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Summer Literary Festivals in the UK


The summer months in the UK are typically the time when festival fever is fully in force. But, as well as the popular music festivals, there are plenty of literary festivals taking place and they offer a great opportunity to meet your favourite authors, discuss books and discover what’s going on in the literary world. Interested? Here are some literature festival highlights worth checking out if you’re traveling in the UK this summer.

Dartington Hall Way With Words Festival
dartington-hallOne of my favourites, this annual literary festival is held in the beautiful grounds and buildings at Dartington Hall, in Totnes, South Devon. The 10-day Way with Words Festival takes place in July each year.  A wide range of authors are involved, with a packed daily schedule of events, including talks, readings, debates and literary dinners. Tickets can be purchased for individual events (discounts are available for certain age groups), or as rover tickets for a whole day, which is great if you want to go to several talks. Packages of accommodation and tickets are also available if you want to stay on site.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

edinburgh-book-festivalThe Edinburgh International Book Festival is one of the world’s largest literary festivals. It takes place over the course of 17 days each year in August in Charlotte Square Gardens, in the heart of Scotland’s capital city. Well known fiction and non-fiction authors from all over the world take part and the programme is packed with events such as readings, discussions, debates and workshops. In addition to the main programme aimed at adults, there’s also a children’s programme that runs alongside, with leading lights from the world of children’s literature.  The festival has existed since 1983 and, if you love books and literature, it’s the ideal event to tie in with a trip to Edinburgh.

Buxton Festival

jane-fearnley-whittingstallPerhaps best known for its musical and operatic elements, Buxton Festival also has a literature programme that runs throughout the event in the Peak District in Derbyshire. The annual event takes place in July and the literary series includes talks, readings and discussions with a variety of well known authors. All the events take place in and around Buxton, at locations such as the Opera House and local hotels, so are easy to get to. Tickets can be purchased in advanced for each event, although some may be available on the day (popular events or talks by well known authors do sell quickly though).

bath-festival-logoBath Festival of Children’s Literature
Designed especially with children in mind, the Bath Festival of Children’s Literature takes place in the city of Bath each September, when we may be lucky and still blessed with summer weather.
The festival involves a good mix of local, national and international writers, all of whom write fiction or non-fiction for children. There are events, workshops and talks for all ages; some are free, others require a small fee. If your children are already into books, or you’re keen to get them interested, this is a great wire of firing up their interest in reading and literature.

Written by Rachel Newcombe for

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