Literature Tours

LITERATURE TOURS

Have a favorite writer or poet? What about your favorite book turned movie? Our destinations are rich with history from world famous writers. Explore Anne Hathaway’s cottage, Jane Austen’s home turned museum and filming locations for Harry Potter, Game of Thrones & more! Incorporate your favorite literature into one of our custom tours or join one of the literary tours mentioned below.

 

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Literature tours of Ireland

 

notable novels & authors:

Oscar Wilde
The Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing was opened in January 1998 as the teaching and research centre for both the long-standing M.Phil. in Irish Writing and the M.Phil. in Creative Writing. The Centre was originally the home of the Wilde family and it was in the Westland Row house that the famous son of Sir William and Lady Wilde (‘Speranza’) was born on October 16th 1854. The Oscar Wilde Centre houses specialised libraries of writers and scholars such as Vivian Mercier, Roy McFadden and Robert Greacen.

 

W.B Yeats
In 1923, Yeats won a Nobel Peace Prize. A famous poet, as literary Ireland goes, he is one of few writers to ever produce his best work after winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He also served as an Irish senator for two years. He was born in Sandymount, Ireland and educated there and in London. He spent childhood holidays in County Sligo and studied poetry from an early age when he became fascinated by Irish legends and the occult. These topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century.

 

James Joyce
James Joyce was an Irish, modernist writer who wrote in a ground-breaking style that was known both for its complexity and explicit content. Joyce was born on February 2, 1882 in Dublin, Ireland. He published “Portrait of the Artist” in 1916 and caught the attention of Ezra Pound. With “Ulysses,” Joyce perfected his stream-of-consciousness style and became a literary celebrity. The explicit content of his prose brought about landmark legal decisions on obscenity.

 

 

locations, attractions & tours:


Trinity College, Book of Kells
The Book of Kells Exhibition is a must-see on the itinerary of all visitors to Dublin. Located in the heart of Dublin City, a walk through the cobbled stones of Trinity College Dublin will bring visitors back to the 18th century, when the magnificent Old Library building was constructed and which displays the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is Ireland’s greatest cultural treasure and the world’s most famous medieval manuscript. The 9th century book is a richly decorated copy of the four Gospels of the life of Jesus Christ.

 


The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl
The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl is a walking tour of Dublin’s historic pubs in the company of two actors who introduce the writers and perform scenes from their works: The Pub, the Poet, the Pint! A selection from Joyce, Beckett, Behan, Mary Lavin, Oscar Wilde, Eavan Boland, Paula Meehan, Seamus Heaney, Michael Longley are featured. The tour is about 2 and a half hours long and you will walk about a half of a mile.

 

 

Events & Festivals:

  • Belfast Book Festival
  • Bloomsday Festival
  • Yeats Day
  • International Literary Festival, Dublin
  • Oscar Wilde Festival

 

 

literature tours of scotland

notable novels & authors:

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon
Diana Gabaldon is the writer of a sequence of novels and shorter works called Outlander or better known as the Outlander Series. The franchise has expanded to include the 2014 television drama series Outlander on Starz, a 2010 graphic novel and a 2010 musical album called Outlander: The Musical. Gabaldon has also spun off recurring secondary character Lord John Grey into the Lord John series, a sequence of novels and shorter works that can be generally categorized as historical mysteries. Check out our Outlander Filming Locations Map by clicking here.

Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
Joanne “Jo” Rowling is a British novelist, screenwriter and film producer best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series.
The books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, and sold more than 400 million copies. They have become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a series of films over which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts and maintained creative control by serving as a producer on the final installment. *If you are planning on visiting Edinburgh, take a trip to the Elephant House on the George IV bridge. It is where many writers, more famously J.K Rowling spent time in the backroom overlooking Edinburgh Castle writing what would go on to be the most successful book series ever published, Harry Potter. See Harry Potter tours by clicking here.

