Indigo’s Dragon – A Children’s Fantasy Inspired by the Borrowdale Valley

Borrowdale by Craig Hyde
Borrowdale Valley – Copyright Craig Hyde

The more I write, the more I realise that inspiration comes from everywhere; it is all around, in your past, your present, your surroundings, the people you meet, and the stories you read – Sofi Croft, author of Indigo’s Dragon

The Lake District has long been a source of inspiration for writers and artists, and this is also the case for children’s author Sofi Croft, who has drawn on the mythical qualities of the mountains and valleys for her latest children’s fantasy novel, Indigo’s Dragon.  The story follows 13-year-old Indigo, a boy who loves to explore his surroundings in his Lake District home of Underthwaite. Indigo’s story takes a very surreal turn when he receives a bizarre and unexplained package from his Polish grandfather, the enigmatic Opi. The package, containing a book of mythical beasts and a first aid kit, is stolen by a cockatrice, “the most beautifully ugly thing Indigo had ever seen.” Indigo encounters an array of enchanting beasts, including an injured griffin-esque magpie-cat, and, of course, a dragon, “a living, breathing fossil.” The disappearance of Opi marks a shift in setting to the equally majestic Polish mountains, as Indigo and his mother – the beguiling Emerald – embark on a quest to locate him.

Borrowdale - copyright Craig Hyde
Sofi Croft was inspired by the scenery of Borrowdale – Copyright Craig Hyde

Sofi, who lives in the Borrowdale valley with her husband and children, had not thought about writing fiction until she moved to the Lake District. Previously a science teacher and contributor to science revision guides, her new surroundings sparked the creative impulse that eventually led to Indigo’s Dragon: “Everything started to give me ideas for stories; the mountains, the lakes, the wildlife, the local history and legends, and my children…Spending time with my children in such a beautiful setting is when my writing journey really began.” Sofi has two sequels in the pipeline, Indigo’s Demons and Indigo’s Deep, the latter containing a few sea monsters that were inspired by her family visits to the Lake District Coast Aquarium!


Fast-paced and mythical, this story will appeal to young readers (aged 9+) who enjoy fantasy or adventure novels, particularly fans of How to Train your DragonHarry Potter and Percy Jackson.

Indigo’s Dragon by Sofi Croft is available from, or instore at Bookends Carlisle and Bookends Keswick.

For more information about Sofi Croft’s visit:

Photos of Borrowdale captured by Craig Hyde at Pure Photos. See more of his work here.

Panoramic of Borrowdale- Copyright Craig Hyde
Panoramic of Borrowdale- Copyright Craig Hyde

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