I’ve been collecting books set in London since it always seemed like a magical travel destination. J love travelling through books.
With my trip coming up so soon in March I felt like making a list of the London Based books I’ve read recently, ones I’ve read before, and a few still on my TBR. I’ve picked a few sightseeing destinations out of these so I’m definitely excited for next month despite the price gouging)
1. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco. I loved this book despite the many eye roll moments, and the series remains strong. Only the first is set in London and afterwards the main characters flew to Romania.
2. The Left-handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix. This is set in an alternate London and the author of my favorite YA books can do no wrong
3. The Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab. We don’t talk about these books. There are multiple alternate Londons and the main characters were just so awfully bad that I DNF’d the second book. Took some heat for saying the prince should just die but literally whatever it took to stop his whining. I truly detest these books but they are wildly popular
4. The Avram Davidson short story that won an Edgar Award, The Affair at Lahore Cantonment. Apparently Avram spent some time in London and loved it despite the crappy rainy weather. It mostly takes place in India though
5. The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Despite wishing she would let these poor characters stay dead and buried instead of rehashing them forever and ever to sell more books, I did enjoy this trilogy. I am dying to go stand on Blackfriar’s Bridge and check out Hatchard’s Bookshop on Piccadilly. Maybe I check out Bride’s Church too.
6. Sherlock Holmes! I read that the apartment number originally didn’t exist, although it does and is a museum now. Might be worth a look-see
7. Another that I read recently, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde. So many gloomy victorian London vibes here.
8. A suspense novel that is still a main draw to my blog, Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner. If this is a place that one can go to walk around, it seems like it is, I’ll see where it’s located because Faulkner made the vibes sound amazing
9. Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House… Uh… Ok, pretty much every book I can think of by Charles Dickens. There are at LEAST five, probably more. I should see if there are any Dickens related landmarks worth seeing.
10 & 11: Another recent read, 1984 by George Orwell! I had forgotten this one takes place in London so it was a fun surprise. Not much to say for modern landmarks though. On the same note, Brave New World by Huxley was set there too (although in another unrecognizable fashion)
12. Also along those lines, technically The Time Machine by H.G. Wells is based in London. I read the new illustrated version as an arc a few years back and appreciated it
13. The London Below series by Neil Gaiman. I actually haven’t read this one or seen the miniseries but I’m interested in both.
14. Obviously parts of Harry Potter and yes I’m going to go to King’s Cross as a priority and find the shopping cart 😂
15. The last one I can think of that I’ve read is The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. I highly advocate reading all of his material that one can get their hands on, or at least checking out a few of his talks on YouTube.
There you go! What books have you read that take place in London? What literary (or lesser known) landmarks should I look for??
4 replies on “15 London Based Books & Their Visitable Landmarks”
[…] TBR. If I blog a lot, it’ll likely be an excessively nerdy travelogue. I wrote one list about books based in London and their related landmarks, so stay tuned for my […]
Hope you have a great time and that your experience reserving accommodations isn’t typical (I’ve stayed in London, but booked through a rewards program using points). I’ve been to London a few times, and here are some thoughts on your list.
5) Since you are going to Piccadilly anyway, I’d recommend grabbing a drink at The Queen’s Head which is mentioned in several of Todd Noy’s works (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7185131.Todd_Noy). It’s a great little pub and the owner can talk your ear off about Noy if you mention the author. Apparently, Noy occasionally wrote there too.
6) I’ve been to the Sherlock Holmes museum. I liked it. Wouldn’t put it high on the list, so many other things to see. (For example, if you like history, Churchill’s War Rooms should be near the top of your list.)
10) Senate House in London is supposedly the inspiration for the Ministry of Truth. I remember driving past it on the hop-on-hop off bus and thinking ‘that could be right’. Here’s a site that talks about a bunch of 1984 places: https://www.standard.co.uk/reveller/attractions/george-orwell-london-1984-a4340131.html
Also, highly recommend getting the London Pass with the hop-on-hop-off bus, a boat ride on the Thames, and many of the main London tourist attractions included in the price.
14) You couldn’t miss it if you tried, or if you were blindfolded. Seriously, the line for it is actually difficult to get around as you navigate the King’s Cross station.
The Harry Potter movie studio tour is outside of London and takes most of a day, but the Potter Heads I was with loved it (and I had fun too). Definitely worth it if you have the time.
Have a great trip!
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Ooh thanks for all the tips! I’m not so much a history buff (honestly I study a lot of American history but don’t know much about Britain except for obscure biographical books about knights and cavalry). I’m more of a literary nerd and foodie so I’m thinking major tourist stuff, definitely a boat! I did see the hop on hop off thing so hopefully it’s easy to find, I have two days of the city pass!
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When we did it (2016) the location where you get your city pass stuff is where the hop-on-off bus starts, but they are very easy to find anywhere in London.