As a young child, Lewis' fascination with myths and legends was fed by his nurse Lizzie's story-telling. Lewis began to make up stories, centring on his childhood home of Little Lea in East Belfast. Little Lea was a grand, imposing house. To Lewis and his older brother Warnie, the house seemed more like a city than a home.
Lewis once said that he was
'...a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences and attics explored in solitude.'
Lewis and Warnie used to play for hours in the attic - writing stories and drawing pictures. They created a strange, imaginary kingdom called Animal Land, which was populated by talking animals, and drew maps of an imaginary country called Boxon - which is now seen as a simpler version of Narnia.
The influence for these stories was the 'unattainable green hills' of Holywood, which they could see from their nursery window. Lewis and Warnie cycled over the Holywood hills practically every day as children - and these hills triggered the imagination that created Narnia. Lewis also loved the Mourne Mountains because that they made him feel that 'at any moment a giant might raise his head over the next ridge.'