March 6, 2019 | Holidaycottages.co.uk
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami, author of Norwegian Wood
World Book Day (held this year on 7 March) is a timely reminder of the power and importance of reading and expanding our minds. A source of creative inspiration to writers throughout the ages, certain parts of the UK have had, and continue to have, a significant impact on the work of many celebrated writers. Whilst reading about these destinations’ myriad delights is in itself interesting, sometimes there is simply no substitute for visiting those places for yourself, to appreciate more fully the settings of your favourite books and to understand something of the authors and their work. If you have children studying literature, perhaps that will provide even more reason to inspire them by planning a family trip…
Here are five suggestions, available to book with UK self-catering specialist, holidaycottages.co.uk, to do justthat:
YORKSHIRE: new Secret Garden, starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters
Summer 2019 brings a new adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s novel, The Secret Garden. Starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters, this version sees the story brought forward in time to 1947, rather than its original Edwardian setting. Key locations for this film – set in the North York Moors National Park – include Helmsley Walled Garden (featuring as the secret garden itself), a five-acre expanse beneath the imposing ruins of Helmsley Castle, and Duncombe Park, an estate with over 450 acres of spectacular gardens, parklands and nature reserve. Stay at The Granary at Cross Holme Farm (sleeps four), a stylish barn conversion in a blissful rural location on a working farm. A three-night stay costs from £64 pp (£253 total).
BRECON BEACONS: wood cabin where The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees was written
Journalist and broadcaster Rob Penn – writer and presenter of the BBC series Tales From the Wild Wood – grew up under an ash tree. In The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees, Penn tells the story of man’s intimate relationship with the ash. He felled a single ash tree in 2012 and distributed the timber to craftspeople who, he felt, wove a tale of wood and human ingenuity into their creations. Stay at the Wood Shack (sleeps two), the romantic cabin where the book was written. Sugar Loaf Mountain is across the lane, and both the Brecon Beacons National Park and the Wye Valley are within easy reach. A three-night stay costs from £127 pp (£253 total).
WEST CORNWALL: inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolf spent her childhood summers gazing from where she lived, in St Ives, across the glittering Cornish sea towards the rocks of Godrevy – a view that inspired her 1927 novel To The Lighthouse. Godrevy lighthouse remains an iconic landmark on the west Cornwall coastline, and the scenery here has changed little since Woolf’s day. Stay close by at Serenity (sleeps two), a wonderfully contemporary holiday home, with a wood-burner, overlooking Carbis Bay. A three-night stay costs from £200 pp (£399 total).
SOUTH CORNWALL: Du Maurier’s birthday festival in her beloved Fowey
The Fowey Festival (10 – 18 May), inspired by the famed author Daphne du Maurier (writer of Jamaica Inn and Frenchman’s Creek, plus many others) always takes place over the anniversary of her birthday (13 May) and is embedded in the heart of the quintessential Cornish harbour-side town of Fowey. It is here that Daphne spent a large part of her life and where her ashes are scattered. The festival features du Maurier-themed events including walks, readings and debates. Stay at Du Maurier Reach (sleeps four), a lovely cottage right in Fowey and close to glorious sandy beaches. A three-night stay costs from £91 pp (£361 total).
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE: Roald Dahl’s school pranks for six to 12-year-olds
The Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden (the village in which Dahl is buried) is a fascinating and fun family attraction. Children, particularly those aged six to 12-years-old, can get fully involved in activities associated with this marvellous writer who was also a prankster, spy, fighter pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. Nearby Woodlands House (sleeps 12) is a beautiful family-friendly farmhouse, situated in 2,000 acres of farm and woodland, featuring a hot tub and luxurious bedrooms. A three-night stay costs from £111 pp (£1,327 total).
For further information or to book any of these properties, please call holidaycottages.co.uk on 01237 459888 or visit www.holidaycottages.co.uk.
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