The Best Bookshops In London
By Layla Turner
Today is Book Lovers Day. In a city as busy as London, sometimes losing yourself in a good book is an essential act of self care. The oldest bookshop in London dates back to 1797, and certainly transports guests to a different era in time – with a good selection of books spanning the walls. Absolutely London has listed our favourite book stores across the City for those seeking much needed moments of solitude.
Hatchards is London’s oldest book store, having opened in 1797 by John Hatchard. The exterior is worth visiting in itself, with curved bay windows and wooden frames of a deep green colour. The Royal warrant that sits proudly above the door shows guests its royal seal of approval – some may have images of the Queen looking for her latest crime novel flash through their brains. The interior, however, is anything but dated. Books by today’s most popular authors are available, as well as audiobooks. On a rainy day, Londoners should head to Hatchards and enjoy a good read on the plush olive green sofa that sits on the first floor.
187 Piccadilly, W1J 9LE
With the recent announcement by TFL that 5G will soon be spanning the London underground, it seems that spaces to switch off throughout the City are becoming all the more scarce. Libreria, nestled in the heart of East London, is the perfect place to switch off thanks to its tech-ban. The shop has a ‘second home’ feel about it, and has been designed in conjunction with Spanish architects SeglasCano to help guests discover new books and ideas as well as to encourage interdisciplinary thinking.
65 Hanbury St, E1 5JP
This effortlessly charming spot situated in leafy Chiswick will have surely cropped up on your Instagram feed. Its pretty green exterior makes it the perfect picture spot for many a bloggers, and the interior is even more exciting. The shop is well known for stocking our of print, hard to find an extremely rare books – so if you are looking for something in particular or fancy travelling back in time for the afternoon, Foster books is certainly worth a visit.
183 Chiswick High Road, W4 2DR
Word On The Waterwordonthewater.co.uk
Arguably London’s most aesthetic book shop, Word On The Water, has been floating on Regent’s Canal since 2011. On board, guests will find a range of books, whilst online, customers can order a pre-loved book box, a carefully curated selection of eight to ten pre loved books that will be delivered straight to your door. Of course, the books (and there’s a lot of them – they spill into every nook and cranny on the barge) are the main attraction, but the shop also runs engaging discussions on topics from art to feminism. Guests can visit the barge and then explore London’s waterways before stopping to enjoy a refreshment at one of the nearby independent cafes. Can you think of a better day out? We can’t.
Regent’s Canal Towpath, N1C 4LW
The Notting Hill Bookshopthenottinghillbookshop.co.uk
No London bookshop roundup would be complete without The Notting Hill Bookshop, which became famous in 1999 after the interior of the bookshop had been copied for use in the Notting Hill film, featuring Hugh Grants and Julia Roberts. Of course, fans from around the globe flock to the bookshop in hopes of stumbling into Hugh Grant himself. Luckily, the movie poster sits in the window, so fans won’t leave entirely disappointed. The shop is well known for its wide travel section, and also stocks gift editions, hardbacks and satin bound classics.
13 Blenheim Crescent, W11 2EE
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