This summer, I got to see the birthplace of Harry Potter! I’d been in Edinburgh before but had managed to miss the café in which J.K. Rowling first began writing about Harry, Ron and Hermione. I also had a pint in Inspector Rebus’s pub, The Oxford Bar, and revisited the statue of Greyfriars Bobby. Visiting literary sites and libraries is something I try to do on every trip, and I had a bookish bonanza this year in Scotland. In past years, I’ve wandered the Portobello Road antiques market in London where Paddington Bear’s friend, Mr. Gruber, has his shop, have made a pilgrimage to James Herriot’s veterinary clinic in Thirsk, England, and ridden the rails in Yorkshire close to Thomas the Tank Engine’s home.
When I was a child, we did a lot of traveling around the Pacific Northwest as well as Pennsylvania and Kentucky where my family’s relatives lived. All of those trips were fun, but I can only imagine how excited I would have been had I gotten to commune with Peter Rabbit in England’s Lake District or been lost in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City where From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler takes place. If you or your children have a hankering to visit places you’ve come to love in favorite books, there are several guides to help you get there.
Storybook Travels covers thirty literary landmarks around the world. The guide gives you information about the books covered, suggested itineraries, and addresses, phone numbers and websites of the places to visit. Portland gets a mention for Beverly Cleary's books!
I don’t know where I’ll travel next, but I’m sure it will include places important in my reading life.