Seeing London Through Its Great Authors

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Transport for London

London’s history is one that’s rife with creativity, From the romantic poets to the 90s’ contemporary YBA’s, the city is full to the brim with creative influences. It’s no surprise either, guests at the Grand Royale London Hyde Park will be inundated with amazing attractions inspired by the history of London’s great artists.

One aspect of the creative landscape that has rooted itself in London’s collective imagination, is that of its many authors. From contemporary young adult fiction to the more adult classics, there’s plenty of writers in the UK Capital who have written themselves into the streets, fields and landmarks of London.

If you’re a bookworm visiting the city for the first time, here you can find a collection of magical attractions inspired by the long history of London based literature.

Kings Cross Platform 9 and 3 quarters

Kings Cross is one of the most memorable settings of the Harry Potter franchise. With the plot of the book series formulated by JK Rowling during her train journey from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross, it’s no surprise that the North London train station plays a major part in the series. With the magical platform nine and three quarters being the terminus for the Hogwarts Express train service, guests at the train station can enjoy selfies at the spot where the entrance would be. Marked out by a shopping trolley submerged in the wall, Kings Cross offers guests more than just journeys to Scotland.

Paddington’s Paddington

Another famous train station for its literary inspiration, Paddington Station is the namesake for Michael Bond’s children’s book Paddington Bear. Guests at the nearby Hyde Park International can enjoy a whole gift shop dedicated to the Peruvian Bear with a penchant for marmalade.

Peter Pan’s Kensington Gardens

The statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens may seem quite a left-field choice for a usually royal affiliated public garden. However, when you learn that it was the inspiration for JM Barrie’s most famous book character, your view of the already beautiful Serpentine park will be transformed into something even more wonderful.

Bloomsbury Square

Bloomsbury Square is located in Central London’s Central London area and is famous for its affiliations with the Bloomsbury Set, an influential group of writers who included E.M Forster, Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes among its members. These writers were often found around the idyllic residential square and made even more famous a square that had among its former residents the likes of TS Elliot, Bram Stoker and Charles Dickens. It’s no wonder then, that many of the most famous British publishing companies are located nearby, including Bloomsbury and Random House.

Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Tour

If Kings Cross wasn’t enough for visiting Potter fans, then the Harry Potter Tour in Leavesden’s Warner Brother’s Studio’s will give you a deep dive into the sets, costumes and concepts behind the film adaptations award-winning fantasy world. With green screen quidditch, beautiful movie sets including Privet Drive and props such as the real Sorting Hat, guests at the Shaftesbury Hotel might have to trek it for just under an hour to get to the North West outskirt suburb of Leavesden, but it’ll be well worth it for the magic awaiting you there.

Clapham Common and the End of the Affair

For a taste of wartime London, why not take a trip to South West London’s Clapham Common. The setting of Graham Greene’s End of the Affair, a story about a Blitz era romance in the midst of falling bombs, Clapham Common is a beautiful park that also played host to the authors home, which itself was damaged during the war.

Shakespeare’s Globe

The historic home of the plays of Shakespeare, the replica of the original Globe Theatre still runs today and is located on the banks of the Thames close to London Bridge. With seasons curated and performed by the Globe’s resident theatre company, you can expect retellings of Shakespeare’s classics, as well as new plays inspired by his works and that of his contemporaries.

Poets Corner in Westminster abbey

Poets Corner is the part of Westminster Abbey dedicated to literary figures. With many notable writers buried here, visitors to the South Transept will be able to see the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer’s tomb, the first of the poet’s corner residence, as well as Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling are among the incredible writers in the Poet’s Corner, representing some of the UK – and the city’s – most legendary storytellers.

Keats House

John Keats, poet and writer of the famous Ode to a Nightingale lived in this beautiful house until he moved to Italy in 1820. Guests can find the Keats Museum across the road from the refurbished house, where they can see collections of Keats letters, as well as his engagement ring and even a copy of his death mask. Alongside the museum dedicated to Keats life, guests can find a range of literary events throughout the year including afternoon poetry readings and question and answer sessions with many international authors.

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Based just one door down from where the fictional detectives home would be on Baker Street, the Sherlock Holmes Museum includes reconstructions of the detectives Victorian home alongside exhibitions concerning the life of his author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is also run by actors and impersonators, bringing to life Victorian policemen and housekeepers to add an extra level of charm.

Charles Dickens Museum

Based in Holborn, the Charles Dickens Museum at 48 Doughty Street is based in a Georgian terraced house which is typical fo the type that Dickens himself would have lived in. Exploring the inspirations and the life of the iconic London author, this museum is another example of London’s dedication to its writers.

Highgate Cemetery

The resting place of such authors as Karl Marx and Douglas Adams, this is no poets corner but the atmospheric North London contribution to the Magnificent Seven city cemetery group is a must for literary loving London holiday package guests. With a wealth of history and beautiful scenery, any aspiring writer will no doubt be inspired by the leafy woodlands here.

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