England Counties

Berkshire
Cumbria
Dorset
Hampshire
Leicestershire
London
Oxfordshire
Somerset
Sussex
Wiltshire

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase a book through these links I’ll make a few cents at no extra cost to you!
If you would like to support your nearest independent bookstore, or the collective of indie bookshops, consider purchasing your books from Bookshop. Thank you for supporting the blog!

Notes from a Small Island & The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson’s books were my inspiration for starting this travel blog. He has a very sarcastic and dry sense of humor which is apparent in all his travel log novels. And he has a knack for travel mishaps. I particularly enjoy the novels in which he tours his adopted country of England.

In Notes from a Small Island Bryson travels all over England and entertainingly complains about nearly everywhere, excepting Dorset, the only place he cannot fault. During this trip he retraces the same path he took some twenty odd years before as a young man when he met the British girl that would become his wife.

In The Road to Little Dribbling Bryson takes a ruler to a map of England and draws a straight line from the southernmost point to the northernmost point of the country. He then attempts to travel following this line as closely as possible.

Purchase Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson via Amazon | Bookshop
Purchase The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson via Amazon | Bookshop

Read post: Author Footsteps: Bill Bryson was Right about Dorset
Read post: Finding Comfort Across the Globe: Bryson & The Roman Baths

Berkshire

How Watson Learned the Trick by Arthur Conan Doyle

How Watson Learned the Trick is a real book made in miniature for a dollhouse library. You can view the dollhouse and its library at Windsor Castle.

Purchase How Watson Learned the Trick by Arthur Conan Doyle via Amazon | Bookshop

Read post: How Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House Library Helped Boost An Economy

Cumbria

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was inspired to sketch and create stories about the animals she observed while living in The Lake District. She wrote her stories for children and demanded that her publisher make the books unusually small, for children’s hands.

Purchase The Tale of Peter Rabbit via Amazon | Bookshop
Purchase the box set of all 23 Peter Rabbit books via Amazon | Bookshop

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom

Siblings John, Susan, Titty, and Roger are granted use of the small sailboat named Swallow while vacationing for the summer at Holly Hows Farm, a bed and breakfast in England’s Lake District. With permission from their mother, they take the boat and camp on a nearby island in the middle of the lake on which the B&B is situated. There they meet sisters Nancy and Peggy who spend their summers on the lake sailing in a small boat named Amazon. The two parties make friends and play at pirate war.

Author Arthur Ransom based his book Swallows and Amazons on the children of a family he met while staying at Bank Ground Farm on Coniston Lake in The Lake District.

Purchase Swallows and Amazons via Amazon | Bookshop

Dorset

The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

Siblings Anne, Dick, and Julien meet their cousin Georgina (George for short), and her dog Timmy. They spend the summer together and solve the mystery of a shipwreck’s missing gold.

Purchase The Famous Five: Five on a Treasure Island via Amazon

Read post: Follow Author Enid Blyton to Corfe Castle

Enid Blyton and her Enchantment with Dorset by Andrew Norman

Enid Blyton used Corfe Castle and features of the surrounding Dorset landscape as inspiration for the setting of her Famous Five series.

Purchase Enid Blyton and her Enchantment with Dorset via Amazon

Read post: Enid Blyton and the Castles, Smugglers, and Caves of the Dorset Coast

Hampshire

Winchester Great Hall

Winchester Great Hall has been the location of several real historical events related to the British monarchy. One of which was serving as Emperor Maud/Matilda’s residence during England’s civil war- known as the time when “Christ and His Saints Slept”.  Sharon Kay Penman’s historical fiction novel of this name presents this period so vividly that you’ll feel you know Maud and her cousin Stephen, whom she fought for England’s crown, very well by the end of the book.

Winchester Great Hall is also the current location of “King Arthur’s round table,” a very real table top that has been painted (perhaps under the orders of King Henry VIII) in homage to King Arthur and his knights of the round table. It hangs on the wall of what’s left of Winchester’s once great hall.

