The world-wide cultural impact of British writers is undeniable, from the literature curricula in schools and universities, to Hollywood films and international stage adaptations. The beloved minds behind our favorite stories remain immortalized in our societies and lucky for us, many of their original inspirations stand preserved (or reconstructed) as attractions and commemorative sites all over England. From Tolkien’s two towers, the Bronte’s moors, and Christie’s crime-filled Riviera, visitors can discover the landscapes and buildings that spurred some of the most acclaimed literature the world has ever known. Here are the top 12 English cities, towns and villages worth visiting to experience the lives and inspirations of your favorite British authors.
12. Canterbury, Kent
Located about 100 km south-east of London, the city of Canterbury is a must see for fans of Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens. It is here that you will find the famed Canterbury Cathedral, containing the shrine of St. Thomas Becket, the final destination of the pilgrims in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The official “The Canterbury Tales” attraction is also a mandatory experience, offering visitors a chance to dress up in medieval garb (for kids only, sorry parents!) and join Chaucer and his characters on an interactive tour of 14th Century England. Canterbury also offers a number of sites associated with Dickens’ David Copperfield, since much of the novel is set in the city. It is speculated that Dr. Strong’s Academy is based on King’s School (denied by Dickens), Mr. Wickfield’s home on the House of Agnes, and the market frequented by David and his aunt on Buttermarket.