Everything you need to know about The Cheltenham Literary Festival

With summer planned, you may be looking for interesting things to do in Autumn. The Cheltenham Literary Festival 2022 is undoubtedly a festival for the diary. Taking place between the 7th and 16th of October 2022, the 10-day festival is the perfect trip for book lovers and a great chance to explore the regency town.

Why visit the Cheltenham Literary Festival?

While this event may not be as famous as the Hay Literary Festival, Cheltenham was actually the world’s first literature festival. This year, the Chelt Lit Festival aims to bring together a mixture of literary greats and up-and-coming writers for a variety of free and ticketed events that celebrate the written and spoken word. 

2022 will be the 73rd festival and will feature over 1000 participants. This year will feature co-curated events with The International Book Arsenal Festival, Kyiv, and the overarching theme will be the importance of culture during dark times. 

Best-selling author Celeste Ng is a guest curator and will be speaking about her latest novel at the event, while there will also be a film strand to the festival curated by film critic Clarisse Loughrey. In addition, Inua Ellams, Katy Hessel, Justin Webb and Ann Morgan will all be speaking throughout the festival. 

How to get to the Chelt Lit Festival?

Literary events will be held across the town, but the festival’s hub is in Montpellier Gardens. If you can make a mini-break of it, it is well worth staying in the town or nearby for a few days. There are two park-and-ride car parks, with one conveniently off the M5 motorway. Cheltenham also has excellent rail links; the train from London to Cheltenham takes around 2 hours.

What to bring to Cheltenham Literary Festival 2022?

Cheltenham is a bustling town filled with a wealth of restaurants, cafes, hotels, and accommodation options which means all you really need to bring is yourself and tickets to any of the big events taking place at the festival. You can download the festival app to your phone, which can help ensure you make the most of everything the festival offers. A strong reusable bag is an essential item to bring for all of the books you’ll undoubtedly buy at the festival and add a women’s waterproof parka to rucksack so you’re prepared in all weathers

What other literary festivals are there?

The most famous festival is Hay Literary Festival which takes place in May/June. For events this year, the London Literature Festival takes place at the Southbank Centre, which will be running from the 21st to 31st October 2022. 

Clivedon Literary Festival is a smaller event taking place on the 15th and 16th of October 2022 and offers beautiful scenery that has inspired many writers, both past and present. If you want to plan ahead, Borders Book Festival in Melrose in the Scottish Borders will be running in June 2023 and is known for being a family-friendly and welcoming book festival for all. 


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