Get us in your inbox

Search
An illustration of flying books over a skyline
Image: Steve Beech

Four getaways for proper book nerds in the UK

Got lost in literature over the past year? Try one of these bookish escapes in the UK

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson
Advertising

Spent the last year avoiding the news by escaping into novel after novel? If you’re not quite ready to let go of your literary lockdown, perhaps you should consider basing your next day out around the life of a famous author. Finding legit locations, however, can be a bit of a task. You can’t move for cafés that claim to have once served Charles Dickens, or hotels supposedly visited by Virginia Woolf. So we’ve come up with our own pick of the best holidays in the UK for every type of reader – just be sure to fit in a trip to a bookshop, too.

Best literary escapes in the UK

Agatha Christie’s Devon
Photograph: John Corry / Shutterstock.com

Agatha Christie’s Devon

The Queen of Mystery’s holiday home was no basic Airbnb. Agatha Christie often described Greenway, near Dartmouth, as ‘the loveliest place in the world’, and she’s not far off. These days it’s a National Trust property, filled with trinkets from the writer’s life. Peep at her grand piano (she was a trained concert pianist, fyi), or browse the copious bookshelves that line every room.

Wordsworth’s Lake District

Wordsworth was deadly serious about his love of the Lakes, and you can see why. He lived at Dove Cottage in Grasmere with his family and an adorable puppy named Pepper, who was bred by fellow poet (and canine enthusiast) Samuel Taylor Coleridge. You can peer at Wordsworth’s tiny glasses, or his modified chair that allowed him to gaze at the fells while writing. For the full experience, twin Dove Cottage with Rydal Mount, up the road near Windermere. He lived here for the latter half of his life, and it’s decidedly grander. Guess poetry can be a moneymaker after all.

Advertising
Tolkien’s Oxford
Photograph: Alicia Christoffel / Shutterstock.com

Tolkien’s Oxford

The fantasy writer was an academic at Merton College, Oxford, and he met likeminded scribe (and good buddy) CS Lewis here too. Walking tours will take you to The Eagle and Child pub, where they met weekly to discuss their work. True ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans should head to The Eurobar, though. It might look like an unremarkable sports bar – and nowadays the site of many a student predrinks – but it’s apparently the place where Tolkien got the inspiration for The Prancing Pony Frodo’s fave boozer. Why not put in a hobbit-worthy sesh next time you’re in town?

The Brontës’ Yorkshire

Haworth in Yorkshire would be well worth a visit even if it weren’t for its literary associations. But for the ultimate bookish getaway, you’ve got to head to the Brontë Parsonage, the magical family home of Charlotte, Emily, Anne et al. Charlotte and Emily are buried in the nearby churchyard, so you can pay your respects while you’re there. For the full Cathy experience, trek over the moorland to Top Withens, the ruined farmhouse that’s rumoured to be the ‘real’ Wuthering Heights.

Recommended
    You may also like
    You may also like
    Advertising

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!