CARLOWRIE CASTLE - ISOBEL WYLIE HUTCHISON October 28 2018
Isobel Wylie Hutchison has always been one of my inspirations. This amazing woman first started her expeditions in her early twenties by walking from Edinburgh to London, then from Innsbruck to Venice. Born in Carlowrie Castle in West Lothian in 1889 this was not a time when women were able to strike out on their own. But Isobel did - she travelled through Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Israel. She spoke over eight languages fluently, and she was an accomplished artist, poet and travel writer, regularly submitting to newspapers and journals including the National Geographic and this helped finance her adventures which then took her on to Iceland, Greenland and Alaska.
She risked life and limb collecting plants for the Royal Botanic Gardens and Kew, pioneering new routes across inhospitable terrain, boarding ghost ships and capturing some of the earliest documentary footage ever recorded.
Post-War, Hutchison gave talks frequently on the BBC. Her home, Carlowrie, was very run down after the war, having been used by the RAF, and she needed to carry on working to pay for the repairs and upgrades. They didn't even have electricity until 1951. She died at Carlowrie in 1982, aged 92.
Carlowrie Castle is now a privately run very prestigious hotel and Edinburgh based company Craft Design House were tasked with pulling together a luxury collection in honour of Isobel, to be stocked at the Castle for their guests. I was delighted to be included amongst a fabulous group of designers and the Hutchison Haversack is now part of the collection. Created from dogtooth Harris Tweed (Isobel loved wearing her tweeds) with the lining a print of her maps from her trips to Alaska and across Iceland. Available exclusively at Carlowrie Castle.