Some novels remain for us for our entire lives, inspiring us through the teenage years and into adulthood. Make sure that your teens have magical memories of some of the greatest literary masterpieces created in the UK, by bringing the characters and the places where they lived, to life.
Birmingham, West Midlands
Explore the childhood haunts that inspired J.R Tolkien’s literary classics, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Visit Moseley Bog, an untouched piece of woodland that draws comparisons to Tolkien’s Old Forest. Walk the Tolkien Trail to Sarehole Mill, a favourite playground for Tolkien and his brothers that is said to be the inspiration for Hobbiton and the Shire. Now a Museum open during the summer to the public, it’s a place of pilgrimage for many Tolkien fans, especially during May’s Middle-earth weekend.
Pride and Prejudice
Possibly England’s most famous female author, Jane Austen’s legendary novels take readers back to 19th Century England. Fans can follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Bennet and explore Derbyshire, home to so many unforgettable scenes in both the book and celluloid versions of Pride and Prejudice. Explore the wild beauty of Dovedale, one of the sights that Elisabeth and the Gardiners visited. Then there’s stunning Chatsworth House which, while only alluded to in the novel, starred as Mr Darcy’s luxury country retreat, Pemberley, in the 2005 film adaption of the novel. The stunning Peak District, explored by Elizabeth in the novel, also features extensively in film and television retellings. Fans may also like to take a side trip just over the border to Cheshire’s Lyme Park, which will forever remain in Austen folklore as the spot where a sodden Colin Firth, as TV’s definitive Mr Darcy, emerged from the lake.
Charlotte Brontë and her famous sisters grew up in the Yorkshire countryside; a windswept land of heather and wild moors that inspired her stories. Her former home in Haworth is now the Brontë Parsonage Museum where visitors can see the tiny writing desks that produced some of the greatest English language novels ever written. Fans can also pay respects at the St Michael and All Angels church, Charlotte’s final resting place. Further afield, explore the village of Hathersage, the place that inspired Jane Eyre and North Yorkshire’s Norton Conyers, the medieval manor house said to be the inspiration for Mr Rochester’s Thornfield Hall.