Celebrate the Year of the Bookworm in Britain | Travel Research Online


Celebrate the Year of the Bookworm in Britain

As 2020 is the ‘Year of The Bookworm’, with 17 conversation-starting itineraries on my website, here’s a list of potential sources where your literary contacts may already be customers. Chapters of the American Library Association looking for literary/on location fundraisers; general and specialist bookstores and antiquarian book dealers; teachers and lecturers in English literature at schools, colleges, universities and continuing education colleges; Murder Mystery Book clubs/stores; Reading Circles; Fans of Masterpiece Theatre; North American Dickens Festivals looking for a UK Dickens Festival tour in the spring. These ideas are available for couples, 4 friends travelling together, families and small groups.

Enjoying Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox

The phizz-whizzing Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre has to be included in any family or multigenerational itinerary that includes Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter, the Wind in the Willows, a dash of Paddington Bear and a West End theatre performance of Matilda. This year is the 50th anniversary of the publishing of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Revisit Brideshead

Castle Howard, north of York was the location for the filming of Evelyn Waugh’s seminal novel Brideshead Revisited. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, this masterpiece of 20th century fiction and screen shaped the fashion of the 1980s and transformed its stars into icons. The Brideshead Festival (26th-18th June) features a stellar line up of writers, biographers and leading actors.

100 Years of Agatha Christie Stories

In September, the International Agatha Christie Festival marks one-hundred years since the publication of Agatha Christie’s first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in which her renowned detective, Hercule Poirot, made his bow. The centenary programme includes talks by internationally recognised authorities on the Belgian super sleuth and other aspects of Agatha Christie’s life and work.

© International Agatha Christie Festival

Celebrating Charles Dickens

His birthplace in Portsmouth and the Charles Dickens Museum in London will be marking the 150th anniversary of his death. The annual Dickens Festival (13th-14th June) in Rochester will be jam-packed with street theatre, music, dance performances and roaming characters like Mr. Pickwick, Scrooge, Fagin, Miss Havisham, Nancy, Bill Sikes and Bull’s Eye the dog.

Discovering Ann Brontë

2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ann Brontë, the youngest of the three famous sisters, where a visit to their former home at The Parsonage, a stroll through the picturesque hillside town of Haworth and a Wuthering Heights walk across the brooding moorland gives a deeper insight into the talented family’s literary legacy.

© Purcell

Experiencing William Wordsworth

Reimagining Wordsworth is a yearlong celebration of Wordsworth’s 250th birthday which will create new opportunities to learn and connect with the poet’s works, life, ideas and philosophies in his Lake District home. His former home at Dove Cottage will reopen in April, after a major restoration, and the Museum will follow suit in the summer.

Be Part of the Jane Austen Regency Week

Taking place between 20th-28th June, this annual festival celebrates all things Jane and the Regency period in the market town of Alton and the nearby village of Chawton, where Jane lived and worked. The Festival boasts Regency period dancing, music, dining, exhibitions, talks and discussions, garden trails, tours and guided themed walks.

Meet Fellow Bookworms at the Cheltenham Literature Festival

With Cunard offering its Literature Festival at Sea cruise in December, let’s talk about 3 days in the Cotswolds at the 2020 festival in Cheltenham 2nd-11th October. First staged 71 years ago, I’ve added side trips to the Shakespeare Houses, a roam around the Cotswolds, the book town of Hay on Wye and a bibliophiles Oxford tour.

Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at www.customgb.co.uk or email him at ptickner@customgb.co.uk.

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