Saturday, 28 May 2011

10 Best Reading Holidays

So, hey, clearly I'm in a holiday mood, what with it being a Bank Holiday weekend and my vacation to Florida less than four months away. I've decided to bring you ten of the nicest places to take your book for peaceful reading on vacation. Enjoy! (and, no, I'm not getting commission on this *grins*). By the way, I'm using numbers, but these aren't in any particular order...

1) Herm Island

I've already written an article about this place. I visited it on the first weekend of April this year and I'm aching to go back. Wonderful scenery, no cars allowed, wholesome food, and a beautiful bar area with a roaring fire.

Check out this website for more details and pretty pictures!

2) Scotland

I accept that Scotland is a rather large place, but, when I say this, I'm thinking more about the wilds of Scotland. The Highlands. A little cottage on the shores of a loch, with a good selection of whiskeys.

This sounds like the ideal place...

3) The Library Hotel, New York

New York itself isn't the best place for reading - this bustling city has far too much to see and do - but within New York there is a hotel that I am desperate to stay at. From the hotel website: "Each of the ten guestroom floors at the Library Hotel in New York City are dedicated to one of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal System*: Social Sciences, Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science, General Knowledge, Technology, Philosophy, The Arts and Religion."

I adore boutique hotels anyway, and the idea that this one is completely devoted to books makes it somewhere I *have* to go! Alex Bell has already visited, and I am green with envy *grins*

The Library Hotel in New York

4) Chateau in France

Howabout booking a castle for the weekend? With your own grounds? And lashings of good red wine!

Not only do you have an outstanding place to stay with historical importance, but you also can pretend that you're *part* of a novel, like a swashbuckling Dumas!

The chateau featured in the picture is Ch√Ęteau de Noizay. In the heart of the Loire Valley castles and Vouvray vineyards, the castle of Noizay was the stronghold of the Protestants during the conspiracy of Amboise in 1560.

Here is a decent website!

5) Norfolk Broads cruising

My parents did this. They hired a boat and drifted at a snail's pace up and down various waterways. They pulled in to moor at various pubs along the way, and enjoyed a distinctly peaceful way of life. I'm pretty certain this sort of atmosphere would be ideal for reading those days away - as long as you're not driving, obviously *winks*

This is a great little cruising guide.

6) Kuredu

Try travelling further afield.... How about travelling directly to paradise?

A villa that leads out onto the soft white beaches. Warmth and peace and tranquility. Yes, this sounds ideal for a reading holiday...

Kuredu is just one of the many, many beautiful Maldives resorts.

7) Rocky Mountaineer

This is a slightly unusual choice, but I know I would love it. These trains run coast to coast across Canada, and through the Rockies. They have glass tops so that you can see panoramic views of the glorious scenery. And, when you tire of drinking in the spectacular views, you can snuggle down with a favourite book!

The Rocky Mountaineer website has full details of all their tours. I couldn't choose between them.

8) Stratford upon Avon

This gorgeous little medieval town is, of course, the birthplace of good old Will Shakespeare, and definitely worth a visit. With plentiful walking tours, chances to head to the theatre and watch one of his beloved plays, and lovely pubs and cafes at which to sit and enjoy your latest read, Stratford upon Avon is excellent holiday fodder for the literary type.

This is the official site for Stratford upon Avon.

9) A Nordic Cruise

Read Philip Pullman? Fancy seeing the Northern Lights? One of the best ways to do this is via a Nordic cruise. It includes whale watching, fine dining, and visits to key Nordic cities. Cruises, for me, seem like an ideal holiday for the reader - while the ship sails for the next destination, there is plentiful opportunity to sit and read.

This is one of the many websites offering this sort of holiday.

10) Germany

This final one is a little special for me. I lived in Germany for many years, and two years ago I finally went back to visit. I stayed in a tiny little village down near the Czech border called Bayerisch Eisenstein (I sort of love the name for the Warhammer 40K connotations!)

I took 14 books with me for two weeks and read 11 of them. I spent my days exploring the tiny village, and reading in stunning locations. I don't think I've so far had a better holiday.

This here is a picture of the actual place I stayed at:

Now, I might not be on any commission, but if you happened to want to head to this gorgeous village in Bavaria, I can recommend these people.

As a sort of 11th choice, I did find this wonderful website: Storybook England. If you can get past the cutesy music and bits, then it is a great resource for visiting all the locations in England that feature in the books you enjoyed during your childhood - from The Famous Five to The BFG. Just brilliant!

Anyway, I'm sure I've missed many wonderful places to go on holiday and enjoy quality reading time *grin*. Howabout you suggest me some?


  1. I would love to go on a reading holiday. I think either Scotland or Nordic cruise would be best for me. Best start saving, hehe.

  2. I love this post! Herm Island looks beautiful! I might just go there some day. :) A chateau in France would be amazing!

  3. Not the best spot in Scotland, that. Total tourist trap of a hotel, too, and v. expensive. You want wilds, go to the isles!

    Someone on the tourist board needs to throw me a commission, damn it. :)

  4. Those Nordic Cruise ships look a bit huge and well, too American for my taste. The most traditional cruise, Hurtigruten tour, is more fun and less fancy, no captain's dinner and such (they do have a library onboard, though). But be prepared that the landscape gets a bit in the way of the reading. ;)

  5. The Library Hotel looks fantastic! Where are you visiting in Florida? I live near Jacksonville.