From Armchair Adventure to Literary Travel

This entry is part 1 of 25 in the series Literary London & Enid Blyton's Dorset

Hello Blog World!

Let me introduce myself! I’m Elizabeth, librarian, historian & Bill Bryson wannabe. Having recently returned from a literary-destination based vacation inspired by the love of books instilled in me at a young age by my father, I want to share my photos and travel logs with you in the hopes that I too can inspire a love of literature in others! Surely there is no better way to learn about literature, authors, and the context from which our favorite stories have come, than by going to the original source. So if you’re a librarian stuck in the stacks, an armchair adventurer, a traveler looking for your next trip theme, or a parent and/or teacher in search of a new way to instill a love of literature in a new generation, let me be your resource!

Literary Travel
Armchair adventuring while literary traveling.

“Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain – which is to say, all of it.”

~Bill Bryson

There are so many literary destinations throughout Britain that it seemed the place to start. First and foremost, I have LONG desired to see Corfe Castle and visit the Ginger Pop Shop, in the Dorset region because they are the inspiration for the setting of my favorite childhood book series, The Famous Five.

Before I left I reread Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island, in which he records his adventures as he travels around Britain retracing a similar trip he took several years previous when he first arrived in Britain. His overall impression of the island was that Britain has become much more developed in the last twenty years and the development has started to infringe on what once was beautiful landscape and architecture. The one place that he seemed to have nothing but praise for the beauty of the area was the Dorset region, so I had high expectations. As you will see if you keep reading, I was not disappointed.

Literary Travel England
This is all I’m going to need, right?

In London alone, there are more things to see than I can possibly list. To name a few, there are statues straight out of children’s fiction (including Paddington Bear & Peter Pan). For the Hogwarts student-at-heart (I belong in Gryffindor) there’s the not-to-be-missed Harry Potter Studio Tour. For the historical fiction lovers among us, there’s the Tower of London (made famous by dramatizations of incidents in its gruesome history such as King Richard III and the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower or the beheading of Henry VIII’s second wife, the unfortunate Anne Boleyn). And of course, speaking of dramatizations, we can’t forget William Shakespeare’s  Globe Theater.

-Find all the 2015 Literary England posts here!-

I have so many places I’d like to go, but the two that currently top the bucket list for future travels are Prince Edward Island and the Aquitaine region of France. On PEI I’d love to visit all the Anne of Green Gables tourist spots. And thanks to my favorite author, Sharon Kay Penman, someday I hope to chase the ghosts of my favorite Medieval family, Queen Eleanor, King Henry II, and their sons, King Richard the Lionheart and King John. So stick around, you may just find your next favorite read or a new way of appreciating an old favorite.

Let’s Talk!

What are some of your favorite literary destinations? What places should I add to my travel bucket list? Tell me about them in the comments below!

Series NavigationLiterary Destination: A Bear Called Paddington >>

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  • I just enjoyed a bit of #literarywanderlust to Andalusia in the much hyped “Under the Sun” by Lottie Moggach. Our book club just read Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy set Central America (but it’s easy to work out that it’s Costa Rica)… just about to start Cragside by L J Ross set in Northumberland! Keep up the good work and enjoy your actual and armchair travels!