Staycation Hotspots with Our Famed Writers

If you can’t go abroad this year, there are some fantastic UK Staycation Hotspots that you may not have realized were an option but are well worth exploring. Our collaborative post has some inspirational ideas that might appeal.

Staycation Hotspots

2020 has proved a difficult year for travel. As a family, we usually like to plan and enjoy a special holiday abroad, for the summer and we also had planned a trip to Thailand for Christmas. Now we are looking at Staycation Hotspots would interesting to visit in the UK.

Be inspired with your staycation choices this year as a luxury gift hub, Pen Heaven, take a tour around the British Isles with some of their favourite writers and their most inspired destinations.

With every good book providing all the power to transport you into a far-flung world, it’s often hard to believe some of the most popular fictional landscapes were inspired right here in blighty! From the towering mills of Birmingham to epic castle ruins on the Cornish coast, the UK has much to answer for when it comes to playing the finest backdrop for some of the greatest novels ever written.

Whether you’re seeking a new destination or returning to a favourite haven, travelling is an excellent way to feed the imagination and inspire artistic endeavour. Just make sure you arm yourself with the most traditional of tools – a simple pen and journal, to help capture the mood and let the creative juices flow.

Following the literary footsteps of some of our most beloved authors, Pen Heaven outline the UK hotspots that inspired fantastic tales, matching each destination with felicitous writing tools to bring out the writer in you.

Tintagel, Cornwall

The rugged north coast of Cornwall, with its sweeping clifftops, castle ruins, and sea caves makes for a dramatic and awe-inspiring setting full of Arthurian legend. The land of myths and magical encounters, it is suggested that the towering Tintagel Castle was the birthplace of King Arthur. Historian and chronicler, Geoffrey of Monmouth was the first to propose the connection, detailing the account in his magnum opus Historia Regum BritannaeRoger Lancelyn GreenChrétien de Troyes, and Alfred Tennyson are amongst those who immortalise the land on paper, each enchanted by its mythical beauty and mystery.

What to Pack:-

Visconti Mirage Amber Rollerball Pen, £109 

Amalfi Medium Refillable Leather Journal, £21.50


Saturated with literary association, Oxford has been attracting and inspiring intellectuals for many centuries. However, it is perhaps Phillip Pullman and his beloved His Dark Material trilogy that does the city most justice.  From Exeter College, the basis for Jorden College in His Dark Materials to The Botanical Gardens – featured in the very last chapter of Pullman’s trilogy, along with reportedly inspiring parts of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the cultural city has much to captivate writers of all ages.

What to Pack:-       

Cross Classic Century Brushed Black Fountain Pen, £55     

Staycation Hotspots

Bomo Art Sailing Map Journal, £27.50

Whitby, Yorkshire

The epic story of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was conceived from the vast remains of Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire. Inspired by a legend of a pale female ghost who wanders in the ruins of the former Gothic monastery, the fable portrays the lady was bricked up alive in one of the walls and was often seen in the crumbled windows. Located on a cliff facing the North Sea, the ruins are within an archaeological area dating back to the Bronze Age and are said to offer a fantastic (and surely spooky) atmosphere – the perfect setting for any a dark tale.

What to Pack:-

Parker Pen IM Special Edition Fountain Pen, £35

Sorrento Large Leather Journal, £17.99

Wray Castle & Hill Top, Lake District

Although the children’s author and illustrator was born in London, it was Beatrix Potter’s love of animals (she had numerous as pets), and many summer holidays spent in the Lake District that inspired her most famous creation, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It was from the proceeds of her first book that Potter purchased Hill Top, the motherland for many of her subsequent Little Tales characters, including Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddle-Duck. Full of many treasures and scenes painted by Potter for the Little Tales series, it is no wonder this is one of the most visited literary shrines in the Lake District.

What to Pack:-

Caran d’Ache x Paul Smith 849 Ballpoint Pen, £35

Filofax Domino Soft Personal Organiser, £27

Moseley, Birmingham

After moving to Birmingham aged 3, it was the area of Moseley, that heavily influenced legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien and his works The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Bringing Middle-Earth to life, it is well-documented that the fictional Shire in both books was inspired by Sarehole and its Mill, whilst the ancient forest of Moseley Bog provided the perfect setting for the woodland in each of Tolkien’s masterpieces. Perrot’s Folly and Edgbaston Waterworks Tower lay claim to shaping the backdrop for the imposing Two Towers of Gondor – back when Tolkien was a child, these now dormant towers would have churned out plumes of smoke, most reflective of the doom-laden and sinister Mordor.

What to Pack:-

Yard-O-Led Viceroy Barley Sterling Silver Ballpoint, £310

Chianti Medium Leather Journal, £29.90


Home to the city’s most famous fictional detective, it was a Victorian London that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to pen Sherlock Holmes. Weaving a rich tapestry of what the big smoke then encompassed, from opium dens to wealthy homes of the aristocracy, it often comes as a surprise to hear that Conan Doyle spent a modest four years in the capital. Any fan will know that Holmes both lived and worked from 221b Baker Street, now a museum paying homage to the detective, but it was at 2 Devonshire Place (the location of Conan Doyle’s medical practice) that many a story involving Holmes was scripted.

What to Pack:-

Staycation Hotspots

Feather Quill, Ink & Magnifying Glass, £34.96

Staycation Hotspots

Stamford Notebook Medium, £44.50

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train” – Oscar WildeThe Importance of Being Ernest.

For me, personally, our travel plans are still fluid for the rest of this year and into next. But as a homeschool family who loves to travel, learn and explore, I am dreaming and planning. I have been to some of these places, and some I would very much like to visit. I would personally love to visit where Jane Austen lived and grew up and some of the places mentioned in her writings.

Which Staycation Hotspots would you choose?

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