This is where we’ve seen many key moments, including Lavinia’s burial in season two, Mary and Matthew’s wedding in season three, and Lady Edith being left at the altar.

3. Cogges Manor Farm, Oxfordshire

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Geograph, Rabbi WP Thinrod

Once a working farm, Cogges Manor Farm is now a heritage center and in Downton Abbey it’s known as Yew Tree Farm. The farm has appeared throughout the past three seasons, first as the home of Mr. and Mrs. Drewe and later as Mr. Mason’s new farm. Edith often visited the Drewes in season five to see her daughter Marigold. In season six Daisy and Mrs. Patmore help Mr. Mason move in to his new home at Yew Tree Farm.

4. Inveraray Castle, Argyll and Bute

Carrie and Cathy at Inveraray Castle, Scotland

On a beautiful day in May, when the azaleas and rhododendrons were in full bloom, fellow author Cathy Gohlke and I visited Inveraray Castle in Scotland. This impressive castle is found on the west coast and is the home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell. The castle doubled as Duneagle, the home of the Grantham’s cousins, Lord and Lady Flincher, parents to Lady Rose. They visited the castle in the season three Christmas special. For more about our visit to Inveraray Castle, visit this blog post.

5. Lancaster House, London

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, James Stringer

Lancaster House is a mansion that was once part of the St James’s Palace complex. It’s one of London’s hidden treasures that has made its way into Downton life. The interior of the magnificent and glamorous house was used to portray Buckingham Palace in the Season four Christmas Special, where Lady Rose gave her debutante presentation. You can view at the outside of Lancaster House anytime you like, or you might be lucky enough to attend an event there and admire the dazzling interior.

6. Horsted Keynes Station

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Ed Webster

Part of the Bluebell Railway, Horsted Keynes Station in Sussex is a preserved railway station that we’ve seen many times as the Downton Railway Station. For those that love the idea of travelling on a steam train and experiencing British life from days gone by then this is the place for you. One of my favorite scenes was filmed here, the day Mary saw Matthew off to war, gave him the little stuff dog, and wished him such good luck. I still tear up every time I see that scene. This is also where Richard Carlisle’s proposal to Mary, and where a very pregnant Mary urgently needed to go to hospital. It’s also where Mr Carson reconciled with Charles Grigg before he goes off to Ireland.

7. Basildon Park, Berkshire

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Jim Bowen

Basildon Park doubles as the interior for Grantham House, the family’s London residence. This was the grand setting for the preparation for Lady Rose’s coming out ball in season four and for Rose and Atticus’s wedding. You might also recognize Basildon Park from the most recent version of Pride and Prejudice where it was used as Netherfield Park.

8. Downton Abbey London locations

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Image: Flickr, Peter Roberts

The Crawley family often traveled to London, and there are several London locations to visit. Some highlights are the Prince Albert Memorial, London Charterhouse, the Chepstow Villas (Edith’s flat), Lincoln’s Inn, The Savile Club (called the Lotus Club in season four), Rules Restaurant, St James’s Park and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The Peter Pan Statue in Kensington Gardens was the setting when Lady Mary told Lord Gillingham that she wanted to break off their relationship.

9. Grey’s Court, Oxfordshire

greys_court_5e0013d629f9083d10b2be4c2e452b1b

Image: Wikipedia

Grey’s Court was used in the third season of Downton Abbey and was called Downton Place. It was considered as a potential downsizing home for the Crawley family after Robert’s bad investment. The family enjoyed a picnic on the lawn of this peaceful estate, including newlyweds Mary and Matthew.

10. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

The Ultimate Map of Downton Abbey Filming Locations

Flickr, Smudge 9000

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used as Brancaster Castle in the season five Christmas special. This beautiful castle was transformed to become the holiday base for Lord Sinderby’s shooting party, where Sinderby’s butler, Stowel, caused quite a stir. This is where Lady Mary meets Henry Talbot, and Lady Edith meets Bertie Pelham.

The state rooms inside were used extensively as well as the grounds themselves and there’s now a brand new Downton Abbey exhibition there which features photography, costumes and props from the episode (rumor has it we’ll be seeing this location again in this year’s grand finale).

There are many more impressive sites to explore on the map! Thanks again to the team at Wayfair.co.uk. for sharing it with us!

When Downton Abbey ends, and you’re longing to step back into the Edwardian era, I invite to enjoy reading my English historical novels, The Edwardian Brides Series. Visit my Book Page for more details!

Highland Hall Series

Until next time, Happy Reading,

Carrie

The WWI Christmas Truce

Refuge at Highland HallHi Friends, When I was researching the events of World War One for my novel, A Refuge at Highland Hall, I read about a spontaneous truce that began on Christmas Eve and carried through to Christmas Day 1914, only a few months after the war started. It’s interesting to consider how the meaning of Christmas could inspire these men to put down their guns and set their differences aside even for a short time. Take a look at this video about what happened that Christmas on the front line. And below that is another three-minute video about the history of this event. Both are inspiring and worth watching!

