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Top Literary Sites to Visit on Your UK Tour

Last Updated: 10/07/2024

There’s no place like the United Kingdom to stoke your literary wanderlust. With London's historic streets and Scotland’s enchanting landscapes, countless renowned authors, poets, and illustrators have found inspiration here.

Whether you're a fan of classic literature, children's stories, or Gothic tales, you'll find plenty of sites that bring your favourite stories to life. See landscapes that seemed pulled from the pages of a storybook.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best stops for your literary tour of the UK.


No UK tour would be complete without a visit to London, which is arguably the most captivating literary place to visit in England. This city has inspired numerous writers and serves as the setting for many beloved stories.

In fact, you’ll be spoiled with literary locations that you may recognise from your reading list.

The Londfon Skyline at sunset
The London skyline

1. The British Library

The British Library is a treasure trove for any literature lover. Here, you can see original manuscripts from some of the world’s greatest authors, including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and the Brontë sisters.

You can also see exhibitions that dive into the fascinating world of literature.

2. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Step back in time with a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre – an accurate reconstruction of the original Globe Theatre. This allows you to see Shakespeare’s plays performed in a setting similar to what it would have been in the 16th century.

Take a guided tour to learn about the history of the theatre and the life of the Bard himself.

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

3. Charles Dickens Museum

Get a glimpse into Dickens’s life and work when you head to the Charles Dickens Museum in the author’s former home at 48 Doughty Street. The museum showcases original manuscripts, personal items, and beautifully preserved rooms.

Walking through the same hallways Dickens once did is a moving experience if you’re a fan of his work.

4. Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station

For readers of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, a visit to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station is a fun addition to your itinerary. Snap a photo with the luggage trolley disappearing into the wall, and pick up a magical souvenir from the nearby Harry Potter shop.

5. Virginia Woolf's Bloomsbury

Wander the vibrant streets of Bloomsbury in the West End of London, which inspired the works of Virginia Woolf. As you explore Bloomsbury, imagine the scenes that sparked revolutionary novels like Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse.

Dive into the literary haven of this historic neighbourhood, where every corner whispers Woolf’s stories.


Home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, Oxford has inspired many great literary works and is a must-visit on your literary tour of England.

1. The Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. Take a guided tour to explore its grand rooms, including the medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library, featured in numerous films, including the Harry Potter series.

The exterior of the Bodleian Library in Oxford
The Bodleian Library

2. Alice’s Shop

Step into the world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland at Alice’s Shop. This quaint little store is filled with Alice-themed memorabilia and is located just across the road from Christ Church College, which inspired many aspects of Carroll’s stories.


Yorkshire is steeped in literary history, with its dramatic landscapes and historic sites serving as the backdrop for dozens of iconic works in English literature.

Find yourself immersed in the stories and settings that have captivated readers for generations.

1. Bram Stoker and Whitby

The village of Whitby looks peaceful at first sight, yet it was Whitby Abbey that inspired Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece Dracula. Perched high on a clifftop, the remains of this 13th-century abbey dominate the skyline.

For an impressive panoramic view, follow the 199 steps from the village up to the cliffs. As you gaze out over the North Sea, it's easy to see how Stoker was inspired to create this chilling tale of the undead.

Aerial view of Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey

2. The Brontë Sisters

Yorkshire is the birthplace of the tragically short-lived Brontë sisters. A drive through this region's windswept moorlands and dales will surely evoke scenes of Wuthering Heights.

Visit the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth to see where Emily, Charlotte, and Anne wrote their classic novels. Walking through their home and the surrounding landscape, you can almost hear the echoes of Heathcliff and Catherine on the moors.

3. The Yorkshire Dales

Just to the north of what’s considered “Brontë Country”, you’ll find the Yorkshire Dales National Park. It’s an ideal place for dramatic photography with its twisted, isolated trees and limestone terrain.

This rugged landscape is perfect if you want to experience the wild beauty that has inspired countless literary works.

Authors like James Herriot, who wrote the series "All Creatures Great and Small," drew inspiration from the rolling hills and charming villages of the Dales. Plus, the area has connections to the works of J.B. Priestley and Arthur Ransome.

Twisted limestone rocks in the Yorkshire Dales
Intricate rock patterns in the Yorkshire Dales

The Lake District

You’ll find plenty of storybook inspiration all around the Lake District.

