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The finest literary locations

Put away your passport and forget about the luggage. The literary world is full of fictional locations that can all be visited with the simple turn of a page. From the outdoor life of farms and villages that are not what they seem to lonely islands and lakes full of mysteries, these books will take you on a trip you won’t soon forget.

The criteria for our bumper list of fictional locations 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).

Authors seem drawn to farms, hotels, lakes, islands, villages and stately homes. Animal Farm and The Mayor of Casterbridge represent the two ends of fictional locations. The home of Napoloeon cannot be placed on a map, while Hardy’s Casterbridge is based on the actual town of Dorchester. 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.

See the list.

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