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.

Due to Covid-19, please check with individual event organisers before making your travel plans for 2021. Some events have already moved online or been rescheduled for later in the year.

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
19 - 21 February 2021, Aberdeen
Aberdeen’s book festival dedicated to crime fiction and thrillers including many special events such as writing workshops, film nights, music, etc. For 2021 this will be an online event.

StAnza: Scotland's International Poetry Festival
6 - 14 March 2021 in St Andrews, Fife
Nearby B&Bs - Tarskavaig Bed and Breakfast by St Andrews, Newton Farm by Inverarity.

Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival
tbc March 2022
A wide-ranging programme of events at Glasgow's iconic Mitchell Library.

John O'Groats Book Festival
tbc April 2022, Caithness
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
Cancelled for 2021. Next year: 6 - 8 May 2022, 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 - Home Farm near Muir of Ord, Craigvar in Strathpeffer

Boswell Book Festival
10 - 16 June 2021, Dumfries House, Cumnock, East Ayrshire
Re-scheduled from May, it will now take place online.
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
May
Cancelled for 2021. Replacement events will take place online throughout 2021.
This is an intimate and welcoming literary festival in this former fishing village on the shores of Loch Broom in the Scottish Highlands.

Coastword
tbc May 2021, Dunbar, East Lothian
A long weekend with established and emerging authors, poets and musicians.

ButeNoir
tbc 30 July - 1 August 2021
Isle of Bute's crime writing festival.

Edinburgh International Book Festival
tbc 14 - 30 August 2021
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: The Town House in Edinburgh, Parkhead House in Hopetoun, Arden Country House near Linlithgow

Beyond Borders International Festival
tbc late August 2021, 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 - Mill House near Kelso

Islay Book Festival
late August
Cancelled for 2021.
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
28 - 29 August 2021, Strontian, West Highlands
Book and arts festival in Ardnamurchan

Nairn Book and Arts Festival
4 - 12 September 2021
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
tbc September 2021, Elgin
Nearby B&B - Brandon Lodge near Portsoy

Bloody Scotland
tbc September 2021, 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
tbc late September 2021, Irvine, Ayrshire
Tidelines is North Ayrshire’s only independent book festival.
Nearby B&B - Ayrs and Graces Guest House near Ayr

Wigtown Book Festival
23 September - 3 October 2021, 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 Scotland's National Book Town.
Nearby B&Bs - Nithbank Country Estate

NessBookFest
tbc October 2021, Inverness
Lots of authors will be contributing through this long weekend in Inverness at this free annual festival.
Nearby B&Bs - Inverness House, Eiland View B&B

Bookmark
tbc early October 2021, 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

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
tbc 16 - 31 October 2021, Edinburgh
Nearby B&Bs: Parkhead House in Hopetoun, Arden Country House near Linlithgow

Tarbert Book Festival
tbc late October 2021, Tarbert, Kintyre
Events for all ages at this local book festival on the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll.

West Over Sea
29 - 31 October 2021
The Tobermory Book Festival on the Isle of Mull.

Borders Book Festival
2 - 7 November 2021, Scottish Borders
Usually held in June in Melrose, but the festival has been moved to Abbotsford House in November 2021 as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations for Sir Walter Scott. A wonderful few days of talks, discussions, food & drink, and more for all the family.
Nearby B&Bs - Mill House near Kelso.

A Write Highland Hoolie
12 - 14 November 2021, 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 2021
Events across Scotland

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