Round trip of the UK in books

Family outing - map reading

With the May half-term fast approaching many of us will be staying put in the UK this year. So instead of taking children on an adventure far away from home why not encourage themto get lost in a book that has been inspired by a place a bit closer to home. 

Some of our favourite children’s books are set in the UK and below you will find a selection of these that might even inspire you to go on a family day out with a literary theme. 

From classics to some more modern adventures there is something to suit children of all ages and stages, and even the adults too…

Escape to Cornwall with…

The Mousehole Cat, Antonia Barber (3 – 9 year olds)

Antonia Barber’s beautifully written and illustrated tale is about a cat named Mowzer who goes on a fishing expedition with his owner off the coast of Cornwall. In rough and stormy seas they meet the Storm-Cat and Mowzer has to find a way to calm the raging seas. The story is based on the legend of Cornish fisherman Tom Bawcock and transports readers to the tiny fishing villages along Cornwall’s southern coast. 

Polperro harbour
Polperro harbour

Available to purchase HERE

Get lost in the forest with…

Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne (5 – 8 year olds)

AA Milne was inspired by Ashdown Forest in East Sussex when writing his series of books on Winnie the Pooh and friends. AA Milne lived close to the edge of the beautiful and magical “Hundred Acre Wood” where the Winnie-the-Pooh stories were set. The ‘real’ wood is in actuality Five Hundred Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest in East Sussex, England, . The stories of Pooh are heart-warming and funny and can be enjoyed by all the family. 

Five hundred acre wood
Five hundred acre wood

Various books available to purchase HERE

Discover a famous author’s past in Buckinghamshire with….

Matilda, Roald Dahl, (7 – 10 year olds)

Roald Dahl lived in Great Missenden in Buckinghamshire for 35 years and wrote many of his novels here.

The Roald Dahl Museum features manuscripts, photos and letters from Roald Dahl and, as well as seeing Roald Dahl’s old writing hut, families can walk around the village and see the different sights that inspired some of the events and features of his stories. 

Roald Dahl Museum
The Roald Dahl Museum

Available to purchase HERE

Escape to the banks of the River Thames with…

The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (7 – 14 year olds)

Another classic tale about four friends setting off on an adventure through the English countryside and on the River Thames. Kenneth Grahame developed the manuscript for this famous children’s book from the bedtime stories he told his son, Alastair. He was inspired by his time living in Berkshire and near the banks of the River Thames. A number of houses compete to be the inspiration for Toad Hall. In itself that is a road trip. The contenders are: Mapledurham House and Hardwick House both in Oxfordshire (our prime contenders), Foxwarren Park in Surrey, Fawley Court in Buckinghamshire, and Fowey Hall Hotel in Cornwall.

Available to purchase HERE

Take a magical adventure in Wales with…

Storm Hound, Claire Fayers (9 – 11 year olds)

Claire Fayers’ action packed children’s novels are inspired by her Welsh childhood. Her latest book, Storm Hound, tells the magical story of Storm of Odin and 12 year old Jessica Price. Storm of Odin is the youngest storm hound of the Wild Hunt who on his very first hunt finds he can’t keep up and falls to earth, landing on the A40 just outside Abergavenny. This is an action packed adventure story that is hard to put down.

Our chief dragon had an exclusive interview with Claire Fayers before – you can see more here.

Claire Fayers

Available to purchase HERE

Discover Dorset with…

Five on Treasure Island, Enid Blyton (9 – 11 year olds)

Corfe Castle in Dorset is said to be the inspiration for Kirrin Castle in Enid Blyton’s famous novel featuring the Famous Five. The sixth book in the series Five on Treasure Island features, Uncle Quentin who has locked himself away on Kirrin Island. The Famous Five set out on an adventure to try and work out why. The story is full of mystery and intrigue to keep young readers gripped. 

Corfe Castle

Available to purchase HERE

Race across the Scottish highlands with….

Eternal Seas, Lexi Rees (8 – 11 year olds)

A classic quest story with a key location in Scotland, Eternal Seas is an action packed fantasy which focuses on friendships, families, love, trust and facing your fears. Lexi Rees includes beautiful descriptions as you globetrot, ending up at Castle Gylen on the Isle of Kerrera (although remained Isle of Gylen in the book).

Gylen Castle
Gylen Castle

Available to purchase HERE

Set off an adventure from Oxford with…

His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (9 – 14 year olds)

Philip Pullman’s epic trilogy is set in Oxford where Lyra Belacqua and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. One of the most famous children’s stories of the past twenty years, Philip Pullman takes children on a magical and rollercoaster adventure to the Arctic and beyond.

Available to purchase HERE

We could go on. Perhaps we’ll do a sequel in the summer holidays.

Published by Lexi Rees

Author of adventurous books for children, horse-mad sailor and crafter, caffeine fuelled.

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