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.

Please be advised that due to the current Covid-19 situation, many events for 2020 will now be cancelled or rescheduled. Some festivals will take place online. Please check with individual event organisers.

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
20 - 23 February 2020, Aberdeen
Aberdeen’s book festival dedicated to crime fiction and thrillers including many special events such as writing workshops, film nights, music, etc. Guest speakers include Sara Paretsky, Ben Aaronovitch and Ian Rankin plus many more authors.

StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival
3 - 8 March 2020 in St Andrews, Fife
Nearby B&Bs - Tarskavaig Bed and Breakfast by St Andrews, Duntrune House near Dundee, Newton Farm by Inverarity.

Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival
12 - 29 March 2020 CANCELLED
A wide-ranging programme of events at Glasgow's iconic Mitchell Library.

John O'Groats Book Festival
23 - 26 April 2020, Caithness CANCELLED
Various venues in John O'Groats. The third book festival in this village in the far north of Scotland.
Nearby B&Bs - Auld Post Office B&B, Sharvedda

Crime & Thriller Festival
1 - 3 May 2020, 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

Ullapool Book Festival
8 - 10 May 2020
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.

22 - 24 May 2020, Dunbar, East Lothian
A long weekend with established and emerging authors, poets and musicians.

Borders Book Festival
11 - 14 June 2020 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. Abbotshaw House is near Langholm.

31 July - 2 August 2020
Isle of Bute's crime writing festival.

Edinburgh International Book Festival
15 - 31 August 2020
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

Beyond Borders International Festival
29 - 30 August 2020, 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

Islay Book Festival
27 - 30 August 2020
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!

Three Lochs Book & Arts Festival
29 - 30 August 2020, Strontian, West Highlands
Book and arts festival in Ardnamurchan

Nairn Book and Arts Festival
8 - 13 September 2020
A varied programme including authors, workshops, music, theatre, photography, art exhibitions and more. Now in its 16th year. An exciting arts programme to suit every taste.

Spirit of Moray Book Festival
15 - 19 September 2020, Elgin
This 5-day festival includes sessions with authors such as Sue Lawrence and Rosemary Goring, as well as Christopher Brookmyre and his wife who write together under the name Ambrose Parry. Cyclist Mark Beaumont will be talking about his book 'Around the World in 80 Days'.
Nearby B&B - Brandon Lodge near Portsoy

Bloody Scotland
18 - 20 September 2020, 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.
Nearby B&B - Garvally House in Alloa

Tidelines Book Festival
25 - 27 September 2020, 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

Wigtown Book Festival
25 September - 4 October 2020, 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 21t anniversary of Scotland's National Book Town.
Nearby B&Bs - Nithbank Country Estate

1 - 3 October 2020, Inverness
Lots of authors will be contributing through this long weekend in Inverness at this free annual festival.
Nearby B&Bs - Bluebell House and Eiland View B&B

2 - 4 October 2020, 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 and Purgarvie Farm near Kirriemuir

Boswell Book Festival
9 - 11 October 2020, Dumfries House, Cumnock, East Ayrshire
Re-scheduled from May, 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

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
16 - 31 October 2020, Edinburgh
Nearby B&Bs: Parkhead House in Hopetoun, Arden Country House near Linlithgow

Tarbert Book Festival
tbc late October 2020, Tarbert, Kintyre
Events for all ages at this local book festival on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll.

West Over Sea
23 - 25 October 2020
The Tobermory Book Festival on the Isle of Mull.

A Write Highland Hoolie
6 - 8 November 2020, Mallaig, West Highlands
This will be the fifth year of the Mallaig book festival and will feature some well-known local and national names.

Book Week Scotland
tbc November 2020
Events across Scotland

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