Hardy's Cottage at Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester, Dorset

Hardy's Cottage at Higher Bockhampton near Dorchester, Dorset

Discover the landscapes that influenced some of Britain’s greatest authors and poets on a literary break. The winter, autumn and early spring months are the perfect time for a romantic literary escape and locations associated with some of our most famous literary giants are as astounding as the poetry and novels. Numerous locations in Britain serve as the backdrop in iconic novels like Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast which Bram Stoker visited in 1890 – a visit which inspired him to write ‘Dracula’.

On the Agatha Christie Trail in Torquay & the Riviera - Christie play at the Palace Theatre, Paignton

On the Agatha Christie Trail in Torquay & the Riviera - Christie play at the Palace Theatre, Paignton

Escape to the wild West Yorkshire Pennines – Bronte Country around Bronte village - and visit the historic parsonage home of the Bronte Sisters. Take a tour of The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in pretty Alloway near Ayr on Scotland’s Ayrshire coast or book a B&B or cosy cottage gem around the Taf estuary in Carmarthenshire, just a short stroll from Dylan Thomas’ Boathouse in Laugharne. Here’s a few literary lover suggestions around the UK to inspire! Across the Christmas season Charles Dickens themed short breaks may well coincide with a Dickensian style Victorian Christmas market! Or take a break and head off on a tour of the Queen of Crime's home territory in Torquay and the English Riviera!

Hardy Country in Dorchester & Dorset

Explore Thomas Hardy Country in Dorset on a short break or holiday. Base yourself in a Grade Listed guest house, a period cottage or try a unique luxury glamping experience in and around the county town of Dorchester. Hardy famously used Dorchester as inspiration for Casterbridge in his novel ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’, and his birthplace cottage in Higher Bockhampton (National Trust) is just 3 miles north east of Dorchester.

Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, West Yorkshire

Bronte Parsonage Museum, Haworth, West Yorkshire

Pennine Moorland Retreats in Bronte Country

Beautiful Bronte village Haworth in West Yorkshire is perfect for year round short breaks. Why not arrive in style by steam railway to Haworth Station via the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Explore the Bronte Sisters’ heritage Parsonage home and take the famous walk across the moors and Bronte Falls to Top Withens – the remote spot with farmhouse ruins which inspired Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Festive seasons like Christmas or during summer 1940s weekends are great times to visit. In and around Haworth you’ll find a wide choice of moorland Yorkshire cottages close to the Pennine Way, or choose a central B&B guest house close to the cobbled Main Street.

Robert Burns - Birthplace Cottage in Alloway near Ayr, South Ayrshire

Robert Burns - Birthplace Cottage in Alloway near Ayr, South Ayrshire

Romantic Escapes in Robert Burns Country

Alloway near Ayr on the Ayrshire Coast and Dumfries in South West Scotland are at the heart of Robert Burns Country. The Poet's birthplace cottage and adjacent museum is in Alloway and close by you’ll find a choice of luxury historic B&B accommodation. Several heritage homes in which the great poet lived sit in and around Burns’ final resting place Dumfries including Ellisland Farm. Discover more on his later years at the 18th century watermill – the Robert Burns Centre – situated along the west bank of the River Nith in Dumfries. Burns died in Dumfries in 1796 – his large mausoleum is within St Michael’s churchyard.

View towards Silver Howe from Dove Cottage, Grasmere

View towards Silver Howe from Dove Cottage, Grasmere

Wordsworth & Ruskin Country in the Lake District

A B&B, cottage or a cosy inn with rooms in Grasmere, Ambleside or Cockermouth puts you right at the heart of William Wordsworth Country in the Lake District. Tread in the footsteps of the romantic poets and visit the historic homes of Wordsworth – Dove Cottage at Grasmere and nearby Rydal Mount. Head off on the walks that Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy adored such as strolls around Grasmere Lake or up to Silver Howe for magnificent views of the Central Fells. The Wordsworth Museum is adjacent to Dove Cottage in Grasmere and the poet’s birthplace home is in Cockermouth.

View from John Ruskin's historic home Brantwood across to Coniston Water & Old Man

View from John Ruskin's historic home Brantwood across to Coniston Water & Old Man

Brantwood, the historic home of the writer, poet, artist, reformer and environmentalist John Ruskin sits on the eastern shores of Coniston Water just across the lake from Coniston village. Ruskin spent 28 years in the Lakes, and Brantwood with magnificent views across the Water and the peak of Coniston Old Man is brimming with his personal effects. The Coniston area offers a variety of accommodation choices including mountain cottages and Coniston village B&Bs within walking distance of boat trips across to Brantwood. Ancient coaching B&B inns serving up fine food and Lakeland ales also feature in the Coniston area.

Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire

Jane Austen's House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire

On the Jane Austen Trail in Hampshire

Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton near Alton sits in the heart of Hampshire. Although other locations such as Bath are more commonly associated with the author, the museum and house here in Chawton village is the only house where Jane lived and wrote which is open to visitors. She spent the last 8 years of her life from 1809 to 1817 here in this unassuming cottage. You’ll find a collection of stunning country cottages and B&Bs in and around Chawton and Alton. Many are pet friendly and you’re in the heart of the East Hampshire Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Jane Austen Country.

Restoration House, Rochester - inspiration for Miss Havisham's Satis House in Dickens' 'Great Expectations'

Restoration House, Rochester - inspiration for Miss Havisham's Satis House in Dickens' 'Great Expectations'

Charles Dickens in Kent & Portsmouth

Head off on the Charles Dickens Trail in either Hampshire or Kent. Dickens was born in the Portsea area of Portsmouth in 1812 and the house at 1 Mile End Terrace where he was born is now the Charles Dickens Museum. Dickens was just 5 years old when his father took up a post at Chatham Dockyard in Kent, and the author spent his childhood years relatively peacefully on the Medway with daytrips to Rochester. The Christmas season is a great time for a Dickens themed short break in the beautiful castle Medway town of Rochester in Kent. The town hosts its Dickensian Christmas Festival annually in early December and the Rochester Guildhall holds an extensive collection of Dickens memorabilia displayed in the Dickens Discovery Room.

Dylan Thomas in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

One of the country’s most peaceful and beautiful literary retreats, Laugharne on Carmarthenshire’s Taf estuary coast near the Gower is Dylan Thomas Country, home to the poet, writer and broadcaster’s famous Boathouse. Featuring panoramic views of the estuary, the Boathouse was Thomas’ Writing Shed and today you can take a tour and enjoy locally sourced food and drink in the Boathouse Cafe.

Accommodation in the UK

  • Near Penrith
    Sleeps 6
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    Spacious detached house in the peaceful village of Greystoke near Penrith ideal for the Lakes & Eden Valley with free WiFi, Sky+TV, gardens and driveway parking. Pub nearby.
     
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  • Cardiff
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    £35
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 119 reviews
    Rating from 119 reviews
    4 star Cardiff bed & breakfast accommodation in an elegant Victorian townhouse close to Cardiff Castle & 10 Mins from city centre. Lovely en suite rooms, free WIFI & parking.
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    £14
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    Spectacularly situated camping and caravan pitches on the edge of Polruan village just a few metres from the coast path with WiFi, on-site shop, laundry room and hot showers.
     
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  • Prices from
    £48
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 82 reviews
    Rating from 82 reviews
    5 Star Silver awarded B&B in Grasmere, set in beautiful gardens with stunning views from all of the rooms. Serving an award winning breakfast each morning. Close to attractions.
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  • Llandrindod Wells
    Sleeps 4
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    £330
    Per week. Sleeps 4
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 23 reviews
    Rating from 23 reviews
    Traditional stone house in the heart of Wales near Llandrindod Wells with a stunning enclosed garden, luxury interior with woodburner, free WiFi & parking. Pets welcome. Sleeps 4.
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  • Prices from
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    4 star Farmhouse bed & breakfast accommodation near Whitby. Easy access to North York Moors & Danby Visitor Centre, excellent walking base, views of Esk Valley
     
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  • Prices from
    £27
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 148 reviews
    Rating from 148 reviews
    Romantic Bed & Breakfast in Windermere with a beautiful range of four poster & feature double guest rooms available. Extensive breakfast menu. Close to lake cruises and walks.
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 148 reviews
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    Charming Windermere village guest house. AA Highly commended in the top 10% of 4 star B&Bs in UK. Four poster rooms, award-winning breakfasts, private parking and central location.
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    Rating from 148 reviews
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  • Prices from
    £34
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    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 236 reviews
    Rating from 236 reviews
    Charming Grade II listed cottage dating from the 17th Century now offering quality B&B accommodation near Truro. 3 double ensuite guest rooms, choice of breakfast served.
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  • Prices from
    £360
    Fully inclusive, inc linen, heating, wifi, etc. There are n
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    Special Offer
    Discounted short breaks :- 4 day offer
    Two warm traditional stone cottages, set in two acres of woodland garden with superb Pennine views. Country location, with easy access. Wi-Fi internet. Short breaks all year.
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