10 of the best literary hotels in the UK

De Vere Tortworth Court, Bristol

Tortworth Court, a turreted Victorian mansion in South Gloucestershire set in 30 acres of extensive grounds, has partnered with Bloomsbury so guests can lend out books during their stay. You can choose from hundreds of vintage titles that line the walls of the old Library Bar – the perfect excuse to kick back and sit still with an Old Fashioned and an Agatha Christie on one of the velvet sofas. There is also an impressive oak-panelled dining room serving tasty locally sourced dishes, a large indoor swimming pool and comfortable, spacious bedrooms. A rural gem that’s just a taxi ride from Bristol Parkway means it’s also worthwhile for non-drivers.
Doubles from £125; devere.co.uk. London Paddington to Bristol Parkway on Great Western Railway from £21.50 one way visit GWR extension. com

Hazlitt’s, London

A collection of adjacent terraced houses in the heart of Soho, Hazlitt’s is named after 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 travelsand the hotel is popular with writers, who leave signed copies of their books when they stay (the Harry Potter the copy is now so valuable that it cannot be exhibited). Unsurprisingly, the hotel has a well-stocked library, happily paired with an equally well-stocked honesty bar, and the rooms retain the historic feel, with antique furniture and hand-carved beds.
Doubles from £279, room alone; hazlittshotel. com

University Arms, Cambridge

There’s a classic gentlemen’s club feel to the University Arms library: burnished leather sofas, glass-fronted wooden cabinets filled with books, display cabinets and, in the winter months, a roaring fireplace. The hotel oozes library from every pore; with audiobooks playing in the water closets, while each room has a curated collection of novels, and the spectacular dining room conveys the historic grandeur of a teaching college. The bedrooms are a delight, with overstuffed desks, chandeliers, ottomans and armchairs in warm, vibrant colours.
Doubles from £204, room alone; universityarms. com

Gladstone Library, Flintshire

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

Brown’s Hotel, Laugharne, Carmarthenshire

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One of Wales’ best-loved literary addresses, Brown’s was a favorite watering hole for Dylan Thomas, who spent so much time at the hotel that he gives the bar’s telephone number as his own. Refurbished after a 2020 refurbishment and featuring a new restaurant, Dexter’s, Brown’s is ideal for a weekend of books, with sleek, minimalist rooms and a fire-lit bar to return to after a stroll among the eclectic mix of Laugharne shops and cafes. For those wanting to learn more about the city’s most famous son, the Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk is a two-mile path that follows the poet’s favorite path.
Doubles from £135, B&B; browns. wales

The Old Swan, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Another hotel known for its literary connections, the Old Swan was Agatha Christie’s hiding place when she disappeared for 11 days in 1926. An elegant Victorian house within walking distance of the city, it has many period details, unchanged from the days of Christie’s, including the Wedgwood restaurant with its spectacular glass ceiling, polished wooden floors and revolving doors. Harrogate itself has a handful of bookshops worth checking out, including Imagined Things and John Atkinson Books, which specialize in rare books and first editions.
Doubles from £99, B&B; classiclodges.co.uk

The Old Bank Hotel, Oxford

A stay in Oxford is like entering the pages of a book: there are the historic streets of the city teeming with students, pubs on every corner full 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 Old Bank Hotel’s cozy library, where the curated selection includes sections on art, literature and politics, as well as Oxford and its history. The bedrooms boast original artwork, Egyptian linens and handmade beds, while the Quod restaurant serves hearty bistro fare and afternoon tea.
Double from £198, room only; oldbankhotel.co.uk

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, Edinburgh

Kimpton launched their own book club last year, with book recommendations for eight of their hotels, including the Edinburgh outpost. The books are related to or set in the included city Miss Jean Brodie’s first And Trainspotting – and the elegant Georgian hotel is certainly a relaxing space in which to dive into a book after a morning’s sightseeing. Dinner is a highlight, with a tasting menu in Aizle or grilled Middle Eastern dishes in Baba, and the rooms are elegant and comfortable with curated collections of books and artwork.
Doubles from £148 room only; www.ihg.com

Stanbrook Abbey, Worcester

Stanbrook’s library cafe is a place you can hunker down all day, perusing the fiction and non-fiction titles that line the shelves beneath the cherry-red walls. Much of the original architecture — stone cloisters and Gothic stained glass windows — of this former monastery dating from the early 16th century, remains, creating a striking backdrop for the sharp, contemporary decor. The bedrooms are comfortable and unfussy, while the Refectory, the nuns’ original dining room, creates an atmospheric setting for dinner.
Doubles from £174, B&B; handpicked hotels.co.uk

Driftwood Hotel, Rosevine, Cornwall

Cornwall in winter is a far cry from the busy summer, with windy beach walks the perfect counterpoint to afternoons curled up by the fire with a novel. Driftwood has a quiet library with a good selection of books, including many 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 dinners available in the lounge and good vegetarian options.
Doubles from £205, B&B; driftwoodhotel.co.uk.

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