On our recent trip to the United Kingdom, my husband and I took some time to travel around and visit some of the more popular literary landmarks. Honestly, it was by far my favorite part of the trip.
First off, we started by visiting the home of some of the world’s greatest pieces of theater and literature- Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. I have to admit I was surprised. In school, we studied the theater, made intricate models, looked at grand pictures of the interesting architecture. I never realized before how tiny it was. You can see from the picture how it’s dwarfed by just about every building around it. Still very cool, but ridiculously small!
Also on our list of places to visit- 221b Baker Street! There have been multiple recreations of the amazing detective stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My husband and I own several different version of the stories and picked up another retelling , from the point of view of the ever present Mrs. Hudson, called The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby (signed by the author!) while we were in London. My infatuation with Mr. Holmes began young. There was a cheesy 90’s cartoon, Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, that I watched religiously as a kid and my mom and I watched several old Sherlock inspired murder mysteries throughout my childhood. My husband and I also ate through the BBC series Sherlock a couple years ago. To say the least, we’re fans. So visiting Baker Street and the Sherlock Holmes flat was definitely awesome!
And of course, what’s a trip to King’s Cross Station without a visit to Platform 9 3/4? The Hogwarts station isn’t actually located between platforms 9 and 10, since I’m sure that would make for a transportation nightmare, but you can visit the Harry Potter Shop and see the Platform 9 3/4 sign over in the main concourse area. The area was pretty crowded and we were tired after a long day, so sadly we didn’t take the time to stand in line and get good pictures… A good excuse to go back for another visit someday!
There were plenty of other awesome literary sites we missed, tours related to the Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and countless other favorites, so we’ll actually have many good reasons to make plans for another trip 🙂 But there were plenty of other opportunities to geek out on the trip, including multiple sightings of the Doctor.
And for all you steampunk or post-apoc fans out there, the UK is an amazing place for art and writing inspiration. The architecture and artwork all over the country is the perfect muse, lots of wrought iron, old clockwork, crumbling buildings, etc. This was a statue we found on our excursion to Glasgow, Scotland commemorating their brave firefighters. I don’t know about you, but I did a double take when I saw the gas mask… Screams steam punk to me 🙂