Inspiration behind The Trip: Stainforth Force

Without wishing to post any spoilers in case you haven’t read it yet, water plays an important role in my debut novel, The Trip.

Rivers are an intrinsic part of the Yorkshire Dales scenery, from small becks to magnificent waterfalls.

Stainforth Force, just North of Settle, is a great example of a Yorkshire Dales river which is both beautiful but deadly.

The River Ribble seems to meander quite peacefully under the old stone packhorse bridge until it reaches the waterfall where it swirls and crashes against the limestone rocks.

The ancient pack horse bridge at Stainforth Force, which dates back to 1675.
The beautiful waterfall at Stainforth Force

In October, you can see salmon travelling upriver to spawn. Incredibly they manage to resist the force of the water to leap up the rocks. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any this year.

For more information about visiting Stainforth Force, visit https://www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/places/stainforth_force/

Places that inspired ‘The Trip’

In October 2017, my husband and I embarked on a backpacking trip around South-East Asia. It was a place we had visited a few times before but always on holiday. We sold our house, gave up our jobs and spent seven months exploring Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Singapore.

In my backpack was the first draft of a novel, which was then called The Pact. A psychological thriller about a student who goes backpacking with her friends after leaving university and is involved in a tragic death. Five years later, she receives a photo that proves she lied about what really happened that night…

The story (and the title) had changed quite a bit by the time my novel was finally published in February 2020, but I hope these photographs give you a flavour of how our travels inspired the novel.

If you want to read more about my adventures, please visit my travel blog: www.diaryofamiddleagedbackpacker.com

Cambodia

The characters visit the ancient temple of Angkor Wat
Holly and George go out in Pub Street in Siem Reap. The bar that features in the novel is fictional.

Vietnam

The characters take a boat trip around Halong Bay. We didn’t visit this area on our backpacking trip but we took the same boat trip in 2015.
The Temple of Literature in Hanoi
Hoi An in Vietnam – another significant scene in the book. Holly and George take a trip along the river in one of these canoes.

Thailand

The Beach in the novel is fictional but I imagine it to look a bit like this.

Yorkshire Dales

Holly lives in the Yorkshire Dales. The village in the book is fictional.