Book Festivals

Scotland hosts a wide variety of literary festivals from February to November up and down the country from the Borders to the Scottish Highlands. We hope you will be tempted to book a stay at one of Scotland's Best B&Bs to enjoy a cultural break while sampling local food and hospitality.

NEWS! September saw the launch of Scotland's first Scottish Historical Fiction Festival in the Highlands. 'It's Nae The Tudors' was organised by a Grantown-on-Spey bookshop called The Bookmark. Owner Marjory Marshall has already had success with running the 'Wee Crime Festival' for the past 5 years, and hopes this new event on 8 and 9 September 2018 proves to be equally popular. Marjory says: 'I'm delighted by the range of excellent authors we have coming to this first festival, covering key periods in Scottish history from medieval life in the Borders to the Clearances.'

Author panel discussions included topics such as 'The Borders: Feuds Love and Loyalties' with Andrew Greig (Fair Helen), Rosemary Goring (After Flodden), Margaret Cook (Border Brothers) and Shirley McKay (author of the Hew Cullan mysteries). Other speakers were Susan Fletcher (Corrag), Shona MacLean (creator of the Alexander Seaton novels set in 17th century Banff), Maggie Craig (Glaswegian author of Damn' Rebel Bitches: The Women of the '45) and Angela Macrae Shanks (The Blood and the Barley).


Perhaps you have been inspired to visit Scotland by reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander books. We're sure you won't be disappointed! Here's our recommendations for some of the great book festivals around Scotland and where you can stay at members of Scotland's Best B&Bs:

Granite Noir
22 - 24 February 2019, Aberdeen
Aberdeen’s book festival dedicated to crime fiction and thrillers including many special events such as writing workshops, film nights, music, etc.
Nearby B&B - Aikenshill House near Aberdeen

StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival
tbc 6 - 10 March 2019 in St Andrews, Fife
Nearby B&Bs - No12 Bed and Breakfast in St Andrews, Duntrune House near Dundee, Newton Farm by Inverarity.

Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival
15 - 25 March 2018
Nearby B&B - Muirholm Bed and Breakfast in Paisley

Crime & Thriller Festival
20 - 22 April 2018, Cromarty, Highlands
A thrilling & suspenseful weekend book festival with many guests and novellists in this historic town on the Black Isle by the Moray Firth.
Nearby B&Bs - Ben Wyvis Views on the Black Isle, Home Farm near Muir of Ord, Craigvar in Strathpeffer

18-20 May 2018, Dunbar, East Lothian
A long weekend with established and emerging authors, poets and musicians.

Boswell Book Festival
10 - 12 May 2019, Dumfries House, Cumnock, East Ayrshire
This Scottish cultural event is the world's only festival of biography and memoir. Named after the Ayrshire writer James Boswell, this festival mixes Scottish history and tradition with contemporary culture.
Nearby B&B - Ayrs and Graces Guest House near Ayr

Ullapool Book Festival
10 - 12 May 2019
An intimate and welcoming literary festival now into its 14th year in this former fishing village on the shores of Loch Broom in the Scottish Highlands.
Nearby B&B - The Sheiling near Gairloch

Borders Book Festival
13 - 16 June 2019 in Melrose in the Scottish Borders
A wonderful 4 days of talks, discussions, food & drink, live music, comedy and more for all the family.
Nearby B&Bs - The Schoolhouse B&B near Jedburgh and Mill House near Kelso

Edinburgh International Book Festival
11 - 27 August 2018
From politics to comics and graphic novels, from feminism to the environment, from health to storytelling, this is the festival with something for everyone!
Nearby B&Bs: Parkhead House in Hopetoun, Arden Country House near Linlithgow, Strawberry Bank House

Beyond Borders International Festival
25 - 26 August 2018, Traquair House, Innerleithen near Peebles
Cultural festival in the Scottish Borders including literature, performing arts, visual arts, heritage, film, politics and dialogue.
Nearby B&Bs - The Schoolhouse B&B near Jedburgh and Mill House near Kelso

It's Nae The Tudors
8 - 9 September 2018, Grantown-on-Spey
Scotland's first Scottish Historical Fiction Festival is being organised by independent bookstore The Bookmark in the Scottish Highlands. The event will feature writers Susan Fletcher, Andrew Grieg, SG Maclean, Rosemary Goring and Maggie Craig.
Nearby B&Bs - The Dulaig in Grantown-on-Spey and Bydand Bed and Breakfast

