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Why England is the Best Book Setting

Not that I’m biased or anything because of my recent trip to the UK…but, I think England has a lot to offer in the way of book backdrops and is the best book setting around.

Why England is the Best Book Setting

What’s the big deal, you ask? The big deal is that it’s got creepy moors, industrial cities, historical richness and royal pomp and circumstance. England is a flippin GOLD MINE!!!

england best book setting

1. England’s got so much potential. With hundreds and thousands of years of history, there’s understandably a lot to work with.

In fact, I learned recently that England was once ruled by both Romans AND Vikings (at separate times). Pretty darn cool, huh?? I visited the Jorvik Viking Centre (<--silly British spellings) in York and Vikings were serious business.

So, someone please write about Vikings in England, kthanksbye.

2. England has a built-in romance factor. Jane Austen and Emily Bronte got it right the first time around. There are amazing mountains and scenery to populate a million stories. “What are men to rocks and mountains?”

england book setting

3. England is like America’s mom. Let’s show some respect, ok?

 countries i used to own england best book setting

4. It’s more fun to read a story with British accent. You know you do it. When someone in a book has an accent, it just sort of pops in your head (whether it’s a good accent is your secret). People with British accents just sound smarter and funnier, don’t they?

5. England can do creepy like no one’s business. Have you heard of Jack the Ripper, the Hounds of Baskerville and ghosts from the “most haunted city in the world” (York)?? No? Reader meet Britain, Britain the reader.

Awesome Books Set in England

Aside from the Harry Potter series (cuz obvs, right?), there are a handful of YA books that are set here, and they ROCK.

To name a few:

  • The Gemma Doyle series
  • The Steampunk Chronicles
  • Cinders and Sapphires
  • The Sweetest Dark series
  • Georgia Nicolson series
  • Gilt by Katherine Longshore
  • The Infernal Devices series
  • Artemis Fowl series
  • His Dark Materials series

My faves from this list are the Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross. They are set in Victorian-era England – mainly London – and combine new “technology” with the dirty streets of the city. A perfect way to get acquainted to the old, seedy side of England.

Plus, I can’t resist Downton Abbey-style books like Cinders and Sapphires that bring the drama and intrigue of the Crawley’s in YA form.

What are your favorite books set in England? AND, what do you think is the best book setting?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Great post! I agree that England is a fantastic place to develop a story. I really enjoyed The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson set in London, with a lot of creepy and ghostly feel!