As we head into the summer season, visitors to the UK’s largest county have the opportunity to explore the most fascinating literature hotspots that Great Britain has to offer. Whether you stay local to our East Yorkshire beauty spot or choose to travel across Yorkshire during your stay, uncovering the hidden gems that have inspired some of our most famous writers this summer will put a literary spin on your holiday.
Exploring Bronte country
While Bronte fans head to Haworth for an insight into the sisters’ lives, Penistone Crag played a key part in Wuthering Heights, one of the most well-known Yorkshire novels ever published. Penistone Crag, otherwise known as the Ponden Kirk Fairy Cave thanks to its mysterious feel, is where Cathy and Heathcliff first meet, and is known locally for being a favourite place for the Bronte sisters to walk and write. Visitors looking for literary hotspots can take in the wild nature of the Yorkshire moors while avoiding the crowds surrounding Haworth.
Just past Haworth, at the very start of the Pennine Way, Penistone Crag is a short driving distance from Bradford.
Visiting Burton Constable’s ode to Moby Dick
Did you know the sperm whale behind Moby Dick was not only real but found on the East Yorkshire coastline? Washed up in Tunstall, the sperm whale skeleton that inspired Herman Melville’s famous story was brought to Burton Constable Hall in 1856 – and is still there today. Just a short walk away from our Holiday Park, you can see the skeleton for yourself, before exploring the natural beauty of the East Yorkshire coastline where the literary inspiration was first discovered.
A spokesperson for Burton Constable Holiday Park (Rodrica Straker), set near the grounds overlooking the Hall, said:
“With so many literary landmarks in the area, Yorkshire is an amazing place to visit for a holiday with some historical input. Taking in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside and coastline while learning about the authors inspired by the very same views gives everyone something to enjoy.”
Stepping back into 1960s South Yorkshire
For holidaymakers en route to the Peak District to view Jane Eyre’s favourite spots, stopping in Barnsley will provide you with another side of British literary history. A Kestrel for a Knave, one of the most famous books set in South Yorkshire, is set in Hoyland, and the stunning countryside around it. While the ruin where Billy first discovers the book’s namesake, Kes, is tucked away in the beautiful South Yorkshire countryside, you can still stop by the other iconic landmarks mentioned in Hines’s novel – including a chip shop, Caspar’s, named after Billy for a literary lunch. These sights are a quick detour just off Junction 37 of the M1.
Bringing Frances Hodgson Burnett to life in the North York Moors
If you’re planning to explore further afield, the North Yorkshire Moors are the perfect place to spend a day in nature. As well as offering you the chance to explore a much more wild landscape than our tranquil grounds and fishing lakes, the North York moors let you see the scenery behind one of the UK’s most loved children’s classics. Frances Hodgson Burnett was inspired by the bleak and beautiful moors when writing The Secret Garden, which is set in a mysterious part of the moors. So impressed was the BBC with Burton Constable Hall, they chose this setting for the filming of the 1970’s TV series Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, in which DVDs are still available. While the Hall is used for the interiors, and most of the external shots, the secret garden itself was built in the BBC Ealing studios!
While the North York Moors can be reached from York on public transport, visitors to Burton Constable Holiday Park can also consider driving along the coastline, exploring East Yorkshire’s villages and countryside views along the way.
Exploring Tolkien’s East Yorkshire
If you’re staying local to Burton Constable Holiday Park for your literary adventures, paying a trip to the coast will let you view the landscape through one of Great Britain’s most well-known writers.
Alongside Moby Dick, the East Yorkshire coast has thrown up more literary inspirations. J R R Tolkien spent almost eighteen months in the East Riding of Yorkshire recovering from trench foot during World War One. Dubbed ‘The Tolkien Triangle’, the villages retreating due to erosion along the coastline, as well as the beautiful woodland around the countryside, are understood to have inspired Tolkien’s magical landscapes.
The seaside town of Hornsea, one of Tolkien’s key inspirations, is just a 20-minute drive from Burton Constable Holiday Park. To explore the Tolkien Triangle in full, travel from Spurn Point, Humberside’s own Land’s End, up to Flamborough Head to explore this iconic coastline.