Everywhere you look in Sidmouth there is a story to uncover, from tales of Queen Victoria’s infanthood in the town to the stories unveiled by the town’s Blue Plaques, there is plenty to unpick. Not content with hosting its own annual literary festival, Sidmouth makes an appearance in a number of stories and novels too! If any of you are missing Sidmouth during November, pick up a few of these and see if you recognise it among the pages!

First up, for a touch of childhood nostalgia, Sidmouth inspired the setting of Stymouth in The Tale of Little Pig Robinson by Beatrix Potter.

Another classic from an author local to the Jurassic Coast is Wessex by Thomas Hardy. In it is a town you can recognise as Sidmouth going by the name Idmouth. Similarly, Howard Pyle renamed it Spudmouth in his book, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, while William Makepeace Thackeray changed Sidmouth to Baymouth in his Pendennis.

Science Fiction writer, H G Wells was also inspired by Sidmouth, the rock pools that form around Jacobs’ Ladder are used for the setting in his story, The Sea Raiders.

That’s not where the town’s literary connections end, several writers have called Sidmouth home over the years. Poet Elizabeth Barrett lived there from 1832 until 1835 and R F Delderfield had a house built on Peak Hill in 1962. The house is still there in fact – look out for it next time you head up the hill, it’s the one called the Gazebo! J R R Tolkien had a holiday home in the town too, it is said that he began writing Lord of the Rings while staying there! You can find the site of his summer home at Kennaway House, look out for the blue plaque marking the spot. During his stays on the Jurassic Coast, he sketched the iconic rock formations which went on to help inspire the setting his epic the Silmarillion.

What are your favourite reads based in Sidmouth? You can let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!