5 Major City-Based Literary Festivals

Take your city break holiday to the next level by booking into a literary festival whilst you’re away.

There’s nothing quite like a literary festival to enliven the senses and widen your cultural horizons. Combining this experience with a city break can be a fantastic way of getting to know a different side to a place that you’re visiting, whilst also giving you the opportunity of meeting people from the local area who share the same interest as you. If you’re considering booking a trip to stay in a UK city this year, then why not take a look at our top picks of city-based literary festivals.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Known the world over for its legendary Fringe Festival, it can be notoriously difficult to secure a room during this period of time, making the International Book Festival a great fall back option for those looking to explore this historic city and also get a dose of high culture. The festival takes place over the duration of three weeks and is considered to be one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Expect readings, signings and workshops for attendees of all ages, the full programme will be confirmed in June.

Bath Festival of Children’s Literature

Another historic town that deserves a visit is Bath, with its iconic ‘Bath stone’ buildings contributing to a classy ambience that is perfect for a weekend’s stay. The annual Festival of Children’s Literature is also the largest of it’s kind in the world and often hosts some of the best known children authors in the land. Young book lovers will be more than pleased the vast array of events that are tailored especially for them and feature classic characters, as well as the hottest new YA books.

Warwick Words History Festival

This historically rich city is the perfect place for a Historical Literary festival and is often attended by some of the most prominent writers in the field. Warwick is a quiet university city that makes for a romantic getaway for history lovers and Anglophiles alike, and during the festival it’s a hot spot for big names in history and historical fiction. Previous speakers include Alison Ward, Andy Kershaw and Tracey Thorn.

Liverpool Literary Festival

Run by the University of Liverpool, the Liverpool Literary Festival is only in its fourth year, but has still managed to attract some impressive names to previous incarnations including Tony Robinson, Val McDermid and Shami Chakrabarti. Liverpool is a wonderful city well worth a visit to any one who has not yet had the pleasure, offering equal parts raucous entertainment and historical diversions, including the striking St. George’s Hall, Walker Art Gallery and historic Royal Albert Docks.

Would rather stay in the countryside for your Literary Festival? We don’t blame you – check out our top picks for rural book festivals here.