 

Rob Roy – Sir Walter Scott
One of Scotland’s most enduring and celebrated writers, Sir Walter Scott’s romantic depictions of a bygone Scotland filled with tartan-clad Highlanders, heroic acts of derring-do, and damsels in distress, made him a literary superstar of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Intrinsically linked with his beloved Scottish Borders, there are many places across Scotland with connections to his novels and poems which continue to captivate readers today.

 

 

locations, attractions & tours:


The Jacobite Steam Train
The Jacobite is a steam locomotive-hauled tourist train service that operates over part of the West Highland Railway Line in Scotland. The train stops en route to Mallaig at the village of Glenfinnan. Beyond Glenfinnan are the beautiful villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. You may alight at Arisaig by request to the guard. From here, on a clear summer’s day, you can see the “Small Isles” of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye. The train continues on from here passing Morar and the silvery beaches used in the films “Highlander” and “Local Hero”.

 


Potter Trail
Grab a wand and join your robed guide on the only literary tour in Edinburgh designed especially for Harry Potter fans! You’ll discover the magical locations that inspired characters and scenes in the series, visit the places where JK Rowling wrote the books and even learn about the real-life witches and wizards of medieval Edinburgh.

 


Abbotsford House – Home of Sir Walter Scott
Created almost 200 years ago on the banks of the River Tweed in the Scottish Borders, Abbotsford was the culmination of Sir Walter Scott’s creative ambitions as a writer and the fount of his inspiration. Explore the historic house and discover a treasure trove of intriguing objects and unusual artifacts which inspired Scott’s greatest poems and novels. Learn about Scott’s life and achievements, browse the gift shop, dine in style in our restaurant or simply relax and unwind as you wander through the beautiful formal gardens and tranquil woodlands. A day out at Abbotsford has something for everyone.

 


Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour
The award winning Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour was the first literary tour launched in Edinburgh in 1996! Since then it has carried in excess of 150,000 satisfied customers on a dramatic literary trail across Edinburgh. It is regarded by many as a pioneer in its field, and a “Must-see” cultural attraction in guide books throughout the world.

Additionally you may tour:

  • Glasgow Women’s Library
  • Edinburgh Writer’s Museum
  • National Library of Scotland
  • Edinburgh’s Literature tour
  • Wigtown (Scotland’s National Book Town)

 

 

events & festivals:

  • Edinburgh International Book Festival
  • Bloody Scotland, Crime Writing Festival
  • Aye Write! (Glasgow Festival)
  • Borders Book Festival

 

 


 

literature tours of England

notable novels & authors:

William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet, and the “Bard of Avon”. *Be sure to take a trip and view Anne Hathaway’s (Shakespeare’s wife) cottage located in Stratford-Upon-Avon!

 

Jane Austen
Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Be sure to check out Austen’s home in Hampshire England! In the house Jane revised the three manuscripts she had written previously, but which had remained unpublished, wrote three more novels and started one more, which was destined to remain unfinished before illness overtook her. Jane left the cottage for the last time in May 1817 to take lodgings near her physician in Winchester.

 

Charles Dickens
British novelist Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England. Over the course of his writing career, he wrote the beloved classic novels Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. On June 9, 1870, Dickens died of a stroke in Kent, England, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.

 

 

locations, attractions & tours:


Anne Hathaway’s Cottage
Visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the beautiful 500 year old cottage where Shakespeare courted his bride-to-be. See original furniture including the Hathaway bed and uncover five centuries of stories in this picturesque cottage and 13 generations of the family who lived there.

 


Shakespeare’s Globe
Shakespeare’s Globe is the complex housing a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse associated with William Shakespeare, in the London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames. The original theatre was built in 1599, destroyed by fire in 1613, rebuilt in 1614, and then demolished in 1644. The modern Globe Theatre reconstruction is an academic approximation based on available evidence of the 1599 and 1614 buildings. It is considered quite realistic, though contemporary safety requirements mean that it accommodates only 1400 spectators compared to the original theatre’s 3000.

