Great Escapes to Literary Landscapes

So, if everything goes to plan, come the 21st of June everything will be back to normal. Well, sort of. OK, not really. There’s still a long way to go before life as we knew it returns, but thanks to the world of modern vaccination, we are about to get some of our freedoms back. I can’t speak for everyone, but the one I’m most excited about is ‘travel’.
Now, I’m lucky, I love where I live and without daily walks in nature I’d have found all of the last year’s lockdowns much more challenging; but I am desperate to take in some new scenery. Whilst jumping on a plane is probably still inadvisable this year, there are plenty of spots around the UK to satisfy your wanderlust. And what sort of book club would we be, if we didn’t let you know about literary landmarks celebrating some of our favourite rare birds?
Jane Austen – Chawton House, Hampshire – Austen’s home and gardens isn’t just dedicated to its former occupant, but a number of early women writers; with on-going research dedicated to ensuring their place in English Literature history.
The Bronte Sisters – Parsonage Museum, Yorkshire – Take a look at the impressive collection at the home of one of the world’s oldest literary societies; or take the museum as the perfect starting spot on a tour of the trails that inspired true literary classics.
Agatha Christie – Torquay – Even if you miss out on the week-long festival the Devon town runs to celebrate Christie’s birthday each September, there’s always mystery in the air in this part of the English Riviera. There’s barely a spot in her home-town that didn’t inspire locations in some of her books.
Beatrix Potter – Hill Top, Cumbria – A perfect place to spend a day, with or without the kids in tow. Potter’s 17th Century home is now a museum dedicated to her life and work, and is perfectly positioned amidst the beautiful Lake District.
Virginia Woolf – Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens, London – In my mind the Bloomsbury Group were Edwardian England’s equivalent of Mean Girls’ Plastics. Whilst they probably wouldn’t have let us sit with them, there’s nothing to stop you taking a leisurely stroll through one of Virginia Woolf’s favourite haunts.
Apart from these great spots, there’s only one other place I’d like to find myself when life starts to open up again: a bookshop. I don’t care how fast the internet giants can deliver, nothing beats browsing in an independent bookshop when you’re hoping to discover your next favourite book.