As the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and Jane Austen, Great Britain boasts a vast and diverse literary landscape for bibliophiles to revel in.
But which British cities are the ultimate literary destinations for bookworms to fall in love with?
In honour of “Read A New Book Month” this September, the printing experts at Aura Print sought to reveal the best UK cities for book enthusiasts, considering factors from the number of libraries and bookstores to the presence of greenspaces and cafés for a relaxing read.
Earning a remarkable “bookspiration” score of 9.40/10, York has claimed the title of the best UK city for book lovers! Boasting the highest number of reading spots per 100,000 people among all cities analysed, literary lovers will be spoiled for choice in this mediaeval city. Home to 20 libraries and 33 highly rated bookstores, this is a significant literary resource for a city of its population size.
- Books inspired by York include. “The Secret Garden”, “Wuthering Heights”, “Jane Eyre”
- Top reading spot. Museum Gardens
Bath comes second, receiving a final “bookspiration” score of 8.10/10. Beyond its plentiful quiet reading spots (7.28 libraries and 16.11 bookstores per 100,000 people), the city also offers ample green spaces, perfect for avid readers to dive into their favourite tome. A dream destination for those with a penchant for all things bookish and Jane Austen, don’t miss the annual Jane Austen festival returning to Bath in September, featuring a host of immersive Regency-themed experiences.
- Books inspired by Bath include. “Northanger Abbey”, “Persuasion”, “Vathek”
- Top reading spot. Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
In third place is Belfast, scoring a respectable 7.30/10. The Northern Irish city boasts 18 libraries and 55 charming bookshops, with an average Google rating of 4.71/50 – the highest of all cities analysed. Served as the backdrop of inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, Belfast also has a thriving bookish culture as it plays host to an annual Book Festival drawing in the nation’s biggest bookworms.
- Books inspired by Belfast include. “Eureka Street”, “Mystery Man”, “The Star Factory”
- Top reading spot. Cave Hill
Dubbed the hipster capital of the UK, Bristol (6.80/10) secures fourth place to be a literary lover’s paradise. Thanks to its trove of bookshops from independent to second-hand (17.41 bookstores per 100,000 people), the lively South West city makes an unrivalled haven for book shopping.
- Books inspired by Bristol include. “Shadow Dance”, “Birdcage Walk”, “Keep Him Close”
- Top reading spot. Hatter House Cafe
As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh rounds off the top five with a “bookspiration” score of 6.70/10. With its picturesque cobblestone streets lined with a remarkable 188 quaint cafes, 28 libraries and 71 bookstores, and its well-preserved architecture and rich literary landscape, the Scottish capital offers book addicts a glimpse into the golden era of modern English literature.
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