 


London Literary Pub Crawl
See where the giants of the literary world ate, drank, discussed, thought and worked. The pubs and taverns that inspired some of the greatest creative minds in the world – and still do. This new and unique tour is artist-led and arranged by the not-for-profit charity The Maverick Theatre Company. It involves local writers and artists from London’s West End and the UK TV and Film industry. There’s a lovely synergy, that by coming on our tour, you are supporting a current generation of (usually!) struggling writers and artists in London!

 


Jane Austen’s House Museum
Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire is the only house where Jane lived and wrote that is open to the public as a museum. Here you can even donate to Jane’s Fund: an appeal to restore and protect the house where she lived and wrote some of her most celebrated works!

 

 

events & festivals:

  • Words in the Park Festival, London
  • Stoke Newington Literary Festival, London
  • Latitude, Henham Park, Suffolk
  • Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall

 

 

literature tours of Wales

notable novels & authors:

RS Thomas
One of Wales’ most commanding literary figures, with a writing career that spanned five decades and produced over 20 volumes of poetry. In 1996, at the age of 83, Thomas was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. His collections of poetry include The Stones of the Field, Song at the Year’s Turning, Ingrowing Thoughts and Mass for Hard Times.

 

Roald Dahl
The best-selling author of children’s books. Often illustrated by Quentin Blake, Dahl’s children’s fiction is most often told from a child’s point of view. Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, in 1916 to Norwegian parents and worshipped at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay which is now arts centre. Cardiff Bay is also home to the Roald Dahl Plas, a public plaza where many events take place. His most famous works include The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

 

Owen Sheers
Poet and short story writer. Born in Fiji, Sheers was brought up in Abergavenny. He was named by The Independent on Sunday as one of Britain’s Top Thirty Young Writers. The Dust Diaries, a montage of fiction, biography and travelogue, won the Wales Book of the Year 2005. In 2011, Owen wrote the script and novelization of The Passion for National Theatre Wales and WildWorks.

 

 

locations, attractions & tours:


Hay-on-Wye
Hay-on-Wye is the world’s largest second-hand and antiquarian book centre. Hay-on-Wye has several unmanned “honesty bookshops” with its outdoor shelves lining the outer walls of the castle. The village hosts the annual Hay Literary Festival, bringing in lots of acclaimed writers. You will find tiny outdoor bookshelves everywhere. With so much history and ambience, you could probably spend a year in each bookstore.

 


Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Strewn across the front of this enormous arts centre are the large bilingual poetic lines by the modern Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis. The Wales Millennium Centre has one large theatre and two smaller stages, for performances of opera, ballet, dance, comedy and musicals. The inscription reads “In These Stones Horizons Sing”.

 


Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons
Along the southeastern border with England, the Black Mountains were the childhood home of writers Owen Sheers, Bruce Chatwin, Raymond Williams, Chris Meredith and Horatio Clare. The region has a number of attractive towns close by including Abergavenny and Hay-on-Wye. It’s also a popular area for walking and mountain biking.

 

 

events & festivals:

  • Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival
  • Edward Thomas 100
  • Abergavenny Writing Festival
  • Llandeilo Lit Fest
  • Hay Festival

 

 

literature tours of Italy

notable novels & authors:

Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, simply called Dante, was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa and later christened Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. Dante’s significance also extends past his home country; his depictions of Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven have provided inspiration for a large body of Western art, and are cited as an influence on the works of John Milton, Geoffrey Chaucer and Alfred Tennyson, among many others. In addition, the first use of the interlocking three-line rhyme scheme, or the terza rima, is attributed to him.

 

Niccolo Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli, or more formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, was a Florentine Renaissance historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer. He has often been called the founder of modern political science. He was for many years a senior official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language. He was secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his most renowned work The Prince (Il Principe) in 1513.

 

Giuseppe Verdi
Verdi was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him, becoming one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history. In his early operas Verdi demonstrated a sympathy with the Risorgimento movement which sought the unification of Italy. He also participated briefly as an elected politician. The chorus “Va, pensiero” from his early opera Nabucco (1842), and similar choruses in later operas, were much in the spirit of the unification movement, and the composer himself became esteemed as a representative of these ideals.

