In Hawarden, in a lovely part of North Wales, is Gladstone’s Library. This is an unusual place: a residential library where one can go to study, to write, to use the collections or just to rest.
I stayed there some years ago when studying for an Open University exam. Most of the other residents at the time were doing the same thing. In coffee and meal breaks we shared exam woe stories and encouraged each other to think positive. In between we found it a great place to really get stuck into the revision, while someone else did the cooking and cleaning.
Over the years it has also become a place for writers and often has a writer in residence.
Now the staff are branching out with a literary festival – called Gladfest (a bit of an unfortunate name as there seem to be other festivals with the same one). This year is its first year. It runs from 6th to 8th September and if it’s a success will become an annual event. For a small place like Hawarden it will be a major cultural happening.