1. Potter's Farm

Hill Top farm in Near Sawrey in the Lake District belonged to Beatrix Potter and the garden, the stone-flagged floors, fireplaces and lots of other views and architectural features are easily recognisable from her illustrations.

Stay at Sawrey House Hotel in Near Sawrey (sawreyhouse.com). Rooms from £100 B&B or £125 half board.

[An adventurer’s guidebook to unexplored parts of the Himalayas]

2. Far from the Crowds

Both Thomas Hardy’s birthplace, an idyllic thatch cottage in Higher Bockhampton, and Max Gate, the house he designed and built on the outskirts of Dorchester, are open to the public. You can also see where his heart is buried at St Michael’s Church in Stinsford (his body is in Westminster Abbey) and learn more about his life at the Dorset County Museum.

Stay at Yalbury Cottage in Lower Bockhampton (yalburycottage.com). Rooms from £99 B&B.

3. Woolf’s Lair

Monk’s House in Rodmell is the 16th-century cottage bought by Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard, as a holiday home in 1919. Woolf wrote many of her works in a lodge overlooking the orchard garden.

Stay at Old Whyly in East Hoathly (oldwhyly.co.uk). Rooms from £98 B&B.

4. Haworth Home


The Bronte family moved to Haworth in 1820. One of the most evocative rooms is the simple parlour where Charlotte, Emily and Anne wrote.

Stay at Shibden Mill Inn near Halifax (shibdenmillinn.com). Rooms from £95 B&B.

5. Burns’ Bothy

Robert Burns was born in a tiny, clay and thatch cottage in the Ayrshire village of Alloway.

Stay at Blackaddie House in Sanquhar, (blackaddiehotel.co.uk). Rooms from £125 B&B.

6. Bard’s Abode


Although his last home – New Place – was demolished in 1702, several other buildings closely associated with Shakespeare and his family still survive in Stratford upon Avon. These include the half-timbered house in the town centre where he was born in 1564 and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, which belonged to his wife’s family.

Stay at The Arden Hotel in Stratford upon Avon (theardenhotelstratford.com). Rooms from £114 B&B.

7. Dylan’s Dive

Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive is a semi-detached Edwardian house in the Uplands suburb of Swansea where Dylan Thomas was born in 1914 – and which remained his family home for 23 years. Visitors can tour, eat or stay overnight in the rooms, including Dylan’s tiny bedroom.

Stay at Dylan Thomas House at Number 5 Cwmdonkin Drive (dylanthomasbirthplace.com). Rooms from £160 B&B.

8. Austen Towers

Persuasion and Emma were among the novels written in the mellow, red-brick house in Chawton in east Hampshire where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life.

Stay at The Running Horse Inn near Winchester (runninghorseinn.co.uk). Rooms from £69 B&B.

9. Greenway Stays


Agatha Christie was born in 1890 near Torquay in Devon. The National Trust manages her Georgian holiday house, Greenway, near Brixham, which she bought in 1938. Four holiday properties, including an apartment inside the house, are available to rent.

Stay at Greenway Apartment (sleeps eight) from £1,119 for three nights; South Lodge (sleeps six) from £889 for two nights; The Lodge (sleeps two) from £292 for two nights; Ferry Cottage (sleeps four) from £449 for three nights (nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway).

10. Dickens’ London

Among Dickens’s possessions on display at 48 Doughty Street in Holborn, where he lived in the late 1830s, are handwritten drafts, his wife’s engagement ring and the desk where he wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby. The house also makes a good springboard for exploring the novelist’s London haunts including Borough High Street, former site of the Marshalsea prison where his father was imprisoned for debt and which was immortalised in Little Dorrit, and the Old Curiosity Shop in Holborn.

Stay at 43, Cloth Fair in Smithfield (landmarktrust.org.uk). Sleeps two. Four nights from £748.

The Daily Telegraph