In amongst the charming landscapes of North East England are literary treasures that have inspired some of the world’s favourite authors. From the historic corridors of castles to the serene landscapes of quaint villages, this region boasts a rich tapestry of destinations that celebrate the written word. As we journey through the heart of the North East, we’ll uncover three captivating literary havens that bring literature to life.
Durham Cathedral and the land of Bede
The iconic Durham Cathedral is not just a religious sanctuary – it’s a haven for literary enthusiasts as well. Its grandeur and intricate architecture have inspired writers for centuries, and if you pay the cathedral a visit, you’ll completely understand why. Adjacent to the cathedral is the Durham University Library, which houses invaluable literary treasures, including the 7th-century Lindisfarne Gospels. A short distance from the cathedral lies the town of Jarrow, the hometown of the venerable Bede. Often referred to as the “Father of English History,” Bede’s writings provide a glimpse into the early medieval period. The Durham region offers a literary journey that spans epochs.
The literary legacy of Whitby Abbey, Bram Stoker’s inspiration
Whitby Abbey, perched dramatically on a cliff overlooking the North Sea, has left an indelible mark on literature. It was at this hauntingly beautiful location that Bram Stoker found inspiration for his iconic novel “Dracula.” The eerie ambience of the abbey and the breathtaking coastal views seeped into Stoker’s imagination, leading to the legendary vampire count. While the abbey’s Gothic ruins evoke a sense of mystery, the town of Whitby itself holds further literary significance. The Whitby Museum houses artefacts linked to Captain Cook, whose voyages ignited the imagination of many explorers and writers. If you fancy taking a trip to Whitby, look out for the Whitby Goth weekend for a trip to really remember.
It’s worth noting here that we have found many parts of Whitby to be sadly inaccessible, so please be sure to research to make sure your accessibility needs will be met if needed.
Step into the Footsteps of Catherine Cookson: South Tyneside’s Literary Muse
South Tyneside, known for its maritime heritage, also boasts a significant literary legacy. Catherine Cookson, one of the most widely read British novelists in modern history, called this region home. The Catherine Cookson Trail takes visitors through the landscapes that influenced her stories, from the picturesque South Shields coastline to the bustling streets of Jarrow. Cookson’s novels, often set against the backdrop of industrial North East England, reflect the resilience of the working-class people. As you explore the places that shaped her narratives, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for her storytelling prowess.