April 17th 2020

Dream now, visit later

Have you noticed a phrase popping up a lot recently: Dream now, visit later?

Of course, it's designed to remind people to stay home and stay safe, especially across holiday weekends, but it's really not a bad idea!

While we have the time, let's make the most of all that technology can do for us and feast on images, movies and books of the places we long to visit.

We have put together a guide to some of the best ways to get a "fix" of the landscapes we love and where we walk - this time in England's north country.

All the movies, TV shows and books are available to stream, download, in print or on Kindle.

Enjoy the streaming and dreaming, and we'll be visiting again just as soon as we possibly can.

England's North Country

The Lake District

Dramatic fells, glittering lakes, wooded valleys... The Lake District is a landscape that commands the eye, so there's little wonder that it's featured in so many movies.

Swallows and Amazons

Where else could the big screen adaption of Arthur Ransome's 20th century literary classic, Swallows and Amazons, be filmed than in the beautiful region in which it was originally set?

Coniston Water, where Ransome actually first learned to sail, provided a perfect and fitting location for filming scenes from this much-loved children's tale. Peel Island was chosen to portray Wild Cat Island, which each of the two tribes of child adventurers claims as their own.

Miss Potter

And of course. Miss Potter, starring Renée Zellwegger, was a tribute to Beatrix Potter and used many Lake District locations linked to the author. The beautiful Loughrigg Tarn, Coniston and Derwentwater all feature in the film, and Yew Tree Farm, which was actually owned by Potter in the 1930s, was used for scenes depicting her beloved, famous cottage, Hill Top Farm (which we visit on our Lake District and Hadrian's Wall Walks.)

Yes, even Star Wars. The lush, wooded planet of Takadona in the hit film, Stars Wars: the Force Awakens, draws its visual locations fromseveral places in the Lakes. At one point, you can see a digitally altered landscape which merges an enlarged Derwentwater with Bassenthwaite Lake.

William Wordsworth

This month marks William Wordsworth's 250th birthday and the Lake District, the seminal poet's home and muse, is one of the most romantic spots in the world.

The National Trust has created a fascinating podcast, offering you the chance to delve deeper into the life of the poet and journey into the homeland of romantic poetry.

For readers:

At Home with Beatrix Potter, The Creator of Peter Rabbit by Susan Dyer is a photographic tour through Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's beautiful home in England's Lake District.

The Coffin Trail by Martin Edwards is a chilling mystery set in England's Lake District. When Daniel and his partner, Hannah Scarlett, take residence at Tarn Cottage, they discover they have put themselves in grave danger - their new home has been inhabited by a man suspected of a savage murder.

The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals (Dorothy Wordsworth, Pamela Woof Editor) The journals of Dorothy Wordsworth from Dove Cottage. With rich detail, she observes the natural beauty of the Lake District region and her time spent with her brother William and their friend Coleridge.


You may have a sense of déjà-vu as you travel across Yorkshire for it has provided the perfect backdrop for many much loved and widely seen television and film productions. In fact, such is Yorkshire's close relationship with the film industry, that Bradford has recently been honored with the title of the world's first UNESCO City of Film.

All Creatures Great and Small

Who can forget All Creatures Great and Small - the classic vet series set in the Yorkshire Dales. Re-runs are still popular across the world. We are eagerly awaiting the new series, now in production!

Calendar Girls

Cheeky, heartwarming Calendar Girls was filmed in the heart of the Dales. Enjoy breathtaking scenery and fascinating market towns and villages in locations such as Kettlewell, Burnsall, Skipton, Settle and Ilkley Moor.

On to the wild and windy Moors and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë captures the brooding nature of this region. As well as the classic 1939 movie version, modern remakes show off Yorkshire at its best.

For readers:

Walking Home, A Poet's Journey by Simon Armitage With trepidation and enthusiasm, British bard Simon Armitage embarks on a 256-mile trek along the "backbone of England," the Pennine Way. By day, he is joined by a cast of friends and family, strangers and dogs; at night he reads poetry in exchange for a bed.

Slow Guide North York Moors & Yorkshire Wolds by Mike Bagshaw Ideal for walkers and wanderers, cyclists and travelers who enjoy "taking it all in," Bradt's Slow Guide is organized around its most scenic towns, with walking routes, maps and listings for eating and accommodations.

South Riding by Winifred Holtby Exploring the culture, characters and politics in a Yorkshire village between the wars, this novel brings to life a rural community that is on the brink of great change.


Magical castles, barely-trodden beaches, staggering landscapes and wonderful wildlife... it's no wonder Northumberland has a starring role in world-famous films and award-winning TV series.

The home of our Walk that celebrates the ancient kingdom of Northumbria, this land nudging Scotland is the most northerly point in England.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Alnwick Castle, otherwise known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has a starring role in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Most famously, the Castle is the spellbinding backdrop for Harry and the gang's first flying Lesson.

The castle was also cast as the magnificent Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey's 2015 and 2016 Christmas specials, when the Crawley family are invited to stay and scandals, secrets and budding romances play out.


One to binge-watch, British crime drama Vera takes full advantage of the county's jaw-dropping landscapes. While our heroine delves into intense and complex cases, Northumberland is her staggering side-kick.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

A throwback to the early 90s, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner took advantage of more than one of Northumberland's striking natural settings.

For readers:

The Story of Holy Island, An Illustrated History by Kate Tristam The remarkable story of Lindisfarne as captured by a resident of The Holy Island. Tristam is a historian, priest in the Church of England and frequently lectures on Lindisfarne.

King Harald's Saga Magnus Magnusson Snorri Sturlusson, Hermann Palsson A classic biography of the last Viking warrior King Harald and an account of the 1066 conflict between Norway and England, in which Northumbria played a vital role.

The Lighthousekeeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor 1838: when a terrible storm blows up off the Northumberland coast, Grace Darling, the lighthouse-keeper's daughter, knows there is little chance of survival for the passengers on the small ship battling the waves. But her actions set in motion an incredible feat of bravery that echoes down the century.

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