Nine incredible literary landscapes that inspired England’s greatest writers

By 6:22 AM

1. The Lake District

In many ways, the Lake District is English literature — the list of authors inspired by its wondrous mix of rolling hills, rugged mountains and glittering lakes is almost too long to mention, but includes William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, Arthur Ransome, Lord Tennyson and Sir Walter Scott.

2. Bath

Bath is often associated with Jane Austen, who had strong links to this elegant Georgian city, and is said to have based many of her characters in books such as Northanger Abbey and Persuasion on her experience of society life here.

3. Kent

Often called the ‘Father of English literature’, Geoffrey Chaucer was the greatest poet of the Middle Ages. No literary tour of England would be complete without retracing the steps of his most famous work, The Canterbury Tales, from London to Canterbury Cathedral.

 

4. Dorset 

Of all the greats in English literature, Thomas Hardy’s works (including Far From The Madding Crowd and Tess of The D’Urbervilles) are even more inextricably linked to the landscape than most. Packed full of descriptions that conjure up the vivid realities of 19th century rural Britain, his novels set societal change against the backdrop of Dorset’s Jurassic coastline and farming villages.

 

5. Yorkshire Moors

The wild romanticism of the Yorkshire moors has served as a constant muse to some of
England’s finest writers, including the Bronte sisters — Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The incredibly evocative Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte sets a wild, Gothic romance against the windswept backdrop of Yorkshire’s dramatic moorlands.

 

6. Cornwall 

Perched high above the rugged North Cornwall Coast, Tintagel is a place that oozes medieval intrigue, and is said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. Perhaps because of this, Cornwall’s famous castle, craggy coastline and sweeping beaches have inspired numerous authors, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, Daphne Du Maurier and Virginia Woolf.

7. Ashdown Forest, East Sussex

One of England’s hidden gems, with barely a signpost in sight, is the enchanting Ashdown Forest — otherwise known to fans of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh as The 100 Acre Wood. Rediscover your inner child and while away some time with a game of Poohsticks under the bridge.

 

8. Whitby, North Yorkshire 

It’s clear to see from this imposing picture of North Yorkshire’s Whitby Abbey why Bram Stoker was inspired to write his Gothic masterpiece, Dracula.

9. Shakespeare’s Country 

Birthplace of the greatest playwright of all time, no visit to England would be complete without a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon. Surrounded by rolling Warwickshire countryside, it is said that as a youth, Shakespeare was caught poaching deer from the grounds of Charlecote Park, pictured here.

 

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