40 ideas for family getaways inspired by books

Visit England interactive literary map

Click on image to access the interactive map

The inspiration for your next family getaway is as close as your bookshelf. All around England there are locations associated with our literary greats that make exciting holidays and days out for families and will pique interest from bookworms young and old. From Oxfordshire’s Alice in Wonderland connections, to The Famous Five’s Dorset to Jane Austen’s Hampshire and the many locations which doubled as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts — every reader can find a perfect holiday.

At the #BookEngland Twitter chat, sponsored by VisitEngland, you shared your stories of literary locations and told us the places that just might inspire you to write your own novel.

VisitEngland is celebrating a Year of Literary Heroes with a new interactive map that makes it easier than ever to discover the attractions, sights and destinations that have inspired our favourite books! Visit www.visitengland.com/literaryheroes to find the Literary England that your family will love, from literary-inspired places to stay, England’s best literary events of 2017 and literary hotspots (interactive map)

Tearooms and family hols in East Anglia

1. Broads family hols Arthur Ransome style @VisitNorfolk

2. Favourite day out – to Norfolk location spot for @ellygriffiths books- beautiful dramatic coastand country @SarahBullimore

3. How about Cambridge? Apparently preferred tearooms of EM Forster and Virginia Woolf @lovepenguins126

4. Children’s classic ‘Black Beauty’ was written by Anna Sewell in #Norwich @moreNorwich

5. We have TONS of Beatrix Potter related events at Melford Hall in Long Melford, Suffolk @mariajknight

Authors galore in London

6. Posh London reminds me of Wilde, Woolf & the Mitfords, then seek out Dickens’ and Moll Flander’s London @tots2travel

7. As a Holmes, every time we went to London, my Dad made us visit Baker Street @kateonthinice

8. Every time we visit London, son2 insists on going to Kings Cross to see platform 9 & ¾ @x2mum

9. Lots of Paddington Bear places in London to visit. We loved the trail there a few years back @missielizzieb

Shakespeare, Robin Hood & castles in the Midlands

Stratford Upon Avon for #BookEngland

10. We are re going Warwick Castle can’t wait @vicki_85

11. I’d love to go camp in Sherwood forest how much fun @RebeccaNDaisy

12. Bring your family to @TheRSC in Stratford-upon-Avon and inspire budding little actors with a holiday in @ShakespearesEng https://t.co/gp6MyxraoG @ShakespeareEng

13. Go in August for the Robin Hood festival it’s amazing https://t.co/iMWda7Tlko https://t.co/RKmHN7wPWN @CharlotteMoos

14. DYK that you can stay in a literary hotel @ShakespearesEng pretty apt for the town famous for connections to Shakespeare https://t.co/rgepvm9LSP @ShakespeareEng

Robin Hood festival for #BookEngland


The North East and the North West

15. We can’t talk about #BookEngland without mentioning the wonderful @7Stories [National Centre for Children’s Books] in #Newcastle crammed full of inspiration for families @cheshiremuseums

16. Celebrate 20yrs of Pottermania with ‘Illustrating Harry Potter’ exhibition @bailiffgatemuse #BookEngland #OMGB http://ow.ly/SFhy309TfWJ @VisitNorthumberland

17. I should definitely visit Jarrow as my Mum was obsessed with Catherine Cookson books @kateonthinice

18. Alnwick Castle where some of the of Harry Potter film was filmed & they have a collection of film props @LemLush3

19. Manchester is the perfect destination for book lovers. Take a look at our ultimate Literary Itinerary: https://t.co/kocqSJsSaN #BookEngland https://t.co/VxZ6yoFNPR @VisitManchester

20. We loved the Lake District for the Beatrix Potter connection Hill Top & Hawkshead inspiring! @laura_twinmum 

Austen, Dahl and Thomas the Tank Engine in South East

21. Journey through the life of JaneAusten in #Hampshire with this trail https://t.co/wu3QPD6igt https://t.co/TlsHPVdf4b @King_Alf 

22. My son is mega obsessed with Roald Dahl so we are planning a surprise visit to the museum in the Easter holidays! @lialouise_x 

23. My grandson loves Roald Dahl. We often go to Ronald Dahl museum in Aylesbury and it’s great to get the children interested https://t.co/X2a1ycNPdo @josea66

24. DYK Kent has inspired many literary heroes. Here are some of our favourites https://t.co/J9vraV2XFx https://t.co/d71kn3tUPP @VisitKent

25. The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle was set during the Hundred Years’ War and partly based on Palace House at @Beaulieu_Hants https://t.co/47pXWjbrit

26. Fans of Nancy Mitford should visit Asthall and Swinbrook in the #Cotswolds https://t.co/rNgJ5giUL9 https://t.co/Eu73lydkVo

27. Fun fact – Rev Awdry (author of Thomas the Tank Engine) grew up in this house in Wiltshire you can stay here too @LorneHouse https://t.co/8287Cmzkng @VisitWiltshire

28. Did you know that Charles Dickens’ birth place is in Hampshire? Find out which city here – https://t.co/kYeRtO89Oz. https://t.co/CBuYyBCnuS @VisitHampshire

29. We are lucky to live down the road from @BatemansNT home to Rudyard Kipling & great for exploring! https://t.co/MsAs6hpXJp @jugglingskates

wallart kids tweeting for #BookEngland 

South West

30. Agatha Christie, have visited the area lots and her house beautiful spot and part of the country! @SaraBullimore

31. We love Lyme Regis – Dorest home of the Famous Five @annawarner5

32. Cornwall is stunning – see the beach below. I can imagine writing furiously, overlooking the sea. https://t.co/AVE6t611jm @wallart_kids


VisitWiltshire for #BookEngland

33. Fans will love a visit to Stourhead – used in the filming of Pride and Prejudice https://t.co/qErTwH9ZOw https://t.co/hMvtQ3WsiX 

34. Mousehole when the children were younger. Inspired their imagination https://t.co/ljv1KAd6o5 @CherylintheUK

35. Durnford Street in @visitplymouth once home to Arthur Conan Doyle  is lined with quotes from Sherlock Holmes @HillsBalfour

Cheryl Time to Craft tweeting for #BookEngland

Spooky and atmospheric in Yorkshire and Humberside

Emma Fox tweets for #BookEngland

36. We loved our trip to Dalby Forest https://t.co/Q2FN2shKud @KEccles

37. We visited Whitby (and searched for Dracula) last half term! #BookEngland https://t.co/odyQPwAWHy @FoxVillageFox

38. So many choices but I do love Howarth and the hills by Wuthering Heights location and Norfolk too @SaraBullimore

The last words

39. It would be great to download this map for display in classrooms for literacy and geography topics! @kirkinspace

40. We can’t pass a rural bridge without having a go at Pooh Sticks! Great fun! @InABitOfAPickle


What’s your favourite literary-inspired getaway or one you’d like to visit?

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One Response to 40 ideas for family getaways inspired by books

  1. Liz 29 March 2017 at 20:59 #

    We love all your ideas. Come down south too to relive the Binky Bear books in London (Binky Goes To London) and Hampshire (Binky in Trouble-Winchester) and Binky’s Big Adventure (a village called Alresford). All books have take out activity maps.

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