The British Travel Bucket List For Booklovers
Travel by the book.
Bram Stoker's time spent on holiday in Whitby informed much of his gothic classic, Dracula. Hike along the West Cliff, where he stayed, and take in the atmosphere that inspired the original vampire novel.
2. The Elephant House, Edinburgh
Most famous for being J.K. Rowling's go-to writing spot in the early days of Harry Potter, the Elephant House's cosy atmosphere, delightful menu, and stunning view of Edinburgh Castle has been enjoyed many respected writers, includin Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith.
3. The British Library, London
4. Carmarthen, Wales
Myth and legend lovers can't miss a trip to Carmarthen, the supposed birthplace of Merlin the wizard, King Arthur's most famous advisor. Stay in the Merlin Hill Centre Bed and Breakfast on site and explore the mystical area to soak up the atmosphere of Britain's most famous legend.
5. Jane Austen Centre, Bath
6. Writers' Museum, Edinburgh
Tucked away from Victoria Street (a must-see in itself for Harry Potter fans, since it inspired Diagon Alley) is Ladystair's Close, home of the Edinburgh Writer's Museum, which features a glorious bookshop, a tribute to the evolution of printed books, and an exhibition on Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde author, Robert Louis Stevenson, who spent many years in the city.
7. Hill Top, Hawkshead
8. Broadstairs, Kent
Broadstairs provided plenty of inspiration to Dickens classics. Dickens House is a tribute to all things Charles Dickens, and located on site in a cottage Dickens often visited with his son, and used as inspiration for the cabin of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. The real life Bleak House, also in the area, inspired Dickens' Victorian epic of the same name.
Shakespeare's birthplace is both beautiful and steeped in literary history. Not only did the town provide the setting for Shakespeare's early years, but remained an important location throughout his life. See his wife Anne Hathaway's cottage, his mother's childhood home, and the house where he spent his late years.
10. Ashdown Forest, East Sussex
11. English Riviera
Agatha Christie was born in Ashfield, Torquay on the English Riviera, and the area is is full of locations which inspired, or are featured in, her mystery novels. Most famous is the Imperial Hotel in Torquay, which inspired the fictional Majestic Hotel that appeared in two of Christie's novels.
12. Brontë Parsonage Museum, Haworth
13. Hardy's Cottage, Dorset
Tess of the D'urbervilles author Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset and wrote several of his early pieces from the cottage in Bockhampton. The small house was built by Hardy's grandfather and is protected by the National Trust.
14. Culloden Battlefields
Fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series will recognise the Culloden Battlefields near Inverness as a spot of significance for Jamie and Clair (no spoilers for the TV crowd!). Outlander fans should checkout Visit Scotland's tailored map for more Scottish locations related to the books and TV program.
15. Laurel Villa, Magherafelt
This poetry-themed bed and breakfast in Northern Ireland is located only a few miles from poet Seamus Heaney's childhood home. Heaney's work, which focuses on working class and life on the Irish countryside is much informed by his upbringing, and visiting his roots gives his poetry new depth.
16. Oxford University
Oxford has bred some of the greatest literary minds of the modern era. Authors such as C.S. Lewis, Oscar Wilde, W.H. Auden, William Golden, and Lewis Carroll have studied or lectured at the university, and there's a spectacular library worth visiting as well.
17. Brick Lane, London
Monica Ali's novel surrounding the arranged marriage and cultural adaptation of a Bangladeshi woman, Nazneen takes place in East London, and is titled after the iconic Brick Lane.