Explore Britain | 26th February 2023
World Book Day: 10 British reads that inspire travel with PoB Hotels
We’ve rounded up our top ten great British reads that are sure to spark wanderlust
There are few things more comforting than cosying up with a cup of tea and your favourite book. And, with World Book Day just around the corner, there is no better time to dig out your most loved reads off the shelf, or delve into the pages of a new find.
With a host of enchanting classics set in some of Britain’s most sought after and picturesque destinations, we’ve rounded up our top ten great British reads that are sure to spark wanderlust:
Bath: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Although it may be more than two-hundred years since Jane Austen’s death, her presence still lives on in the ancient city of Bath, where Austen set one of her most iconic novels, Northanger Abbey. A visit to the Jane Austen Centre will offer a rich insight into the inspiration that this historic city had on her writing and her iconic novel.
One of the main characters in this Austen classic is sent to Bath, famed for its magical healing waters, to improve his health - do we need any further inspiration to book a luxurious spa escape? With a background steeped in history and located in the heart of the city, there is nowhere more fitting for a stay than at The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, a five-star oasis that is proud to be one of few landmark buildings that you can sleep in in the world. Make sure to check out The Spa & Bath House for an indulgent spa treatment, or on warmer days, sip on a refreshing glass of bubbly or cocktail in the Taittinger Spa Garden in the comfort of your fluffy robe!
Dorset: Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The birthplace of Thomas Hardy, Dorset is the site where many of his iconic stories were born, including Jude the Obscure, Far from the Madding Crowd and of course, arguably his most famed tale, Tess of the D’Urbervilles. The book takes us on an emotional journey through the challenges of a young woman’s life growing up in a deprived village deep in the English countryside. Venture into the countryside of ‘Wessex’ - as Hardy describes - and explore the backdrop to his literary masterpieces on a peaceful walk through the unspoilt, beautiful landscape and quaint villages.
Not ready to go back to the hustle and bustle of the city? Tucked away on the bank of the River Frome on the edge of the Isle of Purbeck sits independently owned, boutique hotel The Priory Wareham, perfectly placed for a tranquil escape and to soak up all of what Dorset’s scenic south coast has to offer. Just moments away from the rugged coastline, spend long afternoons reading on the golden sandy beaches or exploring some of the UK’s most iconic landmarks such as Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
Cornwall: Jamaica Inn, Daphne du Maurier
Despite its gothic and bleak depiction in Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn, there is no doubt that Cornwall is an unrivalled location for a weekend escape or family holiday by the sea. Du Maurier’s inspiration for her best-selling novel comes from taking refuge at an Inn after getting lost on the foggy moors. Take a step into de Maurier’s novel with a visit to Jamaica Inn, which still exists in Bodmin Moor having been refurbished to a pub.
Taking the crown of The Sunday Times Travel Best Places to Stay 2023, The Headland Hotel & Spa is a fantastic option for friends and families of all generations to enjoy a memorable break in Cornwall. While its wild location mimics the drama of Jamaica Inn, the friendly welcome and beautiful interiors couldn’t be more opposite. For those looking for a more adventurous holiday, why not enjoy bracing walks along the beach, and for those who are brave enough, a refreshing swim in the Celtic Sea.
Scotland: Macbeth, William Shakespeare
It wouldn’t be a celebration of British classics without a nod to William Shakespeare. The famed Macbeth, which is sometimes known as ‘The Scottish Play’ by those who are superstitious, is set in 11th Century Scotland.
Hidden away on the dramatic Scottish coastline sits the award winning five-star hotel Glenapp Castle, located in the historic county of Ayrshire. The castle consists of fairy-tale turrets and crenellations, making it one of the most romantic estates in the country. Five minutes from the former fishing village of Ballantrae, Glenapp boasts panoramic views across the Irish Sea - could there be a more scenic spot to sit and relax reading your favourite book?
Durham: Don Juan, Lord Byron
Although none of Lord Byron’s timeless novels and poems were set here, literature and history fanatics will agree that it is impossible not to think of the famous writer when talking about Durham. Situated on Durham’s Heritage Coast sits Seaham Hall, the impressive Georgian country house that saw Byron visit in 1814 with his wife, marrying in one of the rooms currently known as the Ada Lovelace Suite which is aptly named after their first daughter, Ada Lovelace.
