Top Ten Places Books Make Me Want to Visit

October 14, 2014 Top Ten Tuesday 39

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit. 

I’m going to limit this to places I haven’t been yet, which means that some real places  – England and Wales generally, London, the Yorkshire Dales, the Hundred Acre Wood, the prairies of the Little House books, the Lambspun yarn store, and so on – won’t make the cut despite the fact that I love them.

As usual, they are in no particular order. And one qualifier: I only want to visit these places after all the battles and nastiness are over. I’ve no intention in being caught up in the wars, thank you.


Fictional Places

  • Narnia. I’ve longed to find a way into Narnia since I was little.  Alas, no closets or wardrobes I tried ever held more than clothes and linens.
  • The wizarding world. Particularly Hogwarts. I don’t care if I’m over fifty; I want to go to Hogwarts. Or even teach there. All those courses, and they don’t have a single class in wizarding literature? Prof. McGonagall, I’d be happy to teach it if you’ll just add it to the curriculum.
  • Middle Earth. I’d love to visit the Shire, be a guest in Rivendell, and be welcomed into Lothlorien. I’ll even visit Gondor and Rohan. Just keep me out of Moria, please. (And since travel to Middle Earth isn’t likely any time soon, would someone like to give me an all-expenses paid trip to New Zealand, so I can at least see where they filmed it?)
  • Pern. I want to study voice with Master Shonagar in the Harper Hall, and impress a fire lizard. And maybe, just maybe, impress a dragon, too. Or at least ride on one.
  • The Eleven Kingdoms of Katherine Kurtz’s Deryni novels. But preferably as a Deryni!
  • Regency and early Victorian England. But not until I shed 30 pounds and 30 years, and learn to waltz. (Thanks to Jane Austen, Mary Balogh, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Mary Jo Putney, and any number of other writers for making the era so appealing.)


Real places

  • New Zealand. I mentioned it above in conjunction with the filming of the Lord of the Rings movies, but actually, my interest in visiting the islands goes back to several Ngaio Marsh mysteries: Vintage Murder, Colour Scheme, and Died in the Wool.
  • Switzerland, Austria, and parts of Germany. Between Heidi, Airs Above the Ground, and a number of other books (not to mention The Sound of Music) I’d really love to see the Alps, the Rhineland, and maybe the Black Forest with my own eyes.
  • The Mediterranean. Blame Mary Stewart for this one, and a more than few other writers as well, from Ngaio Marsh to Mary Renault. I’d like to visit Crete, and Corfu, and Delphi, and Athens. Oh, and Italy, too, while I’m at it – Venice, Florence, and Rome. (OK, I realize this is a bit broad, but Stewart & Renault really fired my imagination for the Mediterranean in general and Greece in particular.)
  • New York. I think a literary tour of New York would be fun, but not the “serious literature” tour. No, I have in mind visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art (From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler), the New York Public Library (to see the original Winnie the Pooh and his friends), the Empire State Building and Central Park (the Percy Jackson novels), Times Square (The Cricket in Times Square), and Ellis Island (a number of children’s picture books). I’d ride in an old yellow taxi (the Maxi the Taxi Dog books) and visit the neighborhoods of The Pushcart Wars and The Saturdays. The ironic thing is that I spent my first 6 years in New York, and visited there until I was 8, so I’ve been to some of those places – but not as an adult, and in most cases, it was before I’d read the books.


So where have you gone in a book, that you’d like to visit for real?


39 Responses to “Top Ten Places Books Make Me Want to Visit”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Well, as I said, I was pretty young when I lived in New York, so my memories are spotty. I do remember being taken to my dad’s workplace in the World Trade Center (88th floor; he worked with an international aid agency, briefly.) And to the top of the Empire State Building. And to the Statue of Liberty, I think, though that memory is decidedly vague so it may not have happened. And Central Park and the zoo, and ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and one of the ballet companies performing The Nutcracker. But I was too young to appreciate a lot of it at the time.

  1. Stephanie

    It’s a lovely list! Narnia was first on my list as well:). I also thought about adding Regency Era England (and kind of did in a weird way) – All those authors make the Regency Era sounds fabulous, though it would likely be challenging, if we retained our modern sensibilities, to adapt. And dance lessons would definitely be in order!
    Stephanie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Places Books have Made Me Want to VisitMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      The (lack of) plumbing would be a decided drawback in a number of my fictional wanna-visit sites. 🙂 Not to mention the associated lack of hygiene (and smells.) But what fun to dance at a Regency ball!