WW1 Christmas Truce

History behind WW1 Christmas Truce

Whatever struggles you’re facing this holiday season, I hope you’ll allow God’s peace to calm and comfort your heart. As you celebrate with family and friends may the true meaning of Christmas lift your spirit and draw you closer to Him!

EdwardianBrides_851x315_presale

Blessings and Merry Christmas!

Carrie

WW One British Fly Boys

WW1 PilotHi Friends,

I never thought I’d write a novel set during wartime. I had no desire to make my characters face the hardships and losses that would surely come their way. But when I traveled to England on a research trip I was intrigued by what I learned about life on the home front. So I decided to set A Refuge at Highland Hall in 1915 and take The Ramsey and Foster families  into the “Great War.”

As I got into the research I was fascinated with WW1 aviation. I even took a university online course to learn more about it. I decided to make the hero,  Alex Goodwin, a brave British pilot who would chase German Zeppelin across the front lines in France and Belgium. Aviation was in its infancy, and many of the early planes looked like stick and paper models. I couldn’t believe they actually flew them on wartime missions! The plane below is an Morane Saulnier, the type Alex flies in A Refuge at Highland Hall.

Alex's Plane

It took great courage and daring to train as a pilot. Their life expectancy was only 6 weeks. Some lived through the war, but many perished defending their country. There were two main divisions of the military flying missions for Britain: the Royal Air Force and the Royal Naval Air Service. Alex flies for the RNAS.

WW1 Aviation Poster

I was deeply touched when I read the biography of Rex Warnford, a young British pilot, and I used him as the inspiration for Alex. Rex was the first British pilot to successfully drop his bombs on a German Zeppelin and knock it out of the sky.

German Zeppelin

WW 1 Pilot with bomb

This was an amazing feat, since he only had six bombs, and the Zeppelin crew had a gunner guarding their airship on top at the rear. Rex’s mission was so thrilling I included much of it in Refuge. I think some readers will think the events are too fantastic — it couldn’t have happened that way . . . but it’s all based on Rex’s story and news accounts of his amazing mission.

Rex Warnford

Rex Warnford

Imperial War Museum, London; (c) IWM (Imperial War Museums); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

WW1 Pilot dressed to fly

It’s a thrilling story, and I hope readers will feel like they are climbing into the cockpit with Alex as he flies through the sky with great courage, determined to protect those he loves. One of those on his mind is Penny Ramsey, the heroine of the story. She and Alex exchange several letters, and when Alex needs a friend, Penny remains faithful.

Refuge Audo book

Refuge Audio Book Cover

A Refuge at Highland hall

Refuge Trade Paper and eBook Cover

Do you have your copy of Refuge yet? If not, just click on the covers above, and they’ll take you to my website with easy links to order from your favorite retailer.

It’s been encouraging to read all the great reviews being posted for A Refuge at Highland Hall. If you enjoy the story I hope you’ll consider adding your review on Amazon, GoodReads, or one of the other online review sites. Thanks For sharing the journey with me!

Blessings and Happy Reading,

Carrie

Google Searches, Little Green Men, and More…

17288762Hi Friends,

It’s surprising what you find doing a Google search!  Today I was looking for a painting I’d seen at Tyntesfield, the estate I have in mind as I write my Highland Hall books, and I found a blog post written by the photographer whose photo was used on the cover of The Governess of Highland Hall. When the book came out he recieved a copy from my publisher and wrote about it on his blog – Little Green Men Photography.

This quote stung a bit:  “Reading the blurb on the back, it’s clear that the story is some kind of Edwardian bodice-ripper, unashamedly cashing in on the current popularity ofDownton Abbey.”

Hmmmm, an Edwardian bodice-ripper? I think he must not have read the story. I wondered if I should respond and leave a comment on his blog to set the story straight or let it go. After a thinking a about it a few minutes, here is the comment I posted:

Hello, I’m the author of The Governess of Highland Hall, and the one who pointed the art director to your lovely photo for possible use on the cover. Your photos were a great help to me as I wrote the story and imagined what my characters would do and see at Highland Hall. I watched a documentary about Tyntesfield and found several more photos online that I saved on a Pinterest board . . . but yours were the first. Thank you for sharing them!

I was very excited to finally visit Tyntesfield last May. What a delight! It is even more beautiful in person than in the photos. The National Trust staff was very kind and gave me a private tour of several of the rooms that were closed to most visitors. It was a wonderful day that I will never forget. I took a lot of photos myself that day.

