In which I discover the perfect gift for a bookworm

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A while ago, I read over on Janet‘s blog about this amazing place called Gladstone’s Library in North Wales, a Victorian library where you can stay overnight. I filed away the idea in the part of my brain labelled ‘good ideas for presents’, and so when I was looking for something for my mom earlier this year, a trip there seemed like the ideal gift. My parents have worked really hard over the past few months helping us with our house renovations, so S and I feel they deserve extra-special birthday presents this year (my dad’s isn’t until December, so we have a few more weeks to get his right!). So back in April I presented my mom with a voucher for dinner, bed and breakfast for the two of us, and knowing we had a busy summer ahead, we booked it for last weekend.

It’s quite a schlep from Bristol, but the 4.5 hour journey soon melted away as soon as we saw the library.

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Photo from Gladstone’s website

Beautifully built in red sandstone, it resembles an Oxbridge college with its wings and carved statues.

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Gladstone’s makes it clear on its website that it’s not a hotel, but a library with accommodation, so if you’re expecting room service and a TV in your bedroom then this isn’t the place to come. If however, beautiful surroundings and one of the best libraries ever are your thing, then you won’t be disappointed.

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Photo from Gladstone’s website

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After dinner we retired to the Gladstone Room to take advantage of the honesty bar and to play a game of Scrabble.

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Photo from TripAdvisor

Gladstone’s is also very close to Chester so we called there for a few hours on the Sunday. I hadn’t been there before, and my only knowledge of it came from watching Hollyoaks in the nineties and early noughties, but there wasn’t an angsty teenager in sight, just a lovely city with a beautiful river and gorgeous medieval buildings.

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The weather was so warm and we ate lunch outside in a café on the Roman city walls – perfect.

If you’re looking for an unusual place for a weekend get away or want to surprise a book-loving friend, you have to visit Gladstone’s – I can’t recommend it enough!

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