I have one great love in my life. Books. Books have been an important feature in my life since I got through the Ladybird book of The Zoo, the first book I read all by myself (I remember this moment distinctly). Virtually since I started reading, I have been fascinated with the lives of the writers that created the books I love. Nothing pleases me more than to visit a remote part of the world, discover a writer’s home and to read some of the words inspired by the landscapes they inhabited. Sometimes, this can bring you very close to a writer’s work. In Haworth, for example, you can tread the same route that the Brontës walked as they shared their stories. In Edinburgh, you can see the city through Robert Louis Stevenson’s eyes, noting, as you do, that it is divided into two distinct halves: a genteel, elegant New Town and a poorer, slightly shabby (but much more fun) medieval town.
At present, there are very few literary guidebooks. A few ‘top ten places that inspired great literature’ lists online. One or two gazetteer style guidebooks, listing towns alphabetically but very few actual guidebooks. Having said that, it is not my intention to write a detailed guide to every literary location in the British Isles. All I want to do is to share some of my thoughts about places I have visited, let you know where would be a good place to stay, eat or visit and to direct you to sites that can fill in all the missing information.
I am always looking to discover new locations so, if you know of anywhere with a specific literary link, leave me a message here or on Twitter @literarybritain. I’ll add it to the map and try to visit it in the future.