2024-02-22T17:35:00Z By Keeley Rodgers
Treat the bookworms in your group with a visit full of literary inspiration and excellence at these top UK cities.
Aura Print has ranked the best UK cities for book lovers and scored them accordingly, taking into account the number of libraries and book shops, as well as the presence of green spaces and cafes for a relaxing read. Here’s what the stats told us:
Book inspiration score: 9.35/10
Perfect for: The Secret Garden fans
Top reading spot: York Museum Gardens
Group-friendly attractions: York Minster / Jorvik Viking Centre
Cobblestone streets populated with cafes, historic libraries and book stores, a visit to York is a great place to immerse yourself in the UK’s book world. The Secret Garden fans will love the book inspiration behind the famous story, and can spot several filming locations from the movie adaptation starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
There are 74 cafés in the city, as well as 20 libraries and 33 highly-rated book stores, which for its population size is a great deal. So if you are visiting York, you are sure to have access to a range of literature - from the classics to modern best-sellers.
Book inspiration score: 8.5/10
Perfect for: Jane Austen fans
Top reading spot: Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
Group-friendly attractions: The Roman Baths / Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein
Bath is immensely popular due to its literary heritage. Notably, it is home to the Jane Austen Centre and Museum, which celebrates the life and literary works of the famous author (group organisers go free with 12 bookers). Austen’s books, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, both partly set in Bath, reflect the passion she had for the city.
The city also hosts a number of attractions which allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s literary legacy. Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights is one of the finest, offering a quirky mix of genres, and featuring its own bright and comforting reading room on the upper floor.
There are also 31 charming bookshops to choose from, 19 green spaces and 45 cafés. Royal Victoria Park is also home to vibrant botanical gardens, making it an ideal haven to relax and chat all things literature.
Book inspiration score: 8/10
Perfect for: Crime novels
Top reading spot: Hatter House Cafe
Group-friendly attractions: Aerospace Bristol / Brunel’s SS Great Britain
The home of many crime novels including Emily Koch’s Keep Him Close and several Windrush noir detective novels, Bristol is the spot for you if you’re looking for a gripping mystery you just can’t put down. The city boasts 27 libraries and 87 book stores - so you know you won’t be short of finding some new literary gems.
The city is home to some stunning landscapes including 23 green spaces to avoid the hustle and bustle of the main routes and to appreciate some natural beauty.
Book inspiration score: 6.9/10
Perfect for: Robin Hood fans
Top reading spot: Bromley House Library
Group-friendly attractions: Woolaton Hall and Park / Nottingham Castle
Nottingham has a thriving culture for the creative arts, packed full of art collectives and exhibitions which keep the city’s local art scene fresh. It was also home to the famous Robin Hood, known for breaking in and out of the walls of Nottingham Castle.
There are 45 charming bookshops to choose from, 19 libraries, plus 19 green spaces and 55 cafés dotted around the city. Some of the green spaces also hold rich historical and cultural significance, such as Bunny Old Wood that was used by Saxon settlers as a source of wood.
Book inspiration score: 6.85/10
Perfect for: Narnia fans
Top reading spot: Cave Hill
Group-friendly attractions: Titanic Belfast / Belfast Zoo
Belfast has a vast literary heritage, with the city serving as the backdrop of inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. It also has a thriving culture for the bibliophiles, hosting an annual Book Festival which draws in crowds of bookworms.
There are 55 bookshops to choose from, and Cave Hill, one of Belfast’s top green spaces, is known as ‘Napoleon’s Nose’ to locals, and is said to be a muse for Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.