Are you looking for a travel destination to engage your children? How about a location from a favourite children’s book, or an actual landmark or building which inspired a magical or legendary setting from a story? Here’s a list of top holiday spots with literary themes.
Travel locations in children’s books – our recommendations
In the UK and Northern Ireland
- London – from The Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell, King’s Cross Station – Platform 9 and 3/4 – from Harry Potter, Paddington Bear by Michael Bond, Peter Pan by JM Barrie (Kensington Palace), Mary Poppins by PL Travers, A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Ravenmaster’s Boy by Mary Hoffman.
- The Orient Express – from First Class Murder by Robin Stevens, and Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie
- Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire – from The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
- Hay on Wye – is packed with bookshops, including many Children’s bookshops, and an annual literary festival.
- Stratford Upon Avon – the home of Shakespeare
- Cornwall – from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Toad Hall is apparently inspired by Lerryn. Kenneth Grahame used to holiday at Fowey Hall. Also, Tintagel Castle from the legend of King Arthur; Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper; Dead Man’s Cove by Lauren St John.
- West Yorkshire – from The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit. Oakworth station was used in the film version.
- Aylesbury – home of the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery
- Oxford – from Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman
- Great Missenden – home of the Roald Dahl Museum
- Birmingham – from Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, especially Mosely and Sarehole Mill
- The New Forest, Hampshire – from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol and from Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat.
- Thames Valley, Berkshire – from Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- Yorkshire Dales and Middleham – from the Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. York and Middleham also feature in The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey.
- Watership Down, Hampshire – from Watership Down by Richard Adams
- Whitby – from Dracula by Bram Stoker, Shadowmancer by GP Taylor and Room 13 by Robert Swindells; Missing in Time by Catherine Harriott (Robin Hoods Bay)
- Moray, Scotland and Alnwick Castle, Northumberland – Hogwarts from Harry Potter by JK Rowling (in the film version). Also, Northumberland features in The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff.
- Ashdown Forest, Sussex – Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by AA Milne
- Channel Islands – from Island of Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- The Lake District and Bowness-on-Windemere – from Beatrix Potter books and Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.
- Nottinghamshire – Sherwood Forest and Nottingham from The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green.
- Dorset – Moonfleet by J Meade Falkner.
- Scilly Isles – Why the Whales Came by Michael Morpurgo; Island of Adventure by Enid Blyton.
- Wales – The Owl Service by Alan Garner; The Red Judge by Pauline Fisk; Megan and the Pantomime Thief by Frances Thomas; Snow Spider by Jenny Nimmo.
- Scotland – Ring of Bright Water by Gavin Maxwell; Katy Morag series by Mairi Hedderwick; The Nowhere Emporium by Ross MacKenzie (Glasgow); The Hill of the Red Fox by Allen Campbell Mclean; The Sound of Whales by Kerr Thomson. The island archipelago of St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides features in the SeaBEAN trilogy by Sarah Holding.
- Canada – from Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M Montgomery (Prince Edward Island).
- New York – from James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (Central Park and the Empire State Building), Ella by Mallory Kasdan (Times Square), The Mixed-up Files or Mrs Basil E Frankweiler (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Brooklyn subway (Knuffle Bunny). The Hudson River is featured in the Trixie Belden series.
- The Arctic Circle – from Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick.
- Kansas – from Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum.
- Texas – from Holes by Louis Sachar.
- New Zealand – from The Lord of the Rings films.
- Egypt and the Valley of the Kings – from The Phoenix Code by Helen Moss.
- Paris – from Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans, Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and Ruby Red Shoes Goes to Paris by Kate Knapp.
- An African Safari – from Rift by Beverley Birch and The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo.
- The French Alps – from the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz.
Travel Guides for Children
Lonely Planet has an excellent range of books for children visiting travel locations around the world. The Not for Parents series is stuffed with interesting facts about each location, and features landmarks and trip ideas to appeal to children.
Leap and Hop books also produce amazing ring-bound travel adventure guides for children, for locations such as Myanmar, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, New York, Paris, and Bali.
For more reading ideas, why not have a look at our Year 6 books ?
This page was first published on Sep 24, 2017 and last updated on.