Yorkshire’s top five literary locations

PUBLISHED: 18:42 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 21:29 04 January 2018

Midnight at Whitby Abbey by Andrew Whitham

Midnight at Whitby Abbey by Andrew Whitham


Yorkshire is the UK’s top county for holidays with a literary link, we explore the highlights.

The countryside outside Haworth by Leonard WaltonThe countryside outside Haworth by Leonard Walton


Wuthering Heights, the immortal tale that was Emily Brontë’s only novel, is set in the moors around Haworth. Early on, Mr Lockwood, the narrator, writes in his journal: ‘In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society.’ He’d probably be pleased to know it’s now get a ready supply of gift shops and tea rooms.

Whitby Goth Weekend by Terence IrwinWhitby Goth Weekend by Terence Irwin


Everyone knows the legend of Dracula, even if they haven’t actually read Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel. The inspiration for the original masterpiece – and all the subsequent films starring toothy chaps in dodgy wigs – came while the author was in Whitby. Hence, the ship bringing the vampire to England runs aground on the windswept North Sea coast and Dracula takes refuge in Whitby Abbey.

Walking the dog in Thirsk by Joan RussellWalking the dog in Thirsk by Joan Russell


You just have to mention James Herriot and everyone immediately starts humming the theme tune from All Creatures Great and Small. The man himself (Alf Wight) lived and worked in Thirsk, and visitors can still travel back in time at his original surgery. Yes, the car is there and, yes, you can do unspeakable things to a plastic cow’s rear-end.

The Old Swan HotelThe Old Swan Hotel


In 1926, best-selling crime novelist Agatha Christie disappeared for ten days. While police scoured the country for her, the mistress of mystery managed to hide in plain sight at a Harrogate hotel. To be fair, she did leave a note saying she was going to Yorkshire, but the police presumably thought it was a red herring.

Hull skyline by Joan RussellHull skyline by Joan Russell


The Tolkien Triangle starts in Hull, where the author was hospitalised twice, and stretches to Hornsea Musketry Camp, his first posting in East Yorkshire. It then bears south, via Roos, to a camp called Thirtle Bridge, where the author recuperated while his wife Edith took lodgings in nearby Withernsea. The triangle then heads to Easington and Kilnsea, where Tolkien was part of the Royal Defence Corps.

For more inspiration, visit visitengland.com/literaryheroes and #BookEngland.

Celebrating the literary giants of Yorkshire on World Book Day

Related articles

More from Out & About


The days may be short and cold, but there is still magic to be seen in Yorkshire’s winter wonderlands. Sam Twyman and Clea Grady from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust share their favourite winter tips

Read more
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Enjoy the views into the Yorkshire Dales and, dare we say it, towards Lancashire during this lovely walk

Read more
Friday, November 30, 2018

It’s an all-year-round project putting together a merry welcome at one family country house

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

George and Gerald are determined not to go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Tucked up snugly in bed, they want to stay awake to see if Father Christmas brings them a little something for being good boys all year long. Gerald has his fingers (and toes) crossed for a fire engine.

Read more
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Banish the loneliness of the digital world and head for real life retail therapy at a historic market place, says Richard Darn

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

What next for a former Harrogate spa hotel and public house?

Read more
RHS Harlow Carr
Friday, November 23, 2018

When the festive frenzy gets too much, just head out of town.

Read more
Fountains Abbey
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Treat yourself to a luxury break while exploring the beautiful area surrounding the North York Moors national park.

Read more
Friday, November 16, 2018

Depending on wwho you ask, Hebden Bridge is a place for artists, commuters and hippies. Walkers also love this market town for its proximity to some fine West Yorskhire countryside.

Read more
Hebden Bridge

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Property Search