As a UNESCO City of Literature, on our English Tourism Week lowdown of all the things that make Nottinghamshire such an interesting place to visit, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to talk about our literary legends. Walk in the footsteps of our rebel writers and discover a county with many tales to tell.

Lord Byron 

Rock star of romantic verse, the notorious poet Lord Byron, moved to Nottinghamshire aged 10 when he inherited his title and estate. Walk in his footsteps with a visit to his former digs Newstead Abbey. Wander the expansive and beautiful gardens, where magnificent peacocks wander downs paths that meander past lakes and waterfalls.

The house is open during weekends, bank holiday Mondays and school holidays, where you can see a variety of Byron’s personal items, including the writing desk at which he penned many of his poems.  For the full experience, pre-booked groups can enjoy a tour of the house led by an enthrallingly eccentric, costumed Lord Byron guide who will tell tales of lavishly gothic parties, goblets made of monk’s skulls and more.

Elsewhere in the county, Byron spent lots of time in the in picturesque village of Southwell, nestled in the Trent Valley. Here took part in various plays, published his first volume of poetry, and, predictably for the ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ poet, caused a scandal with a young lady that unfolded like something out of Jane Austin novel.

His childhood home, which he would visit during school holidays from Harrow and later Cambridge university, Burgage Manor, still stands. A private residence which overlooks the Burgage green, which is a pretty spot for a stroll or picnic when visiting. We’ve got lots of ideas for things to do in this stunning market town on our Southwell itinerary.  

Byron had intended his final resting place to be with his beloved dog Boatswain, who’s grand tomb can be found in the grounds of Newstead Abbey, but having sold the property some years previously, he was laid to rest in the family vault at St Mary Magdalene Church Hucknall, later to be joined by his equally famous daughter, pioneering programmer Ada Lovelace.

D.H. Lawrence 

The controversial and boundary pushing author from Eastwood certainly caused a stir when his most famous work, Lady Chatterley’ Lover was released. Publisher Penguin was at the centre of a famous indecency trial, marking a landmark transition in public views on censorship and the arts.    

Walk in Lawrence’s footsteps in Eastwood on the Blue Line Trail, and explore the countryside that inspired his work, and be sure to visit his former home, the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum.

Lawrence was born at 8a Victoria Street, the first of the family’s four Eastwood homes. Learn about life in the mining community which shaped Lawrence’s childhood and writing, see rooms where the family lived and view personal items and some of Lawrence’s original watercolour paintings.

Alan Sillitoe

Nottingham's most famous contemporary author, Sillitoe was part of the so-called ‘angry young men’ whose writings depicted the often-harsh realities of working-class life. He was made an Honorary Freeman of the City of Nottingham at a special ceremony in June of 2008.

His first novel, the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’ painted a vivid picture of Nottingham. The book follows the life of Arthur Seaton, who spends his days working in the Nottingham-based Raleigh factory, and his weekends drinking and partying as he battles to break free from the drudgery of his monotonous life. 

A special screening of the film adaptation, shot in Nottingham and staring the late, great Albert Finney, will take place on Saturday 27 April 2019 as part of Nottingham Industrial Museum’s Raleigh Rally. Find out more here.


Gold Star Guides Visit Nottinghamshire

Literary Tours

The literary specialist Gold Star Guides provide fascinating walking tours through the city centre, celebrating the many writers, poets and published authors associated with Nottingham. The Booklovers Walk covers around a mile in distance but the content covers the whole of Nottingham’s lively literary scene, from children's literature to Booker Prize winners, diarists, crime-writers and poets, including our very own Young Poet Laureate. The Literary Lions tour, meanwhile, covers all the essentials of Nottingham's literary heritage, followed by a delicious Afternoon Tea in the grand Lace Market Hotel. Personal and personalised tours are also available by appointment.


Newstead Abbey
Historic Site
Newstead Abbey

A beautiful historic house set in a glorious landscape of gardens and parkland within the heart of Nottinghamshire.

Nottingham Booklovers Walk
Guided Walk
Nottingham Booklovers Walk

This 2 hours guided walk celebrates some of the many writers associated with our UNESCO City of Literature.

Nottingham's Literary Lions Tour & Historic Lace Market Afternoon Tea
Walks and Trails
Nottingham's Literary Lions Tour & Historic Lace Market Afternoon Tea

All the essentials of Nottingham's literary heritage are covered in this 75-minute guided walk. Novels and poetry plus the scandalous private lives and rock-star status of writers DH Lawrence and Lord Byron, but also literary legends Peter Pan and Robin Hood. Afterwards enjoy a traditional afternoon tea at the luxurious Lace Market Hotel.

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning Film Screening
Cinema / Film
Saturday Night & Sunday Morning Film Screening

Nottingham Industrial Museum have partnered up with an iconic industrial venue as part of their annual Raleigh Rally. Head on down to The Garage in Chilwell (the home of Bartons Buses) for an exclusive viewing of the Nottingham classic film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.



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