UK literary holidays

Indulge in the UK's literary heritage: from Shakespeare to J. K. Rowling

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Helen Twigg

Helen Twigg
HomeAway travel expert

Antiquarian books

It may seem a little niche, but consider a literary-themed getaway: you could experience this unique holiday retracing your best-loved novels and authors. Whether you're seeking to meander through Shakespeare's residence at Stratford-upon-Avon, or experience the dramatic moorlands that inspired the Bronte Sisters, our list of literary-inspired destinations is tailored to cater to you: the bookworms!

From Chaucer to Dickens, explore these settings from HomeAway's rentals, and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of our written words.


Top five UK destinations for literary breaks


Literary holidays in Stratford-upon-Avon Literary holidays in Stratford-upon-Avon

Birthplace of England’s most famous literary son, William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is rightly considered the hub of literary-themed activities. Set within the beautiful Warwickshire countryside and lying on the banks of the picturesque River Avon, Stratford provides a unique insight into the life of Olde England. Discover the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s writings with a visit to his family home, or enjoy a breathtaking performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company to re-live moments from Shakespearean classics.

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Literary holidays in London Literary holidays in London

London’s literary soul is truly inspiring: from the adventures of Sherlock Holmes to the writings of T.S. Eliot and Oscar Wilde, the city is steeped in a rich literary heritage. Pay tribute to some of London’s famous sons at ‘Poets Corner’ in Westminster Abbey, and immerse yourself in Victorian London at the Charles Dickens Museum. Explore Sherlock Holmes’ home address at 221B Baker Street, or venture to London’s literary heartland, Bloomsbury, and discover 52 Tavistock Square, where Virginia Woolf wrote her most famous novels. Cap off your day in one of London’s acclaimed literary pubs, previously frequented by greats such as Dylan Thomas and Samuel Johnson.

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Literary holidays in Oxford Literary holidays in Oxford

As England’s centre of learning, it comes as little surprise that Oxford is steeped in a rich literary tradition. From C. S. Lewis to J. R. R. Tolkien, the city has been home to some of the UK’s most famous novelists, poets and playwrights. Visit Alice in Wonderland’s residence at Christ Church College, and re-live the magic of Hogwarts’ at the College’s Great Hall, filming location for the Harry Potter films. Meander through Oxford’s Botanic Gardens and watch the world go by perched under Tolkien’s favourite tree, and stroll through the cloisters at Magdalen College and marvel at the stoned carved creatures that inspired C. S. Lewis’ Narnia.

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Literary holidays in Edinburgh Literary holidays in Edinburgh

Immerse yourself in the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and discover Scotland’s rich literary heritage. Edinburgh has played host to writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott, underlining its unique place in the UK’s history of the written word. Enjoy a literary-inspired coffee in the Elephant House café, where J.K. Rowling began writing the first Harry Potter book, or indulge in a dram of whisky at the Oxford Bar, the favourite pub of Ian Rankin’s fictional character Detective Inspector Rebus. Marvel at the world’s biggest monument to a writer at the Scott Monument, and experience the city’s unique literary ambience at the Scottish Poetry Library and Storytelling Centre.

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Literary holidays in Norwich Literary holidays in Norwich

Perhaps better known for its winding cobbled streets, coloured market square and towering church spires, Norwich is also home to a fine literary scene, reflected by the city’s status as England’s only UNESCO City of Literature. While away the hours meandering through the city, exploring Norwich’s independent bookstores, or venture to England’s most visited library at the Norwich Forum. Follow in the footsteps of Ian McEwan and Angela Carter with a visit to the University of East Anglia, or explore the outskirts where Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty.

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UK Literary Holiday Accommodation in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Best rural holiday property and location in Warwickshire

Refurbished for 2013 Mutton Barn offers 5 Star Luxury accommodation and Boasts the best rural holiday location in Warwickshire, Situated on the edge of ancient woodland High up on Alne Hills it offers the most romantic setting with panoramic vi...

THE STABLES, family friendly in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Ref 914531

This charming, single-storey barn-conversion is one of three lovingly renovated holiday-homes, just three miles from the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. This wonderful property features a wet room with roll top bath and guests will be treate...

THE HAYLOFT, with a garden in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Ref 914530

This lovely conversion is a 300-year old barn and is set in the grounds of a working fruit farm in Snitterfield village. The property has been lovingly restored to a very high standard and has managed to keep many of the original features, making ...

THE COW PEN, with a garden in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Ref 914529

Set in a working fruit farm, visitors to these three lovingly renovated semi-detached barn conversions will enjoy a complimentary welcome hamper of home grown produce and toiletries on their arrival, courtesy of the farm shop. Of these three prope...

BANCROFT PLACE, family friendly in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Ref 911963

21 Bancroft Place is a delightful, self-catering apartment, next to the owners' home, in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. The cottage is solely set on the first floor and offers a double room, a twin room and a family bathroom. There is a well-e...
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