Walks with literary connections

The places we look after are associated with many literary figures, from Agatha Christie to Harry Potter. Head out on a walk through the locations that inspired some of the nation's favourite books or provided the backdrop to their much-loved screen adaptations.

Please note that not all car parks will be open and some trails may have changed due to social distancing guidance in order to maintain visitor safety. Please check the property homepage of the walk you'd like to explore before travelling.

Which places are open?

  • ​More than 135 gardens and parks are open in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times such as weekends, school holidays and bank holidays
  • Over 60 historic houses are open in England and Wales. Following the latest official guidance, all National Trust houses in Northern Ireland are now closed. If you book a ticket for an open garden or park, you may also be able to visit the house. Visits to the houses are limited to ensure safe, social distancing and so we can't guarantee you’ll be able to view the house on the day you visit
  • We’ve opened many of our cafés and shops at these places to help make your visit feel as close to normal as possible
  • Hundreds of coast and countryside car parks are open and most don’t need to be booked

Before visiting, please always check local and national government guidance on travelling. You can check the property webpage in case of local restrictions. We're following government advice closely and will reopen more places as soon as we can.

Visitors inside the Boat House at Greenway, Devon
Walking trail

Greenway, Devon 

Greenway garden drifts down the hillside to the edge of the River Dart, and this circular walking route takes you along the riverside where you can see the boathouse, which featured as the scene of a crime in Christie's novel, 'Dead Man's Folly'.

An image from a scene from Game of Thrones which was filmed at Castle Ward
Walking trail

Castle Ward, County Down 

The historic farmyard at Castle Ward is where the first scene in the television version of George R R Martin's Game of Thrones was filmed. It was also used as the setting for Winterfell in series one.

Still from the Swallows and Amazons film
Walking trail

Coniston, Cumbria 

Visit Coniston to see the landscapes that inspired Arthur Ransome to write Swallows and Amazons. Sail aboard the Steam Yacht Gondola – one of the inspirations for Captain Flint’s houseboat. Spot Wild Cat Island, otherwise known as Peel Island, and hike up the mighty mountain of Kanchenjunga, or Old Man Coniston.

Corfe Castle in the mist
Walking trail

Corfe Castle, Dorset 

Dominated by the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle on the skyline, this easy walk is the perfect way to get the whole family outside. Fans of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five can celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first book by exploring the ruins, which are said to have been the inspiration for Kirrin Castle.

Man walking alone on footpath in summer
Walking trail

Hampstead Heath, London 

Hampstead has influenced a great number of British writers, from Enid Blyton to Lord Byron. This walk takes in many locations associated with these writers, including Jack Straw’s Castle – mentioned by Bram Stoker in Dracula and by Harold Pinter in No Man’s Land - as well as Keats' House – where Ode to a Nightingale was written.

Gibbet Hill and the Sailor's Stone at Hindhead Commons, Surrey
Walking trail

Hindhead Commons, Surrey 

Arthur Conan Doyle lived at Undershaw in Hindhead from 1897 to 1907, where he wrote one of the best-known Sherlock Holmes novels, The Hound of the Baskervilles. When we acquired Hindhead Commons in 1906 under the advice of our co-founder Sir Robert Hunter, Conan Doyle was part of the first Hindhead Commons committee which helped to care for this special place. He and Hunter would frequently walk out together over the Commons.

The bell metal cauldron in the Warming Room at Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire.
Walking trail

Lacock, Wiltshire 

Fans of Harry Potter will love visiting Lacock Abbey, which was used for several Hogwarts interior scenes in the early movie adaptations. Picturesque Lacock village is also no stranger to the screen, appearing as Godric's Hollow in The Philosopher's Stone, as well as being the location of Slughorn's temporary home of Budleigh Babberton in The Half-Blood Prince.

Rhododendrons in bloom on the lake at Lyme, Cheshire
Walking trail

Lyme Park, Cheshire 

Nestled on the edge of the Peak District and surrounded by moorland, Lyme Park is a setting that oozes romance. It was used as a backdrop for the famous scene in which Elizabeth Bennet meets a drenched Mr Darcy emerging from a lake, in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Visitors can follow our Pemberley Walk to tread in Mr Darcy’s footsteps.

Belton's sundial was created by Caius Cibber
Walking trail

Belton House, Lincolnshire 

The sundial at the heart of Belton’s formal gardens was the inspiration for Moondial, a children’s story by BAFTA award-winning author Helen Cresswell. The story tells of a young girl who discovers that the sculpture is in fact a magic portal to the past. The BBC’s television adaption was filmed almost entirely on location at Belton.

View to the Mourne Mountains from Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down, Northern Ireland

Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland 

Fans of the literary adventures of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy will love exploring the Mourne Mountains - one of the stunning landscapes said to have inspired C.S Lewis to write The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1950.

View of Worms Head, Rhossili
Walking trail

Worm’s Head, Gower 

Dylan Thomas was a regular visitor to the Gower and a number of his stories feature connections to the area. Once he even got stuck on Worm's Head overnight after he fell asleep and missed the tide.