Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

The criteria for this bumper list of fictional locations – which can all be visited thanks to a good book - is that the place is also the title of the novel or the location has been used in the title (so Hogwarts and Tara are not included). We have also not left our planet (so we’re not dining at The Restaurant at the End of the Universe) or veered into fantasy (so no Wonderland or Discworld).

The beauty of dreaming up a fictional location is that the author can go big or small – they can create an entire country, or a county, or a town, or a village, or a farm, or just a single building of interest such as an inn or a mansion in the countryside. Authors seem drawn to the outdoor life of farms, the mixed bag of strangers found at hotels, lakes full of mysteries, lonely islands, villages that are not what they seem, and stately homes with less than stately inhabitants.

Animal Farm and The Mayor of Casterbridge represent the two ends of fictional locations. The home of Napoloeon and Snowball cannot be placed on a map, while Hardy’s Casterbridge is based on the actual county town of Dorchester in Dorset.

Many fictional places in literature can be clearly located to a distinct area - Lake Woebegon is in Minnesota. Salem’s Lot (full name Jerusalem's Lot) is in Maine, Watership Down is in Hampshire and Stepford is in Connecticut.

Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead (somewhere in the South of England) is particularly interesting as the stately home has clearly seen better days, like the family it hosts. Alistair MacLean’s Ice Station Zebra thriller is also clever as the frozen location in the Arctic influences the plot so much.

Take a tour

Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm
by George Orwell
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbson
Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbson
Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
Orley Farm
by Anthony Trollope
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Seige of Trencher’s Farm by Gordon Williams
The Seige of Trencher’s Farm
by Gordon Williams
Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner
Hotel du Lac
by Anita Brookner
The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
The Hotel New Hampshire
by John Irving
Hotel Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones
Hotel Babylon
by Imogen Edwards-Jones
At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie
At Bertram’s Hotel
by Agatha Christie
Hotel Pastis by Peter Mayle
Hotel Pastis
by Peter Mayle
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne
Coral Island
by R.M. Ballantyne
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Shutter Island
by Dennis Lehane
Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
Lake Wobegon Days
by Garrison Keillor
Loon Lake by E.L. Doctorow
Loon Lake
by E.L. Doctorow
Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger
Iron Lake
by William Kent Krueger
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
Crow Lake
by Mary Lawson
Remembrance Rock by Carl Sandburg
Remembrance Rock
by Carl Sandburg
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park
by Jane Austen
Howard’s End by E.M. Forster
Howard’s End
by E.M. Forster
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
The Stepford Wives
by Ira Levin
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge
by Thomas Hardy
Farriers’ Lane by Anne Perry
Farriers’ Lane
by Anne Perry
Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean
Ice Station Zebra
by Alistair MacLean
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited
by Evelyn Waugh
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Bleak House
by Charles Dickens
The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner
by A.A. Milne
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte
Moonfleet by J. Meade Falkner
Moonfleet
by J. Meade Falkner
Blandings Castle by P.G. Wodehouse
Blandings Castle
by P.G. Wodehouse
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Watership Down
by Richard Adams
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Middlemarch
by George Eliot
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Salem’s Lot
by Stephen King
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
Lark Rise to Candleford
by Flora Thompson
Thrush Green by Miss Read
Thrush Green
by Miss Read
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
Peyton Place
by Grace Metalious

What's your favourite fictional location?


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