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We understand some days in your life are extra special. We really do. And we appreciate that few, if any, are more important than your wedding day. You want to know it’s in safe, capable, passionate hands. As many of our hotels are licensed for civil ceremonies, we’re also happy to host your actual wedding as well as your reception. Whatever your choice, when you get hitched, we’ll make sure your special day goes without a hitch. That’s a Hallmark promise.

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Explore the Places in Your Favourite British Stories


For all you book-lovers out there, what better way to spend a weekend than to follow in the footsteps of the UK’s greatest authors and visit the beautiful British landscape that inspired them. We have put together a list of places for you to explore and get yourself lost in the world of some of Britain’s greatest literature.

Stratford-Upon-Avon, The birthplace of Shakespeare Welcombe-Exterior 

Lets begin with ‘England’s National Poet’, William Shakespeare. His work is renowned across the globe for being one of the greatest in English Literature. 400 years on and he is still honoured and celebrated for what his work has done for the English Language. Shakespeare was the first writer to combine tragedy and romance with one of times oldest and most famous love story, Romeo & Juliet. The timeless tale of two star-crossed lovers, who are caught between their two feuding families resulting in the ultimate tragedy bringing them to their deaths. Writing 37 plays and over 150 poems, Shakespeare covered an array of genres from romantic tragedies like mentioned above to comedies, histories and dramas. Regardless of what century his audience live in, his work is timeless. Want to immerse yourself in the world of Shakespeare? Well why not visit Stratford Upon-Avon, the birthplace of one of the worlds most-loved writers. Where better to start than the beautiful tudor house that is his family home where he grew up and began his married life. You can also visit Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway’s romantic cottage to gain an insight into what inspired the writer to turn to writing the worlds most romantic tales. Set of on one of Shakespeare’s walking tours around this beautiful tudor town and learn about this prevalent writer. Why not visit the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre to view one of their Shakespeare-dedicated plays. Need somewhere to stay when visiting Shakespeare’s County, then why not really make this break a special one and book to stay at our atmospheric country hotel, The Welcombe.  

Croydon exteriorLondon, Inspiration to J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter

Moving forward into the 21st Century we have Britain's favourite series of fantasy novels, Harry Potter. This best-selling book series is written by Britain's very own J.K Rowling who introduced the captivating fantasy world of wizardry that has a magical take on real-world elements. The novels follow Harry embark on a journey to Hogwarts School of Wizardry  after discovering at the age of 11 that he is actually a wizard and doesn’t belong in the world of ‘Muggles’. J.K Rowling captivated so many of us with the adventures of Potter and his wizard friends, characters who we grew to love. The seven books which explored magic, horror and even romance managed to make us laugh and cry at the same time - which some say makes the best stories. This World Book Day, explore the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter and visit London. The capital is home to a number of locations that feature both in the books and chart-topping films. Here’s a Harry Potter fact for you - J.K Rowling actually came up with the idea for the series whilst on a train to London’s Kings Cross in 1990. Kings Cross Station is also home to the gateway of Harry’s journey to Hogwarts -Platform 9 3/4. Once you have had your photo taken with the disappearing luggage cart, make your way over to Leadenhall Market - or as it is known in the wizard world, Diagon Alley. This is the iconic place for wizards to do their shopping, why not see what magical treats you can pick up. When visiting London why not book into our London Croydon Aerodrome, with only fifteen minutes from the heart of the city you are so close to exploring the magical world of Harry Potter.

Bournemouth, The place that Inspired Enid Blyton’s Famous Five

Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth East Cliff - Bedrooms - Balcony ViewJumping to another of Britain’s favourite children-adventure novels we have Enid Blyton’s, The Famous Five. Although written between 1942 and 1963, these books are still to this day a favourite amongst children and parents. The books followed the adventures of five friends over the course of their summer holidays when they got to escape boarding school. Their adventures which involved solving mysteries to finding lost-treasure were set in the idyllic British countryside and provided a coming-of-age favourite to all readers. Fancy reliving your child-hood literacy adventures then head to the place that inspired Enid Blyton when writing these treasured books, Bournemouth. Enid used to stay in this picturesque town for weeks at a time writing the enchanting novels. Enid bought the nearby island of Purbeck’s golf club which featured in ‘Five have a mystery to solve’ - take the ferry and visit this iconic location along with Corfe Castle or as you will know it - ‘Kirrin Castle’. Making a weekend of it? Book into one of our three hotels located in Bournemouth for your ‘Famous Five’ adventure.  

Manchester, The Industrial City that Inspired Charles Dickens

We couldn’t write a post on Britain’s great literature and leave out one of the UK’s most celebrated novelists, Charles Dickens. The Hallmark Hotel Manchester - Exterior Night (4)creator of some of the best-known fictional characters and stories that are still a favourite to this day, centuries later. Writing numerous major novels and a handful of plays and non-fiction, Dickens’ work has its own term - Dickensian, which relates to the poor working and social conditions that he covered in his novels time and time again. Charles Dickens had strong links with the city of Manchester and visited over 19 times. It must have been on one of these visits to see his sister in Ardwick, that he was inspired to write Hard Times (1854), that is about the Industrial Revolution. The book describes the working-class life and the economic pressures and hard-ships people faced in this time. Dickens also used Manchester as inspiration for the character, Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol - basing the character on his friend’s son who owned a Manchester Cotton Mill. So what better way to celebrate literature than head to this cultural city and immerse yourself in the industrialised history that inspired such an important figure in British Literature. Our Manchester Inn (Willow Bank) is the perfect place to rest your head in this famous city

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