Souvenirs From Around the World – Bookish Places in Britain #SFATW

Okay- my title sounds oddly political today, but I SWEAR that wasn’t deliberate- just a rather amusing coincidence that as Brits go to the polls, I am going on a rather bookish figurative romp around Britain… But I’m sure you’ve all had enough politics- let’s talk about what’s really important… books!

So why am I prattling on about books and Britain? Simple- because I’m participating in Marie’s awesome project: Souvenirs From Around the World, where we get to share some fun (and potentially bookish) blogs about our countries/hometowns AND share actual souvenirs as well. If you want to know more about this absolutely brilliant project click here!

Naturally, for my post, I had to talk about some of the best bookish locations in Britain! Some of these places I’ve been to and some are on my wishlist, but all of them are fabulous so let’s get to it!

hardy cottage

Let’s start with Hardy’s Wessex. I did a tour of once and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done- not just because that bit of Dorset is so pretty, but because I gained so much insight into Hardy’s life and the history of the region. It brought “Wessex” to life even more and really added to the books.

beatrix potter house

One of the best places I ever went when I was a child was Beatrix Potter’s House. I could have talked about so many different authors inspired by the Lake District- Wordsworth, Coleridge and many other Romantics besides- but I picked Beatrix Potter because I have a huge soft spot for her work. It just brings back so many nostalgic memories.

bronte country

One thing I have always wanted to do but somehow never have is visit Bronte Country, partly cos I’m a Bronte fanatic and partly cos I love walks in the countryside (gosh this sounds like a dating ad)

Stratford-upon-avon-header.jpg

Another thing I desperately want to do is go to Stratford Upon Avon– because I’m Shakespeare obsessed (obviously 😉 ).

Thomas_Riddell's_Grave,_Greyfriars_Kirkyard

Let’s face it- there are a million and one things you can do in the UK that are Harry Potter related- you can hit up platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross, or go to the Harry Potter Studios in Hertfordshire, or better still visit the birthplace of Harry Potter at the Elephant and Castle where J K Rowling wrote Harry Potter (and you should, it’s an excellent coffee shop)- but the real fun is trying to spot Tom Riddle’s gravestone in the Greyfriar’s Bobby Cemetery just next door. (NB When I lived in Scotland I used to go there all the time, just to say hi)

highgate cemetery

And while you’re visiting cemeteries (yes, I like hanging out with dead people, what of it?)- there are loads of old authors to see in Poet’s Corner, or my personal favourite… Highgate Cemetery. While admittedly they may not be alive, so many interesting people are buried there like George Eliot. Plus, it’s Victorian Gothic and therefore stunningly creepy.

george's inn

 

Now that we’re back in my hometown of London, I’d like to recommend a very well-known pub: The George’s Inn– I don’t think I need to explain this one much: it’s a very old pub that Shakespeare and Dickens frequented- and if you are there long enough- who knows?– you might think you’ve time travelled or something (although do try to drink responsibly 😉 ).

sherlock holmes museum

Speaking of which, I’ve heard the Sherlock Holmes Museum is really good at making you feel like you actually have stepped back in time. Although I can’t actually confirm this- I nearly went there twice it’s just really hard to get in- I think you have to book in advance and I’ve never been good at that. One day though….

reading room british museum

The Reading Room was once the heart of the British Museum Library- yet I probably shouldn’t include it on this list cos you can’t actually visit it right now. While you could go when it first opened to the public (which is when I went) it’s been used for a lot of exhibitions since then so you couldn’t view it in all its bookish glory, BUT there’s a debate on at the moment about its future use… so maybe this something to bear in mind… (*fingers crossed*). Until then, you can always go and visit the current British Library- which is yet another one I haven’t been to but I have heard is spectacular.

bookshops

And lastly… bookshops! Of course there are a gazillion bookshops in London! I swear London has to be one of the bookshop-capitals of the world! There’s a huge Waterstones that claims to be the biggest bookshop in Europe, a million and one hole in the wall places scattered about, and some really old gems that have stood the test of time (Hatchards, Samuel French, countless ones at Charing Cross etc) And if you’re bored of all that- feel free to check out Forbidden Planet- the haven for all things geekdom. Naturally, as you can see, I have quite a few places to pick from for my souvenirs to send around the world…

So go and explore London! And explore the world with Marie’s awesome idea!

Let me know if you will be participating in the comments!

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50 thoughts on “Souvenirs From Around the World – Bookish Places in Britain #SFATW

  1. ichabod2014ic says:

    Very clever post, Miss Ape.
    Your country is so rich in literary lore and you display it well in your fantastic photos.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Happy Reading!
    ~Icky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

    I love this post! 🙂 I’ve not been to a few of these places (Bronte Country and Dorset), but they’re all so wonderful. Out of curiosity, have you ever been to any English Heritage sites? Or any of the National Trust? Like Keats House, Carlyle’s House or Fenton House (I used to volunteer there, and it’s very close to Highgate cemetery I think).
    The bookshops are definitely my favourite. Hatchards is great! A personal favourite of mine is Daunt Books. Have you ever been? And I’m going to the London Review of Books Bookshop tomorrow for the first time! It looks amazing in pictures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      I have- I’m a *massive* fan of English Heritage and National Trust! I haven’t been there yet- that’s not far from where I live- I want to go!! And that’s funny- I used to volunteer for national trust too- down in wandsworth!
      Me too!! I haven’t been there- where’s that. Ooh I actually go to London Review a lot! It’s near my work, so I go to late night shopping 🙂 Did you like it? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Fatima @ NoteablePad says:

        Haha I couldn’t recommend it more! It’s beautiful 🙂 how long did you volunteer?

