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12 real-life locations that inspired famous authors
Posted on 07/09/2018


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If you've ever wondered where you can find your favourite book character's real-life home or the place that inspired your favourite poem, read on. Can you guess the works that were inspired by these places?

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  • Dublin, Ireland
    Dublin, Ireland

    Just about all of James Joyce's work was inspired by Dublin life and culture. The quintessential Irish writer was deeply influenced by the city, and in turn left his mark all over its streets. Follow in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom, the main character from Joyce's epic novel Ulysses. Start at the James Joyce Museum at Martello Tower and finish at Barney Kiernan's, now called the Claddagh Ring, where "The Cyclops" chapter was set.

  • Long Island, New York, USA
    Long Island, New York, USA

    The Gold Coast on Long Island is full of the enormous jazz age homes that F. Scott Fitzgerald so intricately described in The Great Gatsby, and many a mansion has been speculated about. One contender is Oheka Castle, the second largest private dwelling in the United States. Designed to look like Maison Lafayette, this sprawling house was built during the same period as Jay Gatsby's fictional residence, and is a likely contender.

  • Broadstairs, UK
    Broadstairs, UK

    Charles Dickens stayed at this house in Broadstairs during the summer from 1837 to 1851. It's where he wrote David Copperfield, and it's said to have inspired John Jarndyce's home in Bleak House, although only in appearance. Jarndyce's fictional residence is located in Hertfordshire. It's certainly capitalized off of its name, and although it's been renovated multiple times since Dickens' last visit, it operates as a luxury bed and breakfast and a wedding venue for Dickens fans and lovers of opulence alike.

  • Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada

    Green Gables Farm belonged to a relative of Lucy Maud Montgomery and its green doors and trim were the inspiration for the world that red-headed, outspoken Anne of Green Gables inhabits. The popularity of the otherwise remote Prince Edward Island grew so quickly thanks to the books that Prince Edward Island National Park was created around the landmark. Green Gables Farm is still one of the most visited sights in Canada.

  • Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, UK
    Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, UK

    According to A.A. Milne's son, the Hundred Acre Wood was directly inspired by the family's time spent in Ashdown Forest. What's more is that Pooh Sticks is a real game that Milne and his son, Christopher Robin, played together, and the small bridge where it originated is a popular tourist spot.


Whether inhabiting fictional worlds or seeing the real one with new eyes, reading is its own type of travel. A good book, story or poem can transport you to another universe, but you don't have to limit yourself to what's on the page. Here's a list of real-life locations that inspired some of literature's best-loved authors.

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