Are you looking for bookshops in London? The Bumper Crew has it covered! We’ve curated a list of the biggest, best and quirkiest bookshops in London, each with a unique selling point to entice you to visit to pick up your next read.
Bookshops aren’t just about the books, are they? If that were the case, you’d buy them at the cheapest price from Amazon. Bookshops are more than just books. They are an experience where we love to get lost in a beautiful, peaceful atmosphere surrounded by creativity and colour. Bookshops offer a world of discovery. So, read on to discover the best bookshops in London!
London Bookshops to Visit
1 | Stanfords Travel Bookshop
Stanford Travel Bookshop has to be our favourite bookshop in London. Established in 1853, it’s a treasure trove of everything travel! You can buy a lot of travel related at Stanfords beyond books. They have maps, globes, gifts, stationery and most surprisingly, a cafe selling reasonably priced coffee for central London! You can even buy the hot air balloons they have dangling in the stairwell, which would be a cute addition to any travel-obsessed person’s home.
📍 7 Mercer Walk, London, WC2H 9FA
📞 0207 836 1321
2 | Word on the Water – The London Bookbarge
Undoubtedly, Word on the Water is one of the most unique London bookshops going, if not the most. After all, it’s on a narrowboat. And even better, it’s in one of the coolest parts of the city, located right next to Coal Drops Yard and Gasholder Park. On board, you’ll find an array of books and nicely designed decor. It’s a unique little London bookshop that’s probably the most quirky on this list.
📍 Regent’s Canal Towpath, near King’s Cross
🕙 Mon to Sun 12:00 – 19:00
📞 07976 886 982
3 | Daunt Books Marylebone
Daunt Books Marylebone has the finest interior of any of the London bookshops. This cannot be argued, can it? With its wonderful balcony, it’s a picture-perfect bookshop, ready and waiting for your next Instagram post. Daunt Books own a series of bookshops around London, plus a few further afield, but the one you are looking for is the Marylebone branch. It’s a peaceful branch with two floors plus the iconic balcony. It gets busy on weekends, as you’d expect because it’s Instagram famous, so arrive early or late to avoid the crowds.
📍 84 Marylebone High St, London, W1U 4QW
🕙 Mon to Fri 09:00 – 19:30, Sun 11:00 – 18:00
📞 0207 224 2295
4 | Hurlingham Books
Possibly the most jam-packed of all the bookshops in London! It’s insane. Even the windows are jam-packed full of books! We just happened to stumble upon Hurlingam Books as we were heading home from Putney Bridge. It’s tucked out of the way but certainly worth the effort to visit. They also have a warehouse not far away with over 1,000,000 books in. Correct, one million books!
Hurlingham Books claims to be the oldest independent bookshop in South West London. Whether it is or not doesn’t particularly matter because it’s unlikely any other bookshop in the area can match them for quirkiness or the sheer volume of books. It’s worth noting the opening times are also a little irregular. It doesn’t carry the crowds of some of the other bookshops, so head there when it’s more likely to be open. Ha!
📍 91 Fulham High St, London, SW6 3JS
🕙 Mon – Fri 09:00 – 18:00, Sat & Sun 10:00 – 18:00 (all variable!)
📞 0207 736 4363
5 | Waterstones Picadilly
A branch of Waterstones has made this list for one reason only. Not because it’s a lousy bookshop. It’s not, but Waterstones are a household name that often doesn’t have anything necessarily special about it. They are nice shops that are all over the place, but nothing special, nonetheless. That’s where Waterstones Picadilly comes in. This is their flagship store and Europe’s largest bookshop. It’s spread over eight floors and claims to have 13km (8 miles) of bookshelves, which is crazy! You’ll find all your book needs here, as well as frequent events like book signings and opportunities to meet authors.
📍 203-206 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London, W1J 9HD
🕙 Mon – Sat 09:00 – 21:00, Sun 12:00 – 18:00
📞 020 7851 2400
6 | Hatchards Picadilly
Just down the road from Waterstones sits Hatchards Picadilly. Hatchards have been selling books since John Hatchard, a publisher and anti-slavery campaigner, opened the shop in 1797, which also makes it London’s oldest bookshop. It’s a large, beautiful five-storey bookshop next to Fortnum and Mason. They are also a bookseller to the Royal households and hold three Royal Warrants!
📍 187 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London, W1J 9LE
🕙 Mon – Sat 09:30 – 20:00, Sun 12:00 – 18:00
📞 0207 439 9921
7 | Henry Pordes Books
Henry Pordes Books sits just up the road from the better-known Any Amount of Books near Charring Cross. Henry Pordes Books is a much nicer bookshop, though, selling antiquarian, second-hand books and remaindered books. It’s a lovely, peaceful shop with a cute little window seat at the back. They also sell some cool vintage prints of cars and tourist posters and whatnot.
📍 72 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0BB
🕙 Mon – Sat 10:30 – 19:30, Sun closed
📞 0207 836 9031
8 | Cecil Court
Cecil Court isn’t a bookshop, but a street of many bookshops, hence its nickname of Bookseller’s Row. Despite that, it deserves a place on this list because it’s lovely in many ways besides books. It’s an attractive street, lined with excellent Victorian shop fronts, selling all sorts of books, from first editions to children’s books. There are also a few other bits on offer, like maps, prints and antiques. Interestingly, it was once the temporary home of Mozart, that famous composer. It’s a great little London street worth a wander down, even if you’re not a book lover. And if you’d like to know more about the street, check out our handy little guide to Cecil Court.
Bookshops in London Map
What is the biggest bookshop in London?
Waterstones Picadilly is the biggest bookshop in London. It’s their flagship store and the largest bookshop in Europe, with eight floors and 13km of bookshelves!
What is the oldest bookshop in London?
Hatchards in Piccadilly is the oldest bookshop in London. It’s been selling books since 1797. Their reputation is so strong, and they’ve been going so long that they are the holder of three Royal Warrants, meaning the Royal Family use them to buy books.
What is the quirkiest bookshop in London?
The quirkiest bookshop in London title has to go to Word on the Water in King’s Cross. That’s because it’s on a barge on a canal! It also has a lovely interior that’s been delicately designed to reflect the character of the barge and what it sells.
Bookshops in London
- London Bookshops to Visit
- 1 | Stanfords Travel Bookshop
- 2 | Word on the Water – The London Bookbarge
- 3 | Daunt Books Marylebone
- 4 | Hurlingham Books
- 5 | Waterstones Picadilly
- 6 | Hatchards Picadilly
- 7 | Henry Pordes Books
- 8 | Cecil Court
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