A new study ranked the best UK cities for bookworms, and revealed York, Bath and Bristol as the top literature locations.

Any book lover will be aware that you don’t have to travel far to feel like you’re in another world, especially if you’re in these cities. 

Aura Print ranked the best UK cities for bookworms, taking into account the number of libraries and bookstores, as well as the presence of greenspaces and cafés for a relaxing read.

The Top 5 Best UK Cities for Book Lovers


UK City

Number of quiet reading spots

Average bookstore review rating /5

Score /10


























*The final score was ultimately ranked taking into account the number of libraries, bookstores, greenspaces and cafés per 100k people. 

  1. York

Booklover Score: 9.35/10

York’s top recommended reading spot: Museum Gardens

Cobblestone streets populated with enchanting cafes, historic libraries and bookstores full of literary gems, a visit to York is quintessential to immerse yourself in the UK’s book world.

Ever found that you simply can’t put a book down once you’ve started reading? The study found that York boasts 96 ‘quiet reading’ spots according to Tripadvisor, and with over 22 green spaces dotted around the city.

The verdant green spaces of the city are not the only places bookworms can sit down and enjoy a novel, for there are 74 quaint cafés in York which are perfect for a quiet read. 

York is also home to 20 libraries and 33 highly rated bookstores, which for its population size is a great deal. So if you are visiting York, you are sure to have access to a range of literature – from the classics to modern bestsellers. 

  1. Bath

Booklover Score: 8.5/10

Bath’s top recommended reading spot: Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights

Bath is immensely popular due to its literary heritage. Notably, it is home to the Jane Austen Centre and Museum, which celebrates the life and literary works of the famous author. 

Bath also hosts a number of attractions which allow visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s literary legacy. Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights is one of the finest in the city, offering a quirky mix of genres, and features its own bright and comforting reading room on the upper floor. 

Bath also has 31 charming bookshops to choose from, with a high average review rating of 4.49/5. 64 ‘quiet reading spots’, including 19 green spaces and 45 cafés can also be found in the city. Royal Victoria Park is one of the most popular, and is home to vibrant and blissful botanical gardens, making it an ideal haven for bookworms. 

  1. Bristol

Booklover Score: 8.0 out of 10

Bristol’s top recommended reading spot: Royal Victoria Park

Bristol has a thriving art scene to ignite your passion for literature. The Arnolfini Contemporary Art Centre hosts literary events and exhibitions and is the perfect stop-off point for book lovers. The city boasts 27 libraries and a whopping 87 bookstores – so you know you won’t be short of finding some new literary gems. 

The city is home to some stunning landscapes including 23 tranquil green spaces to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city and to appreciate some natural beauty. The city also has 97 charming cafés to choose from, so there is an abundance of peaceful spots to indulge in a new book. 

  1. Nottingham

Booklover Score: 6.9 out of 10

Bristol’s top recommended reading spot: Bromley House Library

Nottingham has a thriving culture for the creative arts, packed full of art collectives and exhibitions which keep this city’s local art scene fresh. The city was also home to the famous Robin Hood, known for breaking in and out of the walls of Nottingham Castle.

With a whopping 45 charming bookshops to choose from, 19 libraries, and 74 ‘quiet reading’ spots according to Tripadvisor, which includes 19 green spaces and 55 cafés dotted around the city.

Some of the green spaces Nottingham also hold rich historical and cultural significance, such as Bunny Old Wood, an ancient green space with an enchanting ambience, and used by Saxon settlers as a source of wood.

  1. Belfast

Booklover Score: 6.85 out of 10

Bristol’s top recommended reading spot: Cave Hill

Belfast has a vast literary heritage, with the city serving as the backdrop of inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. Belfast also has a thriving culture for the bibliophiles, hosting an annual Book Festival which draws in the UK’s biggest bookworms.

Belfast also has a whopping 55 charming bookshops to choose from, 18 libraries, and 105 ‘quiet reading’ spots according to Tripadvisor, which includes 11 green spaces and 85 cafés.

Cave Hill, one of Belfast’s top green spaces, is known as ‘Napoleon’s Nose’ to locals, and is said to be a muse for Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’.

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