How to start a new chapter in your travels

The recreated Shakespearean Globe Theatre may inspire you to expand your travel horizons. Photo / Supplied
The recreated Shakespearean Globe Theatre may inspire you to expand your travel horizons. Photo / Supplied

Books can provide a great reason to explore new places and expand the imagination... and vice versa.

There's nothing like doing the Tongariro Crossing or visiting Matamata's Hobbiton to inspire you to read - or re-read - The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

And reading Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited provides ample inspiration to want to see Castle Howard where the brilliant BBC television series was set.

Here's a few examples:

Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox
Great Missenden, in the English county of Buckinghamshire

Visit the English countryside that inspired the setting of Fantastic Mr Fox. The Roald Dahl Museum offers free craft activities and storytelling sessions but the best thing of all is the tour of the famous writing hut where Dahl created his best works.


Maurice Gee's Under the Mountain

Under the Mountain may be near the end of its run in local cinemas but there's plenty of time to read the Maurice Gee book on which it is based. Then head out to explore Auckland's volcanic cones, especially Rangitoto and the tunnels of North Head.

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Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer
Hannibal, Missouri, US

In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom and his friend Becky Thatcher get lost in a cave. Read aloud the first two pages of Chapter 29 in this famed novel in conjunction with a visit to Missouri's first show cave. Take a tour of the cave depicted in the novel, and learn about how Samuel Clemens, who used the pen name Mark Twain, came to tell the story.


J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books

Fans of Harry Potter can visit the locations and learn more about the magic and legends that made this series so popular. Take tours in England and the US where the film was made. Join other enthusiasts for a ride in the train that was used as the Hogwarts Express.


Where things are wild

Make it a wild weekend at home or away. Read Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and watch the film. Then take a walk in a nearby park or forest and use your imagination to talk about the adventures of young Max, the main character in this beloved children's book.


Zane Grey's America

Best-selling novelist and avid angler Zane Grey - who published Tales of the Angler's Eldorado, New Zealand - created exciting stories of the life, culture and landscape of the American West. Grey's stories of frontier characters and romance inspired many to explore the West. Visit his birthplace, Zanesville, Ohio, and the locations that inspired him.



Where else would you go to celebrate the works of William Shakespeare but England? Imagine seeing a play performed in the recreated Globe Theatre on the banks of the River Thames in London. Or exploring the streets where the bard walked in Stratford-upon-Avon.



Of course the original vampire was Dracula. Bram Stoker wrote his story about the dreaded count from Transylvania in the Yorkshire town of Whitby and wove many local legends and landmarks into his account.

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Katherine Mansfield

There isn't yet a trail to celebrate Katherine Mansfield, one of New Zealand's finest writers, but Wellington has announced plans for a sculpture of her which could form part of a Mansfield Trail.

In the meantime you can see her birthplace in Tinakori Rd, the Alexander Turnbull Library which has an extensive collection of her papers and personal belongings and the Wellington Writers' Walk in which she features.



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