There’s nothing quite like devouring a couple of classic books on holiday. Unless you want to go one better and stay in the place which inspired the book!
Whether you want to visit the place where your favourite novel was set, see where your favourite author was born or even visit a poet’s grave, you’ll be inspired with these literary tours. Several literary icons also have museums or visitor's centres associated with them, a must see for any literary tourist.
Bath was the city that Jane Austen called home between 1801 and 1806, and it's also the setting for two of her published novels - Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. As 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, Shearings are excited to offer a very special Austen themed Grand Tourer holiday this summer. The Jane Austen's Bath luxury coach holiday includes a trip to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and an excursion to Lacock, where the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice was filmed.
In addition to this, the Lansdown Grove Hotel in Bath now features a Jane Austen themed room! Guests staying in this room (pictured) can enjoy a small library of Austen's works as well as an antique writing desk where they can pen love notes to Mr Darcy, or even write their own literary classic!
If you'd like to do a self-guided walking tour of Jane Austen's Bath, Visit Bath have a free MP3 audio guide, called ‘In the Footsteps of Jane Austen', which you can download and listen to through headphones as you meander around this facinating city.
The world's most famous playwright, William Shakespeare, was and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. The house he was born in (pictured) is still intact today and can be visited, along with several other homes of the Shakespeare family. For summer 2013, Shearings will be offering two delightful Shakespearean-influenced coach holidays. The Shakespeare Country & Warwick Castle holiday is designed for people who want to explore Stratford as well as some other places of interest such as Warwick Castle, Leamington Spa, Cheltenham and the Cotswolds. Alternatively, you could opt for the Grand Tourer holiday to Warwick Castle & Shakespeare's Stratford and enjoy a trip to the Tudor World museum and a guided tour of Stratford accompanied by none other than the bard himself!
Agatha Christie was born in the English Riviera town of Torquay and spent most of her life there as she wrote over 80 books. She used many of the places in the town as the setting of the crimes in her murder mysteries. If you're an Agatha Christie fan looking to visit Torquay, then there's no better time than September, as the Agatha Christie Festival comes to town. 2013's festival takes place from 15th to 22nd September. Expect themed tea parties, theatre shows, a seafront fete and special guest appearances. If you'd like to explore the Torbay area, then the English Riviera and Torquay Delights holiday would be the ideal choice. Alternatively, the Torquay Tourist Information Centre has leaflets available for a self-guided walking tour of Torquay called the 'Agatha Christie Mile'.
Bram Stoker, most famous for penning the horror novel Dracula, travelled to Whitby for a holiday in 1890. This beautiful and mysterious seaside resort became the setting for many pivotal scenes within the book. It's believed that Stoker stayed in the Royal Hotel during his time in Whitby, where he was inspired by the dramatic views (pictured) from the hotel at the top of the town's West Cliff, down into the town with its cobbled streets and harbour and across to the East Cliff where the imposing Whitby Abbey stands. If you'd like to experience this spectacular vista for yourself, you can choose from a selection of holidays at the Royal Hotel. From here you can explore Whitby at leisure and experience the mystical nature of this intriguing holiday destination.
Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth in the scenic Lake District. He went to school in Hawkshead and after spending time at university in Cambridge and living in Dorset, her returned to live in Grasmere and then in Rydal Mount. His 'Daffodils' poem beginning “I wander’d lonely as a cloud” is the quintessential Lake District poem. Many locations in the Lake District claim to be the inspiration for the poem, but the most likely place is near Ullswater, between Patterdale and Gowbarrow. Shearings offers a wide range of coach holidays to the Lake District, where you'll find beautiful scenery all year round.
The spectacular landscape of the Lake District also provided the inspiration for the famous children's writer Beatrix Potter to create the illustrated tales of Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddle-Duck and friends. The author spent many holidays in the Lake District as a child, and then used the profits from her publications to buy several sheep farms in the area, which she left to the National Trust when she died in 1943. Beatrix Potter fans will love our very special holiday, Beatrix Potter's Lake District, which includes a visit to the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction (pictured).
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