Are you looking for the best books set in the English countryside? Here are some of the top books with an English countryside setting to check out. You will find a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary on this list.
Although I am a city girl, I have found that I prefer traveling in the English countryside to visiting bustling London. There is something magical about the small villages of the countryside, the winding roads, the rolling green hills, and the dramatic landscapes.
From the charming towns of the Cotswolds to the breathtaking scenery of the Lake District or the Peak District to the rugged coastline, England is home to many beautiful rural areas.
If you’re ready to get swept away to the English countryside, look no further than these books. These are some of the best books set in the English countryside that will transport you throughout bucolic England without even leaving the comfort of home.
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Best Books Set in the English Countryside
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Set in the gloomy moors of Yorkshire, Wuthering Heights is a classic novel taking place in the English countryside. This darkly romantic story examines the effects of jealousy and vengefulness and follows the tumultuous relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
Set in England in the 1580s, this historical novel sheds more light on William Shakespeare’s wife, Agnes Hathaway. The author imagines a richly-detailed life and personality for her, despite meager historical records.
If you are looking for a historical novel set in the English countryside during the Elizabethan era, this is a good one to add to your reading list.
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Primarily set in an English castle called Brideshead, this classic novel follows a regular man and his entanglements with the wealthy aristocratic family who calls Brideshead home.
The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane
This nonfiction book is not only about England but follows the author as he walks ancient routes around the British Isles as well as other parts of the world.
It contains evocative descriptions of the land and creates an immersive, enthralling exploration for the reader.
The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly
This historical fiction novel follows three different women during three different ages. The common thread that connects all of them is Highbury House, an elegant estate in the English countryside.
Wilding by Isabella Tree
In Wilding, Isabella Tree tells the story of the Knepp Experiment, a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, using free-roaming grazing animals to create new habitats for wildlife.
Part gripping memoir, part fascinating account of the ecology of our countryside, it is above all an inspiring story of hope. If you enjoy nature, this is a great book to pick up.
Death in the English Countryside by Sara Rosett
For a cozy mystery set in the English countryside, look no further than this novel. It follows an American location scout whose company is hired to scout locations in the English countryside for a Pride and Prejudice movie.
However, when her boss goes missing while scouting, Kate embarks on a quest through the English countryside to find out what happened.
The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks
This memoir is written by a shepherd in the picturesque Lake District, whose family has been shepherding for generations. In evocative and lucid prose, James Rebanks takes readers through a shepherd’s year, offering a unique account of rural life and a connection with the land.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This classic and beloved novel is set in rural England at the turn of the nineteenth century and follows the emotional love story between Elizabeth and Darcy.
The Body in the Dales by J. R. Ellis
In this crime novel set in the English countryside, a body is discovered in the Yorkshire Dales near a small village. Two investigators tasked with solving the murder must work together to uncover the secrets and lies of the village, and piece together exactly what happened.
A Month in the Country by J. L. Carr
In this poetic novel, a World War I veteran suffering from wartime trauma and a broken marriage arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby, where he has a job to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church.
Over the course of his summer in the village, he is able to not only restore the mural but also restore his own outlook on life after the war.
How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
Nightingale Books, nestled on the main street in an idyllic little village in the English countryside, is a dream come true for book lovers.
But the owner Emilia is struggling to keep the shop open after her father’s death and faces increasing pressure to sell it to developers. Supported by the customers whose lives have been touched by Emilia and the bookshop, they fight to keep it open.
The Garden House by Marcia Willett
After her father dies, El inherits a home from her father in the Devon countryside. When she gets there, she starts to unravel secrets about her father she did not expect.
A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch
This charming and delightful travelogue combines writing, photos, and illustrations of the two months the author spent ambling around the English countryside.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in a ramshackle old castle in the English countryside. Told through Cassandra’s funny yet poignant journal entries, she chronicles the turbulence and changes of six months of her life.
What Are Your Favorite Books Set In the English countryside?
Have you read any of these books set in the English countryside? Do you have any favorite books set in the English countryside that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!
Start with this list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. You should also check out the following series of book lists set in other UK destinations:
And if you are planning a trip to England, here are some of our favorite travel books for England that you may find helpful.
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