It’s paradoxical, but sometimes, to write, you need to be away from your desk. Going out into beautiful, interesting, or inspiring places fills up the well of ideas that lets you go back and write something fantastic (or, at the very least, not-too-terrible). Here are some of my favourite places to wander around and think about writing.
The Story Museum, Oxford: One of my favourite places in the world, and somewhere I’ve written hundreds of words in my time. You can visit Narnia, or drink story-themed hot chocolate in the cafe, or relax with a picture book on the giant bed.
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire: Waddesdon looks like a fairytale palace, and at Christmas, every room is decorated on a theme – one year, it was children’s stories.
The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford: Museums are becoming a bit of a theme here, but the Pitt Rivers is full of interesting artifacts that will get the imagination working – including Philip Pullman’s, who based an important plot point of the His Dark Materials series on the shrunken heads.
Blue John Cavern, Hope Valley: I haven’t been here since I was a kid, but I remember it so vividly – it inspired every story I’ve written that involves wandering around underground (and that’s quite a few of them).
Greenway, Devon: I couldn’t finish the post without adding the house of one of my favourite writers, Agatha Christie. Greenway is fascinating even without the literary history, and I’d love to go back – especially because my only trip there involved my being so ill I looked like I was acting out one of the Queen of Crime’s stories.
What are the most inspirational places you’ve visited?