 

 

locations, attractions & tours:


Santa Croce, Florence
Nearly halfway down the nave of Santa Croce stands the tomb of Niccolò Machiavelli. Though he died in 1527, his tomb was not built until 1787. Machiavelli’s monument is a marble structure created by Spinazzi that bears the inscription, “Tanto nomini nullum par eulogium,” or “No eulogy is equal to such a name.” Also in Florence at Santa Croce you will find a memorial to Dante as both Dante and Machiavelli are from Florence.

 


Keats-Shelley House: Piazza di Spagna
The house at the bottom of the Spanish Steps (to the right if looking up at the church Trinità dei Monti) is where the Romantic poet John Keats died of tuberculosis in 1821 at the age of only 25. Keats came to Rome with the hope that the Mediterranean climate would cure him. For a month he enjoyed the city; he walked on the Via del Corso, the Spanish Steps and Monte Pincio. But his sickness soon got the better of him, and Keats died only three months after he arrived.

 


Alberto Moravia’s House: Lungotevere della Vittoria
Open 1st Saturday of every month. Alberto Moravia was one of Italy’s best-known writers of the post-war years. His apartment above the Tiber river, where he lived during the later part of his life, has been preserved as a small museum. The apartment appears as if Moravia has just left for groceries and at any moment will return, sit down at his sturdy wooden desk, put his fingers to his Olivetti typewriter, and begin to write. The books of his personal library fill the shelves. And be sure to check out the kitchen stylishly decorated in the 70s.

 

 

events & festivals:

  • Festivaletteratura
  • Le Conversazioni
  • Pordenonelegge
  • Venice Literary Biennale

 

 

literature tours of Iceland

notable novels & authors:

Gunnar Gunnarsson
Gunnar Gunnarsson was an Icelandic author who wrote mainly in Danish. He grew up, in considerable poverty, on Valþjófsstaður in Fljótsdalur valley and on Ljótsstaðir in Vopnafjörður. Often considered one of the most important Icelandic writers, he wrote the novel Af Borgslægtens Historie (translated into English as Guest the One-Eyed), the first Icelandic writing ever made into a movie. He also wrote the autobiographical novel The Church on the Mountain.

 

Halldór Laxness
Halldór Kiljan Laxness was a twentieth-century Icelandic writer. Throughout his career Laxness wrote poetry, newspaper articles, plays, travelogues, short stories, and novels. Major influences included August Strindberg, Sigmund Freud, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Bertolt Brecht and Ernest Hemingway. He received the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature; he is the only Icelandic Nobel laureate.

 

Snorri Sturluson
Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian, poet, and politician. He was elected twice as a lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning, a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language, and the Háttatal, a list of verse forms. He was also the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings.

 

 

locations, attractions & tours:


Reykjavík City Benches
Selected city benches in Reykjavík have become literary retreats. Travelers in the city can now enjoy listening to readings from Icelandic literature by scanning a QR-code, placed on several city benches, with a smart-phone.

 


Reykjavík City Literary Walk
The goal is first and foremost to promote Icelandic literature in an original and fun way, but also to show the city as a literary site in different times and to cast a new light on Iceland’s daily surroundings. Currently, the guided tour Dark Deeds in Reykjavik, which is free of charge, is on every Thursday at 3 pm in June, July and August. No booking is needed, you simply show up at the City Library in Tryggvagata 15, 1st floor. This walk can also be booked for groups but there is a fee to reserve a group.

 

 

events & festivals:


Reykjavík International Literary Festival
Also known as Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík. Since its beginning in 1985, the Reykjavík International Literary Festival has been a major celebration of the literary culture, books and authors. The chief purpose of the festival, from the beginning, has been to introduce foreign authors and new trends in literature to Icelandic readers. Since the first festival was held, in 1985, many distinguished writers such as William Styron, Isabel Allende, Seamus Heaney, A.S. Byatt, André Brink, Günter Grass, Haruki Murakami, José Saramago, Kurt Vonnegut, J. M. Coetzee and Herta Müller, have honored us with their attendance. Many fine Nordic authors have also participated in the festival through the years.

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