Top Ten Tuesday: Places that Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from The Broke and the Bookish.

Oh books… You make me want to go to all the places. If I had a bottomless pit of money, I would be rushing about the globe. If I was some kind of awesome supernatural being, I would be jumping into universes to visit.

The thought of jumping into a book, a la The Eyre Affair or Lost in Austen is amazing. I’d totally do it! Alas, we must content ourselves with visiting where we can.

1. London

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*Photos are my own.

My god, did books make me want to go to London! When I finally got to go, I got teary over seeing the things I’d become so familiar with through books, ever since I was a child. The Tower of London was the holy grail for me… ever since I was 10 and reading those Princess Diaries (no idea what they were actually called… I don’t mean Mia Thermopolis, but fictional diaries of actual princesses) and My Story diaries, I’ve wanted to visit the Tower. As I grew up, I got more and more into history and the Tower lived on in my imagination. I got to go in March this year and it was the best day of my life so far, not even kidding.

The rest of London was amazing as well… I totally felt the history all around me. Harry Potter, Mrs Dalloway, The Crimson Petal and the White, my goodness I could go on and on.

Books:

Anything by Charles Dickens

Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The Crimson Petal and the White  by Michael Faber

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London by Judith Flanders

2. Scotland

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*Photos are my own.

It seems I might be lucky enough to be moving to Aberdeen in the next two years or so, which is the absolute dream. I’ve been walking around in a happy daze of Scottish happiness. I’m going back to the land of my MacGregor and Fraser forebears!

Books made me want to go to Scotland so much! …And no, I don’t mean Outlander. I’ve never even watched Braveheart all the way through (I know, I know!). It’s been mainly history books, followed by Highland romance novels (I have a very sad penchant for these) that started off my love affair with the land of the brave.

Scottish history is so full of larger than life characters and utter craziness, which is why I find myself so attracted to it! Plus, my goodness, is it beautiful.

Books:

A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver

Claiming the Highlander by Kinley MacGregor

The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

3. The Outback

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My own country! I’ve never been far enough west to be in the true Outback, but I have been in red dirt country. I love the big skies out there, the sense of space and the rugged danger of the environment. I love Australia for “its beauty and its terror”, and the Outback is the ultimate example of that. This wide, brown land will always be my home.

Books:

We of the Never Never by Jeannie Gunn

A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute

A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey

4. The Deep South

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Sorry America, I still have little inclination to visit you… except the Deep South. I get the feeling it would either make me very happy or very sad. Maybe both at once. It sounds right up my alley, I’ve always liked a wild thing. So help me God, one day I will visit Savannah.

Books:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote

5. The South Island of New Zealand

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I’ve been to the North island, but not the South, and if the North is anything to go by, the South will blow my mind! It’s the closest to Middle Earth I’ll ever get. The LOTR movies are basically New Zealand porn!

Books:

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (not set in NZ but whatever)

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (I haven’t read this, but it’s supposedly very good)

Cross Tides by Lorraine Orman

6. Ireland

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*Photos are my own.

Ireland is the land of my grandfather, I bear an Irish surname and wear my Claddagh with pride. I was there in March/April and while it is a beautiful, beautiful place, it really strikes you how sad it is. Where there is beauty, there is an element of sadness for things past. I can only imagine how my ancestors felt when they left, escaping the Potato Famine. By the time my great, great grandmother arrived in Sydney, she had lost her husband and her child. She remarried and began a new family, but her life was tinged with sadness as she lost her eldest boy in a mine explosion.

Having never met my grandfather, who died young, the Irish element of my childhood was limited to spontaneous Irish singing and dancing at family events, a hell of a lot of soda bread and an early introduction to the art of drinking Guinness! So books were my way of connecting to the Emerald Isle.

I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in Ireland. At the moment, it’s highly geared toward American tourism and so the Republic sort of felt like one big tourist attraction that I was only sort of invited to. I did fall in love with Northern Ireland and the more remote counties of the Republic, and Belfast was the highlight of my Irish experience.

The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahearn 

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw 

7. England

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*Stonehenge photo my own

I’m going to cheat a little here… I know I already said London, but I also really want to visit England in general. I’ve been a little bit but mainly the major tourist sites, Windsor and Stonehenge (both amazing!) and I briefly visited Hertfordshire and Oxford, which began manic visions of myself attending university there. The proudest moment I had was when the lady in the bookshop asked me what college was studying Witch Hunting, since I was buying a stack of textbooks on the topic for uni at home!

I’d love to visit York, Lancashire and the Lake District. Ooh, and the Cotswalds! I want to go to as many castles as possible and wander about on a moor. (Though, from my experience at Culloden, moor wandering isn’t as fun as it sounds, that wind was intense!)

