A library in North Wales is offering guests the chance to become truly immersed in the world of literature by enabling them to sleep in the historic building and to read in the beautiful surroundings after hours.
Located eight miles from Chester in the small village of Hawarden, Gladstone’s is the only residential library in the United Kingdom, offering a selection of 26 boutique bedrooms with en-suite facilities, as well as housing a unique collection of over 250,000 printed items. Guests staying at the library have extended use of the reading rooms from 9am to 10pm after doors close to the general public at 5pm, and library books can be taken to bedrooms. Rooms have Wi-Fi access, tea and coffee making facilities and radios. In order to preserve the ethos of study and reflection, none of the bedrooms have TVs, although there is a dedicated television room on the ground floor available for all guests to use.
Gladstone’s Library also has a “Food for Thought” bistro that serves breakfast to guests, as well as offering lunch and evening meals. The estate offers picturesque views of the surrounding countryside, with permits available for guests to walk in the woods around Hawarden Castle nearby. Other popular destinations in the area for visiting include the historic market town of Mold, St Winefride’s Well, the coastal town of Llandudno and Snowdonia located approximately an hour and a half’s drive away.
The library was founded in 1894 by William Gladstone, who wheeled 32,000 books three quarters of a mile from his home at Hawarden Castle in order to share his personal collection with anyone wishing to read. Following his death in 1898, a public appeal was launched for funds to provide a permanent building to house the collection and to replace the temporary structure that had been in place.
The library holds monthly events as well as a number of literary festivals every year. Rooms at Gladstone’s Library start from £63 including breakfast. More information on booking is available at their website.