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.