Lockdown, dark nights and cold weather might not be our favourite combination – but it’s given us the perfect excuse to get stuck into all the books we’ve had our eye on for a while.
Whether it’s discovering new writers, re-reading old favourites or delving into a classic piece of literature, there’s nothing like the pure joy of cosying up indoors with a good book. As author Jhumpa Lahiri puts it, books “let you travel without moving your feet”.
Next year, you can celebrate your love of reading on a holiday for book lovers thanks to Good Housekeeping.
With now being the perfect time for browsing travel ideas while we’re holed up at home, you’ll want to check out the expert-led getaways you can join next year. Keep scrolling for ideas of how to step inside the worlds of some of our favourite authors, from Kate Mosse to Louis de Bernères.
And just so you know, our holidays are financially-protected so if you decide to book, you can rest assured that your money is safe with us.
Discover the myths of Carcassonne with Kate Mosse
British author Kate Mosse fell under Carcassonne’s spell almost three decades ago. This magical walled city has inspired her hit books ever since, including the Languedoc trilogy of Labyrinth, Sepulchre and Citadel, and more recently The Burning Chambers and The City of Tears.
On our exclusive tour, you can admire the medieval turrets, chateaux and basiliques of this intriguing city. Kate Mosse will be by your side explaining its history and showing you some of the places that feature in her bestselling tales. There’s also nearby town Rennes Les Bains to visit, plus Narbonne and the pretty canals of Béziers.
“A glance at the citadel was all it took – I’ve been head over heels in love with Carcassonne ever since,” says Kate. “I hope you can join me here in this dazzling city, with so many stories to tell.”
Kate Mosse’s tour of Carcassonne departs in October 2021.
Explore medieval France with Chocolat’s Joanne Harris
The gentle pace of life and unspoilt countryside of south-west France are part of its enduring appeal. Ever since author Joanne Harris captured its village life so magically in her bestselling novel Chocolat, we’ve wanted to experience it for ourselves.
That’s why we’ve created the perfect Chocolat-themed trip, led by Joanne herself. Travelling by train from the limestone cliffs and medieval hilltop towns of the Lot valley to majestic Toulouse and timeless Cahors and Moissac, this holiday in romantic south-west France includes tours of all the places that inspired Joanne.
She’ll also give two private talks and hold a Q&A session discussing her career, her creative writing process and more.
“We’ll be taking a look at the historic little town of Nérac,” says Joanne. “We’ll visit the church, the old quarter with its wooden houses and tanneries, and the chocolaterie that started everything off!”
Joanne Harris’ literary-themed tour of south-west France departs in June 2021.
See The Durrells comes to life in Corfu
With its sparkling blue sea and beautiful mountain landscape, it’s easy to see why naturalist Gerald Durrell fell in love with Corfu when his family moved there in 1935.
His charming and inspirational autobiography My Family And Other Animals was brought to our TV screens with The Durrells, and next year you can experience the sights of this magical island for yourself in the company of Lee Durrell, wife of the late Gerald.
Retracing the novel’s most famous locations, including Mouse Island, the White House and the Lake of Lilies, you’ll see all the places that you’ve read about in Gerald’s book and seen on the TV show. Plus, Lee Durrell will be happy to sign your free copy of My Family And Other Animals.
Lee Durrell’s tour of Corfu departs in May 2021.
Get to know England’s royal history with Suzannah Lipscomb
The royal palaces have been witness to some of the most dramatic events in British history, dictating the nation’s fate and shaping who we are today. They have hosted the births, deaths, marriages, affairs and coronations of kings and queens, and hidden scandal, intrigue, romance and betrayal behind their high walls.
One of the most entertaining history writers and broadcasters Suzannah Lipscomb has captured these tales brilliantly in her books, including A Visitor’s Companion to the Tudors and The Voices of Nimes, plus her three books on Henry VIII and another on witchcraft.
Next year, you can join her for a private behind-the-ropes tour of the State Apartments at Windsor Castle (with champagne) and a private tour of Hampton Court Palace, the great Tudor residence.
Suzannah says: “I am a great believer in telling historical tales where they happened. The veil between the past and the present feels very thin when you are following in the footsteps of Henry VIII, or standing in the spot where Anne Boleyn met her end.”
Suzannah Lipscomb’s tour departs in August 2021.
Sail away on a literary festival cruise along the Danube
Last on this list but definitely not least, is the ultimate literary festival for book – and river cruise – lovers. Created in partnership with the popular Henley Literary Festival, it will feature some of the UK’s best-loved writers, including Dame Jenni Murray, Victoria Hislop, Louis de Bernières, Liz Earle, Kate Adie and Jeremy Paxman.
The unique eight-day river cruise on the Danube includes an exciting range of talks, interviews and book signings, as well as Q&As on board with these inspiring authors – not to mention fantastic food, wine and beautiful views as you explore some of central Europe’s greatest cities.
There are also optional excursions to join in Europe’s historic capitals Vienna and Budapest, and plenty of time to rub shoulders with some of our favourite celebs from the literary world while on-board. It’s set to be a river cruise to remember!
The literary festival cruise departs in April 2021.
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