On Stage: Books Inspired by York Theatre

The York Theatre Royal is one of the oldest theatres in the country and has played a big part in my life in York, not least because of their willingness to put on professional quality community plays with a cast and choir of hundreds, which has built up a great community vibe. After a major refurbishment, the hoardings have just come down as it’s now less than two weeks before it will finally reopen its doors to the public for a world premiere adaptation of Brideshead Revisited (22nd to 30th April in York then touring, tickets available here).  Continue reading “On Stage: Books Inspired by York Theatre”

Where to Buy Books: Barter Books, Alnwick

Alongside my series featuring quirky and wonderful places to read, I want to share some of the best places to find books to take on your adventures. So where better to start than one of Britain’s largest secondhand bookshops, housed in a former railway station? Last year, I went on holiday to the beautiful Northumbrian coast and discovered that, to pretty much everyone I know, a visit to the medieval market town of Alnwick is synonymous with visiting Barter Books (as at least 10 people told me in hallowed tones).  Continue reading “Where to Buy Books: Barter Books, Alnwick”

Places to Read: Love Your Library

The most obvious place to read is where the books are: your local library. For most of us, this was where we started on our book loving journey, because it’s fair to say that libraries are the UK’s most accessible ways into culture. There’s no entrance fee (so long as you remember to return your books on time), there’s one in every medium to large size community (and alternative provision in rural areas,though not very useful if you’re at work all day), and alongside the books, films and music, there’s always something on. Continue reading “Places to Read: Love Your Library”

Murder Mystery: The Sting of Justice by Cora Harrison

Imagine a wind-swept stony place on the edge of the sea, where ancient Irish law holds sway in the face of English empire-building. Cora Harrison’s series of Burren mysteries is set in a law school during the sixteenth century on the limestone plateau called the Burren on the west coast of Ireland. I’ve never been there, but I imagine something like Malham Cove but by the sea. On the basis of Cora’s beautiful descriptions, this is definitely somewhere I’d like to go on holiday… Continue reading “Murder Mystery: The Sting of Justice by Cora Harrison”

Places to Read: Gatehouse Coffee, Walmgate Bar

This week’s Place To Read features several of my favourite things: quirky buildings, sensitive reuse of heritage, good coffee and award-winning civil engineering. So how do you protect a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan timber building from accidental damage from the buses, lorries and other vehicles which pass beneath it every day? And how do you keep Gatehouse Coffee open during renovation work when some of the key pieces of timber supporting it have almost rotted through?  Continue reading “Places to Read: Gatehouse Coffee, Walmgate Bar”

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