Literary Travel to Inspire the Imagination

Welcome to the The Word Travels, the hub for literary travel, tours and adventures.

Here you’ll find information and inspiration for stimulating journeys within and beyond the book.

Going where the plot takes us

Fiction can provide a map to fascinating places to explore in a city or country, often taking you to places you would not otherwise visit or discover.

See more, see better

Books can also offer a ‘way in’ to greater appreciation of the people and places you visit – as well as a greater understanding of the author and the book itself.

“Walking” great books, experiencing them through the feet, opens up new perspectives and fresh understanding of the work – and sharpens our senses to the world around us. For example, walk the moors on a windy day and you’ll experience, better than any dictionary definition, the meaning of ‘wuthering’.

'Literature always seems richer when you visit the place that inspired it.’ John Sutherland

'I find proximity very moving' 

Patti Smith speaking in an interview with the BBC about her 'pilgrimage' to Haworth, before her special benefit performance of an evening of words and music at the Bronte Parsonage (on 19th April 2013):

'I find proximity very moving ... walking on the floorboards where Charlotte walked ... [to] be in the room and the atmosphere where so much happened.'

Listen to the interview here.

Photograph: the

Where to start your literary journey

Right here! Explore this website and whatever your literary passion, you will find inspiration and expert advice for planning and making your literary journey:

Walk the landscapes that inspired Hardy in Dorset; pursue the shade of Kafka in Prague; visit the haunts of the lost generation in Paris; eat a Madeleine in Combray; explore the London of Dickens and Shakespeare; swim the Hellespont, that ancient dividing line between east and west….

For ideas and inspiration for literary travel, browse our growing resource of trails, including:

Yorkshire, the Brontes, and more, literary walks exploring the Yorkshire moorlands and other locations that inspired the Bronte sisters, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Bram Stoker, Elizabeth Gaskell, Laurence Sterne and many others.

Lorca and Granada, a guide to the exciting and sensual city of Granada and the surrounding villages that inspired Lorca, Washington Irving, Gerald Brenan and the composer Manuel de Falla.

Ancient Greece & the Classical World

D H Lawrence in New Mexico

Virginia Woolf

We are continually adding to our trails and literary tours. Subscribe to our blog or XML feed for all the latest updates.

Interested in an author or place we haven’t covered yet? Let us know what you’d like to see. Know a great place with literary connections that you have visited? Do contact us, and tell us all about it.

Literary tours and guiding

Specialists in literary travel and services for the literary tourist, we can provide

  • A complete tour service for groups, including all planning, arrangements and bookings
  • Expert guiding services for whole or part of a tour

For more information, please see our section on literary tours.

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. And inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx

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The Word Travels

New on The Word Travels

Walking Book Club

New in 2014. Join us for walks in Dorset throughout the year. 

Next walk: 1st June 2014 - Stoner

Click here for details

New Pages

Dr Samuel Johnson & Gough Square

Virginia Woolf in Fitzroy Square

D H lawrence in New Mexico


Jane Austen weekend in Lyme Regis.

Great piece by Felicity Jones in this month's Intelligent Life about finding her way into the role of Nelly Ternan (the actress who had a long affair with Dickens), for Ralph Fiennes's new movie:

… I immersed myself in Nelly's world .. I retraced the sisters' regular 90-minute walk back from the theatre [The Haymarket, where Dickens saw Nelly performing in 'School for Scandal') to their house in Islington, Park Cottage, which still exists. Wandering in and out of the little rooms, I pictured Nelly carrying her hooped skirt up and down the narrow stairs, pushing past the equally huge skirts of her mother and sisters. I saw her in the small room in the basement with its tiny high window…