The 30th January - 6th February is National Storytelling Week, a time when we can celebrate the impact and joy that stories have on our lives, particularly for young readers. The City of London, filled with iconic locations and its own illustrious story of being, has made appearances in many well loved books. Today we're only scratching the surface on some of the most popular stories that feature the City, if you know any more then tell us over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook at @VisittheCity!
The Harry Potter Franchise is one of the best selling book series to date, with over 500 million copies sold world wide. The fantasy world of Hogwarts and the journey of Harry and his friends have captured the minds of both young and older readers alike. The City was delighted to have its own hand in the iconic series as serving as the location for The Leaky Cauldron Pub. This is a pivotal part in the story, where Hagrid tells Harry he's a wizard and they embark on a journey to Diagon Alley. The real Leaky Cauldron stands in Leadenhall Market, which we have always thought looks quite magical.
Historian and children's writer Caroline Lawrence has published many books about Roman history. In her series, The Roman Quests, Caroline's ancient adventures takes her characters to the City of London, formerly known as Londinium when it was founded by the Romans in 42 AD. Her characters explore Roman sites in London still standing today, much like Billingsgate Roman House and Baths! Londinium also features in the first instalment of Caroline's fantastical series the Time Travel Diaries.
TV star Peppa Pig published her own book in 2017, Peppa Pig Goes to London. Peppa and George embark on their adventures as they hop on a Double Decker bus to see London's most famous landmarks. On their journey they make a stop at Tower Bridge and have to wait before crossing as the bridge opens to let a ship through. The Queen, who is driving the bus, decides they can't wait for the bridge to go down and makes a break for it hopping the bus over the gap in the Thames, which we wouldn't recommend...
Paddington is certainly a well travelled bear. There are 14 books in the series which follows Paddington on his adventures, one of which takes him to one of the most well known landmarks in the City, St Paul's Cathedral. There are even Paddington collectable 50p coins which document his adventures to the City including a Paddington and Tower of London, St Pauls Cathedral and Tower Bridge coins. When Paddington's adventures were adapted from the page to the big screen, his story took him to St Pauls once again in Paddington 2 which you can watch here.
Last but not least, the books by Charles Dickens are perhaps the most well known literary works set in London. They take place all over our capital city, and the Londonist have created this handy map highlighting all of locations that appear in his many works. St Pauls Cathedral appears in 14 of Dickens's novels, making it the second most popular location to appear in his books! Have a browse of the map, and see which Dickens books you've read that take place in the City.
The Harry Potter Franchise- Wikipedia
Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries
Charles Dickens Map of London- The Londonist