Journey down the rabbit hole into a unique and enchanted adventure in Britain. VisitBritain, the national tourist office for England, Scotland and Wales invites travelers to visit the British sites that inspired Lewis Carroll to create the dream-like story Alice in Wonderland, which has been made into this year’s highly-anticipated film in cinemas from March, with Johnny Depp heading an all-star cast. For more information on visiting movie locations in Britain, go to www.visitbritain.com/movies.
Alice in Wonderland is based on the classic novel by Lewis Carroll, an English native, who attended Oxford University and upon graduation became a Mathematical Lecturer. In Tim Burton’s surrealist and gothic version of Alice in Wonderland, a 19-year-old Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.
The National Trust’s Antony House, a classic, 18th century mansion, in Cornwall near Plymouth, was the only ‘real’ site for the filming of the motion picture. To commemorate the movie, the National Trust is transforming Antony into the fantasy land envisioned by Lewis Carroll. (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-antony/)
In collaboration with the Dodgy Clutch Theater Company, the National Trust has created a family-friendly extravaganza showcasing key elements of the stories of Alice. Visitors will enjoy imaginative installations set amidst the lush Antony gardens and Alice-inspired events. See the stunning gardens and vistas that inspired Tim Burton to choose shooting the film at Antony House. Events happening in March include Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties, The White Rabbit Easter Trail, and Croquet Workshops.
Visitors to Daresbury, England can see where the beloved British author was born and raised until the age of 11. Set deep in the Cheshire countryside, this village is home to the Lewis Carroll Society, a group whose aim is to encourage research into the life and work of the famed-writer. The All Saints Church, where Carroll was baptized, pays tribute to him with stained glass memorial windows (http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/index.html.)
Carroll spent the second part of his childhood in Croft-On-Tees, a pleasant village in north Yorkshire. Here visitors can see Croft Church, where Lewis Carroll’s father was a rector. It is said that much of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is set in and around the rectory and church. Historians also think Lewis Carroll’s famous Cheshire Cat was inspired by a carving inside the church. On display is a small children’s shoe, thought to be just the type Alice might have worn as well as a white glove, possibly belonging to the rabbit.
Visitors to Oxford can see where Carroll studied and later taught at Christ’s Church. In the afternoon, travelers can enjoy a boating picnic down the River Isis, like the beloved-author used to do. If it is a bit chilly, visitors can drop in afterwards to the Cherwell Boathouse, which combines a restaurant, café, bar and punt station. Just across the road from Christ Church College, is Alice’s Shop, said to be the very shop written into the Alice adventures over 140 years ago.
Visitors to the British Library can take part in a celebration of Lewis Carroll’s remarkable imagination, on the eve of the premiere of Tim Burton’s long awaited film version. The original hand-written and illustrated manuscript of Alice’s Adventures under ground is one of the best loved treasures of the British Library collection.
The Mount Cemetery in Guildford is Carroll’s final resting-place. Guilford is also home to the Chestnuts, a house rented by the author; the Alice Garden where visitors can see the Alice statue; and St. Mary’s Church, which is the oldest building in the village as well as the location for Carroll’s funeral. Attractions that are near by include Guildford Castle and Guildford Museum, which contains a Lewis Carroll gallery. Visitors can also take part in the Lewis Carroll cemetery walking tour, which celebrates his life and his connections with Guilford and the surrounding area.
VisitBritain markets Britain to the rest of the world and England to the British, building value of tourism by creating world-class destination brands and marketing campaigns. It also builds partnerships with – and provides insights to – other organizations which have a stake in British and English tourism.
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