Visiting England is on my bucket list. It’s been there for ages, but I moved it to the top after I began to write Regency romances. I want to walk the streets, visit the squares, shop on Bond Street and pop a squat in Hyde Park. There’s nothing like first-hand knowledge, is there?
Thus far, my research into England and its geography has been through the glorious, wonderous Internet. I have walked the streets of Beer, Devon, using Google Maps. My first book, THE SMUGGLER WORE SILK, was set there, and the church my hero and heroine were married in was styled after one I saw while “walking” the street. The buildings, pubs and topography I discovered through satellite images, and I tried to style my descriptions after the reality while tempering it with history.
My research of London has consisted of Google Maps for the visual of townhouses as they still exist, but also Greenwood’s Map. The streets and mews are marked, as are points of interest. I can see the lay of London in the time my characters lived there. I used Greenwood’s map for the route my villain and heroine used to reach Hyde Park in the final scenes of my second book, IN BED WITH A SPY.
I have also studied the drawings and maps of MOTCO, which contains everything from offices to streets to banks. It’s like heaven on my computer screen! Their database is simply to. die. for.
But, as I said, there is nothing quite so enjoyable as first-hand knowledge. Have you been to England? If so, where do you recommend I go on my bucket trip? (Which will hopefully occur in 2016). If not, what is your number one bucket trip?