Nottingham has been named as the UK’s newest UNESCO City of Literature. It is one of 17 cities worldwide to hold the title City of Literature thanks to its great literary pedigree as home and inspiration of great writers such as Lord Byron and DH Lawrence.
This year there is wealth of attractions and events to wow book lovers. Find out what’s in store.
Stay in Byron’s backyard
Newstead Abbey, on the outskirts of Nottingham, set in 300 acres of landscaped grounds with numerous themed gardens including a Walled Garden, French Garden and hidden Japanese Garden, the abbey dates back to the 12th century. The abbey is open every weekend for visits, and the grounds are open daily, or take part in one of the many regular events to learn more about Byron’s life at Newstead Abbey.
Just a 15-minute drive away is St Mary Magdalene Church in Hucknall, the final resting place of Lord Byron and his famous daughter, mathematician Ada Lovelace. Take part in the fantastic self-guided tours of the church, where you can find out about Byron’s life and loves, see statues and artefacts celebrating the poet, and hear readings of his poetry.
200 years of Bromley House Library
Tucked away on one of Nottingham’s busiest streets behind a discreet door you’ll find one of the city’s best kept secrets – Bromley House Library, an historic subscription library which celebrates 200 years in 2016, set within a Georgian building. Bromley House Library is also home to a secret city-centre garden. Discover DH Lawrence country
DH Lawrence was brought up in the small mining community of Eastwood, and many locations in the area inspired the settings for his famous, and often controversial, novels. Pay a visit to the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre, and also to the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum, where you can see his family home, a snapshot of what life was like for the Lawrence family. Follow the Blue Line Trail, a self-guided walk in the area, which takes in many of his novels settings, such as Moorgreen Reservoir, a pretty and melancholic stretch of water which appears in many of Lawrence’s novels under different names. The nearby Teversal Manor is also said to be the model for Wragby Hall, the home of the Chatterleys in DH Lawrence’s most famous novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. www.experiencenottinghamshire.com/dh-lawrence
Find our Neverland
The arboretum just outside Nottingham’s city centre is said to be the inspiration behind JM Barrie’s classic children’s tale Peter Pan. Barrie worked on the Nottingham Journal from 1883 to 1884 and the park, which features a Victorian circular aviary, Chinese bell tower, lake and bandstand, could have formed the basis for Neverland. Why not take a stroll around this beautiful park and let your imagination run wild?
Lowdham Book Festival, 18-25 June 2016
In its 17th year, the Lowdham Book Festival brings together authors from around the UK and beyond, with sessions for avid readers, book lovers, and children.
Byron Festival, 1-10 July 2016
Celebrate the life and work of one of the UK’s most controversial authors with this 10-day celebration in the town centre of Hucknall, his final resting place and at Newstead Abbey. Special tours, readings, open air performances and children’s activities.
Southwell Poetry Festival, 15-17 July 2016
Taking place in the pretty town of Southwell, this poetry festival offers readings, workshops, performances, children’s events and a poet in residence.
DH Lawrence Festival, September 2016
Celebrate one of the UK’s most controversial authors with this 10-day celebration in his hometown of Eastwood. A programme of talks, exhibitions, readings, special events and workshops will explore the different facets of DH Lawrence’s works and personalities
Festival of Words, November 2016
The Festival of Words is Nottingham’s leading celebration of words – written, spoken and performed – with a number of events across the city in major venues, restaurants, cafes and bookshops. The Festival celebrates Nottingham love of words, with international guest speakers, local authors, writing workshops and a range of interactive session.