Britain has a rich literary history and has birthed some of the greatest writers of all time. From William Shakespeare and Lord Byron, to Charles Dickens and Emily Brontë, many famous writers have studied, lived, and created masterpieces in the UK.
There are plenty of destinations across Britain that have inspired and featured in some of the greatest literary works in the world – making the UK perfect for book lovers keen to delve deeper into the world of their favourite authors.
If you’re an unapologetic bookworm, here are some must-visit literary destinations in the UK.
- Lyme Regis
There are many iconic pieces of literature that feature or were written in the beautiful Lyme Regis – a coastal town located in west Dorset. According to the Lyme Regis Museum, this includes Jane Austen’s novel ‘Persuasion’, which was published in 1818 and set partly in the seaside resort.
The poet Francis Palgrave also wrote a volume of poetry in Lyme Regis – as he was said to have a second home in the town. Beatrix Potter worked on her book ‘The Tale of Little Pig Robinson’ during her trip to Lyme Regis in 1904, while Ivy Compton-Burnett wrote her novel ‘Elders and Betters’ here during the second world war.
Its literary connections make it a fantastic place for book lovers to head on holiday. After exploring the Lyme Regis Museum, you can head to The Sanctuary Bookshop, before taking a stroll along the beach.
Many literary greats studied in Oxford, including Percy Shelley, Lewis Carroll, Oscar Wilde, JRR Tolkien, Vera Brittain, and CS Lewis – to name a few!
They are responsible for crafting some of the most iconic literary pieces in history, including ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’.
Why not hop on a train to explore some of the historic sights that inspired the famous authors that lived and studied here? You could take a look around the University of Oxford, visit The Sheldonian Theatre, or head to the Bodleian Library – the second-largest library in Britain, and one of the oldest in Europe.
This picturesque town is in the West Midlands and is best known as the birthplace of one of the world’s most famous writers – William Shakespeare.
You can visit the house where he was born on Henley Street all year round, and explore Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Shottery between March and November – where she lived before marrying Shakespeare. You can also look at the schoolroom and guildhall where he studied and visit Holy Trinity Church where he is buried.
The town is also the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company – which regularly performs his plays in the Grade II listed theatre. Any literature buff will enjoy a trip to watch one of their fantastic live performances!
Which of these iconic literary destinations would you like to visit first?