What are the most engaging children's book festivals in the UK?

Welcome, literature enthusiasts! Today, we're exploring the world of children's book festivals in the UK. These events not only promote literacy but also kindle a love for reading among the young. Whether you’re an author looking to meet your young fans, a parent keen to foster a love for reading, or a child fascinated by the magical world of books, these are the events you should not miss.

Bath Children's Literature Festival

Bath is not only famous for its Roman-built baths; it's also home to one of the largest dedicated children's literature festivals. Held in the final week of September every year, the Bath Children's Literature Festival is a vibrant and alluring place for young bookworms.

Throughout the festival, children get an exciting opportunity to meet some of the best authors and illustrators in the children's literature world. The festival not only features book signings and author Q&A sessions but also offers a range of workshops. You will find everything here, from writing masterclasses to illustration workshops that bring the pages of children's books to life.

The London Children's Book Fair

The London Children's Book Fair, held in December, is another event that you should make a note of. It’s a perfect culmination to the literary year, offering a festive celebration of children's literature.

At this book fair, you'll find a carefully curated selection of children's books, from picture books for toddlers to young adult novels. The fair also hosts numerous workshops and readings, offering young readers the chance to engage with the authors and illustrators behind their favourite books. It's an absolute joy to see the fascination in the children's eyes as they listen to the authors read their own works.

The Hay Festival

The Hay Festival, held in May and June in Hay-on-Wye, often dubbed 'the town of books', is a significant literary event. Although not solely focused on children's literature, it offers a robust and engaging programme for young readers, making it an event not to miss.

Hay Fever, the children's program at the Hay Festival, presents a diverse line-up of events designed specifically for children. From interactive storytelling sessions to hands-on writing and illustration workshops, the festival ensures that young participants are actively engaged. The opportunity to interact with renowned authors and illustrators is the icing on the cake at this festival.

Oxford Literary Festival

The historic city of Oxford, famous for its prestigious university, hosts an exciting literary festival every year in April. The children's programme at the Oxford Literary Festival is as inspiring and engaging as its adult counterpart.

The festival is a brilliant platform for children to immerse themselves in the world of literature. It offers a plethora of events, including book readings, creative writing workshops, and fascinating talks by some of the leading children's authors. The Oxford Literary Festival is a place where young minds are encouraged to explore and express their creativity.

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Every August, the Edinburgh International Book Festival transforms the city into a literary haven. With its special programme for young readers, 'Baillie Gifford Children's Programme', it has something to offer to children of all ages.

The festival stages more than 200 events annually for children and young people, including writing workshops, book readings, and author meets. One of the highlights of this festival is the Children's Bookshop, an exclusive store that sells books related to the festival's events and sessions. It's a fantastic opportunity for children to pick up their favourite books and get them autographed by the authors.

As we delve into the realm of children's literature festivals, it becomes apparent how these events play a crucial role in fostering a love for reading among children. These festivals are not just about books; they're about nurturing creativity, kindling imagination, and above all, inspiring young minds. So, be it Bath, London, Hay-on-Wye, Oxford, or Edinburgh, make sure you mark your calendars for these engaging literary events. Make the world of children's literature a part of your child's growing years. They will thank you later, we guarantee!

Cheltenham Literature Festival

Every October, the Cheltenham Literature Festival takes over the beautiful regency town of Cheltenham, promising a remarkable journey into the world of children's literature. Known for its rich literary heritage, the festival holds a significant place in the UK's cultural calendar.

The Cheltenham Literature Festival offers an exclusive children's line-up that aims to cater to the interests of young readers. The festival's children's programme is meticulously designed to stimulate children's minds with an enticing mix of storytelling, interactive sessions, and fun-filled activities based on popular children's books. The festival also provides a platform for children to meet their favourite authors and illustrators, creating an unforgettable experience.

In addition to the main events, children can engage in a variety of workshops that encourage their literary talents. Be it a crime writing workshop for budding detectives or a comic book making session for the creatively inclined, the festival has something for everyone. The highlight of the Cheltenham Literature Festival is its grand finale, a magical event that leaves young participants in awe.

Queen's Park Book Festival

Located in the heart of Queen's Park in North West London, the Queen's Park Book Festival is a joyous celebration of children's literature that takes place in June. The annual event delivers an exciting blend of storytelling, author interviews, and hands-on activities, making it a hit among young booklovers.

The Queen's Park Book Festival is a treasure trove of experiences for children of all ages. It offers a delightful journey into the world of books with its diverse line-up of events. The children's marquee, a hub for storytelling and creative writing sessions, is a must-visit. The festival also encourages children to showcase their literary skills through various competitions and activities.

One of the unique features of the Queen's Park Book Festival is its commitment to promoting environmental awareness. The festival encourages children to engage with nature-themed books and activities, fostering an appreciation for the environment. With its compelling blend of literature and nature, the Queen's Park Book Festival is indeed a standout event on the UK's literary festival calendar.


Children's book festivals in the UK offer a unique platform for young minds to engage with the magical world of literature. These festivals deliver a rich array of experiences, from meeting favourite authors to participating in creative workshops, that not only entertain but also educate and inspire. The significance of these festivals goes beyond promoting children's literature; they contribute to building a generation of inquisitive, creative, and thoughtful readers.

Whether it's the historic grandeur of the Bath Children's Literature Festival, the festive ambiance of the London Children's Book Fair, the enriching diversity of the Hay Festival, the scholarly spirit of the Oxford Literary Festival, the dynamic energy of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the literary legacy of the Cheltenham Literature Festival, or the unique blend of nature and literature at the Queen's Park Book Festival, UK's children's literature festivals have something unique to offer.

In the digital age, where screens often monopolise children's attention, these festivals serve as a reminder of the timeless joy of reading. They provide a space for children to explore the world through books, fostering a lifelong love for reading. So, let's celebrate these literary festivals and continue to nourish the young readers' minds, for they are the future of our literary world.

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