By Caroline Hallemann
July 28, 2014

This summer, grab a seat next to Paddington Bear, Mary Poppins, or Peter Pan as the classic British characters are commemorated in bench form around London.

Earlier this month, the National Literacy Trust, along with Wild in Art launched Books about Town, a public art project that celebrates England’s literary heritage. Designed by local artists to look like the pages of famous books, 51 “BookBench” sculptures were scattered throughout the city on trails in Bloomsbury, Greenwich, City of London, and Riverside for the public to enjoy. On October 7th, the benches will be auctioned off at the Southbank Centre to benefit literacy causes in the UK.

“We are very excited to be bringing a collection of BookBenches to London this summer to spread the love of reading across the capital,” Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said of the project. “From Conan Doyle’s Sherlock to Cressida’s dragons, there will be plenty in store for visitors to celebrate reading for enjoyment and the UK’s rich literary culture.”

For maps of the bench trails and more information on the charity auction, visit

Caroline Hallemann is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @challemann. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.