Storbritanniens stora författare och landskapen som inspirerade dem.
Storbritannien har fått fram några av världens bästa författare och poeter och den brittiska naturen har varit inspiration till några av de största litterära berättelserna, dikterna och dramerna. Läs om författarna, poeterna och ställena som inspirerat dem.
The Pride and Prejudice author is known as one of the most acute observers of late 18th- and early 19th-century British society. Visit Steventon in Hampshire to see where Jane was born and the small church where she worshipped and explore the gorgeous World Heritage city of Bath where she later lived. She spent the last eight years of her life at Chawton in the 17th-century house which is now preserved in her memory as a museum.
The short, tragic and unhappy lives of Charlotte Brontë and her literary siblings, Emily and Anne produced some of the best-loved and popular classics ever written. The parsonage in the pretty village of Haworth, West Yorkshire where they lived with their father stands in contrast to the wild, windswept Pennine moors described in their novels.
Scotland's most celebrated bard Robert Burns is renowned the world over. Author of famous poems such as Auld Lang Syne and Tam O' Shanter, Burns was born in Alloway. Burns National Heritage Park offers visitors a chance to experience the rich heritage of Burns within the environment that inspired his imagination. The museum owns an original manuscript of Auld Lang Syne.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson was a mathematics don, and based his most famous character on Alice Liddell, the 10-year old daughter of the dean of Christ Church College, Oxford. Christ Church itself is the best place to begin exploring Alice’s Oxford. See the tree where the Cheshire Cat sat and discover Alice's special door to Wonderland. Stained glass in the Great Hall features characters from the books, and there’s also a portrait of Lewis Carroll.
England's greatest medieval poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, was born circa 1345 the son of a wealthy London vintner. His famous Canterbury Tales feature a motley bunch of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury to pray at Thomas Becket’s shrine. Make your own pilgrimage to this medieval city, tour the imposing cathedral and see where Becket was martyred. You can also visit the Canterbury Tales attraction where the stories are brought to life complete with medieval smells.
Catherine Cookson was raised on the cobbled terraces on the banks of River Tyne, which formed the backdrop for so many of her stories. South Tyneside is very much 'Catherine Cookson Country' and there is a well established trail taking in the sights and scenes from her life and novels. The trail includes the historic and picturesque Westoe Village, a little oasis in the heart of South Shields. Many of her books were set here, namely Katie Mulholland, Kate Hannigan and The Harrogate Secret.
Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh in 1855 and studied medicine at Edinburgh University. Here he met Dr Joseph Bell, one of his lecturers, the persona for Sherlock Holmes. Holmes solves mysteries all over Britain but perhaps the most atmospheric is the Hound of the Baskervilles set on Dartmoor in Devon. Today, Dartmoor is still one of Britain's most dramatic landscapes, which is popular for cycling, walking, horseriding and other outdoor pursuits.
Daphne du Maurier first came to Cornwall in the 1920s and it became her home for the rest of her life. Most of her books are based on real or fictional places in Cornwall. After a stay in Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor she wrote a novel of the same name – an atmospheric tale of smuggling and piracy. You can still stay at Jamaica Inn which has a du Maurier room with artefacts relating to the author.
The rural county of Dorset is where Hardy spent most of his life. Visit Hardy’s picture-perfect cottage where he wrote Under the Greenwood Tree and Far from the Madding Crowd and the town of Dorchester, thinly disguised as Casterbridge in the Mayor of Casterbridge.
In his charming novels, James Herriot captures the beauty of North Yorkshire, the joys and sorrows of its inhabitants, and the richly rewarding experiences of a country vet. Thirsk lies at the centre of what is today known as 'Herriot Country', with the Yorkshire Dales National Park to the west and the North York Moors National Park to the east. Number 23 Kirkgate, Thirsk, now houses the World of James Herriot Museum in tribute to the author.
When you read the eloquent lines of 19th-century poet John Keats it is hard to remember that this passionate writer was only 25 when he died. The author of Ode to a Nightingale lived at Wentworth Place in Hampstead, London, from 1818 to 1820. It was here that he fell in love with Fanny Brawne, the girl next door. Keats House is now a museum dedicated to Keats and his poetry.
Milne's inspiration for the 100 Acre Wood, Poohsticks Bridge, Galleon's Lap, Roo's Sandpit and the North Pole, were inspired by the Ashdown Forest area in East Sussex. Today, Ashdown Forest has hardly changed and many of the sights are easily accessible; this beautiful part of the Sussex countryside is perfect for walking and horse riding.
Our second Lake District luminary, Beatrix Potter, was passionate about the natural world and her Lake District home. You can visit her charming cottage Hill Top which is full of her personal effects and watercolours as well as information about her beguiling stories. Out in the garden it’s not hard to imagine Peter Rabbit scampering among the flowers, fruit and vegetables that still grow today.
Sir Walter Scott was fired from his earliest years by a patriotic love of his native Scotland - 'Caledonia' - which he eulogised in The Lay of the Last Minstrel. His novels and poems fashioned a heroic, romantic image of lochs, glens and ancient ruins which brought visitors flocking to ‘his’ Scottish Borders and The Trossachs. Today you can take a trip aboard the SS Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine, the setting for The Lady of the Lake.
The world's most performed playwright enriched Western culture with new words and dazzling imagery as no author before or since. From knockabout comedy to searing tragedy, he plumbed the landscapes of the human soul. Visit historic Stratford-upon-Avon to see 5 houses associated with William Shakespeare including Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. You can also see his grave with its mysterious curse.
North Cornwall provided a powerful impetus to Tennyson’s work. His 1848 tour to research Arthurian legends for his Idylls of the King took him along Morwenstow's cliffs, to Bude, Tintagel's romantic ruins and the rocky Lizard, where he watched ‘glorious grass-green monsters of waves’. The Atlantic rollers nowadays make North Cornwall an exhilarating centre for Europe's surf scene, and national cycle routes run along the coast. From 1853, Tennyson made his home - now a hotel - at Farringford on the Isle of Wight. He wrote Crossing the Bar on a voyage between the mainland and his home. Tennyson Down was named in the poet's honour and you can share his best-loved stroll along the chalk clifftops towards The Needles rock formation.
This charismatic poet, playwright and short-story writer left a prodigious body of work notable for its brilliant imagery, much inspired by the land- and seascapes of his native South Wales. He idealized natural energy, and the lilting rhythms of waves sweeping the Welsh coast floods his language. Head to Swansea and follow trails to the landmarks of his youth. The Dylan Thomas Centre has a permanent exhibition on the author.
Ensconced in the inspiring landscape of the Lake District, William Wordsworth produced some of the most memorable poetry in the English language. Visit his two Lake District homes, Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount to see the scenery that moved him. If you want to see ‘a host of golden daffodils’, be sure to come in March.