Lists | 6 Bookish Things To Do In The UK This Summer

Okay. I’m totally biased, because I live here, but I’m so proud of the UK and its incredible heritage. For a little country, I think we pack a pretty hefty bookish punch.

My motherland is the home of Harry Potter, Oliver Twist, Lyra Belacqua, The Fantastic Mr Fox, the Pevensie children, Peter Rabbit, Tolkien AND Shakespeare, and there is no end of exciting literary things to get stuck into. Why not stick around a check out a few of them below?

The Elephant House, Edinburgh

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The Elephant House is a coffee shop located a stones throw away from the incredibly beautiful Edinburgh Castle in the midst of the historic quarter.

This little cafe not only offers awesome artisan coffee to warm you up after some chilly sightseeing, but it is also where J.K. Rowling wrote much of her early draft of Harry Potter (OMG). Grab a pew in the back room looking out over the castle and soak up the magic.

Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC), 29th to 31st July

Running for a weekend as part of the London Film and Comic Con at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, this event is aaaaaall the YA you could ever want. It also features blogging workshops, author panels, book shops and just generally awesome things. If you buy a full ticket, you can also check out the Comic Con.

The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, Great Missenden

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An absolute must for any Roald Dahl fan! It’s aimed mainly at a slightly younger target audience than myself, but basically, I don’t care. It has three interactive galleries, which each focus on a period in Dahl’s life, as well as his original writing hut. You can even sit in his writing chair. I repeat: you can sit in Roald Dahl’s writing chair.

With lots of events planned for Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday in September, it’s a snozzgobblingly good time to visit!

The Eagle and Child, Oxford

This little pub in Oxford has associations with the Inklings Writers’ group, which included such legends as Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. In the 1930’s when studying at Oxford, the group used to meet here for dinner and drinks, and it is said that C.S. Lewis distributed his early proofs of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to the rest of the group here in the 1950’s. The steak is decent too.

As well as having its own insanely cool literary history, The Eagle & Child is a perfect pit stop for exploring literary Oxford. Jordan College from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is based on an exaggerated version of Exeter College at the University of Oxford, and SO MUCH of the Harry Potter films were filmed on location in Oxford. The Bodleian Library (where some of the original Lord of The Rings manuscripts are also kept), New College Cloisters and Christ Church college are all totally beautiful and mustsΒ for Harry fans. Head down on a sunny Saturday and see how good your Potter sight is!

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Hay Festival, Haye-On-Wye, Wales, 26th May to 5th June 2016

Featuring pretty much everything and everyone bookish you could ever dream of, this festival is a literary paradise. It also has a dedicated YA program called #HAYYA, which features the likes of Patrick Ness, Holly Smale and Jacqueline Wilson as well as workshops, drop in events and the announcement of the winner of the Bookseller YA Book Prize 2016. In a word? YES.

The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros Studios, London

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Oh boy is this the place to be if you’re a Potterhead. Take it from me: it is MAGICAL. Leavsden was Harry’s home for over a decade, and featuring authentic sets like the Great Hall and Dumbledore’s Office, as well as more props and costumes than you can shake your wand at, there really is nowhere more exciting.

Note: Take all of your galleons because the gift shop is amazing, but avoid the Butterbeer because it’s terrible. No Muggles allowed.


What amazing bookish places have you been to in the UK or across the globe? Do you have any awesome literary must-dos that I should put on my bucketlist?

Let me know in the comments!

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40 thoughts on “Lists | 6 Bookish Things To Do In The UK This Summer

    • That’s the problem with travel! 😦 I always see things I want to do too and then realise I can’t get the time off of work or can’t afford it haha. Oh my God a Harry Potter summer camp sounds amazing!!! What else did you do on it? Oxford is beautiful right? X

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Also strolling through Bath! You’ll feel like someone right outta Austenland! XD The Jane Austen Center is rather creative on events too. Lovely list though. A tad bit jelly yes, wish I lived in the UK ^_^

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    • Yes! Bath is beautiful and incredible if you’re an Austen fan. I hear that particular museum also has a cafe with incredible scones! πŸ˜„ Thank you so much! Haha trust me it’s not all its cracked up to be (especially with the weather) but we’re lucky to have a few cool places. Where are you from? X

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      • I’m from Sri Lanka, but I’ve been to and lived in England for a few years. Last year I finally dragged my siblings to Bath (they find it no fun) and I loved every minute while they spent their time searching for me. I intend to go there on my own sometime in the future, just to soak up all the feels πŸ˜› I’m a big Austen fan!! We wanted to go the the Warner Bros Studio but you need to book tickets months ahead! :O

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      • Amazing! I’d love to visit Sri Lanka. Hahaha yup, I encounter the same problem with my friends/family/boyfriend. It’s definitely the best place to be for an Austen fan. Yeah that’s the only problem with that place, it seems to require lots of forward planning. Luckily I don’t think it’ll be going anywhere anytime soon!

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      • You should visit Sri Lanka! There’s the beaches and just relaxed laid back atmosphere to enjoy! Dang! me too. I’m sitting with my books looking at 2 weeks of exams -_- . Lovely list though!

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  2. 100% agree with you on the Butterbeer, I thought it kinda tasted like irn bru with a marshmallow topping and was all kinds of wrong! Love that you mentioned Oxford (I live there so am biased)! If you visit again you should also check out the Alice in Wonderland shop, and the Story Museum πŸ˜ƒ

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    • Yes that’s such a good description lol! Gross on so many levels! I hear they might have changed it though, so maybe it’s better now than when I went. Oh man, you’re so lucky! I keep looking into going to the Story Museum, but I didn’t know there was an Alice shop – that sounds amazing! I’ll definitely pop that on my list of things to do next time I’m there, thanks for the tip. πŸ™‚

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      • Ooh, well that gives me a good excuse to go back and do the tour again (not that I need an excuse!) πŸ™‚ The Story Museum is great, although I’ve only been there for a specific exhibition so I’m not sure if all the stuff I saw is there permanently. But when I went, there was a wardrobe you could climb through into Narnia (well a one room version of Narnia anyways haha), which was kind of awesome! Yess you must visit the Alice shop, it’s a tiny shop and always super crowded with tourists but it sells sooo many pretty things and is rather magical πŸ™‚

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      • Hahaha! There are always excuses to go back there. πŸ˜„ That sounds awesome – I’m not far from Oxford either so I’ll definitely have to check that out. Anything Narnia related and I am SOLD anyway. ☺ Oooooh you’ve definitely convinced me, can’t wait to have a look at that! X

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  3. Oh man I was in Edinburgh like a month ago, how could I not have known about The Elephant House. I am definitely feeling the need to go back just to say I’ve been in the cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter.
    Also I am so excited for YALC, I haven’t brough my ticket yet (hopefully tomorrow) but just hearing about it makes me more and more determined to go this year.
    This is such a great idea for a post as well! I really love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You should definitely come and visit! Just try and get here in the summer when there is less chance of the clasically dull and and drizzly English weather haha! I haven’t actually been to The Roald Dahl Museum but I hope I’ll be able to go over the summer maybe. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much! X

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    • Honestly, you have much better weather where you are and also BEACHES! We have beaches but it’s just not the same haha. I really hope you can! I’d definitely recommend a trip to Oxford if you do come over and have limited time, there’s a lot there to see and do that is book related. πŸ™‚ fingers crossed! πŸ˜€

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