A Writer’s Dream Trip

England! Tea and scones. Castles. Cathedrals. Visiting homes of British writers.

Writers have dreams, and one dream of mine has always been to visit the homes of my favorite British authors. I finally did it! (Photos below.) This was a trip I’d planned and saved for all year.

Since I last blogged, I spent ten days in England, part research for a new book and part marketing for a book due out in November (both set in England). It was the trip of a lifetime, walking in the footsteps of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Beatrix Potter. Below are just a few photos of the 895 prints I ordered. More will go up on Facebook. I’m still working on my scrap book, adding in all the little momentoes like train tickets and British money. 

I did a bit of marketing at the Jane Austen home in Chawton. When A Dangerous Tide is released in November, they’ll read a copy and decide whether to include it in their gift shop fiction section of books featuring Jane Austen. That would be such an honor. The first photo is outside her home. The second photo has my early copy of the book RIGHT BESIDE where Jane wrote Pride and Prejudice!

I also did a lot of research in Haworth, in the Yorkshires where the Brontes lived and died, for a mystery due in the spring. It certainly brought Jane Eyre alive for me, after walking over the moors, seeing where Charlotte wrote, and visiting the graveyard beside the parsonage. So much ATMOSPHERE there. Below are photos showing her home, the graveyard, and the steep cobblestone street up to her home. No photos were allowed inside.

The last author home and surroundings that I visited was Beatrix Potter’s in the Lake District. As many of you know, she donated 14 farms and 4,000 acres to the National Trust. If you’ve seen the excellent movie, “Miss Potter,” you know her story. Below I’m standing in front of Hill Top Farm where she lived. Both her home and the Bronte parsonage were left exactly as when the authors lived there. For other “Miss Potter” fans, the photo at the bottom is the movie set, as they weren’t allowed to film the movie in her real home. No photos were allowed inside, so I bought lots of guide books and post cards!

Not every writer’s dream is receiving a bestseller or mega award. One of mine for years has been to visit England, go back in time to a simpler time for writers, and “live it” for a while. A bonus? On the ninth day, while hiking in the Lake District, a book series idea came to me. It seemed fitting.

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16 Responses to A Writer’s Dream Trip

  1. Stephanie says:

    How wonderful! (I had to keep myself from using five exclamation marks there.) I’m so glad you got to visit England, thanks for sharing the pictures! That’s a dream of mine too.

  2. I think the Chawton house was the one where there was a squeaky door, so Jane had a warning and could hide her writing (from people who thought women shouldn’t be writing). I loved seeing that, too! I’m so glad you were able to make such a special trip!

    • kwpadmin says:

      Yes, that’s the place! Amazing how she and the Brontes had to write under assumed names or “anonymous” back then.

      After seeing where all those writers penned such immortal prose, I came home and cleaned out my office so I could have an empty desk too. :-)

  3. What a blessing to read about your dream come true! I can only imagine the thrill you had visiting such beautiful places:) May God continue to bless your writing and keep you in his care! Someday I hope He’ll allow our paths to cross again. Marshalltown and all the people (including you) who touched our lives will always have a special place in my heart. God Bless:)

  4. Denis Shuker says:

    Those were the days … before computers, laptops, TV etc. Life was slower and more simple. Would love to visit too. My third children’s adventure book in The Riwaka Gang series has just been published, Praise the Lord.
    Thanks for all your help Kristi you pointed us in the right directions… Denis and Joanie too.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Denis, you were such a joy to work with, for many reasons. And that’s such good news about the third book in the series!

  5. Lois Heckert says:

    Kristi- This sounds like the tale of Cinderella…..Dreams really DO come true! I am happy you got to realize yours.

    • kwpadmin says:

      Lois, I woke up every day pinching myself! I felt great the whole trip, I slept so well, and was so very grateful for the memories I brought home with me.

  6. Debbie says:

    Thank you for sharing your trip with us. It was wonderful to see the pictures and have your thoughts and comments about the places you visited. You made it sound exciting to visit these places, and so now this has now been added to the “one-day” list.

    • kwpadmin says:

      I know the places I visited wouldn’t appeal to many–including my husband, who stayed home! Museums of authors’ homes are heavens for other writers though! I could repeat the trip today and fully enjoy it again. I do so in the pictures as often as I can. :-)

  7. I am so jealous of your trip, but it’s wonderful to read about it. Jane Austin’s teeny tiny desk makes me feel ridiculous for complaining about my tight workspace. She must have laid out her pages onto her bed (or something, maybe the floor?) when she needed to edit. Or was she so incredibly gifted that she wrote straight through with no edits?

    • kwpadmin says:

      Oh, no, Jane Austen edited, and then recopied it all by hand! That’s dedication. I came home from that trip and cleaned my office though so I could find my much bigger desk. Having a clear work space is such a help to writers, at least to people like me who are bothered by clutter, even “creative” clutter.

  8. I can feel your excitement and joy. I’m so glad you were able to make this trip of a lifetime.

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