Get lost in a world of books at Blickling Estate

Visitors reading books in one of the National Trust's second-hand bookshops
Published : 14 Jun 2018 Last update : 06 Sep 2018

With a large focus on books at Blickling this summer, find out how we're working with local independent bookshops and the University of East Anglia to help us with our book related activities. From holiday drop in activity sessions and secret book trails in the garden to our favourite book titles in the shop, take a look at what we've got in-store for your visits this summer.

For bookworms big and small...

Three children sitting on a treestump in the woodland of Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire

Discover the secret book trail

Continuing the book theme outside, follow the trail through the secret tunnel (here's a clue... it's near the secret garden) and see if you can work out the book titles as you explore. From children's much loved old classics to the world of Harry Potter, guess the book titles from the quotes and images you'll discover.

For book lovers, young and old

During the planning stages of The Word Defiant! we invited The Norfolk Children's Book Centre and The Book Hive Bookshop in Norwich to get on board and help us select some book titles on the subject of books, the written word and libraries.

When you've explored the six installations inside the house (not forgetting the Temple outside for later), you'll reach the Reflection Room.

We've placed some of the specially selected titles in the room for you to enjoy. There's something very special about giving a child the opportunity and sit on the floor and choose some books to delve into, so please encourage this if you're visiting with little people. However, the books range from pre-school to young adult and through to adult titles.

If you find a particular favourite, head over to the Gift Shop afterwards, where most titles will be in stock for you to purchase. There are also some fabulous coffee table books, if you're looking for that perfect gift.

You'll also find a range of merchandise specially designed for The Word Defiant! From greetings cards and tote bags to mugs, magnets and tea towels, take home a little something to remind you of the installation and the importance of books. 

Pick a favourite to enjoy at home
A row of books on a shelf in the Gift Shop
Pick a favourite to enjoy at home

Be inspired

We've come up with a number of ways to really get you thinking about books and the importance of them in your own life.

The Reflection Room offers you the opportunity to take some time to reflect and respond to what you’ve seen so far. We’ve designed some fun and interactive exercises to capture your feedback, from redacting text to helping us create a huge book that will give an insight to the project and people's thoughts on books in many years to come.

Get lost in a good book
Man sitting on a bench reading a book which is on top of a pile of books.
Get lost in a good book

The second-hand bookshop

Open daily 10am - 5pm

On your visit, don't forget to pop in to our second-hand bookshop, which you'll find in the farmyard, near the cafe, plant centre and stamp shop. 

Run by volunteers who are always willing to help and advise, you'll find all sorts of treasures on the shelves.  With a beautiful collection of rare books right through to modern day fiction, and everything else in between, see what hidden gems you can find.

The spoken word

The Book Hive will be hosting a variety of talks over autumn, relating to The Word Defiant!.  So far we've listened to a really interesting discussion with D.J Taylor and Rachel Hore on 'A Life (Together) in Books' as well as much loved journalist Lucy Mangan on her latest release 'Bookworm'.  More events are planned for The Book Hive in Norwich, however, the following events will be at Aylsham Town Hall.  Please check their website for further details:

Lauren Mackay: Among The Wolves of Court Book Launch
11 October | 7 - 8.30pm

In her ground-breaking new book, historian Lauren Mackay reveals the untold story of Thomas and George Boleyn - the father and brother of Anne Boleyn - bringing into the light two pivotal characters whose part in the rise and swift fall of Anne Boleyn has so far remained cloaked in shadow. Join The Book Hive at Aylsham Town Hall this October to celebrate the launch of Lauren's book - she'll be reading and discussing her work just a stone's throw from the Blickling Estate, a famous Boleyn family residence...

Hugh Lupton: A Severed Head for Halloween
31 October | 7 - 8.30pm 

Missed Hugh at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival earlier this year? This is your chance to be transported to thirteenth century Wales by a master storyteller and author of 'The Assembly of the Severed Head' (published by The Book Hive's very own imprint, Propolis). Hugh's book tells the story of the making of The Mabinogion – an ancient Welsh myth cycle that is the earliest form of prose literature in Britain and an inspirational part of culture for hundreds of years...

Find out more