We all like to get away from work from time to time, maybe to another city, perhaps to the countryside or a sunny place by the sea.

We asked the CityLibrary staff about their favourite holiday destinations and looked at our holdings, too, to see where they can take you, not physically, but in your mind.

Ice cone magnifier


The poll of the CityLibrary people brought out a mix of destinations near and far with one librarian telling us how they have loved visits to Cornwall since they were a child when they visited their grandparents there in the school holidays.  Elsewhere in the UK, I think Scotland might just be the most beautiful place I have ever visited.


Europe, especially the Mediterranean was a popular destination, with Catie keen Antibes in Southern France and Cince Terre in Italy, Lynn enjoying Malta for “history, sea, sun, lovely food and lovely people,” while Jessica rates Barcelona.

Elsewhere in Europe, Simon recommends Berlin and Samantha is keen on skiing in the Alps: “I really, really like skiing [because] it’s sunny but not hot and you get great exercise and it’s kind of dangerous.  I actually hate hot weather – I only enjoy it in the Alps in March when the sun is strong but the mountains are cold!”


Jonathan and Alex prefer to go further field with Jonathan enjoying great scuba diving in the Maldives and Alex the beautiful beaches and amazing history in Mexico.

Finally, Catherine was less specific about location, saying that she just loves somewhere hot with a beach or pool as “it recharges my batteries and [this] lets me know I’m alive.”

Travelling within the Library

The Cass Learning Resource Centre have a number of Eyewitness travel books (including for Berlin and Barcelona) that allow you to have a gander at possible places to see and what you might want to do whilst there.  But, if you don’t want to stray too far, there are various books across our libraries about London.

As hinted at in one of the above links, there are also various other books about travel as well as novels and plays set in all kind of locations.  In The Histories by Herodotus, for example, you can follow the Ancient Greek writer to Egypt and the Middle East, learning about their ancient cultures and how the Greeks came to fight the Persians.  The whole thing is so much of a web of fact and fiction that Herodotus has been called both the Father of History and the Father of Lies (though, where the latter is concerned, he was probably just a bit too trusting of his own travel guides – “fake news” is nothing new).

Our fiction collections can take you to all manner of places around the around the world, in the past, present and future, as well as off into space.  For example, Jane Austen or Charles Dickens can help you travel to Georgian and Victorian London.  Whereas Margaret Atwood, George Orwell and Yevgeny Zamyatin can take you on less nice trips to dystopian societies based a little too much on reality.  Ursula K. Le Guin can take you on a journey through space to a planet inhabited by people with no fixed gender (also available in Spanish and German) and Mervyn Peake to the fantasy world of Gormenghast with its rigid ancient ways and ceremonies.  Or you can travel around the world and its cultures via Chinua Achebe, Haruki Murakami, Amitav Ghosh, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Toni Morrison, Elena Ferrante and Jorge Luis Borges, among many others.

Alternatively, if time travel takes your fancy, then James Gleick has written a book on the history of time travel, which is a fascinating read about the history of science fiction presented alongside studies towards it in science non-fiction.

Wherever you wish to go, whether in reality or not, CityLibrary can help!

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