Purchase When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman via Amazon | Bookshop
Purchase Le Mort d’Arthur by Thomas Malory via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: King Arthur’s Fake Table at Winchester

For more King Arthur, see Somerset

Leicestershire

The Sunne In Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

Penman presents a sympathetic view of King Richard III in The Sunne In Splendour. By the end of the book you’ll be hating Shakespeare for maligning the historical memory of Richard.

You may even want to start planning your own trip to Leicester to visit the cathedral where Richard III has been re-interred to pay your respects to the last Plantagenet king. And don’t miss the museum built over the car-park turned archeological dig where King Richard’s skeleton was found 500 years after the Tudor victors of the Battle of Bosworth unceremoniously dumped the former King’s body.

Purchase The Sunne In Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Leicester & Richard III: The King Under the Car Park

London

Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne

Belle is the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a young black girl adopted by a high class white British family. She lived at London’s Kenwood Estate, which today is an art museum with beautiful grounds for recreating.

Purchase Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice by Paula Byrne via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Literary Destination: Kenwood Estate, Home of Dido Elizabeth Belle

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Purchase Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: The Ultimate Harry Potter Fan Destination: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Paddington Bear by Michael Bond

A bear from deepest Peru finds himself alone at London’s Paddington Station. The Brown family find him, name him Paddington and adopt him.

You can find the original statue of Paddington Bear on platform 1 of Paddington Station.

Purchase Paddington Bear by Michael Bond via Amazon | Bookshop

Read post: Literary Destination: A Bear Called Paddington

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Peter Pan, leader of Never Never Land’s Lost Boys, has been captured in Bronze in London’s Kensington Garden.

Purchase Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: London for Lost Boys & Other Fans of Peter Pan

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Consulting detective Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street, London. It is here that he and his assistant John Watson receive clients.

Visit Sherlock’s home today at 221B Baker Street, London.

Purchase Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: London Literary Destination for the Sherlock Holmes Fan

William Shakespeare, the Complete Works

Purchase William Shakespeare, the Complete Works by William Shakespeare via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Literary Destination: Shakespeare’s Globe Theater

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Purchase David Copperfield by Charles Dickens via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Step into the 1800s in Charles Dickens’ First London Home

Oxfordshire

The Inklings of Oxford

The two most famous members of the Oxford University literary society named The Inklings, were J. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. Every Tuesday they would lunch at Oxford’s pub The Eagle and the Child.

Purchase The Lord of the Rings Box Set by J. R. Tolkien via Amazon | Bookshop
Purchase The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set by C. S. Lewis via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Spend a Literary Day in Oxford

Somerset

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Purchase Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: How to Have A Catherine Morland Day in Bath

The Austen Adventures by Ada Bright & Cass Grafton

These two books are so fun! Imagine getting ready to attend one of Bath’s famous Jane Austen Festivals with your best friend, but end up stepping through time and helping Jane Austen herself out of a predicament! That is exactly what happens to Rose in The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen. In book two Rose again steps through time, but this time joins Jane and her sister Cassandra in Chawton.

If you’ve been to Bath and Chawton you’ll enjoy picturing in your head exactly where the events in the story are taking place. If you haven’t been yet, you’ll enjoy seeing the locations in the book in person when you do!

Purchase

  • The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright & Cass Grafton via Amazon | Bookshop
  • The Unexpected Past of Miss Jane Austen by Ada Bright & Cass Grafton via Amazon Kindle | Bookshop

Read Posts:

Vathek by William Beckford

Purchase Vathek by William Beckford via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Posts about William Beckford and his Tower

Le Mort d’Arthur by Thomas Malory

Purchase Le Mort d’Arthur by Thomas Malory via Amazon | Bookshop

Read post: From Avalon to Glastonbury

For more King Arthur, see Hampshire

Sussex

Sanditon by Jane Austen

Purchase Sanditon by Jane Austen via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Brighton, Sanditon, and Why You Should Never Humiliate Jane Austen

Wiltshire

Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell

Purchase Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell via Amazon | Bookshop

Read Post: Stonehenge

Get up to two books free!

Too busy to get through these books in print? Try listening to them via Audible! Sign up for Audible Premium Plus and you get up to two books free! I not only use Audible to multi-task at home, but when traveling I love listening to books while I walk around the location/s the story takes place.

%d bloggers like this: