7 Stunning Literary Sites To Check Out The Next Time You’re In The U.K.

Heading to the U.K. anytime soon? Love books with a fanaticism that borders on the insane?

Good! The following will serve as excellent travel inspiration as you plan your trip:


1. Doune Castle

Picturesque, rugged, and just a little bit forbidding, Doune Castle (located in Scotland) is most famous for its association with Game of Thrones. In the pilot episode of the TV series, some of the exterior shots, such as the feast scene, as well as the crypt scene with Eddard and Robert, were filmed here.

2. The Jane Austen Centre

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath is absolutely amazing. They give you all sorts of behind-the-scenes info on the novels that Austen set in Bath (Persuasion, Northanger Abbey) as well as on Austen herself. There’s a Regency Tea Room where you can sip tea as daintily as any trueborn Regency lady, a gift shop where you can indulge your unabiding obsession with Mr. Darcy, and even a dress-up station where you can try on Regency gowns, gloves, bonnets, and parasols. Talk about a dream come true!

3. The Elephant House

This lovely little tea and coffee shop boasts more than just comfy seats and hot drinks–it’s also where J. K. Rowling penned the first two Harry Potter books. With a relaxing atmosphere, good views of the Greyfriars Cemetery (the names on the tombstones there–including McGonagall and Riddle–inspired some of Rowling’s most famous characters), and enormous cups of coffee, The Elephant House is a must-see for Potterheads everywhere.

4. Duke Humphrey’s Library

Duke Humphrey’s Library is a (gorgeous) part of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library system–it’s also where quite a few memorable scenes from the Harry Potter movies were shot. Remember in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone when Harry, Ron, and Hermione do research on Nicholas Flamel? Or in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when they search for a recipe for the Polyjuice Potion? Or that scene in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when a peeved Hermione reshelves books and insists to Harry that she doesn’t care who Ron dates? All shot in one of the most beautiful libraries on Earth.

5. Stratford-Upon-Avon

Now entering: Shakespeare country.

Stratford-Upon-Avon is a must-see for all Shakespeare fans: there, you can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, Anne Hathaway’s cottage (no, not that Anne Hathaway), The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and more. And if for some inexplicable reason none of that interests you, you can always go on the award-winning Town Walk and immerse yourself in Elizabethan history and culture.

Source: Wikimedia

Source: Wikimedia

6. Grasmere Daffodil Garden

It’s certainly worth stopping to smell these flowers.

One of William Wordsworth‘s most famous poems, I wandered lonely as a cloud, was inspired by daffodils like these as he strolled through England’s lush Lake District. Personally, I’m of a mind with Wordsworth: just seeing a picture of these cheerily waving golden flowers stirs my creative juices.

7. Christ Church Meadow

Charles Dodgson (a.k.a.) Lewis Carroll studied and taught mathematics at Christ Church College, one of over thirty colleges at Oxford University. When Dean Harry Liddell’s family moved into the college many years after Dodgson’s own arrival, Dodgson soon became close friends with the three Liddell girls. They spent many hours together in Christ Church Meadow (located right next to Christ Church College), playing, reading, and rowing on the river. When Dodgson told Alice Liddell the original “Alice” story (re-titled upon publication as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland), it was little Alice who insisted that he write it down.

Have fun traveling, bookworms!

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Featured image via Author’s Own