Trips for Book Lovers

Trips for Book Lovers

16/01/2020 Off By Deborah Welsh

Step out of the pages and visit some of the best literary locations, bringing your favourite stories to life.

As Awareness days go, January 18th must be one of the cutest. Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated on this date, which was author AA Milne’s birthday. It’s a day Pooh lovers can’t miss out on and if you’re a die-hard fan of the bear, you can head off on an adventure of your own, following in the footsteps of Pooh, Tigger, and all your Hundred Acre Wood chums.

Pooh bear Reading at Pooh Corner

Ashdown Forest in Hartfield, East Sussex was said to be the inspiration for the enchanting ‘Hundred Acre Wood’ and visitors can now go on special ‘Pooh Treks’ in the forest, which even takes in the iconic Pooh Bridge where you can round off your walk with a game of Pooh Sticks!

You’ll have built up an appetite after all that fun and fresh air and the perfect spot to refuel is Pooh Corner, a delightful café and small museum dedicated to our much-loved bear. At Pooh Corner, you can load up on delicious cream teas, savoury treats, cakes and sweets. The tea room and visitor attraction sits on the edge of Ashdown Forest on the High Street, Hartfield.

House at Pooh Corner cafe

Stumbling across Winnie the Pooh Day got me thinking about other well-known, much loved books and stories and where they were set. Are there any other famous story book locations you can visit? The answer is yes. Read on…

Beatrix Potter, Lake District, England

Popular for its natural beauty and stunning scenery, The Lakes also has strong connections to the literary world and inspired some of England’s greatest artists, poets and wordsmiths.

It was also the home of children’s author Beatrix Potter who brought us the stories of Peter Rabbit. Fans, young and young at heart should make the trip to The World of Beatrix Potter™  in Bowness-on-Windermere.

In this family friendly attraction, visitors can explore a magical world where these enchanting tales are brought to life. You can meet all the characters too, including Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Jemima Puddle-Duck.  It’s simply a must for fans of these heart-warming stories.

Peter Rabbit at World of Beatrix Potter Attraction

JM Barrie and Peter Pan

Another story we’ve taken to our hearts is the boy who could fly but never grew up and his adventures in Neverland. JM Barrie’s Peter Pan is a much-loved favourite of readers young and old alike and you can see his statue in London’s Kensington Gardens. JM Barrie lived close to the gardens on Bayswater Road – look out for the blue plaque that tells you which house was his.

The Peter Pan statue

He was actually born in Kirriemuir in Angus, Scotland and JM Barrie’s Birthplace is still there today, preserved by the National Trust for Scotland and visitors are welcome. Check the website for opening times and entry prices.  If you’re going to make this journey, consider staying at The Roman Camp Hotel in Callander (about an hour or so away from Kirriemuir), where there’s a suite named after JM Barrie and according to folklore, the author penned part of Peter Pan during his stay here. Who knows if he did or not but it’s a lovely room and a delightful hotel if you’re in this neck of the woods.

Emily Bronte and Wuthering Heights, Yorkshire

You simply couldn’t dream of talking about literary classics without mentioning the Bronte Sisters.  A must see on any book lovers trail is the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth, West Yorkshire which was once the Bronte family home and the collections at the museum continue to inspire writers and scholars to this day. It’s in this very house that the Bronte sisters’ classics Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall were all written.

Bronte Parsonage museum

If you want to follow in Heathcliff and Catherine’s footsteps, you can visit Bronte Waterfall and Top Withens – both popular walks. Haworth Village Information can provide further information for your visit.

Enid Blyton and The Famous Five, South West England

These were some of the first proper books I read when I was growing up. I had the full collection of Famous Five adventures and I read them over and over again. I just loved reading about the summer holiday adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog.

Enid Blyton loved her holidays in Dorset and some of the places and people she met inspired places and characters in her books.

Corfe Castle Dorset

Corfe Castle on the island of Purbeck is thought to be the inspiration for Kirrin Castle on the fictitious Kirrin Island.

Take a look at these holidays in Dorset to help you book your trip.

My favourite was ‘Five Go Off in a Caravan’ and if you fancy reliving The Famous Five storybooks of your childhood, then you need to check out Gypsy Caravan Breaks

Lashings of ginger beer anyone?

Famous Five caravan

You could keep these suggestions in mind for World Book Day and if you can get some time off, it could be fun to visit some of these places. If you can’t manage the journey, then curl up and read about them. Keep the magic of books and reading alive.

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” … Mason Cooley

Books stacked