Novels that evoke British places very well ...please recommend

(73 Posts)
revolvenotevolve Tue 20-Aug-13 19:53:27

Id love to read some novels set around Britain and that really evoke the place so it inspires a visit ! Any recommendations ?

Chocolatestain Fri 23-Aug-13 15:45:16

It's another oldie, but A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys is great for evoking Glastonbury and its surrounding countryside before the new agey types moved in.

tabulahrasa Fri 23-Aug-13 16:03:05

"Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, for the Scottish highlands"

Um, I like them, but...she'd not been to Scotland when she wrote it and I think you can tell, even apart from things like places not actually being where she writes that they are.

DolomitesDonkey Fri 23-Aug-13 18:48:27

The Ann Cleeves stuff about Shetland is incredible given that she'd not actually been there when she wrote the first one! She describes the English department at the high school through the eyes of Inspector Perez. Now I've not been in those rooms in 25 years but it all came flooding back to me - fab!

MaisyMoo123 Sat 24-Aug-13 10:48:53

Brick Lane by Monica Ali for gritty modern London and any Thomas Hardy for rural Dorset - the language still sums up the landscape and scenery today.

TheFunStopsHere Sat 24-Aug-13 11:05:08

If you fancy a walking trip - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

LIZS Sat 24-Aug-13 11:07:10

Any Daphne Du Maurier

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 24-Aug-13 11:10:21

South Riding by Winifred Holtby for the East Riding of Yorkshire.

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 24-Aug-13 11:13:00

Watership Down by Richard Adams. I live nearby, and the descriptive writing is spot on.

Takver Sat 24-Aug-13 12:21:54

"'Waterland' by Graham Swift really evokes the Fens but I'm not sure it would inspire a visit."

I was going to say "What Hetty Did" by JL Carr for the fenlands, but again I'm not sure it would inspire you to visit - even the heroine gets out as fast as possible grin

TunipTheUnconquerable Sat 24-Aug-13 12:24:20

OK then, Lucy Boston's The River At Green Knowe for a nicer version of the Fens. (It's a kids' book though. Maybe all the adult ones are grim.)

Heebiejeebie Sun 25-Aug-13 09:32:50

Cider with Rosie

bimblebee Tue 27-Aug-13 13:47:56

Laura Blundy by Julie Myerson (London around the 19th century)
Black is the Colour by Helen Howe (Nottinghamshire during the miners strike and since)
Under a Thin Moon by Livi Michael (bleak but thought-provoking, set on a Manchester council estate)

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Tue 27-Aug-13 13:50:00

Cider with Rosie for rural England pre WW2.

Lark Rise to candleford for earlier rural life.

MerlinFromCamelot Tue 27-Aug-13 22:27:20

Tideline - P. Hancock -> Thames/ Greenwich

PetiteRaleuse - driven past Jamaica inn in Cornwall last week. Kicking myself I didn't stop now.

tripfiction Wed 28-Aug-13 11:13:39

Look out for a really top read coming out in paperback in September: The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell set in The Peak District - hugely evocative of location http://www.tripfiction.com/Book/3632

Oldandcobwebby Wed 28-Aug-13 11:24:12

Aberystwyth Mon Amour is great if you like a bit of detective noir.

mimbleandlittlemy Wed 28-Aug-13 13:55:56

French Lieutenant's Woman for Lyme Regis.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 28-Aug-13 14:01:33

If you extend to children's fiction, the Swallows and Amazons books are good for Lake District, Norfolk broads and Scottish island. Inspire your kids to get to Wild Cat island, climb a mountain etc!

HopeClearwater Wed 28-Aug-13 14:51:01

Patrick Gale novels for Cornwall: Notes from an Exhibition, A Perfectly Good Man. For Winchester: his The Whole Day Through. And they are excellent novels.

ilovecolinfirth Fri 30-Aug-13 22:23:14

On Chesil Beach

marilynmonroe Sat 31-Aug-13 18:56:47

Something might happen by Julie myerson is set in Suffolk. I've never been and loved the descriptions of it.

Also a Stuart maconie book where he goes round England. Really enjoyed that too.

TempusFuckit Sat 31-Aug-13 19:52:35

Brighton Rock.

London Fields.

Brick Lane.

Wish I could think of one for my south Essex hometown, but it's oddly short on literary inspiration grin

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Aug-13 19:56:08

On The Black Hill - Bruce Chatwin, for the Herefordshire/Welsh border. Brilliant book too.

BikeRunSki Sat 31-Aug-13 20:05:48

Dreams of Leaving - Rupert ??? describes the South Downs villages inland of Brighton very well. I didn' t read it knowing this, but recognised Hassocks, Keymer a.d Hurstpierpoint - where my grandparents lived , and where I spent a great deal.of my childhood.

Bunbaker Sat 31-Aug-13 20:20:53

Anything by Dickens
Peter May's the Lewis Trilogy
Any Bronte book except for Villette
Colin Dexter - Inspector Morse (set in and around Oxford)
Ian Rankin - Edinburgh

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