This region, with its rolling hills, tranquil lakes, and picturesque villages, has long been a haven for writers and artists. As well as idyllic natural beauty, you’ll find that the Lake District also has some of the top literary sites in England.

Buttermere bothy overlooking still water in the Lake District
A bothy in Buttermere, the Lake District

1. Beatrix Potter’s farms and gallery

The Lake District is where beloved children's author and illustrator Beatrix Potter spent most of her adult life.

After she died in 1943, she left 14 farms and 4,000 acres of land to the National Trust. This helped preserve much of the land that now makes up the Lake District National Park. What’s more, the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.

Potter’s favourite place for a walk was the scenic Tarn Hows. Today, you can follow her footsteps on a 1.5-mile (2-kilometre) path leading around the small lake. 

To see her artwork up close, visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery in the quaint, postcard-perfect village of Hawkshead. Or, to meet Peter Rabbit and other characters, head to the World of Beatrix Potter in Windermere.

Yew tree farm in the Lake District
Beatrix Potter's Yew Tree Farm in the Lake District

2. William Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage

Another literary treasure in the Lake District is Dove Cottage, the family home of William Wordsworth. Here, he wrote some of his most famous poems inspired by the stunning surroundings. Explore the well-preserved cottage and its garden to get a sense of the poet’s life and works.


Get ready to dive into the rich literary landscapes of Scotland, where every corner has a story to tell. Stroll through Edinburgh's historic streets, where legends like Sir Walter Scott and Arthur Conan Doyle found their spark. Or, lap up the beauty of the Scottish Borders, Sir Walter Scott's cherished home.

The Scott Monument in Edinburgh
The Scott Monument in Edinburgh

1. The Borders

Whether the exclamation “Great Scott!” was inspired by Sir Walter Scott is up for debate, but his legacy in Scotland is undeniable. This acclaimed 19th-century Scottish novelist – author of Ivanhoe – historian, playwright and poet left behind a series of notable sites, especially in the Scottish Borders.

Although he was born in Edinburgh, Scott spent much of his childhood in the Borders while recovering from Polio. It was here that he fell in love with the region’s storytelling traditions. One of his favourite places there now bears his name – Scott’s View, a scenic viewpoint where you can see rolling pastures and distant peaks.

With the proceeds of his works, he eventually built a grand estate, the Abbotsford House, near Melrose in the Borders. He lived there until he died in 1832 and was buried at the nearby Dryburgh Abbey, considered one of the most beautiful in the area.

The ruins of Dryburgh Abbey
The ruins of Dryburgh Abbey

2. Edinburgh

Discover part of Edinburgh’s literary legacy with Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of Sherlock Holmes. Born in the New Town in 1859, Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. Here, he met Dr. Joseph Bell, whose sharp deductive skills inspired him to create the famous detective character.

Today, you can visit Edinburgh landmarks connected to Doyle, like the Sherlock Holmes statue and the Conan Doyle pub near his birthplace. Both here and around the world, Sherlock Holmes remains a timeless icon.

The series is set in London, so while in the UK, be sure to stop off at 221B Baker Street, Sherlock’s fictional home address.

Sir Walter Scott also left a mark on Edinburgh, where his presence is celebrated at the iconic Scott Monument on Princes Street, one of the city's most famous landmarks.

Sherlock Holmes statue in Edinburgh
Sherlock Holmes statue in Edinburgh

Explore literary gems with Nordic Visitor

Tour the UK with Nordic Visitor, and you’ll uncover literary treasures along the way.

Find the itinerary that suits you, and let us handle the rest. Take the wheel on a self-drive tour, or join like-minded travellers on a guided small group trip.

We’ll book your accommodation, local transport and excursions, so all you need to do is purchase your flight and get excited about your tour!

Get in touch, and one of our Edinburgh-based travel experts will start planning your dream getaway.

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Post by: Emma Jackson

Hailing from Scotland, Emma has always pursued her love of adventure. With her trusty self-converted van, she roams Europe taking the roads less travelled to experience the natural beauty of each destination. When she’s not abroad, she fills her weekends going bouldering, cycling and hiking.

Find Emma on LinkedIn.

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Getting there

We'd love to give you the same amazing travel experiences as you read about in our blog! To visit the destinations and attractions mentioned in this post - and to discover a few new highlights along the way - check out these recommended Nordic Visitor tours.