Notes From a Small Island

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is so influential in the field of travel writing that he can be considered a subgenre unto himself.His ode to the United Kingdom is the beautiful work of travel writing known as Notes from a Small Island, which takes the friendly American from the far northern reaches of Scotland to the very southern reaches of England. William Roberts does a fantastic job narrating, bringing Bryson’s affection for Great Britain to life on the page and via the speakers and imbuing each intriguing anecdote and story with personality. Is it one of the best British audiobooks about travel? You probably guessed that Bill Bryson would make an appearance. Staycationing in the UK? Bill Bryson has the definitive guide for you.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life

Bill Bryson

Continuing with their favorite Iowan, At Home proves that you do not have to go far to have a memorable vacation. They hardly scrape the surface of the wealth of history and culture contained within the walls around them. The journey Bryson took through his Norfolk rectory is now considered a literary masterpiece among English travel writing. At Home, brilliantly narrated by the author, is a celebration of travel without leaving the sofa. The concept of “home” is crucial to this gem of a story, and Bryson does much more than merely render furniture and frames in his signature style in At Home. After all, you do not have to leave your house to have the best staycation in the United Kingdom.

The Road to Little Dribbling

Bill Bryson

They swear that this is the last you will hear about Bryson. Still, the American-British author is one of the genre’s greats, so getting through his best work quickly makes sense, right?In Road to Little Dribbling, Bryson revisits the stunning landscape of Great Britain 20 years after writing Notes from a Small Island. The Bryson Line stretches from Bognor Regis in the south of England to Cape Wrath in the far north of Scotland, and Road to Little Dribbling, beautifully narrated by Nathan Osgood, is full of great ideas for staycation sites along this line.Bryson’s trademark dry humor and affection for all things British are abundant in Road to Little Dribbling.


Elise Downing

Moving on to the finest ideas for UK staycation places that do not involve Bill Bryson, since I doubt many listeners are interested in running a lap around Great Britain. This is not a fast lap around the block. Bristol-based adventurer Elise Downing took on this task, despite the fact that she admittedly went into it blind. She had a daunting 5,000-mile journey ahead of her with nothing but her bare feet and a bag, but that only makes Coasting that much more delicious to listen to. The audiobook is narrated by Downing herself, adding a depth of insight and perspective that could only be achieved through direct access to the story’s protagonist. Coasting is the perfect staycation inspiration for the adventurous reader because it combines narrative with travelogue and is truly amazing in both respects.

Walking the Great North Line

Robert Twigger

Not interested in a merry chase throughout the UK? Might I suggest a long stroll? Not really a convoluted trek, just a casual amble in a northerly direction from Christchurch. Even while going for a stroll does not always solve problems, Robert Twigger’s fantastic Walking the Great North Line has you covered from start to finish. The narrative is handled expertly by Twigger. His account of the oddities to be found in England may encourage many to remain in the nation for their vacation. The area is rich in historical landmarks and National Trust buildings, but it is also home to mysterious caverns, hostile farmers, and eccentric people. Walking the Great North Line was Twigger’s crowning achievement in his quest to locate an alternative route through England.

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