Literary Tour of Great Britain
Study Literature in England
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Land in London, meet your guide, and get settled into the hotel that will be your home for the next few days. Naturally, there will be some jet lag, but don’t let that stop you from kicking off your literary tour of Great Britain by having a drink at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. If you read A Tale of Two Cities closely, Charles Dickens eludes to it. He, Mark Twain, Voltaire, Arthur Conan Doyle, W.B. Yeats, and Alfred Tennyson are among the writers known for stopping by this watering hole, although probably not all at the same time.
Any book lover in London will be dying to visit Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey, making that the first official stop on the tour. The likes of Geoffrey Chaucer, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, and countless others have all been laid to rest here. In short, this is sacred ground for writers. In the afternoon, things brighten up with a visit to Bloomsbury Square Garden, a beautiful green space in the middle of London that’s perfect for an afternoon walk that will take you to a number of plaques commemorating brilliant writers like John Maynard Keynes and Virginia Woolf.
The second full day in London takes us to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, which can naturally be found on Baker Street. There are several intriguing exhibits, including a recreation of Holmes’ study that looks onto the street. Just for good measure, the museum is located next to Regent’s Park, where you’ll find both an open-air theater and the London Zoo. In the evening, relax at the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street, a pub known for being a favorite hangout place of writers that has the pictures on the wall to prove it.
It’s time to get out of the city for a day and head to Ashdown Forest, located just a couple of hours south of London. Not only is this a scenic place to spend a day, but it’s also the forest that inspired Winnie the Pooh. While London is great, this is a chance to enjoy a walk in the park.
You can’t go to England and not pay homage to William Shakespeare. This is the day you visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, at least the reconstructed version based on the original from 1599. Even if you can’t catch a show, it’s still possible to take the tour. Also, since you’re in the area, it’s only appropriate to stop by the George Inn, a pub that Shakespeare supposedly visited frequently because it’s close to the Globe. Regardless of that being true, the pub will help bring you back to Shakespeare’s time.
The last day in London starts with a trip to the Charles Dickens Museum. The museum is on the site of a former residence where Dickens wrote Oliver Twist. It’s also home to the writer’s actual furniture and even original manuscripts. Afterward, we jump to more modern times and visit the famous Platform 9 3/4, so Harry Potter fans can have their picture taken in front of the famous landmark. Naturally, there is a Harry Potter gift shop nearby to complete the day.
We say goodbye to London for good and travel a few hours north to the Bronte Parsonage Museum in the tiny town of Haworth. Of course, the museum is just the start. There are streets and paths throughout the town that inspire the work of the Bronte sisters. On the must-see list is Top Withens, the farmhouse that is believed to have served as the setting for Wuthering Heights.
After wrapping up with the Bronte sisters, we travel further north to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Upon arriving, you will have time to sit down and eat a meal at Elephant House. It’s a quaint, little diner where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book.
Here’s a bonus fun fact: Edinburgh was the first-ever UNESCO City of Literature. It’s loaded with literary history and landmarks. Start the day at the famous Edinburgh Castle with pit stops at the Stevenson House, Scott Monument, and Writers’ Museum. The day will end at the Conan Doyle Pub, located close to the birthplace of Scotland’s most famous writer and a fine place to get a meal while gazing at the all of the Doyle paraphernalia on the walls.
This morning explore the streets of Edinburgh on your own. The city itself is rich with history and incredible architecture, making it a wonderful place for a morning stroll. We’ll head to the airport for our departure flight home!
Interested in viewing London from the top of the London Eye? Touring Buckingham Palace? Visiting Bath, a small colonial town near the iconic rock formation of Stonehenge? Extend your stay for more adventures in England!
Living the Life of the Greatest Authors!
Have you ever read a book and wondered what the writer was thinking when they wrote it? This is your chance to take a look behind the pages and learn more about some of your favorite authors. Great Britain is covered in landmarks that relate to some of the greatest authors of all-time. By seeing them in person, you can get a glimpse into the lives of history’s greatest writers when they were creating such memorable works of art.
Join us as we explore museums and landmarks throughout England and Scotland that will open our eyes to the authors we have long admired.
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