10 of the best literary festivals in and around the Cotswolds in 2022

The Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the highlights of the UK's literary calendar

The Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of the highlights of the UK's literary calendar - Credit: Cheltenham Festivals

The Cotswolds is one of the best served areas outside of London for a programme of literary events throughout the year. We pick some of the best events in the region.

25th March-2nd April
Oxford Literary Festival
The FTWeekend Oxford Literary Festival is one of the earlier festivals in 2022,  mostly take place at the Sheldonian Theatre, Bodleian Library, Weston Library, the Oxford Martin School, Worcester College, Exeter College, Lincoln College and St Cross College.
Some of the line-up highlights include: actresses Joanna Lumley and Maureen Lipman, scientists Richard Dawkins and Martin Rees, novelists Zadie Smith and Donna Leon, and cookery legend Delia Smith.

21st-24th April
Chipping Norton Literary Festival
ChipLitFest is a four-day celebration of books, reading and writing, with a host of author talks, signings, discussions and workshops across a number of venues including the Town Hall, library and theatre.
This year’s speakers include comedy writer Charlie Higson, travel writer Monica Ali, best-selling novelist Tessa Hadley and Louis de Bernières.

Charles Spencer at Bibury Literary Fest, 2021

Charles Spencer at Bibury Literary Fest, 2021 - Credit: Simon Brown

22nd-24th April
Bibury Literary Festival
Described as 'Cultural events in the most beautiful village in England', the second Bibury Literary Festival takes place over the weekend after Easter.
Confirmed guests include Simon Heffer, Jane Ridley, Rachel Johnson, John Preston, Anne de Courcy, Andrew Lownie and Jessie Childs. 

3rd-7th May
Literary Festival Chipping Campden
Starting on the Tuesday after the Early May Bank Holiday, the the 2022 programme on focues on the theme of Justice, specifically unusual court hearings or trials.
Events cover popular fiction, poetry and memoir plus biographies of groundbreaking writers: William Hogarth, W.G. Sebald, Jean Rhys, D.H. Lawrence, and Margaret Mitchell.

3rd-8th May
Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival
The festival in home town of the Bard, predominantly takes place in Crowne Plaza Hotel in Bridge Foot in the centre of Stratford upon Avon.
Headliners include: Sir Derek Jacobi, Julian Clary, Amanda Owen, Ed Miliband and Simon Armitage.

13th–21st May
The Bath Festival
The Bath Festival is a celebration of both music and books taking place across a number of iconic venues across the city in between the may bank holidays. There's something for everyone taking place over the nine day festival.

15th May
FarmED Literature Festival
The inaugural l Farm & Food Literature Festival  is a celebration of words, stories and experiences from the world of agroecology, regenerative farming and sustainable food.
Hosted at FarmED in Shipton-under-Wychwood, you can expect to see inspiring talks, debates and workshops, as well as great food.

29th September-2nd October
Marlborough Litfest
Over in the North Wessex Downs, the Marlborough Litfest has been going from strength to strength over the past decade. The event moved online in 2020, but returned to live events last year.
The 2022 festival programme is currently being put together and confirmed authors and events will be released over the coming months.

7th-16th October
Cheltenham Literature Festival
One of the most prestigious literary festivals in the world, taking place across a Festival Village in the Montpellier Quarter.
The full programme details will announced later on in 2022, but expect to see a packed schedule full of household names.

2nd-6th November
Stroud Book Festival
Staged annually each November by a team of local authors and experienced publishing and cultural professionals, the festival welcomes over 4,000 people every year, pre-covid.
The seventh annual festival sees the launch of the Laurie Lee Prize for Writing as well as more than 30 varied events planned over the five days.