If you find solace and enchantment between the pages of a good book, then you might be surprised to learn that the Midlands has some fascinating literary treasures just waiting to be discovered.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon
Perhaps a little cliché, but there is no doubt that a visit to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon is an absolute must. Step into the world of William Shakespeare and explore the house where the renowned playwright was born and raised. Wander through the beautifully preserved rooms, soak up the atmosphere, and gain insights into the life and works of one of the greatest literary geniuses in history. Don’t forget to stroll along the picturesque River Avon and visit the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for a dose of live theatre magic. Stratford-upon-Avon can get quite busy, so make sure to plan your trip ahead of time.
The Library of Birmingham, Birmingham
If you’re ever in the area, be sure to visit the architectural masterpiece that is the Library of Birmingham. This contemporary library is not only a treasure trove of books but also a cultural hub that houses art galleries, exhibition spaces, and even a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city. Lose yourself in the extensive collection of books, cozy up in one of the reading nooks, and relish the vibrant literary atmosphere that permeates every corner. The Library of Birmingham is an underrated literary gem in the midlands!
Chatsworth House Library, Derbyshire
For those seeking a literary experience amidst opulence and grandeur, the Chatsworth House Library in Derbyshire is an absolute delight. Located within one of England’s most magnificent stately homes, this library is home to over 17,000 books, including rare manuscripts and priceless first editions. Marvel at the intricately designed bookcases, sink into a plush armchair, and allow yourself to be transported to another era as you immerse yourself in the literary wonders that surround you.
Prepare for a book lover’s paradise in the charming town of Hay-on-Wye. Known as the “Town of Books,” Hay-on-Wye boasts an impressive number of independent bookshops, each with its own unique character. Lose yourself among the stacks, browse through second-hand treasures, and embrace the joy of stumbling upon literary gems you never knew you needed. Additionally, the town hosts the famous Hay Festival, a celebration of literature and ideas that draws writers, thinkers, and readers from around the globe. We’ve written about Hay-on-Wye before and you can find out more here.
From delving into the world of Shakespeare to discovering hidden bookshops and immersing yourself in the grandeur of historic libraries, the Midlands offers a rich tapestry of literary experiences just waiting to be explored. So, grab your favourite novel, pack your curiosity, and embark on a literary adventure like no other. Happy reading!