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United Kingdom a Central Character in Top 10 Literary Destinations

NEWTON, Mass. – August 14, 2008 – TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel community, today announced the top 10 literary destinations in the world, according to TripAdvisor editors. These locations have either been the home or inspiration to many of the greatest writers in Western civilization, and feature remarkable attractions as tributes to those authors, for travelers to enjoy today.

1. Great Expectations: London, England

London was the birthplace or home of many of the greatest authors of all time, including Charles Dickens, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Milton, John Keats and H.G. Wells, to name a few. Visitors can stop by the home of Dickens, see the house where Benjamin Johnson wrote the first comprehensive English dictionary, or go on one of many guided walks that let you follow in Sherlock Holmes’ footsteps. One TripAdvisor traveler calls London, “The home of the literature we have spent so much time learning and loving.”

2. Some are Born Great: Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a Mecca for the literature enthusiast. Travelers can catch a glimpse into The Bard’s early life, see the magnificent Royal Shakespeare Company perform, or pay tribute to the father of modern literature at his final resting place. According to one TripAdvisor traveler, “People from Stratford-upon-Avon offer an array of opportunities to get to know their celebrated son.”

3. The Game is Afoot: Edinburgh, Scotland

We have Edinburgh authors to thank for some of the world’s most beloved stories and characters, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Take a walking tour of Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town to learn about Scottish literary characters and history, or celebrate the contributions of authors Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson at the Writer’s Museum. One TripAdvisor traveler notes, “Paving stones approaching the museum commemorate Scottish writers.”

4. Portals of Discovery: Dublin, Ireland

Dublin’s greatest authors from Yeats to Heaney have often used their home city as their inspiration, evident in James Joyce’s “Dubliners” and Jonathan Swift’s satirical “A Modest Proposal.” Literature enthusiasts will want to make the pilgrimages to the James Joyce Tower and House, as well as visit the Dublin Writers’ Museum and the National Library of Ireland. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “Dublin’s literary history is as rich as a pint of Guinness…you can even take a tour of the city’s pubs through a literary viewpoint with the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl.”

5. A Wink of the Eye: New York, New York

Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg once hung out in New York’s White Horse Tavern, Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer and John Ashbery called the city home, and the Harlem Renaissance surfaced African-American literary greats like Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. Take a literary walking tour of Greenwich Village or immerse yourself in the New York Public Library’s immense collection. According to a TripAdvisor traveler, “One of my highlights was going on a ‘literary pub crawl' in Greenwich Village retracing the steps of Kerouac, Ginsberg, etc.”

6. Live Free: Concord, Massachusetts

A unique destination for its small size and depth of literary history, Concord is the site of Walden Pond, inspiration for Thoreau’s “Walden,” and the house where Louisa May Alcott wrote “Little Women.” Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne also called Concord home in the 1800s, and for the ultimate literary pilgrimage, visit the final resting places of all these literary giants in the Author’s Ridge section of the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. One TripAdvisor traveler said, “For the literary-minded there's no better place to pay your literary respects than Sleepy Hollow.”  

7. Absorbed in Thought: Paris, France

Paris’ literary history – from French authors like Victor Hugo, Voltaire, and Alexander Dumas to Americans such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others of the “Lost Generation”– is rich and diverse. With its famous book stalls (“Les Bouquinistes”) lining the Seine, and famed literary cafes like les Deux Magots, frequented by greats like Hemingway and Albert Camus, the City of Light’s literary vibe lives on. One TripAdvisor traveler recommends, “Take the Paris-walks ‘Hemingway’s Paris’ walk. Runs every Friday and you get to see a lot of literary history from Balzac, Hemingway, Joyce and Orwell.”

8. See with the Eyes of Angels: San Francisco, California

When Ginsberg and Kerouac moved from New York to [Back to Press Releases Main]