  2. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    Oh boy – so many places since I haven’t traveled that much! London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Greece, Rome, Tuscany…. sensing a European and definitely Mediterranean theme? Oh but also Australia and New Zealand! The ficticious places I’d like visit – I’m right with you about Hogwarts. I’d also really like to visit Faerie – any version I guess. Any world where magic is real work as a description? LOL! Fun post 🙂
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Pinching Pennies | September 2014My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      All of those sound great to me! Oh – and if I ever get back to England I want to see horse races – steeplechase, like Dick Francis wrote about so often.

  3. Rita @ My Home of Books

    I love your list, and that you thought to make a fictional one too! I did mine pretty quickly this morning as I was writing another post and hadn’t given it thought until I saw the topic. This was a TTT I could relate to. We have some in common: New Zealand and Middle Earth because of the books/film of LOTR, and England but I meant present day. Isn’t it amazing how much we learn, even when we are reading fiction?

    I lived in NY until 21 years old, and then came back two different times to live for a few years each so I know enough to definitely recommend the Metropolitan Museum of Art (such a great place to wander and daydream) and there are ancient statues, pottery, jewelry, furniture from old-times reconstructed as it would have been, and my favorite: a large indoor gathering room with soaring ceilings, a complete wall of window, a fountain, marble statues, a cafe etc. I am not “arty” but I love this place and also the Museum of Natural History! I’m happy I got to bring my eldest to the World Trade Center when it was still standing and go to the very top floor. My brother worked in the smaller building adjacent to the twin towers but he was already transferred before 2001. Central Park is wonderful to walk around but Times Square is overrated. Very, very congested with tourists, very noisy, expensive shops. I even went to a New Years Eve there in my mid-20’s…never again!!

    I’m taking a break for almost a week, so I’ll talk to you next Tuesday and enjoy your week.
    Rita @ My Home of Books recently posted…Random Thoughts, TTT, & Mini BreakMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Part of me envies you just a little, but I wouldn’t trade my rural childhood (after age 6) for anything. Now that I’m grown, though, I would really enjoy getting back to New York for a week sometime – see some Broadway shows, go to those two museums, wander Central Park, go to the opera and the ballet… England and New Zealand both showed up on a fair few lists today as well, in one form or another!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Hogwarts seems to be on just about every TTT list today! It says something about the power of J. K. Rowling’s storytelling, doesn’t it?

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I agree! And in the case of fantasy, SF, and historical fiction, the book travelling is all we’ll have… until someone invents holodecks like they have in Star Trek. 😉

  4. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    The Regency England comment made me laugh! I’ve always wanted to go too but had the startling realization that I’d be considered blind if I was there because they didn’t have contacts! That took me down a peg! New Zealand is a place I’d love to go as well and partly for the Ngaio Marsh books. Definitely Narnia and Hogwarts as well! The closest I’ve ever been is the Hogwarts at Universal in Orlando! Great list!
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…The Question of the Missing Head – ReviewMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      They had glasses in the Regency era, so hopefully you wouldn’t be blind! But a good number of us would probably be dead (in childbirth, if not from disease.) So maybe a place to visit for a week, but not a place to settle!

      I have mixed feelings about going to the Harry Potter park in Orlando… OTOH, it would be really cool, and on the other hand, too many people could spoil it. (Not to mention the Florida heat!)

  5. Lindsay

    The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was one of my favorite books as a kid and my very first inspiration for wanting to vist The Met! I work at a library and I still gush over it when kids check it out. I’d love to visit every other NYC place you mentioned, as well as all of your other real places and most of your fictional ones. Great list!
    Lindsay recently posted…Book Review: “What is Visible” by Kimberly ElkinsMy Profile

  6. Windsprite

    I think America would be rather my choice than Germany. But that’s perhaps because I’ve seen enough of Germany in my Life 😉
    I like your first three places and New York, but anyway, who doesn’t? I don’t feel very original with this and I don’t even know, what Pern is.
    Greetings from Germany 😉
    (And please mind, that Germany isn’t just Black Forest and shabby little wooden cots.)
    Windsprite recently posted…“Arthur und die vergessenen Bücher” /”Arthur And The Forgotten Books” -Gerd RuebenstrunkMy Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Oh, I know – but those were the parts of Germany associated with the stories and books that first made me want to go there. 🙂

      Pern is a world created by science fiction author Anne McCaffrey. Her Pernese dragons are the result of bioengineering of the much, much smaller fire lizards indigenous to the world. While Pern was originally settled by (far-future) humans descended from Earth, the world has been out of contact with Earth for so long that it is not even a memory or a legend. Pern’s technology backslid (due in part to a scarcity of metals) and is somewhere between late Medieval and Renaissance. It’s a fascinating world, and a collection of novels ranging from good to really good.

  7. Windsprite

    I think the only problem is, that we always forget all the magic around us. I’m sometimes thinking about writing a fanasy novel set just in my hometown.
    Pern sounds cool, I think I’ll take a note and maybe this will be the next world I’m discovering 🙂