This sophisticated and elegant split-level room is just one of Seaham Hall’s 21 chic suites, promising a sophisticated and blissful weekend or a mid-week escape in the north of England. Where more luxurious to nose dive into one of Byron’s many classics than in the twin slipper bathtubs that overlook the expansive hotel ground and lush gardens?
South Downs: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
For Virginia Woolf, one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors, walking and writing were inseparable and living on the South Downs enabled her to do both until her heart’s content. Why not explore the beauty of the South Downs, reconnect with nature and set your mind free with a refreshing wander through the chalk hills and blossoming meadows.
Set in the AONB of the rolling South Downs, Park House Hotel & Spa is an English country estate like no other where nature is a feature throughout the hotel, entwined with their activities and experiences. Escape the stresses of daily life by strolling through the picturesque countryside, enjoy a game of tennis on the grass tennis court or dip into the outdoor heated swimming pool.
Sussex: Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne
Whether you are five, fifty-five, or eighty-five years old, AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh is a crowd-pleaser for all ages, a favourite for everyone. Who can resist the tales of the Hundred Acre Wood’s most iconic residents? Expect an adventure-filled day out Pooh Corner; play endless games of Pooh sticks from Pooh Sticks Bridge - the very bridge that saw Milne play his first game - explore the Hundred Acre Wood at Ashdown Forest on the Pooh Walk; and feast on a scrumptious afternoon tea.
Just a short 25-minute drive away, escape to luxury countryside manor, Gravetye Manor. Nestled in the Sussex countryside, this impressive manor house is an oasis in which to sink into the pages of your book in the utmost peace and quiet.
Yorkshire: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Yorkshire, or Brontë Country? It’s no secret that the wild moors and rolling hills of Yorkshire are what inspired Charlotte Brontë to create her most famous novel, Jane Eyre. True Brontë fans can delight in a visit to the Brontë Parsonage Museum, meandering down Haworth’s cobbled Main Street that the literary goddess once walked, and observing the plaque that lists the names of the famous family at St. Michael’s Church and Churchyard.
Retreat to the hidden jewel in the crown that is Grantley Hall for a luxury stay in the Yorkshire Dales. After a day spent discovering the vast Yorkshire countryside, relax and recharge at the award winning Three Graces Spa. Relieve weary feet with special foot treatment, or rejuvenate with a relaxing facial. The beautiful outdoor terrace in the Lounge is a tranquil spot to put your feet up and tuck into a Bronte novel.
London: Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle
It’s safe to say that Sherlock Holmes has been front and center of the entertainment scene following the popular BBC series and Hollywood Films, a credit to literary genius that is Arthur Conan Doyle. Set in the Victorian capital, London really is the hub of all things Sherlock, home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, The Sherlock Holmes Pub and even a Sherlock Holmes Statue.
When the time comes to put down the magnifying glass, head to the five-star boutique hotel, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences. Its ideal location in the heart of Mayfair offers easy access to the capital’s buzzing nightlife and eclectic shopping scene.
The Lake District: The Tales of Beatrix Potter
Testament to its sparkling lakes, magnificent parks and vast woodlands, it’s no wonder that Beatrix Potter opted for The Lake District as the setting for her magical tales. Step into Potter’s enchanting world at The World of Beatrix Potter for a chance to meet the familiar characters, such as Jemima Puddle-Duck, Mr. McGregor or Mrs Tiggy-Winkle. There might also be the chance to spot Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton Tail and of course, Peter Rabbit, at The Peter Rabbit Garden.
Armathwaite Hall & Spa is surrounded by nature, making it the perfect setting for Beatrix Potter fans. One of the original stately homes of England, the secluded manor is set on 400 magnificent acres of woodland and deer park, with the tranquil waters of Bassenthwaite Lake just moments away, offering the perfect spot for long and romantic countryside walks, or for a scenic lakeside picnic with your childhood friends that come to life in Beatrix Potter’s tales.