Daughter Highland HallI’ve gone on to write two more books in the series. The Daughter of Highland Hall released last October. It is mainly set in London, and now I’m working on A Refuge at Highland Hall, which releases this coming October. This story brings us back to Highland Hall (Tyntesfield) and follows the Ramsey family through WW1. The hero is a very brave and daring British pilot who must learn how to build a new life after he is injured in the war, but not before he takes down a German zeppelin. I enjoyed the research and learning more about WW1 in England and France. I try to give my readers a look back at history as well as romance, family drama, and inspiration.

The Governess of Highland Hall is not a bodice-ripper. My novels are inspriational, clean-reads that can be enjoyed by teens through greatgrandmothers with no embarrassment. I’m very happy about that, and so are my readers. The Governess of Highland Hall has done well in the US and has been translated into Dutch. It’s been a finalist for two national writing awards and has some great reviews on Amazon.

I hope you’re pleased to see your photo used for the cover. I would’ve sent my thanks earlier, but I just found this blog post when I Googled Tyntesfield images. I hope you keep taking and sharing great photos! You never know who you will inspire!

Want to read the books for yourself and see? Just click on over to my book page.

————————

When we or our work are criticized or belittled, we have a choice how we respond. It felt great to set the record straight, yet do it in a way that I hope was kind and informative. I hope the Little Green Men agree! :  )

***Update, check out Ian Wilson’s reply to my comment. It seems I’ve won a friend who is eager to share more photos with me for future projects.

Happy Reading,

Carrie

 

Meet the Characters of The Daughter of Highland Hall

Hi Friends,

The Daughter of Highland Hall by Carrie TuranskyOnly 12 more days until the release of The Daughter of Highland Hall! On October 7th you should be able to download an eBook copy, purchase a paperback at your local bookstore or online, or listen to the audio book. To pre-order your copy, just click on the cover on the right.

One of the first steps in creating the story is developing the characters. I like to find historical photos as well as modern photos to help me picture them and imagine what they might do or say.

Here are some of the chacters you’ll meet in this new book. If you read The Governess of Highland Hall, then you’ll remember Katherine (Kate) Ramsey, the eighteen-year-old niece of Sir William Ramsey, the master of Highland Hall. She is beautiful but strong-willed, and she was quite a challenge for her governess. In The Daughter of Highland Hall Kate steps forward as the heroine, a young debutante who goes to London for her first season with the goal of finding a suitable husband, perferably one who is wealthy and titled. Kate has a lot to learn about what’s most important in life and relationships! When I first start planning a new book I like to find historical photos as well as modern photo for my characters. Here are a few I found for this book.

94fbb3068f392c25d0559f0c46c65ae5Kate Ramsey

The hero is also a character you met briefly in The Governess of Highland Hall, Jonathan Foster, brother of Julia, the Governess. Jon is a medical student, who is nearing the end of his training and poised to choose his path for the future. His strong faith and commitment to his family and serving those in need make a marked impression on Kate.

Jonathan FosterJonathan Foster

 

You’ll also meet Dr. Alfred Pittsford, director of the Daystar Clinic helping the poor in London’s East End; Lady Louisa Gatewood, Kate’s overbearing aunt, who is insistent on controling Kate’s choices and future. Some of your favorite members of the staff – Lydia Chambers, Kate’s lady’s maid, Ann, the nursery maid, and Mr. Lawrence, the Butler keep their roles. William and Julia return in this book, as well as William’s troublesome brother, David Ramsey. I hope you enjoy them all!

Check back on Tuesday September 30th for more info about the book launch giveaways!

Blessings and Happy Reading!

Carrie

Ann and Lydia, the maids

Ann and Lydia

Doctor Alfred Pittsford

Dr. Alfred Pittsford

Lady Louisa Gatewood

Lady Louisa Gatewood

David Ramsey

David Ramsey

Visiting the Lake District ~ Home of Beatrix Potter

The Lake District

Lake Windermere

Hi Friends,

One of the highlights of my trip to England was visiting the Lake District, which is the northwest section of England. The azaleas, rhododendrons, and bluebells were blooming, and new lambs frolicked in the pastures. I fell in love with this beautiful area, and I hope to go back one day.

Cathy Gohlke and I stayed in the lovely village of Windermere, which is on one of the largest lakes in the area. We enjoyed touring the countryside, taking in views of the lakes and valleys (called fells), and visiting several other villages including Grasmere, Keswick, and Ambleside.

beatrix_potter_hill_top

Beatrix Potter at the door of Hill Top Farm

Beatrix Potter, the author of Peter Rabbit and many other children’s stories, owned several farms in the Lake District, and she wanted to preserve the land for future generations to enjoy. In her will she left much of her land to The National Trust. Besides writing and illustrating children’s books, she was involved in raising prize-winning sheep.

