We get lost among the pages of our favourite novels, happily so, and those fictional worlds become our own. However, many of us still dream of visiting the imaginary places in our favourite novels, and while we can’t walk the halls of Hogwarts, or visit Middle Earth, we can look at places that inspired our favourite books, or the filming locations of adaptations for some inspiration for a literary holiday!
Today we have ten fictional destinations that you can – kind of – visit in real life, bringing your fictional worlds to life.
Hobbiton – The Hobbit
We can’t promise actual Hobbits but film director Peter Jackson built Hobbiton right into the New Zealand countryside, and the set is available to visit today in Waikato, New Zealand if you’re a fan of The Hobbit.
Mordor – Lord of the Rings
And you could follow this up with a trip to Mordor, also in New Zealand, filmed at Mount Tongariro, though beware as if you want to climb Mount Doom it’s a six hour long hike.
Hogwarts – Harry Potter
Hogwarts Castle was filmed in a variety of locations, all of which you can visit to get a feel for filming. Many of the outdoor shots were filmed at Alnwick Castle, and the Great Hall belongs to Gloucester Cathedral, but if you really want to get a taste for Hogwarts you should really visit the Warner Bros studio tour (pictured)!
King’s Landing – Game of Thrones
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan then you can visit the city that became King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms as the series was shot in Mdina, Malta, a walled medieval city that you should be able to escape from with your life.
West Egg – The Great Gatsby
Forget the scenes from the movie, we’re going straight to Fitzgerald’s inspiration for West Egg as we know it’s based on Long Island where Fitzgerald lived alongside various other ‘new money’ figures.
President Snow’s House – The Hunger Games
If you fancy visiting President’s Snow’s house from the Hunger Games you can. It’s historic Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia and it’s open to visitors.
Overlook Hotel – The Shining
While The Shining movie doesn’t really hit the spot for fans of the book, the setting pretty much nailed it. The Overlook Hotel from the movie was filmed at Timberline Lodge in Oregon in the USA and if you dare you can still stay there today!
Narnia – The Chronicles of Narnia
Oamaru in New Zealand was chosen as the destination for filming Narnia thanks its spectacular landscape, and you can visit it today, though you may not be able to enter via the wardrobe.
The Duke of Devonshire had decided the house needed a certain amount of care and attention, and the installation of WIFI, if it is to be financially viable in the future. It is said to be the most costly and time-consuming renovation for nearly 200 years.
The room was dismantled in 1974 and stored in a depot. In 1986 it was moved to Birmingham Polytechnic (now BCU) but it was rarely open to the public. Read More
The authors include the likes of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Mark Haddon, and author of The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry. Each author was given an historic site, and challenged with writing a ghost story set within the walls of said site. Locations include York Cold War Bunker, Dover Castle and Housesteads Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall. Read More
“Most visitors will be divided into young children and those who remember the books from when they were young. There’s something for both.” The Times Read More
Gregg LeFevre designed 48 unique images, duplicated to make 96 plaques, to be placed along both sides of the street so everyone has a chance to see them.
Wall Street Journal: “The quotes were selected during the 1990s by a panel that included representatives from the library; the Grand Central Partnership, which manages the Grand Central Business Improvement District; and the New Yorker magazine.”
Out of the 48 designs we chose 21 to show you here. Enjoy!
From Gwendolyn Brooks, to Ernest Hemingway, to Shel Silverstein.
Chicago is known for producing notable writers and has now become home to the American Writer’s Museum, which opened in May this year. Read More