Nairn Book and Arts Festival
11 - 16 September 2018
A varied programme including authors, workshops, music, theatre, photography, art exhibitions and more. Now in its 15th year. An exciting arts programme to suit every taste.
Nearby B&B - Brighton House B&B in Nairn

Three Lochs Book & Arts Festival
21 - 22 September, Strontian, West Highlands
An inspiring festival of film, photography, music, art and literature which takes place every 2 years on the shores of Loch Sunart on the Ardnamurch peninsula.
Nearby B&B - Highland View B&B

Bloody Scotland
21 - 23 September 2018, Stirling
Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival which aims to be entertaining as well as informative, covering a range of criminal subjects from fictional forensics, psychological thrillers, tartan noir, cosy crime and many more. It all kicks off with a gala night and torchlight procession. Peter James, Irvine Welsh, Val McDermid, Denise Mina, Stella Duffy, Stuart MacBride, Quintin Jardine, Ann Cleeves, Alex Gray, MC Beaton, Christopher Brookmyre are just some of the big names, plus authors from New Zealand, Iceland and Sweden.
Nearby B&Bs - Number 10 in Stirling and Garvally House in Alloa

Wigtown Book Festival
21 - 30 September 2018, Dumfries & Galloway
The Lowlands have their own romance, giving birth to many of the writers, thinkers, warriors, explorers and inventors who have helped to shape the modern world. Hear their stories and explore the link between Galloway's stunning Lowland landscape and its people; drop in for a dram at Scotland's most southerly distillery and discover the lands where Robert the Bruce earned his spurs. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Scotland's National Book Town with big names including Clare Balding, Ann Cleeves, Patrick Gale, Sally Magnusson, Susan Calman, John Boyne and many more.
Nearby B&Bs - Brookford B&B

Tidelines Book Festival
27 - 30 September 2018, Irvine, Ayrshire
Tidelines is North Ayrshire’s only independent book festival. This year authors include Cameron McNeish, Fiona Gibson, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Alex Gray, Janice Galloway and many more.
Nearby B&B - Ayrs and Graces Guest House near Ayr

Islay Book Festival
27 - 30 September 2018
A community-led festival with an array of events happening across the island. Another great reason to visit the Isle of Islay as well as the whisky, golf, scenery, history, etc!
Nearby B&B - Glenegedale House

4 - 7 October 2018, Inverness
Lots of authors will be contributing through this long weekend in Inverness at this free annual festival.
Nearby B&Bs - Bluebell House, Highfield House, Lynver and Eiland View B&B

5 - 7 October 2018, Perthshire
Book festival in Blairgowrie, Rattray and The Glens of East Perthshire with authors, commentators and speakers including Denise Mina, Allan Massie, Alan Johnson, Robert Harris, Isla Dewar and Fiona Armstrong.
Nearby B&Bs - Northlands Bed and Breakfast in Pitlochry, Benvrackie near Pitlochry and Purgarvie Farm near Kirriemuir

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
19 - 31 October 2018, Edinburgh
Nearby B&Bs: Parkhead House in Hopetoun, Arden Country House near Linlithgow, Strawberry Bank House

Tarbert Book Festival
26 - 28 October 2018, Tarbert, Kintyre
Events for all ages at this local book festival on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll.

Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival
31 October - 3 November 2018
Held at the An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

Cove & Kilcreggan Book Festival
24 - 25 November 2018, Helensburgh, Argyll
Now in its sixth year. Big names at the 2018 festival include Sally Magnusson, Val McDermid, James Robertson and Alex Gray.
Nearby B&Bs - Lethamhill in Helensburgh and Water's Edge Cottage by Loch Lomond

Wee Crime Festival
Grantown-on-Spey, Cairngorms
Dates to be confirmed in November 2018.
Nearby B&Bs - The Dulaig in Grantown-on-Spey and Bydand Bed and Breakfast

A Write Highland Hoolie
9 - 11 November 2018, Mallaig, West Highlands
Third year of the Mallaig book festival featuring well-known names such as Val McDermid, Jackie Kay, Kate Leiper, Polly Pullar, Charles Maclean, Stuart Kelly, Sally Magnusson and Paul Murton (Grand Tours of Scotland).

Book Week Scotland
19 - 25 November 2018
Events across Scotland

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