National Book Lovers Day is on 9th August, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to look at what Northumberland holds for our visiting bookworms!
Even for those of us who aren’t avid readers there’s something beautiful about a book shop, something that draws you in. I’m unsure if it’s the sight of the rows of neatly stacked books, the smell of the newly printed and smooth pages, the history and story behind a pre-loved treasure or the lure of a new read just waiting to be found. Whatever it is that draws you in, a book shop is a place of fantasy, a place for your mind to wander, a place to lose yourself…for however long you want!
Northumberland has some of the best independent bookshops. So if you find you’re drawn to these treasures and love the quietness of being lost in the shelves, you won’t want to miss these literary treasure troves!
Cogito Books is an independent bookshop and is hidden along the cobbles of St Mary’s Chare in Hexham. This is a firmly established family run bookshop with a unique and carefully curated collection of titles, beautifully presented in a welcoming and relaxing environment. From the moment you step inside you know each and every book on the laden shelves are loved and just waiting to be shared. You will be guaranteed a friendly service from knowledgeable staff, or maybe you’d like to take up the chance to have a personal book consultation, you’ll come away with a bundle of books selected just for you and is the perfect treat for all book lovers! It even includes a cup of tea and some homemade biscuits! Full details can be found on their website.
Forum Books is an award winning independent bookshop situated in Corbridge in the heart of Northumberland and only a 10 minute drive from St Oswald’s Farm. The description on their own website shows without doubt their passion for their subject! “Eclectic, original and endlessly enthusiastic about the printed word, we stock a hand-picked and eye-popping range of beautiful books and host an eclectic range of author events. We’re staffed by bibliophiles happy and eager to talk books and make informed recommendations”.
I don’t think there’s anything further to say, you’ll be sure of a great service!
Barter Books in the market town of Alnwick is one of the largest second hand book shops in Britain and is located in part of a superb old Victorian railway station.
This huge bookshop is made up of several rooms, all with features from bygone days all now fitting a very different purpose, the entrance is in fact the old Station Parcels’ Room, which still has the open window through which passengers would have bought railway tickets. Further rooms mark the beginning of the outbound platform, with the buffers still remaining at one end. The old waiting room however is still just a place to sit, a place to read and in the colder months in front of an open fire. A whole room is dedicated to many of the more interesting antiquarian books and you will find the walls of this room lined with over forty glass cases full of these old gems. Of course an old railway station wouldn’t be complete without a train, which you will find running in miniature overhead.
This shop has to be every book lovers dream come true!
Read the story of Barter Books here
Hexham Book Festival takes place at the end of April/beginning of May each year and is becoming more well known and hugely attended as more and more well known and loved authors make their way to Northumberland to take part in this varied and dynamic 10 day festival! Speakers, authors, hands on workshops, book signings, lunches and even the odd glass of fizz makes this a truly great festival and a fabulous way to enjoy all things literary!
Durham Book Festival takes place in and around the beautiful city of Durham each October. Events are held in a range of iconic venues including the historic Durham Town Hall, Durham Cathedral and the Gala Theatre. Join the conversation at Durham Book Festival, and be inspired by a host of writers, artists and thinkers. For full programme click here
Berwick on Tweed’s Literary Festival takes part this year from 17th – 20th October and has an exciting programme of events, talks, workshops and discussions – many held in heritage buildings – and will once again showcase local, national and international contributors who will bring words to life in this small and friendly Literary Festival.
All the festivals have their own websites for full details of who’s there, what’s on and when…maybe your best loved author will be travelling to the North East or maybe you’ll find your new absolute favourite!
We still have some availability in Heavenfield Cottage during October – and are now taking bookings for 2020 – what are you waiting for….. ‘book’ yourself a break!
We look forward to welcoming here!