        Daunts has a few stores around London, and I think the one in Marylebone is the biggest? I’m sure you’ll love it! I absolutely loved it, by the way! I got 2 books – I’ll definitely be visiting again 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    I love this post! And I love that your tour is book themed. So clever. I’ve always wanted to visit London. I was supposed to visit years ago but that didn’t go as planned. I don’t know what it is about storefronts in London but I love the look of them. It seems like it would have a homey sort of vibe, even though you’re in the city. I would definitely check out that pub. Sounds like so much fun. Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. yourdaughtersbookshelf says:

    I am so excited about this post! I’m going to be in London next week, visiting my sisters, and they are always trying to drag me to shows, while I am always trying to drag them to bookshops and pubs!! And now that I know a few places (I’m always at their mercy) I might finally win! Thank you! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks says:

    What a fantastic post, I love it! I really love England and London, so obviously I’m over the moon with all of these BOOKISH places, oh they are so beautiful, I really want to visit now. And HUGE thanks for the bookshops recommendations, I definitely will have to go there on my next trip to London. I love bookshops way too much -even if I stay WAY too long in those places ahah 🙂
    Thank you so, so much for your contribution!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tyra Anne says:

    It’s been my dream to visit England for as long as I can remember and every place you mentioned is now on my must-see list! I especially love Stratford Upon Avon and I had no idea you could visit Tom Riddle’s grave but I am soooo doing that now 😀 The Sherlock museum also looks incredible. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ahh awesome!! Come and visit us over here any time 😉 Thank you! It’s actually just the tombstone attached to a wall- but as you can see it’s still really cool 🙂 It does, doesn’t it 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  7. Emily | RoseRead says:

    *SALIVATES ALL OVER KEYBOARD* I want to go to all the places!!! I studied abroad in Bath over a summer and it was incredible; took a course on Jane Austen there because she lived there for a while. I visited London briefly. This makes me want to go back to England so badly. Lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sammie @ booksandbiros says:

    I love this post SO much! I live in England and I’ve only visited about three of the places you’ve mentioned. 😦 I love the bookshops in London though, there are so many unusual indie bookshops and I could spend whole days getting lost in them. The boyfriend doesn’t appreciate that much though hahaha. Have you been to Southbank Book Market? That’s one of my favourite places to browse books; so many hidden gems! I’m so glad to see other people from the UK taking part in Marie’s feature, it’s so fun to see other people’s perspectives on where we live. 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jamie Wu says:

    I want to visit Britain some day! I’ve never heard of all this amazing places! I’ll be adding them to places I’ll visit if I ever get to the UK. Beatrix Potter’s House and Hardy’s Wessex look like they could be hobbit holes, if hobbit holes were two-storeys tall. Stratford upon Avon looks like a great place for a picnic! The Reading Room looks amazing. I really hope they make it accessible to the public again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Awesome- I’m so glad I could recommend things that are different and you haven’t heard of!! They are stunningly quaint houses- and set in such pretty countryside that they are well worth a visit! That is Hardy’s childhood home and if you ever visit you should also do a tour of the area because it’s really lovely 🙂 It does, doesn’t it. Me too!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Donna says:

    Okay, I’m booking a ticket to come and live in England. I’ve been saying this for years, but your post … RHA MY FEELINGS. I’ve always wanted to cross the Manche when I was living near Calais. I mean, we COULD LITERALLY SEE THE ENGLISH COAST (when the weather was good xD) but I never took the jump :(. I don’t care about politics, about my choosing the American accent over the cute British one, or the fact that my banker won’t be happy. I’m moving!
    Your pictures are so lovely ❤ I love the history, the architecture, the thousand bookstores. I'm ready to cheat on Bordeaux.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Nicola Alter says:

    So many great bookish places! The only one I’ve been to on your list is Highgate Cemetery (which was great – I also have a strange love for graveyards) but I’ll have to check out the Sherlock Museum and The Georges Inn next time I make it to London. Also I’m dying to go to the lakes district and to see the Beatrix Potter’s House – sounds like a really magical area.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. hiraethforthepages says:

    SOMEONE BETTER GIVE ME A PLANE TICKET AND THEY BETTER DO IT NOW. Don’t worry about the return flight because I would LOVE to stay in such a lovely place! I think I’ll hold myself until I finish the Harry Potter books and then no-one will be able to stop me! It’s just too great and amazing, I love the pictures! Definitely NEED to visit all these lovely places, your hometown is so lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

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