Beware of Bards and Bewitching Brontës Along the Way! England’s Literary Road Trip will “read” you wanting more
Embarking on England’s literary pilgrimage is stepping into literary history’s very heart. In a land where the written word has woven itself into the tapestry of culture, each cobblestone street and ivy-covered cottage seems to whisper tales of famous authors who once walked these paths and penned immortal stories.
Starting with the hallowed halls of the British Library in London to the windswept moors that inspired the Brontë sisters in Haworth, this curated literary tour promises a captivating journey into the worlds of literary giants.
So, pack your imagination, prepare to turn the pages of history, and join us as we explore the hallowed homes and inspirational landscapes that gave birth to some of the most cherished literary works in English.
Here’s a literary tour of England that will take you to some of the most iconic places associated with famous authors:
Day 1: London
- Morning: Start your literary journey in London, the heart of English literature.
- British Library: Begin your day at the British Library, home to a vast collection of literary treasures, including original manuscripts from authors like Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and the Bronte sisters.
- Charles Dickens Museum: Visit the Charles Dickens Museum in the author’s former home. Explore the rooms where he wrote classics like “Oliver Twist” and “Nicholas Nickleby.”
- Globe Theatre: Take a tour of the Globe Theatre, a replica of the original Shakespearean playhouse. Shakespeare’s works have left an indelible mark on English literature.
- West End Theatre District: End your day with a visit to London’s West End for a world-class theater performance. Check the schedule for a play or musical adaptation of a classic novel.
Day 2: Oxford
- Bodleian Library: In Oxford, start your day at the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It has been featured in various films, including the Harry Potter series.
- Christ Church College: Explore Christ Church College, where Lewis Carroll taught mathematics and was inspired to write “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
- Eagle and Child Pub: Enjoy lunch at the Eagle and Child Pub, a favorite meeting place for the Inklings, a literary group that included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
- Sheldonian Theatre: If a literary event or lecture is happening, the Sheldonian Theatre often hosts them. Check the schedule for any interesting talks or events.
Day 3: Stratford-upon-Avon
- Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Head to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace to explore the house where the famous playwright was born and raised.
- Anne Hathaway’s Cottage: Continue to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the childhood home of Shakespeare’s wife, which inspired many of his love stories.
- Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Catch a matinee performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of the most renowned theaters in the world.
- Dine in Stratford: Enjoy dinner in one of the charming restaurants in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Day 4: Haworth
- Brontë Parsonage Museum: Travel to Haworth, the home of the Brontë sisters. Explore the Brontë Parsonage Museum, where Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë wrote their famous novels.
- Moors Walk: Walking on the nearby moors inspired many scenes in the Brontë sisters’ novels.
- Dine in Haworth: Enjoy dinner in one of Haworth’s cozy restaurants or pubs.
Day 5: Bath
- Jane Austen Centre: Visit the Jane Austen Centre in Bath to learn more about the life and works of this beloved author.
- Roman Baths: Explore the Roman Baths, which feature in Austen’s “Northanger Abbey.”
- Bath Literature Festival (if timing allows): If your visit coincides with the Bath Literature Festival, attend a literary event.
TIP: This literary tour will immerse you in the world of some of England’s most famous authors and provide insight into the places that inspired their timeless works. Check the opening hours and any event schedules in advance to make the most of your trip. Enjoy your literary adventure in England!
Did you know?
While visiting the Charles Dickens Museum, you might be surprised to learn that Dickens had a pet raven named Grip. Grip was not only a beloved companion but also inspired the character of “Grip” in Dickens’ novel “Barnaby Rudge.”
After the raven’s passing, Dickens had Grip taxidermied, and the bird is now on display at the Free Library of Philadelphia, in the United States, where it can still be seen today.
So, you can visit a piece of Dickens’ London heritage in the U.S.!
A little history:
With its remarkable collection of literary treasures, the British Library boasts a history intertwined with the evolution of knowledge and culture.
Its origins can be traced back to the founding of the British Museum library in the 18th century, which steadily expanded in scope and significance. 1973, the British Library Act was enacted, formally separating the library from the British Museum.
The library’s current home, a striking architectural marvel near London’s St Pancras railway station, opened its doors in 1997.
It is a testament to centuries of scholarly dedication, housing one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of books, manuscripts, maps, and more and is an essential pilgrimage site for literature enthusiasts and scholars alike.