Outside view of Moat Brae.
Graeme Robertson

Moat Brae

Dumfries, United Kingdom

Moat Brae is a very special place,” says Catherine Colwell, who works in programming at the town house. J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, agreed. During his childhood in the 1870s, Barrie played pirate-adventure games in the garden and woods surrounding the property. Decades later, these games inspired him as he wrote his classic story. In 2019, Moat Brae reopened as Scotland’s National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling. Kids can run through the building’s enchanted gardens, enjoy the Lost Boys’ tree house, and board a full-scale pirate ship. Indoors, they can search for hidden messages scattered around the house or look for Peter Pan’s shadow. “It gives anyone, no matter their age, the freedom to explore their own imagination,” Colwell says. —Ellen Nam

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.