Birmingham, often hailed for its industrial prowess, is also a city that has nurtured the creative minds of literary giants. Join us on a literary tour through the streets of Birmingham, where the echoes of classic tales and the footprints of celebrated authors await.
1. Tolkien’s Trail: in the footsteps of Middle-earth
Begin your literary adventure in Sarehole Mill, a serene spot that stirred the imagination of J.R.R. Tolkien during his formative years. This charming water mill is said to be the inspiration for Hobbiton, capturing the essence of the Shire. Stroll through Moseley Bog, an enchanted woodland where Tolkien’s love for nature and fantastical landscapes took root.
2. A Shakespearean sojourn to Stratford-upon-Avon
Venture just a short distance from Birmingham to the picturesque town of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Explore the hallowed halls of Shakespeare’s Birthplace, where the playwright spent his early years. Meander through the Tudor-style streets, and if the theatre enthusiast in you beckons, catch a live performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
3. Library of Birmingham
Embrace the modern literary scene at the Library of Birmingham, a futuristic structure that stands as a testament to the city’s commitment to knowledge. With its vast collection of books, it’s a haven for book lovers. Find a cozy nook with a good book or attend one of the many literary events hosted here.
4. Peek into Victorian literature at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Step back in time at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, a treasure trove that houses an extensive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art. Marvel at the works that influenced Victorian literature and discover the intertwined worlds of art and storytelling. The Pre-Raphaelites are known equally for their art and literature – we thoroughly recommend taking a look at the writings of Christina Rossetti, and issues of The Germ.
5. Birmingham’s Bookshops
Embark on a quest for hidden literary gems in Birmingham’s independent bookshops. From the cozy shelves of The Birmingham Bookshop to the quirky charm of The Big Comfy Bookshop, these havens offer the perfect refuge for literary escapades.
6. Dudley Castle: Sir Walter Scott’s Inspiration
Journey to Dudley Castle, a medieval fortress that served as the backdrop for Sir Walter Scott’s narrative poem “The Lady of the Lake.” Let the echoes of Scott’s verses transport you to a bygone era.
As you traverse the literary landscapes of Birmingham, you’ll discover that this city, woven with tales of hobbits and poetic verses, is a treasure trove for any book enthusiast. So, lace up your literary boots, and let the stories unfold.