So, here’s a selection of bookshelf favourites that might provide the basis of a holiday sequel.
20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
June will mark 20 years since the release of JK Rowling’s first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
It was to spark a global phenomenon putting many of England’s landmarks – from Northumberland’s Alnwick Castle (one of the many Hogwarts locations), to the Reptile House at ZSL London Zoo – on the map as Potter pilgrimage sites.
Events already in the planning include a Harry Potter Film concert series (11-21 May 2017) with live screenings of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone accompanied by a live orchestra performing John Williams’ unforgettable score. Locations include Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow, as well as London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Later in the year, a new exhibition at the British Library, dedicated to the magic of Harry Potter (20 October 2017 – 28 February 2018) will be the first of its kind to celebrate a single series of books by a living author.
It will include previously unseen materials from author JK Rowling and the book’s publisher Bloomsbury, as well as magical treasures from the British Library’s own collection of wizarding books.
75th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five
Cue lashings of ginger beer, as Enid Blyton Entertainment and Hodder Children’s Books team up with the RHS to hold a series of events to celebrate 75 years of The Famous Five.
Enid Blyton’s best-loved and phenomenally successful book series will include, ‘Five go on a Garden Adventure’ anniversary activity will feature across all four RHS gardens throughout 2017.
Each garden will offer family activities inspired by The Famous Five, including themed adventure trails and garden displays, craft workshops and storytelling. All four gardens will also be holding a picnic party on 11th August 2017, Enid Blyton’s 120th birthday.
The series brought rural Southern England and the coastline to life through the wild, outdoor adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and their dog Timmy. Enid Blyton was a regular visitor to Dorset’s Jurassic Coast and the area inspired locations in many of the books including Corfe Castle (Kirrin Castle) and Brownsea Island (Whispering Island).
125th anniversary of the first Sherlock Holmes publication
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, was published in 1892; the book being the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.
Now a popular TV series, London is almost a character in itself in the Sherlock stories. Destinations sure to be of interest to Sherlock fans include, The Sherlock Holmes Museum, a Grade II-listed building devoted to the detective. It features a re-creation of his sitting room, and a gift shop. The Sherlock Holmes Pub in Westminster is stuffed with memorabilia, including Dr Watson’s old service revolver and his favourite food, Cumberland sausages.
Fans of the TV series can also take on numerous pilgrimages to filming locations including Bristol’s Sherlock Locations map.
50th anniversary of Arthur Ransome‘s death, Suffolk
Arthur Ransome, author of the much-loved Swallows and Amazons children’s book series, died 3 June 1967. He spent his last 30-plus years in Suffolk, where he bought his much-loved the Nancy Blackett, said to have inspired the seventh book in the Swallows and Amazons series, We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea – coincidentally celebrating its 80th year since publication.
Details of Suffolk’s Arthur Ransome Festival 2017 at www.suffolktouristguide.com