Forget finding a beach read for this summer, instead why not explore some of the UK’s biggest literary hotspots and find beloved characters and new favourites along the way?

Some of the UK’s greatest exports can be found in bookshops and the UK’s love of reading is evident thanks to the many literary festivals that take place across the nation, including the historic Hay on Wye Festival and the newer YALC, which takes place in London every year alongside the Film and Comic Con.

If you are a bibliophile, no doubt you’ll already be aware of most of these hotspots, but there maybe a few here to surprise you.


This one had to come first really, not only did several of the UK’s biggest writers live there including Charles Dickens, who’s former home is now a museum. You can even visit 221B Baker Street and have a nosy around Sherlock Holmes’ house – technically 221B Baker Street is the bank, but next door you can find the Sherlock Holmes museum!

Harry Potter fans will want to head to Kings Cross Station where you can find Platform 9 ¾ as well as a shop selling gifts.


While we’re talking Harry Potter, in Edinburgh city centre you’ll find The Elephant House, a café that claims to be the birthplace of Harry Potter. The city is said to have inspired several locations that can be found in the book.

If Harry Potter isn’t your thing, don’t worry, there’s more to Edinburgh’s literary scene. Try visiting the Writer’s Museum to find out more about the authors and stories that make up Edinburgh’s literary legacy.


Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie was born in Torquay, Devon and her former holiday home, which is now managed by the National Trust, is located nearby. The town has the Agatha Christie Mile, the International Agatha Christie Festival and the town museum which also celebrates her life and work. It isn’t just Christie that lived in Devon, Charles Kingsley, author of the Water Babies is from North Devon and one of his novels even inspired the name of  the village of Westward Ho! Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath also resided in Devon for a time and their former home can also be visited.


Visit the Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s imagination by heading to Dorchester in Dorset. The authors’ cottage is managed by the National Trust and is open for visits while locations from the books can be found all over Dorchester.

The Lake District

If you loved Beatrix Potter’s stories growing up, then you have to spend some time in the Lake District which featured heavily in a number of her stories. Like many of the UK’s best loved writers, her former home is also a museum and every room contains a reference to a picture in one of her tales.


Cardiff is an incredible hub of culture, especially in Cardiff Bay, where you can find Roald Dahl Square, which is dedicated to the author that lived in Cardiff as a boy. His former school, church and home can all be seen while in the city.


It is hardly surprising that Bath’s iconic Georgian buildings always show up in period dramas on TV, they were mostly notably last seen in the TV adaptation of the Bridgerton novels, but did you know it also has its own literary connections? Bath was once the home to Jane Austen who lived there back when it was a popular spa town for the upper echelons of Georgian society. There is a museum dedicated to her complete with guides in period costume and the Jane Austen Festival and the Bath Children’s Literary Festival are both hugely popular events


The county of Yorkshire is also known as Bronte country and is where the Bronte sisters lived and set most of their stories. The Bronte Parsonage Museum even features the writing desk used by Charlotte Bronte when writing Jane Eyre and the numerous Bronte trails feature several local landmarks which are named after the sisters.

These are just a selection of the UK’s literary hotspots, you can find out more about Britain’s literary heritage here.




Comments are disabled for this post.