The Best Cities In The UK for Book Lovers

Love reading? Do you immerse yourself in books and wish you could be in a book?

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 stand out as the ultimate literary destinations for bookworms to fall in love with?

Best UK Cities for Books Lovers

African american couple lying on the floor and reading books.
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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.

Each city received a score based on the number of libraries, bookshops, green spaces, and cafes per 100,000 people. 


York, evening cityscape view from the street with York Minster in the background.England,United Kingdom,Europe.
Image Credit: David Ionut/Shutterstock.

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 analyzed, literary lovers will be spoiled for choice in this medieval city. Home to 20 libraries and 33 highly rated bookstores, this serves 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 Abbey, Bath, England, UK.
Image Credit: Billy Stock/Shutterstock.

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 favorite 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


Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom - june 30, 2011: The classic Belfast city hall building with columns and cupolas on Donegall square, the headquarters of city council.
Image Credit: Denis Kabanov/Shutterstock.

In third place is Belfast, scoring a respectable 7.30/10. The Northern Irish city boasts a whopping 18 libraries and 55 charming bookshops to choose from, with an average Google rating of 4.71/50 – the highest of all cities analyzed. 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


Bristol cathedral and central library are two of the famous building in Bristol, UK.
Image Credit: SAKhanPhotography/Shutterstock.

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 unrivaled haven for book shopping!

Books inspired by Bristol include: Shadow Dance, Birdcage Walk, Keep Him Close

Top reading spot: Hatter House Cafe


Old town Edinburgh and Edinburgh castle in Scotland UK.
Image Credit: f11photo/Shutterstock.

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.

Books inspired by Edinburgh include: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Trainspotting, One Good Turn

Top reading spot: The Elephant House

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