Some of the greatest children's stories ever told were created by British authors with rich imaginations. The joy is that today you can still visit their very homes and locations that inspired the books. Start your journey back to childhood here…
The home of Peter Pan
It’s befitting that the home of Peter Pan’s creator – JM Barrie – is filled with an air of magical mysteriousness. The house where the author was born in Victorian times has been furnished much as it would have been in his lifetime. Look out for the Peter Pan statue in the garden.
Where: JM Barrie's Birthplace, 9 Brechin Road, Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland DD8 4BX. The nearest rail station is Dundee, from where buses run or you can hire a car. The National Trust for Scotland Pass includes JM Barrie’s Birthplace.
The world of Peter Rabbit
You can practically step into the pages of Beatrix Potter’s delightful picture books while in the Lake District. Much of the landscape remains unchanged since her times, plus you can visit her home Hill Top, and come face-to-face with her fuzzy characters at The World of Beatrix Potter.
Please look after this bear
While in London, be sure to stop by Paddington Station for a selfie with the travelling bear himself. Michael Bond wrote the first Paddington story after picking up a lonely-looking bear in London’s Selfridges for his wife and naming the toy after their nearest railway station.
Winnie-the-Pooh – that loveable, silly old bear. AA Milne was inspired by the adventures of his son Christopher Robin in the genteel landscapes of southern England where they lived from 1924. You too can visit 100-Aker Wood – aka Ashdown Forest – and play Poohsticks on the bridge before it’s time for a little something at Pooh Corner, where Piglit’s Tearoom serves up Smackerels.
Where: Pooh Country, Ashdown Forest and the village of Hartfield, East Sussex (easily reachable by car or rail for the day from London).
Rudyard Kipling’s house
The Jungle Book author fell in love with 17th-century English country house Bateman’s – and so will you when you see that it’s pretty much how he left it, complete with the study where he penned Kim.
The Wind in the Willows
Ratty’s beloved river is thought to have been inspired by a stretch of the River Thames in Oxfordshire where Kenneth Grahame lived for much of his life. A charming gallery in the pretty riverside town of Henley-on-Thames explores his life and how he created the ever-endearing characters of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad.
Where: River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 1BF (an easy drive from London for the day). You can also visit nearby Mapledurham Estate, the house that inspired EH Shepherd's drawings of Toad Hall.
Rupert, Rupert the Bear
He dressed so stylishly in his yellow checked trousers and scarf, and there is no doubt the lovely scenery in which his adventures take place represents Snowdonia in Wales. His illustrator, Alfred Edmeades Bestall, lived in the village of Beddgelert in “Penlan”, now a self-catering cottage where you can stay.