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12 Historic British Landmarks To Visit If You Love Books And Beer

Kicking back with a book and a pint is the ultimate come-rain-or-shine activity.

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1. The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead Heath

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The Spaniards Inn is one of the oldest pubs in London, and it's accompanied by a rich literary history. Authors and playwrights such as Lord Byron, John Keats, and Mary Shelley have visited the inn, and it's mentioned in Bram Stoker's Dracula and Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. An added bonus is that Spaniards is right on top of a hilltop, giving you gorgeous views of the heath, alongside your pint.

2. The Grouse Inn, Keighley

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Brontë Country is a breathtaking area of the South Pennines in West Yorkshire, where the Brontë sisters lived. There are a bunch of notable landmarks including Ponden Hall near Stanbury, which is said to have inspired buildings mentioned in Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. There's also the village of Haworth, which is home to the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

A mile southwest of Stanbury is the Brontë Waterfall and Bridge, as well as Top Withens farmhouse, which is said to have inspired the Earnshaw home in Wuthering Heights. After visiting all these monuments, grab a pint from the nearby Grouse Inn in Keighley, which overlooks the moors the Brontës wrote about.

3. The Eagle and Child, Oxford

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The Eagle and Child is a mid-17th century pub that served as the official meeting place of The Inklings writing group, whose members included J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis. During the 1930s, they met in the pub's backroom to critique each other's work.

4. The Globe Inn, Dumfries

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The Globe Inn, established in 1610, was the local bar of Scottish poet Robert Burns during the eight years he spent in Dumfries. As well as frequenting the bar, Burns used to stay over at the Globe from time to time – even vandalising the windowpanes of his bedroom with five verses of poetry.

5. Tafarn y Plu (The Feathers Pub), Llanystumdwy

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The tiny village of Llanystumdwy in Wales has a long-running impact on British literary culture. It was the home of writers and poets, such as the playwright Wil Sam Jones and William R P George. That tradition carries on today, with people like award-winning poet Twm Morys making the village their home.

After soaking in the village's literary culture, be sure to visit the cosy Tafarn y Plu pub, which is in the heart of the village.

6. The Duke Of York, Whitby

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Bram Stoker set much of his famous novel Dracula in the gothic village of Whitby, with the Abbey's ruins serving as major inspiration. Another important local monument is the village's 199 steps, which the character of Dracula runs up after arriving in Whitby.

The Duke of York, a pub which Stoker visited while in Whitby, is situated right at the bottom of these steps. Its spooky and gothic interior is perfect for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the novel's origins.

7. Burgh Island Hotel, Devon

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Agatha Cristie used the Burgh Island Hotel in Devon as the setting for two of her novels: And Then There Were None and Evil Under the Sun. Christie's writing retreat has been turned into a beach house that you can book to stay in during your visit. The hotel includes a cosy, old-fashioned pub, The Pilchard Inn, which has been around for over 700 years.

8. The Black Lion, Buxton

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Dudwick Park in Buxton, Norfolk, was most likely the inspiration for Birtwick Park in Anna Sewell's novel Black Beauty. After walking through the park, follow its footpath to the Black Lion pub in the village for a pint, before heading over to Dudwick House, where the Sewell Family lived.

10. The Brown's, Laugharne

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The Brown's, built in 1752, was the local pub of poet and writer Dylan Thomas. He was there so often that he gave the bar's phone number to people who wanted to get in touch with him. While in Laugharne, take a walk over to Thomas's writing shed and boathouse, where you can see his writing memorabilia and original furniture.

11. Lamb & Flag, London

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Lamb & Flag's literary connection is a little more unconventional than most other pubs, with its backstreets as the main attraction for book lovers. In 1679, poet John Dryden was attacked by a group of men, who were hired by fellow poet John Wilmot. The two poets had a long-standing feud that has forever marked Lamb & Flag (then known as Coopers Arms) in literary history.

12. The Hawes Inn, South Queensferry

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The Hawes Inn, established in 1793, has a number of literary connections. Sir Walter Scott used the pub as the setting of his 1816 novel, The Antiquary, and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote part of his novel Kidnapped while staying there. Stevenson was so inspired by the pub that he mentioned it again in his essay collection Memories and Portraits.

To explore Britain's varied and fascinating literary history for yourself, make sure to visit British Famous.