Walks with literary connections

The places we look after are associated with many literary figures, from Agatha Christie to Harry Potter. Head out on a walk through the locations that inspired some of the nation's favourite books or provided the backdrop to their much-loved screen adaptations.

Visitors exploring the grounds at Belton House, Lincolnshire
Walking trail

Belton House, Lincolnshire 

The sundial at the heart of Belton’s formal gardens was the inspiration for Moondial, a children’s story by BAFTA award-winning author Helen Cresswell. The story tells of a young girl who discovers that the sculpture is in fact a magic portal to the past. The BBC’s television adaption was filmed almost entirely on location at Belton.

An image from a scene from Game of Thrones which was filmed at Castle Ward
Walking trail

Castle Ward, County Down 

The historic farmyard at Castle Ward is where the first scene in the television version of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones was filmed. It was also used as the setting for Winterfell in season one.

Still from the Swallows and Amazons film
Walking trail

Coniston, Cumbria 

Visit Coniston to see the landscapes that inspired Arthur Ransome to write Swallows and Amazons. Sail aboard the Steam Yacht Gondola – one of the inspirations for Captain Flint’s houseboat. Spot Wild Cat Island, otherwise known as Peel Island, and hike up the mighty mountain of Kanchenjunga, or Old Man Coniston.

Please note that the 2022 timetable for the Steam Yacht Gondola cruises is yet to be announced. Please check the yacht's webpage for more information.

Morning light at Corfe Castle, Dorset
Walking trail

Corfe Castle, Dorset 

Dominated by the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle on the skyline, this easy walk is the perfect way to get the whole family outside. Fans of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five can enjoy exploring the ruins, which are said to have been the inspiration for Kirrin Castle.

Visitors inside the Boat House at Greenway, Devon
Walking trail

Greenway, Devon 

Greenway garden drifts down the hillside to the edge of the River Dart, and this circular walking route takes you along the riverside where you can see the boathouse, which featured as the scene of a crime in Christie's novel, Dead Man's Folly.

A view across to the Kitchen Garden at Fenton House, London
Walking trail

Hampstead Heath, London 

Hampstead has influenced a great number of British writers, from Enid Blyton to Lord Byron. This walk takes in many locations associated with these writers, including Jack Straw’s Castle – mentioned by Bram Stoker in Dracula and by Harold Pinter in No Man’s Land - as well as Keats' House – where Ode to a Nightingale was written.

Visitors walking at Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl, Surrey
Walking trail

Hindhead Commons, Surrey 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived at Undershaw in Hindhead from 1897 to 1907, where he wrote one of the best-known Sherlock Holmes novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles. When we acquired Hindhead Commons in 1906 under the advice of our co-founder Sir Robert Hunter, Conan Doyle was part of the first Hindhead Commons committee which helped to care for this special place. He and Hunter would frequently walk out together over the Commons.

The bell metal cauldron in the Warming Room at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire.
Walking trail

Lacock, Wiltshire 

Fans of Harry Potter will love visiting Lacock Abbey, which was used for several Hogwarts interior scenes in the early movie adaptations. Picturesque Lacock village is also no stranger to the screen, appearing as Godric's Hollow in The Philosopher's Stone, as well as being the location of Slughorn's temporary home of Budleigh Babberton in The Half-Blood Prince.

 Nordic walking on the estate at Lyme, Cheshire
Walking trail

Lyme Park, Cheshire 

Nestled on the edge of the Peak District and surrounded by moorland, Lyme Park is a setting that oozes romance. It was used as a backdrop for the famous scene in which Elizabeth Bennet meets a drenched Mr Darcy emerging from a lake, in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Visitors can follow our Pemberley Walk to tread in Mr Darcy’s footsteps.

View to the Mourne Mountains from Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland

Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland 

Fans of the literary adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy will love exploring the Mourne Mountains - one of the stunning landscapes said to have inspired C.S Lewis to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1950.

View of Worms Head, Rhossili
Walking trail

Rhosili and South Gower Coast, Wales 

Dylan Thomas was a regular visitor to the Gower and a number of his stories feature connections to the area. Once he even got stuck on Worm's Head overnight after he fell asleep and missed the tide.

Shaw's Corner in Hertfordshire
Walking trail

Shaw's Corner, Hertfordshire 

Walk through literary history at Shaw's Corner. Follow in the footsteps of George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, who is known most popularly for his comedic play Pygmalion. Take a stroll on this route that stops off at Shaw's Corner, his home for 44 years, and explore a quaint village and beautiful countryside.

Please note that the house and gardens at Shaw's Corner are currently closed for the winter. They will reopen in March 2022.