5 BookFests for 2016

Arts festivals for summer & autumn

A few of our favourites, and a few we haven’t yet tried, but really want to …


Port Eliot, 28-31 July

Off to the south east of Cornwall next for another eclectic mix and a bit more of an alternative vibe. Set in the estate of the historic seat of Port Eliot, the house and gardens are thrown open every year for a festival of… well just about everything! A few of the headlines for 2016: Ali Smith, Dave Eggers, Max Porter, Dawn French, Noel Fielding. Find out more of what’s on this year.


Edinburgh International Book Festival, 13-19 August

From the south to the north, head to Scotland and the largest literary festival in the world, set in the fabulous city of Edinburgh. Not only do you get art and literature but there’s fun to be had at the fringe events with music, theatre and comedy! This is one of our favourite fixtures and is great for groups and families, and yes, the sun does shine in Scotland! More on the book festival here


Wigtown Book Festival, 23 Sept-2 Oct

And if you fancy Scotland, but can’t make it to Edinburgh try visiting Wigtown, Scotland’s national town of books – like Hay-on-Wye in Wales – its streets are teeming with bookshops, a treasure trove for book lovers. This is an annual festival and despite its small size attracts great authors and artists, with the added attraction of fantastic coasts and scenery. Dumfries and Galloway is a beautiful county and often overlooked as visitors head further North. In addition to books you can go on foraging rambles, mountain biking and camp out under one of the darkest skies in Europe. We visited this festival in 2014 and you can read a bit more about it here. The programme is not yet published, but check in on their website for updates.


Dorchester Literary Festival, 19-23 October

A newbie festival that already promises to just get better and better. Set in the lovely town of Dorchester in Dorset this young festival is heading in to its second year with an impressive line up of authors including Tracy Chevalier, Tony Robinson, Ann Cleeves, Victoria Hislop, Rachel Joyce, Dinah Jefferies, Richard Dannatt, Kate Adie. And there’s more…  details on the full programme


Latitude, 14-17 July

Just missed this one, but bookmark it for next year –  it really does have it all! Set in beautiful Suffolk near the town of Southwold (home to the famous coloured beach huts, and an area steeped in storytelling and folklore). From pink sheep to big ideas, art houses, story sheds, poetry corners, film, music. If next years line-up is as good as this year it truly will have something to capture your imagination. Be prepared to camp!

We love this illustrated map of the festival by Kate Chidley


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