Best Bookshops in London
There aren't too many more relaxing ways to spend a day than with a cup of tea whilst you delve into a good book! From fact to fiction, to fantasy, here are some of the best bookshops for all you bookworms out there to visit.
Set up by Edward Stanford in 1853, Stanford's has had its flagship store in Long Acre, Covent Garden since 1901. If you're an avid traveller you can enjoy a wealth of travel guides, maps, books and gifts from their extensive range, which signifies their claim as being 'the world's specialist travel bookshop'. So if you're having a dose of wanderlust, grab your latte in their cafe to plan your next dream trip!
Located in the heart of Bloomsbury just a stone's throw away from the British Museum, the picturesque London Review Bookshop opened in 2003 and is the perfect place for people to meet, talk, drink fine tea, eat delicious cake and read a whole host of books. With more than 20,000 titles from the classics of world literature, to contemporary poetry, to history, to cookery and philosophy, you won't be short of books to browse. Their aim is to represent the distinctive ethos of the Review by being intelligent without being pompous; engaged without being partisan.
An original Edwardian bookshop, Daunt Books has six stores located across London, and with its elegant three-level back room, oak balconies, viridian-green walls and stained-glass windows, it's an ideal setting to get lost in all your favourite books. You can explore many different categories including history, politics, travelogue and related fiction organised by country, with Britain, France, Italy and the US well represented. It isn't just travel books that you can enjoy, there's an array of books covering biographies, gardening, children's and many more.
Foyles is a London legend and the daddy of independent bookshops! With over 200,000 different titles across four miles, that's right four miles of shelves, you might need a map to navigate your way around it. Fiction is its forte, as is music, sport, film, business, art and everything in between. With friendly and knowledgeable staff and a cute cafe to sit and relax in, this is a must for all the book lovers out there.
With locations in Piccadilly and St. Pancras, Hatchards is the oldest bookshop in London having been established in 1797 by John Hatchard. The store holds three Royal Warrants so with this Royal approval you know you're in a very special and unique surrounding! The bookshop's specialities are biographies, politics, travel and fiction, and some of the great and famous authors regularly pop by for signing sessions too.
Persephone Books in Bloomsbury offers a unique take on books as it focuses on reprints of neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century (mostly) women writers. The 125 books are intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written and are chosen to appeal to busy people wanting titles that are neither too literary nor too commercial. With novels, short stories, diaries, memoirs and cookery books, you'll be sure to find something that caters for your book needs!
Based in Charing Cross Road, Quinto & Francis Edwards offers rare, antiquarian, second-hand and collectable books from a variety of different genres and categories. Despite focusing on older books rather than newer ones, the shop regularly restocks its range with their famous 'changeover' months where a whole host of additions make an appearance replacing anything that hasn't been sold. With over 50,000 titles there is a particular concentration on military history if that's your fancy!