Visitors can navigate their way around the Island using an interactive map and pick and choose from a host of Island hotspots linked to the literary greats; from tucked away villages and hamlets to bustling seaside towns. The trail also reveals some of our home-grown talent, including Oscar winning screen writer Anthony Minghella who wrote The English Patient.
A major highlight of the Literary Heroes Trail is newly re-opened Farringford in Freshwater, where the renowned poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson made his home. Since 2012, the dramatic Gothic house has been meticulously restored and decorated in a late 19th Century style that reflects Tennyson’s tastes and interests. The grounds have also been returned to their authentic Tennyson-era appearance complete with enchanting walled garden.
Other key locations include the picturesque sailing village of Seaview, where author Enid Blyton holidayed; and the traditional seaside resort of Ventnor, where Charles Dickens rented Winterbourne, Bonchurch.
Continuing the rich literary tradition of the island, the Isle of Wight Literary Festival (12th-15th October) offers a diverse programme with speakers ranging from poets, politicians, historians, biographers, journalists, fiction writers, award-winning authors, actors and scientists. The event is mainly based at Northwood House.
The launch of the trail follows the success of the Isle of Wight’s Victoria’s Island Trail, which was created specially to celebrate the release of major feature film ‘Victoria & Abdul’ in cinemas 15th September. Victoria’s Island Trail includes well-known places the Queen loved as well as lesser known locations that reveal deep connections between the Royals and the Island.
David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said:
“The Literary Heroes Trail is an inspirational trail which takes visitors on a journey across the Island, discovering locations where celebrated writers went on holiday, spent their childhood days and the places that meant so much to them.
“These trails are not just for literary enthusiasts, historians or royalists. They are for anyone with a nostalgic interest in a bygone era, or who enjoys a glimpse into the past. It’s a way of showcasing the Island’s historic landmarks and culturally significant sites throughout the year and to encourage visitors outside the traditional holiday periods.”