Visit your favourite British fictional realms and destinations through the lens of literature

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Alnwick Castle

If you’re fascinated by classic matchmaking with Jane Austen, enjoy indulging in the estates and parks of Bridgerton, or love to admire villages in the Cotswolds for a taste of high Regency, it’s time to visit your favourite fictional realms and destinations through the lens of literature. 

Bath, Bridgerton and Landmarks

As if pulled straight from the pages, Bath offers an authentic look into the regency era, due to its stunning Georgian architecture, surrounding manor houses and countryside. Netflix’s charming period drama series, Bridgerton, based on the bestselling books by Julia Quinn, has drawn travellers to explore some of Britain’s most recognisable landmarks within the city, including The Royal Crescent and The Holburne Museum among many others.  

Since the show’s release, many tailor-made experiences have popped up in this picturesque city. Themed walking tours include a bespoke Photo Tour and a Bridgerton Sights and Music Tour with welcoming and fun guides and a Bath Regency Walking Tour which explores locations including Pulteney Bridge, the Pump Room and Queen Square. Brit Movie Tours offer a two-hour Bridgerton Tour through Bath’s historic streets, with some unmissable photo stops along the way. 

Beautiful Bath

Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester Wonka and Chocolates

Visit the enchanting world of Willy Wonka, a whimsical character appearing in Roald Dahl’s 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for your next trip to Britain. The latest released Wonka film features several iconic British locations as breathtaking backdrops, enticing you to create your own magical treats during mouthwatering chocolate factory tours and immersive sweets masterclasses.

Head to Oxford’s Hertford College and the iconic Radcliffe Camera, a working library of the University of Oxford, for a glimpse into the Wonka-verse. Get the inside scoop on a guided tour of the Radcliffe Camera. The nearby Catte Street and Sheldonian Theatre also mark other locations in the city used in the film. Explore the theatre on your own or join a guided tour to enjoy the best indoor 360-degree panoramic views of the city from the Cupola.

Historic Oxford

Continue your sweet journey further north for some more appetising experiences that include the Cadbury World in Birmingham. 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the opening of the very first Cadbury shop. Step into the scrumptious world of chocolate and sweets at Cadbury World in Bournville on the outskirts of Birmingham. Create your very own bespoke chocolate and embark on a journey through the heritage of chocolate-making including interactive exhibits and mouthwatering tastings. 

Heading to Manchester, the Chocolate Factory Experience provides a paradise for chocolate lovers. Immerse yourself in a world of cocoa confections as you explore a chocolate factory filled with delicious surprises. From tastings to interactive workshops, this experience offers a hands-on journey into the art of chocolate-making while discovering the secrets behind crafting gourmet chocolates.

London and Scotland, Harry Potter and Magic

Britain is bursting with spell-binding Harry Potter filming locations, making it magical for Harry Potter fans everywhere. Head to King’s Cross station’s Platform 9¾ with its disappearing luggage, the Reptile House at ZSL London Zoo, where Harry first discovers his gift for talking with snakes, or stand in the exact spot of the dramatic sequence of the Millenium footbridge collapsing. 

Spoilt with tour choices for entering the world of Harry Porter, discover many of the real film locations you see in the Harry Potter films through the Harry Potter London Cab Tour. The taxi tours from location to location so that you can see, stand next to and even walk in the actual places where Muggles fear to tread. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the spellbinding making of the Harry Potter films with the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Through the Wizards London Bus Tour you can enjoy a 3-hour magical fun packed tour just outside of London.

Head up north to Lochaber in the Scottish Highlands for a familiar film sight. Hop onto a Hogwarts style steam-locomotive on the Jacobite Steam Train cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct running daily from end of March until late October for breathtaking views of Britain’s highest mountain and shortest river

Unleash your inner wizard in the enchanting world of The Cauldron: Potion Making experience in Edinburgh. Here you’ll brew magical concoctions and elixirs to create themed cocktails. This immersive adventure lets you become a part of a mystical world, filled with wonder and taste sensations.

Alternatively, a visit to Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts) sets the scene for the first flying lesson in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Meet fellow witches and wizards alike during a broomstick lesson and become an expert in the skies with guidance from skilled instructors. 

National Trust, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen

Following the global popularity of Pride and Prejudice, every Jane Austen book lover eagerly awaits the next adaptation of their favourite novel to be seen on the big screen. The much beloved film version of the classic novel includes several National Trust locations in Britain, like the Lyme Hall in Cheshire, which acted as the exterior of Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley Estate. Head over to the Regency Dressing Room, and re-enact a few pages of your favourite novel.

Better yet, feel transported back into the 17th century with a behind-the-scenes tour of the estate and discover real life stories of residents’ past. Lacock Abbey, in Wiltshire, was used to depict some of the interior of the Pemberley Estate, while the village of Lacock itself was used as the setting for Meryton. Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire and swathes of the Peak District National Park also provided the backdrop for this classic tale. Take advantage of the warmer weather and enjoy the Summer Nights Film Festival taking place in the national park on 16 -17 August with outdoor screenings of Barbie and Wonka, to name a few. 

Head down south to Hampshire  and walk in the footsteps of the world renowned author Jane Austen with a visit to Jane Austen’s House, open to the public as a museum since 1949 and celebrating their 75th anniversary this year and 250 years since the birth of Jane Austen in 2025. It was in the inspiring Hampshire cottage that Jane Austen wrote and published all six of her globally beloved novels. Celebrate the 210th anniversary of Mansfield Park with a guided tour on the estate on 18 May or participate in the museum’s annual Dress Up Day and show off your best regency era outfit on 13 July.

London, Sherlock Holmes and his Escapades 

The legacy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character has seen Sherlock become a cultural icon in England with bundles of Sherlock Holmes locations and attractions up and down the country celebrating his adventures. Head to London to track down the city behind the page (or scene on screen). Here’s a selection of the best Sherlock-themed things to do in the capital.

Step through the doors of 221B Baker Street and get transported back in time to Sherlock’s Victorian-era apartment at the Sherlock Holmes Museum which is complete with memorabilia and quirky objects celebrating his greatest cases. Enjoy a traditional English pint in the comfy surroundings of the Sherlock Holmes Victorian-styled pub, or head to the upstairs restaurant and view a full re-creation of Holmes’ sitting room at 221B Baker Street.

Housed in a secret location in West London, Sherlock: The Game Is Now is a new escape game based on the hit BBC show. Fully immersive with original content from the stars of the show, the game sees teams of four to six people solving puzzles and uncovering mysteries in a race against the clock. 

Don’t miss these literary festivals coming up:

Jane Austen Festival – Bath 13 – 22 September 2024 

Visit Bath during the annual Jane Austen Festival for an immersive Regency experience. Walk alongside other Jane Austen fans in the spectacular opening Grand Regency Costumed Promenade. Past events have included elegant, guided walks and day trips, intriguing talks, music recitals and concerts, as well as workshops and dance classes.
 

Cheltenham Literature Festival – Cheltenham 4 – 13 October 2024 

This literary festival celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2024 and will see the launch of major books, as well as talks, workshops and performances touching upon subjects as diverse as history, politics, sport, food and fashion.

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