Reclaim Your Lunch Break

The peaceful and picturesque libraries every bookworm needs to visit

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If you’re looking for a genuine moment of peace and quiet, there’s no better place to find it than in a beautiful library. Luckily, we have so many of these on our doorstep. From the stunning public libraries of Scotland, to the residential library in Wales where you can spend the night, here are a few of our favourites, perfectly captured on Instagram. 

The John Rylands Library, Manchester

Part of The University of Manchester, The John Rylands Library is a neo-gothic masterpiece that’s definitely worth a visit next time you’re up north. It opened all the way back in the year 1900, and its special collections are believed to be the largest in the UK.

Wellcome Library, Euston

Much quieter than it’s well-known neighbour The British Library, The Wellcome Collection’s reading room is flooded with light, filled with interesting books and definitely not short of cosy corners to curl up with an irresistible page turner. See you on the bean bags.

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Edinburgh Central Library

Opened in 1890, The Central Library was Edinburgh’s very first public library. Inside you’ll find bookshelves reaching all the way up to the (very) high ceilings, not to mention some truly breathtaking architecture.

Liverpool Central Library

Back in 2010 the Liverpool Central Library received an extensive makeover - and in the process it gained a futuristic atrium that was simply made to be photographed and posted on Instagram. If you can tear your eyes away from the impressive labyrinth of staircases, there’s also a huge selection of books to be discovered, too. 

The Codrington Library, Oxford

Surely one of the most impressive university libraries in existence, Oxford’s Codrington Library is every book lover’s dream. It also doubles as an awe-inspiring study space, although we’d be worried that if we tried to study there we’d be too distracted by the surroundings to take anything in.

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The Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham is Europe’s biggest public library - and as well as a huge reading collection and vast study spaces, it also has a cafe, museum and sunken amphitheatre and roof terrace. Its exterior, featuring a covering of interlocking metal rings, was designed as a reference to city’s jewellery quarter.

National Art Library, V&A

The National Art Library is located in London’s Victoria & Albert museum, and is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday. It contains thousands of books about art from all around the world and overlooks the museum’s peaceful gardens - making it a wonderfully calming place in which to spend an afternoon.

Gladstone’s Library, Wales

If you really want to get lost in a beautiful library, we suggest you book a stay at Gladstone’s Library in north Wales - which has 26 bedrooms for this very purpose. During your stay you’ll be able to browse the libraries vast collection (containing 250,000 books and other printed items) and explore the impressive gardens and grounds.

Main image: iStock