While reading is a favorite activity, it is not the only way that book lovers can celebrate literature. In fact, there are destinations all around the world that are focused on and inspired by books and writers and novels and authors.
The 10 must-visit spots that are listed out down below all belong on literary tourism bucket lists. They can all be found in the U.K., though some are houses that belonged to famous people and museums full of artifacts and exhibits, while others are more unique places. But we certainly encourage readers to try and visit them all!
10 The British Library
The British Library, which is located in London, is the biggest national library on the planet, with 170 to 200 million items. While a true book lover would be pleased to be around this many books, no matter what they were, this library takes things up a notch by having some exclusive works on display.
There is a Gutenberg Bible, as well as manuscripts of classics like Canterbury Tales, Jane Eyre and Alice's Adventures Under Ground. There are two copies of Magna Carta from the year 1215, as well as Diamond Sutra, the earliest-dated book that was printed. The only manuscript copy that is left of the poem Beowulf can also be found here.
9 Jane Austen's House Museum
Jane Austen is known for works such as Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice, and fans of her work can visit the Jane Austen's House Museum in Hampshire. This home is where she spent the last eight years of her life, and it became a museum in 1949.
Several of her possessions can be seen by the public here, such as music books, a pianoforte, a bookcase with some of her books and the only three pieces of jewelry that she was known to have owned.
8 The Charles Dickens Museum
Charles Dickens is known for writing A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, and those who admire his works can go to the Charles Dickens Museum in Holborn. He lived here from 1837 to 1839, and it became a museum in 1925.
A visit here will show off first editions, original manuscripts/letters, the only known/surviving piece of clothing he wore (a court suit and sword from when he was presented to the Prince of Wales) and a portrait by R. W. Buss called Dickens's Dream.
7 Brontë Parsonage Museum
Another house museum worth checking out actually belonged to three famous siblings: Charlotte (author of Jane Eyre), Emily (author of Wuthering Heights) and Anne (author of Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) Brontë. The Brontë Parsonage Museum is located in Haworth, West Yorkshire, and in the late 1800s, it was decided that artifacts and documents pertaining and belonging to these women should be saved.
Therefore, The Brontë Society was formed, and thanks to this group, this museum exists and displays iconic pieces such as the mahogany desk that Charlotte sat at when writing.
6 Sherlock Holmes Museum
One of the most known characters of all time is Sherlock Holmes, the detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Those wanting to celebrate and learn more about this character and this writer can go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which is, of course, located on Baker Street in London, England.
In the 1800s, this building was used as a boarding house, and in 1990, it became a museum centered on this detective. It has items and recreations from adaptations of Sherlock Holmes, such as the 1984 TV series.
5 Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre
Roald Dahl is credited with great stories that are loved by those of all ages, such as James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and The BFG, and in 2005, the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre opened up in Buckinghamshire, England. Dahl resided in this area for over 30 years, up until his death, and the museum sits in what was once a coaching inn and yard.
A trip to this locale will show off manuscripts, correspondence and even this author’s “ideas books." The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre also holds workshops and events focused on writing.
Guildford is a town in Surrey, England, and it is the spot for fans of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to visit. This town was important to writer Lewis Carroll, so there are several attractions to see. For instance, the Guildford Museum has items that belonged to Carroll.
There are also two sculptures made out of bronze that make for some great photo opportunities; one shows Alice passing through the looking-glass (found at the Guildford Castle), and one shows Alice and the White Rabbit (found by River Wey).
3 Platform 9¾
One of the most sought-after literary locations in the world is Platform 9¾. Just like in the Harry Potter book and films, this can be found at King’s Cross Station in London.
There is even a trolley, full of suitcases, entering part of the wall here, allowing fans from all over the world to take a magical picture and pretend they are heading off to Hogwarts! The Harry Potter Shop at Platform ¾ is also situated here, selling merchandise and souvenirs for those who love these novels and flicks.
2 St Peter's Church
St Peter's Church is located in Bournemouth, Dorset, England, and this is where Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) rests in peace. The heart of her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, is also here, as are her parents’ bodies.
Her mother was Mary Wollstonecraft, a feminist philosopher, and her father was William Godwin, a founder of theoretical anarchism, and they were first buried at St Pancras Old Church then were moved to Bournemouth. Besides this family vault, the Gothic architecture and spire are really something to see, too.
1 Poets' Corner
The Westminster Abbey is a very famous church, and it is another place book-lovers may want to consider visiting, due to Poets' Corner; this area of the building got its name due to the many writers who are buried and memorialized here, starting with Geoffrey Chaucer.
Over the years, burials here have included Robert Browning, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling, and memorials include those to Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, George Eliot, the Brontë sisters, C.S. Lewis, William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde.