Hey lovely readers,
Today I have yet another guest post to share with you! A couple of weeks ago, Amanda from Show and Stay sent me an email explaining her idea for my blog and I have to say, I was really excited. You all know how much I love reading and that I study English Literature at university so the idea of visiting various literary locations is something I love, I’ve been to the Globe in London before which was fantastic and having read this I’d really like to visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum!
I hope you enjoy the post
Literary Landmarks of England
Get your literary fix by visiting some of the country’s greatest bookish landmarks from London to Oxford and beyond. Embark on a literary odyssey to our pick of some of the most impressive former homes and favourite haunts of the UK’s preeminent cherished novelists and characters.
Brontë Parsonage Museum
Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë all lived and worked in this West Yorkshire home, nestled in a verdant expanse of brooding moorland from which the enigmatic sisters drew inspiration. Explore the hilltop village of Haworth before heading to the Parsonage itself, brilliantly maintained by the Brontë Society and the birthplace of both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. Peek into the dining room where the sisters routinely planned and wrote their precocious fiction, pacing together around the table as ideas took shape. The room also houses the macabre black sofa where Emily is said to have died, and you’ll find original furniture and memorabilia scattered throughout the building, from one of Charlotte’s dresses to a portrait of the sisters painted by their only brother Branwell.
221B Baker Street
The investigation starts as soon as you step off the tube at Baker Street station, where you’ll uncover the unmistakable pipe-and-deerstalker silhouette of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dogged detective. Then make your way to 221B Baker Street to visit Sherlock Holmes’ famous apartment, where the persnickety sleuth solved beguiling conundrums between playing the violin and ingesting his favourite recreational stimulants. Sherlock’s study is cluttered with books, exotic ornaments and intriguing chemical broths, offset by rich vermillion walls and two comfy facing chairs where it’s easy to imagine Holmes and Watson thrashing out a case. Delve into Dr Watson’s own stark abode, hunt down the head of a certain Baskerville hound, and witness wax figures in iconic poses from the Holmes casebooks. The well-priced museum opens every day and is a must for devotees of the highly complex, irregular investigator.
The Eagle and Child
Take a stroll to this Oxford pub where literary coterie the Inklings met weekly for over fifteen years, exchanging ideas and readings of new material less than a mile from the University where many worked as academics. The group included preeminent fantasy writers J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis; the latter handed out proofs of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at one such meeting, while Tolkien published what would become the third best-selling book of all time, The Lord of the Rings, soon after bowing out of the gatherings in the 1950s. Enter the pub’s Rabbit Room, the formerly private lounge where the Inklings shared lunchtime meals, for a tasty pub lunch amid mementos of the extraordinary literary set.
Beatrix Potter’s sublime tales of chatty, mischievous animals are adored the world over by those who grew up with Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and friends. The cosy Hill Top cottage in Cumbria recreates her idyllic environment, from the garden’s endearing array of flowers, fruits and vegetables to the rooms overflowing with references to her beloved fables. Picturesque country views of the surrounding area inspired Potter’s charming yet subversive stories, and a special garden trail lets children enjoy an enchanting walk through Hill Top’s greenery. As the cottage is modestly sized and fills up quickly, be sure to arrive early to guarantee a successful visit.
Dickens House Museum
Charles Dickens wrote two of his most beloved novels, Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, while living in this London manor house from 1837 to 1839. After escaping demolition the historic home was transformed into the Dickens House Museum in 1925, boasting thousands of artifacts to astound Dickens enthusiasts including original manuscripts, paintings and personal items belonging to the Victorian author. The museum hosts a range of events all year, spanning everything from walking tours to readings and storytelling, making this an ideal visit for both long-term Dickens fans and the next generation eagerly racing through A Christmas Carol.
This guest post was written by Show and Stay, the UK theatre break provider to literary London.