Book yourself in: 10 of the UK’s best literary hotels | Literary trips

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De Vere Tortworth Court, Bristol

A turreted Victorian pile in South Gloucestershire set in 30 acres of sweeping grounds, Tortworth Court has teamed up with Bloomsbury so guests can loan books during their stay. You can choose from hundreds of vintage titles lining the walls of the old Library Bar: the perfect excuse to cosy up and stay put with an Old Fashioned and an Agatha Christie on one of the velvet sofas. There’s also an impressive oak-panelled dining room serving up tasty locally sourced food, a large indoor swimming pool and comfy, spacious rooms. A rural gem that’s only a cab ride from Bristol Parkway means it’s handy for non-drivers, too.
Doubles from £125; London Paddington to Bristol Parkway with Great Western Railway from £21.50 one way, visit

Hazlitt’s, London

A set of adjoining townhouses in the heart of Soho, Hazlitt’s is named after the essayist and writer William Hazlitt, who lived here, at 6 Frith Street, in the early 19th century. Each room is named after one of his friends, including Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, and the hotel is popular with writers, who leave signed copies of their books when they stay (the Harry Potter copy is now so valuable it can’t be on show). Unsurprisingly, the hotel has a well-stocked library, happily matched by an equally well-stocked honesty bar, and rooms keep the historic feel, with antique furniture and hand-carved beds.
Doubles from £279, room only;

University Arms, Cambridge

University Arms, Cambridge

There’s a classic gentleman’s club feel to the library at the University Arms: burnished leather sofas, glass-fronted wooden cabinets lined with books, window booths and, in winter months, a roaring open fire. The hotel oozes bookishness from every pore; with audio books playing in the loos, while every room has a curated collection of novels and the spectacular dining room channels the historic grandeur of a university college. Bedrooms are a delight, with padded writing desks, chandeliers, ottomans and armchairs in warm, vibrant colours.
Doubles from £204, room only;

Gladstone’s Library, Flintshire


For the ultimate literary weekend, Gladstone’s Library’s offers the chance to immerse yourself in books; the Reading Rooms hold thousands of volumes and archival collections, offering a wonderful space in which to write, research or read. The Gladstone also has 26 comfortable bedrooms, a restaurant and lounge, and a varied programme of events, including workshops, masterclasses and talks. It is situated in the village of Hawarden, over the border from Chester, where there are two pubs within strolling distance and the station is an easy walk, making it ideal for a car-free break.
Doubles from £150, B&B;

Brown’s Hotel, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

Looking over Laugharne Town from the Castle Carmarthenshire Wales Cymru UK GBD9TRED Looking over Laugharne Town from the Castle Carmarthenshire Wales Cymru UK GB
Photograph: Joan Gravell/Alamy

One of Wales’s best-loved literary addresses, Brown’s was the watering hole of choice for Dylan Thomas, who spent so much time at the hotel, he gave the bar’s phone number as his own. Smartened up after a refit in 2020 and with a new restaurant, Dexter’s, Brown’s is ideal for a bookish weekend away, with chic, unfussy rooms and a firelit bar to return to after a stroll around Laugharne’s eclectic mix of shops and cafes. For those keen to know more about town’s most famous son, the Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk is a two-mile trail following the poet’s own favoured route.
Doubles from £135, B&B;

The Old Swan, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

The Old Swan, Harrogate

Another hotel known for its literary links, the Old Swan was Agatha Christie’s hiding place when she disappeared for 11 days in 1926. An elegant Victorian mansion a short walk out of town, it has many period details, unchanged since Christie’s day, including the Wedgwood restaurant with its spectacular glass ceiling, polished wood floors and revolving doors. Harrogate itself has a clutch of bookshops worth browsing, including Imagined Things and John Atkinson Books, specialising in rare books and first editions.
Doubles from £99, B&B;

The Old Bank Hotel, Oxford

0032 - 2017 - Old Bank Hotel - Oxford - High Res - Library Sunlight Bookshelf

A stay in Oxford is like stepping into the pages of a book: there are the town’s historic streets seethe with students, pubs on every cornerboast of literary links and the extraordinary Bodleian is one of the most extraordinary libraries in the world. Soak it all up before settling into the cosy library at the Old Bank Hotel, where the curated selection includes sections on art, literature and politics, as well as Oxford and its history. Bedrooms boast original artworks, Egyptian linens and have handmade beds, while the Quod restaurant serves hearty bistro dishes and afternoon teas.
Doubles from £198, room only;

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Edinburgh

Kimpton Charlotte Square The Garden (1)

Kimpton launched its own book club last year, with books recommendations for eight of their hotels, including the Edinburgh outpost. Books are linked or set in the city including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Trainspotting – and the elegant Georgian hotel certainly makes a relaxing space in which to dive into a book after a morning’s sightseeing. Dinner is a high point, with a tasting menu in Aizle or Middle Eastern dishes from the grill in Baba, and the rooms are sleek and comfortable with curated collections of books and artworks.
Doubles from £148 room only;

Stanbrook Abbey, Worcester

Stanbrook Library Bar

The library bar at Stanbrook is a place where you can hunker down all day, browsing the fiction and nonfiction titles that line the shelves beneath the cherry-red walls. Much of the origin alarchitecture – stone cloisters and gothic, stained-glass windows – of this former monastery dating back to the early 16th century, remains, creating an atmospheric backdrop to the crisp, contemporary decor. Rooms are comfortable and unfussy, while the Refectory – the original nuns’ dining hall – makes an impressive setting for dinner.
Doubles from £174, B&B;

Driftwood Hotel, Rosevine, Cornwall

Driftwood Hotel, Rosevine, Cornwall

Cornwall in winter is very different from the busy summer, with blustery beach walks the perfect counterpoint to afternoons curled up by the fire with a novel. The Driftwood has a tranquil library with a good selection of books, including plenty on the surrounding region. The hotel itself has a breezy, Hamptons-style vibe, with 14 ocean-inspired rooms, all with clean cream decor and many with lovely sea views. Dinner features locally caught fish and seafood, with simple suppers available in the drawing room and good veggie options.
Doubles from £205, B&B;

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