Home of Anne Hathaway in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England
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Best Literary Sites Near London

A trip to London can include more diverse sights and scenery than you ever thought possible. In a country with as rich a literary tradition as England, the stomping grounds of great wordsmiths are often no more than an hour outside the capital -- close enough for you to easily visit as part of your London itinerary. Here are five escapes that will bring you closer to Shakespeare, Austen, and three more legends.

Photo Caption: Home of Anne Hathaway in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England. Photo by WJTTravelgirl/Frommers.com Community.
The poet John Keats wrote his famous Ode on a Grecian Urn while living in this Hampstead house
Hollenbeck Productions
John Keats' Hampstead
The poet John Keats lived for two years of his short life in a charming house in Hampstead, where he wrote "Ode to a Nightingale" and fell in love with his neighbor's daughter. Open to the public, the Keats House is one of several fascinating homes you can visit in Hampstead.

Photo Caption: The poet John Keats wrote his famous "Ode on a Grecian Urn" while living in this Hampstead house.
Monk's House was home to Virginia Woolf near Lewes.
Oliver Mallinson Lewis
Virginia Woolf's Monk's House
The novelist Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard Woolf, often retreated from their home in London's Bloomsbury to this simple house and garden in Sussex, near the town of Lewes. Here they entertained the writers, artists, and intellectuals who formed the "Bloomsbury Group." Virginia drowned herself in the nearby River Ouse, in 1941.

Photo Caption: Monk's House was home to Virginia Woolf near Lewes. Photo by Oliver Mallinson Lewis/Wikimedia Commons.
Cobblestone streets of Rye.
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Henry James' Rye
The charms of Rye, with its ancient cobbled streets, have seduced many a writer. The great American writer Henry James became a British citizen and moved to Lamb House in Rye. After his death, Lamb House became the home of E. F. Benson, author of the brilliantly funny Mapp and Lucia novels. The house is now a National Trust property.

Photo Caption: Cobblestone streets of Rye. Photo by lhalvors/Frommers.com Community.
Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford.
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William Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon
England's greatest playwright was born, lived much of his life, and died in this Warwickshire village. William Shakespeare is a hot commodity in Stratford, but even the commercialization doesn't diminish the awe of visiting the house where he was born, and other places associated with his Stratford life.

Photo Caption: Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford. Photo by Picturessence/Frommers.com Community.
Jane Austen's home in Chawton.
Herry Lawford
Jane Austen's Winchester
The ever-popular author Jane Austen died in Winchester and is buried in Winchester Cathedral. Her house, in the nearby village of Chawton, 17 miles (27km) from Winchester, is filled with Austen memorabilia.

Photo Caption: Jane Austen's home in Chawton. Photo by Herry Lawford/Flickr.com.