We visited Beatrix’s Hill Top Farm and enjoyed walking through her home and garden. Guides in each room showed us scenes from her books that were actually views of her home and garden. I read a book about Beatrix while we were in England, and I loved learning more about her life and her writing. Very inspiring!

Hill Top Farm

Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top Farm and Garden

Wordsworth's Garden

William Wordsworth’s Daffodil Garden

The poet William Wordsworth is also from the Lake District. We visited his school and the churchyard where he and his family are buried. There was a lovely daffodil garden planted there in his memory. We also ate the most delicious gingerbread made in a tiny shop in Grasmere. It was a bit chewy like a cookie…spicy and sweet. the perfect treat to have with our afternoon tea!

Gingerbread shop sign

The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop

 

 

Have you ever read any of Beatrix Potter’s books or William Wordsworth’s poetry?

Cathy and I are both thinking about setting more stories in England ….

Until then, Happy Reading!

Visiting Downton’s Duneagle: Inverarary Castle

Hi Friends,

On my recent trip to Scotland I was very excited to visit Inverarary Castle which was featured in the last episode of Downton Abbey, Season 3. The Crawley family traveled to Scotland to visit Duneagle (Inverarary) and spend time with Lady Rose’s family, including Robert’s cousin Hugh (Shrimpy) and Susan, his unhappy wife. While they were there the men went stalking (hunting) and fishing, the women enjoyed walks in the garden and a picnic by the loch, and everyone took part in the ghillie (servants’) ball.

I enjoyed touring the castle with author and friend Cathy Gohlke along with forty-one new friends, all women, who were on the tour led by author Liz Curtis Higgs.

Carrie and Cathy at Inverarary Castle

Carrie and Cathy at Inverarary Castle

Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, the Chief of the Clan Campbell. This impressive castle is located on the shore of Loch Fyne, one of Scotland’s longest sea lochs and has been the Campbell family’s home since the 17th century.

We walked through several beautifully decorated rooms including the Dining Room and Armoury Hall, which were featured on Downton Abbey.

Inverarary Castle Dining Room

 

The Armoury Room Inverarary Castle

The Armoury Room Inverarary Castle

I loved the small circular dish room and the beautiful paintings upstairs in the bedrooms.

Queen Victoria's daughter who married into the Campbel Clan

Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s daughter, who married John Campbell, the 9th Duke of Argyll.

Azaleas and many other flowers were blooming in the beautiful gardens.

Inverarary Castle Gardens

Do you recognize this view of Inverarary Castle below? Mr. Bates and Anna found Rose hiding from her mother under those arches.

IMG_1441The castle and gardens were wonderful! I can see why the producers of Downton Abbey chose it for their Scottish location. It gave me lots of wonderful story ideas!

Until next time, happy reading!

Carrie

 

Visiting Highclere Castle Gardens

 

Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle, the home of the Count and Countess of Carnarvon.

Hi Friends,

One of the highlights of our visit to England was touring Highclere Castle and gardens where Downton Abbey is filmed. What a beautiful spot! There are several sections to the gardens…so come along with me on a tour.

Just a short walk from the house we passed under the arched entrance where birck walls surround that first section of the garden. Climbing roses gave off a lovely fragrance, as did the lavender under the arches.

Walled garden at Highclere Castle

Climbing roses on the walled garden at Highclere Castle.

Highclere-Castle-Garden-brick-Georgian-Wall

Arched wall surrounding Highclere Castle Garden.

Several scenes in The Governess of Highland Hall take place in a garden and greenhouse like the one at Highclere, so I could almost imagine Sarah Ramsey and Clark Dalton stepping through the greenhouse doorway or Andrew or Millie Ramsey running down the garden path.

Carrie and the Greenhouse

The Highclere Greenhouse

roses in the greenhouse

Roses growing in the Highclere Castle greenhouse.

The next area we visited was the lovely all white border garden. I especially enjoyed seeing the large white hydrangeas.

All white garden

The all white border garden at Highclere Castle.

white hydrangea

White hydrangea bushes.

Then we saw the sign for the secret garden and followed the pathway into another delightful garden with curving borders of unique flowers.  Lovely!

The Secret Garden

Entrance to the Secret Garden

Entrance to Highclere’s Secret Garden.

highclere castle garden

The Secret Garden at Highclere.

Roses in Highclere garden

Roses in Highclere Gardens.

Butterfly Bush

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

Carrie and Scott at Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed

The Governess of Highland Hall It was a very special day for us, and one we will long remember. Do you enjoy touring gardens? Would you like to visit Highclere? Even if you can’t fly off to England, you can experience life in Edwardian England by reading The Governess of Highland Hall…and next October, The Daughter of Highland Hall!

Until next time…Happy Reading!

Carrie