It is a truth universally acknowledged that a girl with a degree in English Literature must be in want of a literary escape from London. Especially when she doesn’t have her passport. Or a car. #hapinesswithoutapassport If I do get kicked out of UK :), I don’t want it to be before I’ve visited these places 🙂
#throwbackthursday to when I was in Korea. Not everyday you get to eat pancakes over a waterfall…
1. Gloucester: Beatrix Potter
Do you know I didn’t even like Beatrix Potter till I watched Miss Potter? I had Peter Rabbits and Jemima (was it duck?) toys and what-not but… I preferred Enid Blyton, Malory Towers, the Far Away Tree and the Wandering Chair 😛 However, the film really brought her to the life as a person for me- always feeling on the outskirts, never quite fitting in, little bit odd…I think I can relate to that! 😛 – and now I really want to visit Gloucester and see how it captured her imagination.
Beatrix Potter was staying with her cousin, 5 miles from Gloucester when Caroline told her about a curious local tailor, which led Beatrix Potter to visit the city the next day and choose 9 College Court as the setting for her story, The Tailor of Gloucester.
2 hours from Paddington, £30 return? Definitely doable 🙂
2. Bath: Jane Austen
Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley, Captain Wentworth… It is a sin against womankind that Jane Austen only wrote 6 novels!!!! Less than 90 minutes from Paddington, Bath is not only where Austen set 2 of her novels (Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, her 1st and last novels), it’s also where she lived for a time. It’s interesting to see how her treatment of Bath changed over the years (from an exciting place to a place of immorality) and, if I remember correctly, she did not write a single novel during her latter stay in Bath.
You can visit the places mentioned in the novels, such as the Assembly Rooms (really not much to see besides a big room and a little away from the centre of town- you get a better idea of the place as it would have been in the BBC film!!). The Jane Austen museum is very small but interesting to Austen afficianados- you can even have “Tea with Mr Darcy” though, sadly, not literally. It’s just the name of the High Tea set! 😛
Bath is so full of things to do, you could really stay for the weekend, so a day trip would be just sufficient to do all the Austen-y things 🙂
3. Stratford upon Avon: Shakespeare
Birthplace of Shakespeare, need I say more? 🙂 From Marylebone, a little over 2 hours.
When you arrive back in London, you can take the Jubilee line over to the Globe Theatre and catch a Shakespearean play. It’s a reproduction of the original theatre so you can imagine yourself back in the 16th century…
Is it nerdy if I say that was on my bucket list? (Now ticked off!)
Note: unless you LOVE Shakespeare, I’d only recommend watching 1 of his more famous works. I watched “As You Like It” and thought the production was terrible!
Seasons of mist & mellow fruitfulness, indeed. Autumn, Central Park, New York
4. Winchester: John Keats & Jane Austen
Also included in our 6 Unusual Historical Day Trips from London, Winchester is a convenient 1 hour journey from London. Take a leisurely stroll and follow John Keats daily walk- maybe you will be inspired to write your own “To Autumn”!
5 Canterbury: Chaucer
I’m guessing not everyone would have heard of Chaucer and his Canterbury Tales but it’s often attributed as the 1st work in “modern” English. Although when you read it, the English is not actually very modern 🙂 1.5 hours from London Bridge, Victoria & Charing Cross (listed in order of frequency of trains)
Until I actually do these trips, these photos are placeholders 😉 This is another historic city- but in Tours, France 🙂 (Why, I hear you asking- cheap airfares & I wanted to practise my French 😛 It was a good place for a weekend break!)
6. Rye: Henry James
With its ancient cobbled streets, Rye would be well worth a visit even without its literary connections. It is so picturesque, American novelist Henry James gave up his US citizenship, became a British citizen and moved to Lamb House in Rye. The train is 1h 45 to 1h 55 from London Bridge (more frequent) or Waterloo but on the return journey, you may end up at Charing Cross! I can never understand the British transport system…
Off to bed early now, got to get up at 6am for grocery delivery so that I can do my day rip to Whitstable. Oyster- excited!!! 🙂