I also would very much like to see a badger.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A Visitor’s Companion to Tudor England by Suzannah Libscombe

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

8. Tasmania

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You know, the little island at the bottom of Australia? It’s a stunningly beautiful place with amazing history, but alas, I have not been able to visit just yet. If Australia’s convict past was a place, Tasmania would be it. Brutal and beautiful at the same time, what more do you need?

Books:

The Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes

9. Canada

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Oh, Canada! I want to go there. I hear they make good donuts, and well… I don’t need much more than that, to be honest.

Books:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

No Great Mischief by Alistair McLeod (could also fall into the Scottish category, but it’s mainly set in Canada)

10. Russia

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I don’t even know if I’d like Russia that much. I’m not a huge fan of extreme cold and tyrannical leaders. But they do have vodka and some very pretty architecture.

Books:

The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons (I didn’t even like or finish this book, but Russia sounded interesting here)
 
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15 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Places that Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

  1. As someone who has lived the majority of her life in the American south, that you would want to go there of all places in the US makes me very happy. No one from other countries EVER wants to come to the south. It’s all about the big flashy cities. Yes, the south is both very beautiful and very sad, but it has everything from swamps to beach to mountains. (And it has cities too.)

    I’ve been to both London and Scotland and can not wait to get back some day. Hopefully Australia will be in my future travels as well, but probably not for quite some time. (expensive and I have school age kids)

    • If I was to go to America, I don’t think I’d do the big cities at all, they’re totally not my style! The South and Midwest seem to me to be the parts of the country I would really enjoy! Like you say, there’s so many different things to see!
      Australia is definitely expensive but it’s so friendly and beautiful… and varied! Right now, I’m in bed listening to a huge electrical storm we’re having tonight, but two hours to the west that same storm has dumped snow on the mountains. You never know what nature will bring us here!

    • I have to agree that the South is great! I am biased because that’s where I grew up, but it’s pretty, and we have really good food. I would also love to travel to Australia someday.

  2. I love your picks… all of them! I still especially want to visit New Zealand and pretty much the whole UK, and honestly if I could I’d just travel again and again and again! I’ve been to Canada (Quebec) before and it was fantastic!

    • So would I, I’d never stop! Quebec sounds amazing, I think I would need much better French to get the full experience!
      The UK is amazing and what I’ve seen of NZ is too… we both need to win the lottery 😉

  3. I love that your list is actual places! (Unlike my own!). And wee Ireland made the list!! Including the North in its own wee right, that’s FAB. Can you guess where I’m from?! Who knew you had Irish heritage?! I could tell you loads of stories, tons in fact, and it’s a shame the south gave you that impression when you were over, there are loads of nooks and crannies and places here we should learn to be more proud of.

    It is a children’s book recommendation, but fabulous non the less – Under The Hawthorn Tree sounds like it would be right up your street!

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/356289.Under_the_Hawthorn_Tree?from_search=true

    • I thought about fictional places, but all I could think of was Hogwarts and Middle Earth =P
      You’re Irish, yeah? So… maybe Cork?
      I totally have Irish heritage, I still have family in Offaly! I stayed with them when I had a nasty run in with a castle and it was definitely enlightening… and I can speak a wee bit of Gaelic!
      There’s loads of Irish here, migrating from convict times to now. Heaps of Irish nurses at the moment and two of the academics at my uni are from Belfast.
      The North was great, Belfast totally deserves a better rap now, there’s some great stuff to see there. I felt more safe wandering around there than I did in Dublin, which I didn’t expect. The police cars were a bit of a shock though, I must say.
      I’m dying to go back and spend more time exploring the nooks and crannies… I didn’t get to see as much of the western half as I would have liked! I really want to go to Sligo and Donegal.

      I’ll check it out! Thanks!

      • I’m from that wee forgotten bit in Northern Ireland, but you’re doing better than me, as I have practically no understanding of Gaelic, but I regret not doing Irish at school. I’m originally from Belfast! The world really is a small place! Donegal is great in the summer, we used to go to a place called Bundoran for the holidays and the on-going joke was that in the summer, everyone from Belfast just went to Bundoran, because you’d bump into all the people that you knew from back home in the street!

  4. This is such a wonderful list, and your photos are beautiful. I adore London and England in general, and think that Stratford-Upon-Avon is a must if you’ve not been before. How cool that you might be moving to Aberdeen! Also, the Frasers are my forebears too – how awesome would it be if we were descended from the same clan!?

    • That would be so cool! If we did, it’s obvious they’re a highly intelligent clan 😛
      I’m so excited about moving to Aberdeen! I have the place at the University if I can get scholarship funding 🙂 nerve wracking but exciting!
      I don’t know that I could live in London, but I definitely love the city. The UK is definitely calling me.

      • Haha, definitely! Oh, that’s so wonderful! Best of luck with your scholarship; I hope everything works out wonderfully for you. I couldn’t live in London either, but I love it! 🙂

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