No two things evoke excitement quite like a good book and travel. One allows you to mentally transport yourself into a fascinating new realm, while the latter allows you to physically head to the destination. Pair the two together and you have a formula strong enough to inspire even the most timid of travelers.
To motivate your next, or first, trip to the British Isles, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite books that offer vivid depictions of this lush, storyteller land – enjoy.
1) Ireland: Alfie, Trevor White
In his first biography, esteemed author Trevor White introduces you to Alfie Byrne, the beloved former mayor of Dublin. A popular politician, Alfie is a local legend in the city and was elected Lord Mayor 10 times. In this book you’ll learn more about his life and how he rose from his ordinary upbringing in inner city Dublin to Lord Mayor of Ireland.
With Luxury Gold, you’ll actually get to meet author Trevor White and take a personal after-hours tour of The Little Museum of Dublin, which he founded. Read the book before you arrive and come with questions ready.
Related trip: Ultimate Ireland
2) Ireland: The works of Seamus Heaney
It is not possible to explore Ireland and not mention the works of Seamus Heaney. An Irish poet and playwright, he was influenced by the politics and nature in his country, with Irish landscapes featuring throughout his works. In 1995 Heaney won the Nobel Prize for Literature for “works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth.” Famous pieces to read include Digging which is symbolic of Ireland’s move away from rural life, Casualty which tells the story of a pub-loving fisherman and Bogland which looks at Ireland’s deep past through nature.
3) Bath: Northanger Abbey & Persuasion, Jane Austen
Historic Bath is famous for its Roman and Georgian architecture, charming cobbled streets and rejuvenating thermal spas. Few have portrayed its historic roots better than Jane Austen. An English novelist famous for titles such as Sense and Sensibility and Emma, her novels are adored worldwide. Two of Austen’s books set in Bath include Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Both reflect the bustling, excitement of the pretty city in its Georgian heyday.
4) Yorkshire: Emily Brontë
Wild depictions of the Yorkshire moors await you in Emily Brontë’s iconic novel, Wuthering Heights. A scandalous read for its time, it tells the tale of Catherine Earnshaw, a wealthy woman who falls for Healthcliff, a boy her father adopts. A forbidden relationship, the novel tells the tale of an unearthly love, class, natural religion and revenge, with the mysterious moors acting as a symbolic backdrop.
5) Scotland: Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
A popular time traveling novel and TV series, following the story of Claire Randall from 1945 back to 1743, Outlander is primarily based in Scotland. Successfully representing the country’s breathtaking natural beauty, it follows Claire back in time, where she falls for Highlander Jamie. With elements of historical fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction this exciting novel visits Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and Inverness.
Related trip: British Royale