Any book lovers out there who are planning on taking a trip to Wales should definitely book a room in this beautiful old hotel located in the quiet Welsh village of Hawarden, just a stone’s throw from the Welsh border. Called the Gladstone Library, this imposing building is home to over 250,000 books and allows guests to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in order to do some serious reading.
Bequeathed by former Prime Minister William Gladstone, this hotel/library offers visitors the chance to “sleep with books” in this beautiful grade-1 listed building. As mentioned above, the house is home to over 200,000 books, over 32,000 of which were part of William Gladstone’s private collection which mostly covers theology, literary culture, history and politics. Some of them even still bear Gladstone’s annotations, one particular book features amusing notes which reads “untrue, untrue, untrue,” in a biography of Benjamin Disraeli.
The main room features a mezzanine with vast bookcases, desks to study or write upon, and comfy armchairs to sit in. You may well be tempted to read there, but the best is still to come. The cosiest room is easily the Gladstone Room in which you’ll find big, comfy sofas, Persian rugs, candlesticks, original windows, board games, puzzles, newspapers, an honesty bar, a roaring open fire in winter, and more modern books.
Those of you who are unable to spend a night at this glorious library will be pleased to learn that the staff there offer “Glimpse” tours which allows members of the public to see inside the building and learn about its history. The library has been residential since it first opened over a hundred years ago in 1904, as was the wish of Gladstone.
The library has seen a great increase in popularity over the past few years and 590 books have been written or researched since the year 2000. The library is also host to several annual festivals and travellers come from around the world to visit this literary sanctuary.
The building holds 26 rooms, each of which are minimalist but contemporary and perfect for clearing your mind and focusing on your studies or on a good book. Each room includes a kettle, selection of teas, a radio, en suite bathroom, and comfy bed, but no televisions. Breakfast is included in the room rates and includes your choice of porridge, cereal, fresh and stewed fruit, compote, yoghurt, toast and croissants. Dinner is taken in the dining room for a two course meal at only £8.95. Dishes include salmon florentine with potatoes and vegetables, goat’s cheese and butternut squash lasagne, and desserts like Bakewell tart and custard.
The Gladstone’s also own a pub in the village so, if you fancy going out for a drink, you’re all set. The library is entirely self-funded but every effort is made to ensure that prices stay reasonable so it can be enjoyed by all.
Prices are as follows:
Single rooms: £65.
Doubles/twins £93, with shared bathroom; £75 or £98 respectively for en suite. Breakfast included. Adapted room available. Suitable for adults only.
CH5 3DF; 01244 532350;
Thanks to The Telegraph for bringing this to our attention!
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