A poetic tour of the UK

To celebrate World Poetry Day, we’re going to look at some of the UK’s finest poets and the beautiful locations that inspired them.

Tennyson – The Isle of Wight

Alfred Tennyson often wrote of the natural world. In fact, the longest serving Poet Laureate’s most famous quote describes nature as being “red in tooth and claw.” A visit to the poet’s home on the Isle of Wight, however,  reveals a more beautiful side to nature.

It’s easy to see how Tennyson could find so much inspiration in the local geography. There are the sandy cliffs of Alum Bay; the iconic Needles that rise dramatically out of the sea and Tennyson Down, a grassy ridge with spectacular views of Freshwater Bay.

Wordsworth – The Lake District

William Wordsworth was equally inspired by his natural surroundings. In this case it was the evocative landscapes of the Lake District that allowed his equally vivid poetry to flow. And while the Lakes itself is a fitting testament to Wordsworth, there are plenty of places to pay homage to Tennyson’s predecessor as poet laureate.

Dove Cottage in Grasmere is widely considered to be the place where Wordsworth produced his most inspired work. Pay a visit today and you can not only take a tour of the house, but also visit a museum which houses a variety of artefacts linked to the poet.

Robert Burns – Scotland

Burns’ poetry was influenced by – and subsequently influenced – a whole nation. Now internationally celebrated, the ‘Scottish Bard’ is a cultural icon whose life is well worth exploring. Of course it helps that an exploration takes in some of Scotland’s most beautiful locations.

Burns Night is probably one of the best times to visit Scotland if you’re looking for a true measure of the poet’s legacy. The Writer’s Museum in Edinburgh, however, is perhaps better suited for a more personal exploration. There you’ll see a collection of Burns artefacts, including his writing chair.

Lewis Carroll – Oxfordshire

Though better known for Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll was also a renowned poet, specialising in such whimsical ‘nonsense poems’ as Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark. And even though these works have little obvious bearing on reality, the writer’s home of Oxford provided a huge inspiration.

An Oxford boat ride down the Thames allows you to recreate the journey Carroll took when creating Wonderland. Similarly, Christ Church College in Oxford played an equally large part in the author’s life, with many of the subjects he captured in his works still there to see. So if you fancy hunting the snark yourself, you know where to begin!

Do you have your own favourite UK poet? Leave a comment below! If you’d like to continue your tour of the UK’s literary locations then check out our Magical Literary Tour on www.cottages4you.co.uk.

Honeymoons in the UK

Inspired by the news that Prince William and Kate Middleton are planning on celebrating their nuptials on the Scilly Isles, we recently asked our friends, followers and fans on Facebook and Twitter, where they would choose to spend a romantic honeymoon in the UK. Maybe it was the release of news, or perhaps because we asked the question around Valentine’s Day, but we got lots of great responses.

So where are the UK’s honeymoon hotspots? Well, since all the responses involved being surrounded by beautiful landscapes, it would seem that, like the young royals, we want nothing more than to spend our romantic breaks in stunning remote surroundings.

The Lake District

It’s hard to fault this choice, as the Lakes offers a uniquely appealing mix of cultural history and eye-watering vistas. Whether you take to the waters of Coniston, enjoy a relaxed amble over the hills, or explore the life of local romantic, Wordsworth, this is one location that never ceases to inspire.

We think Melanie K sums up the appeal of the Lake District best: “It’s beautiful and romantic all year round.” We couldn’t agree more!

The Yorkshire Dales

The wild beauty of the Dales has had an equal influence on romantic literature. After all, where else could the turbulent romance of Wuthering Heights take place? Your own romantic tale in the Yorkshire Dales can also include a few activities that didn’t make the final draft of Emily Bronte’s novel, including mountain biking and ballooning!

Emma H sums up the appeal of the Dales: “I’d love to stay in a cosy little cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. Spend all day walking around the Dales, and exploring a nice little pub or 2.” Sounds lovely!

Cornwall

For many, the romantic ideal can only be realised with leisurely walks across golden sands and enjoying romantic meals by candlelight. We’re fairly sure that Cornwall fits the bill, after all it offers a wealth of beautiful beaches and isn’t exactly short of fine dining experiences either!

Tracy S agrees: “I’d love a cosy cottage too but on the coast of Cornwall (any coast, it’s all too beautiful).”

Scotland

Rolling highlands, dense pine forests, soaring mountains, deep lochs, rivers and historic cities, there’s genuinely something for everyone to enjoy on a romantic break in Scotland. We just hope that such a wealth of choice doesn’t lead to disagreements between happy honeymooners!

Andy H says: “I’d love a quaint little cottage in rural Scotland, plenty of wildlife, privacy and a place to stay. Although I’d be tempted to look for one with an outdoor jacuzzi!”

Where would you like to spend a UK honeymoon? Leave your suggestions below!

If you’d like to book your own romantic retreat, have a look at our featured romantic cottages in the UK.