The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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November 2017

Gladstone’s Library at Hawarden, near Chester

Caroline Barron

Have you ever felt the need to get away and focus on a piece of writing? Or some research? Or  reading? Or just to have some peace and quiet? I have been going to Gladstone’s Library for a few days’ break for many years now and find it a wonderful way to achieve a piece of writing. You put a line through a few days in your diary and you are just not available!

You can stay in a comfortable bed room  and work there, or  you can take your project into the atmospheric Victorian library. The books may be useful to you (largely 19c literature, theology and history) but even if not, they provide an encouraging environment. No one disturbs you and you can work in the library until 10pm and leave your books and papers on the desk for the next day. There is WiFi in the library and in the bedrooms.

Creature comforts are attended to: home made food is provided at breakfast, coffee, lunch, tea and supper – and in between!  You can take a  walk in the park of the Gladstone home: Hawarden Castle, or take the bus into Chester. And although you are undisturbed, you are not alone: there are other library users with whom you can talk (or not). And the costs are not prohibitive: about £100 a night for two people sharing an ensuite room for bed and  (substantial) breakfast. There are reduced rates for students, clergy and members of the Society of Authors.

If this appeals to you: look at the Gladstone’s Library website https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/ . It has certainly made a difference to my life!

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