For book lovers, there’s nothing more exciting than visiting places that have played a significant role in the lives of their favorite authors or served as the setting for some of their most beloved works. Literary tourism, or book tourism, is a form of travel that takes readers on a journey through the pages of their favorite books and into the real-life locations that inspired them. If you’re a bookworm looking to add a literary spin to your travels, here are some of the best destinations and tours for you to explore.
For fans of classic literature, London is a must-visit destination. The city has been home to countless literary greats, including William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen. Take a walk through the streets of London, and you’ll see the landmarks that inspired some of the most famous works of English literature. Visit the British Library to see original manuscripts of classic novels or take a tour of the Globe Theatre, the historic playhouse where many of Shakespeare’s plays were first performed. For fans of Harry Potter, a trip to Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station is a must-do.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a city steeped in literary history. It’s the birthplace of Sir Walter Scott, the author of “Waverley,” and the inspiration for many of the characters and settings in his novels. Visit the Writer’s Museum to learn more about Scotland’s literary heritage, and take a stroll through the winding streets of the Old Town, which served as the inspiration for many of the dark and mysterious settings in the works of Robert Louis Stevenson. Be sure to stop by The Elephant House café, where J.K. Rowling famously wrote much of the first Harry Potter book.
Dublin, the capital of Ireland, has been the birthplace of many famous writers, including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and W.B. Yeats. Take a walking tour of the city’s literary landmarks, including the Dublin Writers Museum, which is dedicated to the lives and works of Ireland’s most famous writers. Stop by the James Joyce Centre, which celebrates the life and works of the iconic modernist author. Don’t forget to visit the world-famous Trinity College Library, home to the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript dating back to the ninth century.
Concord, Massachusetts, is a small town with a big literary legacy. It’s the birthplace of Louisa May Alcott, author of “Little Women,” and the home of the Transcendentalist movement, a group of writers and thinkers that included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Visit Orchard House, the home where Alcott wrote “Little Women,” and take a stroll through Walden Pond, the setting for Thoreau’s iconic work, “Walden.”
Oxford is a city of dreaming spires and academic excellence, but it’s also a hub of literary creativity. The city is home to the world-famous Oxford University, where many famous writers and poets have studied, including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Take a guided tour of the university, which will take you to some of the most famous landmarks, including the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Europe. For fans of Lewis and Tolkien, a visit to the Eagle and Child pub, where the two authors often met to discuss their works, is a must-do.