National Trust Literary Tour

National Trust Pass

Discover the inspiration behind the words! Use your National Trust Pass to visit to the homes and inspiration spots of some of the world’s most famous writers.

Out of London
George Bernard Shaw

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From the outside, Shaw’s Corner near Welwyn looks like a typical Edwardian villa. Step inside to reveal the notorious character of 20th Century playwright, philosopher and wit George Bernard Shaw, who lived in the country home for 40 years. The house remains much as he left it; you can admire his personal belongings, marvel at the spectacular Arts & Crafts interior and explore his unique ‘revolving’ writing hut.

Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West

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Within 25 miles of picturesque Kent countryside landscape are two stately homes connected with two of the greatest female literary minds of the 20th Century. When novelist Virginia Woolf visited the poet Vita Sackville-West’s vast, ancestral home Knole, the result was the time-travelling novel, Orlando. Vita later moved 23 miles to Sissinghurst Castle where she produced one of the most celebrated gardens in England.

North England
Charlotte Bronte

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The commanding exterior of Gawthorpe Hall would not be misplaced in one of Charlotte Bronte’s own novels. It was where Charlotte stayed whilst mourning her sisters Emily and Anne and during her stay she met friend and future biographer Mrs Gaskell - author of Cranford.
Inside Gawthorpe Hall is a fine array of lace, needlework and costume as well as magnificent interiors created by Sir Charles Barry, the prominent English architect responsible for the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament.

Beatrix Potter

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Cumbria has inspired countless writers, artists and thinkers with its spectacular beauty and tranquillity. Beatrix Potter was one such author. Her home Hill Top is a fascinating time-capsule of her life and the gardens where she imagined Peter Rabbit frolicking are perfect for a summer stroll.
You can also visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery, just two miles away, which has many of her own paintings and illustrations.

William Wordsworth

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Experience 18th Century brought to life at romantic poet William Wordsworth’s birthplace - Wordsworth House and Garden. With costumed servants, it offers an unforgettable chance to see, smell, hear, touch and even taste what it was like to live in the 1770s and daily poetry readings capture the essence of this great literary birthplace.

South West England
Jane Austen
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‘By nine o’clock my Uncle, Aunt and I entered the rooms,’ wrote Jane Austen to her sister in 1801, recording one of many balls she attended at the Bath Assembly Rooms. For Jane and her heroines it was the hub of polite society and where she set some of her sharpest satire in Northanger Abbey and tenderest love scenes in Persuasion.

Rudyard Kipling

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It’s easy to imagine that Rudyard Kipling, creator of The Jungle Book, has just stepped out of his Sussex home, Bateman’s. The house remains much as Kipling left it, with his pens and notepads still lying on the desk of his book-lined study, and in his garage, his beautifully polished Rolls-Royce.

Thomas Hardy's Birthplace

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The humble, thatched cottage was where Thomas Hardy grew up and wrote Far from the Madding Crowd and Under the Greenwood Tree. It is exactly the birthplace you would expect of the author who wrote Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Modest and rustic, the cottage was built by Hardy’s great-grandfather and remains hardly changed since the family left.

Agatha Christie

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On the wooded banks of the River Dart in Devon is Greenway, Agatha Christie’s country home and the setting for some of her most famous stories. You can inspect some of her very own treasures and see the famous boathouse, where in Dead Man’s Folly Poirot’s case takes an unexpected twist.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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The years that poet S T Coleridge lived at Coleridge Cottage in Somerset were some of his happiest and most productive. It was where he wrote his opium-dream Kubla Khan and began The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The cottage is filled with personal mementos and a fascinating interpretation of the life and works of one of the most significant poets of all time.

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