Best Places in Britain for Literature Fans to Visit
Britain has a strong reputation for literary talent. From William Shakespeare to JK Rowling, we’ve produced some of the greatest writers in history – and our landscapes and cities have featured as the settings of many amazing novels. Here are a few of the best British literature locations to visit for fans of British literature…
JK Rowling and Harry Potter, Edinburgh
The gorgeous city of Edinburgh has been the inspiration for dozens of famous authors, including Mary Shelley, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Arthur Conan Doyle. But one of the best known of recent years is JK Rowling, who wrote the majority of the Harry Potter series in this city.
Legend has it that she worked in the Elephant House café, which has an amazing view of the city’s castle. This castle, along with local school George Heriot’s, supposedly formed the inspiration for Hogwarts. And then there’s the graveyard behind the café, where avid fans will spot several familiar names – including a Scrimgeour, a McGonnagall, and a Thomas Riddell. All literature fans will find something to love in Edinburgh, but Harry Potter fans will find the city truly magical.
Jane Austen, Hampshire
A lot of people think of Bath when they think of Jane Austen, but in fact she only spent a few years in the city and hated it. Most of her life was spent in Hampshire – and it’s largely this area that influenced and inspired her writing. Fans of the author shouldn’t miss a trip to the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton, which is beautifully restored and is home to Jane’s actual writing table.
A newly opened walking route called the Writer’s Way leads from the village through some of the beautiful local countryside, which no doubt formed the backdrop for a great many of Austen’s scenes.
Beatrix Potter, Lake District
Perhaps England’s most inspirational landscape, the Lake District was the muse for many great novels and poems. Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit, lived close to Lake Windermere in a pretty cottage called Hill Top. Today, you can visit the house and explore the gardens and surrounding countryside, which served as the inspiration for many of her stories.
Enid Blyton, Dorset
Dorset, particularly the Isle of Purbeck, is a beautiful part of the south coast so it’s no wonder this area has inspired all kinds of writers. Children’s author Enid Blyton adored the area, and used the local landscapes to fill her novels – especially the Famous Five books. The ruined Corfe Castle became Kirran Castle, while Brownsea Island became Whispering Island and Mystery Moor was supposedly based on the heath between Stoborough and Corfe.
Emily Brontë, West Yorkshire
Tucked away on the moors of West Yorkshire is the imposing Ponden Hall, a historic house which was used by Emily Brontë as the basis for Wuthering Heights. Walk the surrounding moors and it’s easy to picture Cathy and Heathcliff against these dramatic, lonely landscapes. The hall itself is now a B&B, where hopefully the nights are more restful than they were for Heathcliff, and it’s also open for tours and afternoon tea.
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