There are thousands of book shops in the UK, but only a few stand out from the rest. Grab your weekly bus pass and hop on a Stagecoach bus to visit some of our top picks.
Marylebone High Street, London
This book store was opened in 1990 and was the first on this street – the building it is situated in has Edwardian architecture that goes back to 1910. Daunt Books now has six shops across London, with both fiction and non-fiction books arranged by country.
St Ives Bookseller
Fore Street, Saint Ives, Cornwall
Priding themselves on being one of the top independent booksellers in the UK, St Ives Bookseller has over 5,000 books on their shelves. The small but well-stocked shop has a large selection of books for children, and won Independent Bookseller of the Year in the South West region in 2012.
Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights
John Street, Bath
Like all bookshops should, Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights hosts some of the most magnificent events, including quizzes and author signings. They also have a band – how cool is that? Opened in 2006 by a pair of former lawyers, the shop is housed over three floors and is particularly proud of its knowledgeable staff, who are guaranteed to find you a read you’ll love! Bath too far of a trek? You can order books from them online, too.
Church Street, Oswestry
Winning Bookshop of the Year in 2015, seeing off a lot of tough competition, Booka is known for its community feel and boutique style. Based in Oswestry, Shropshire, the bookshop has a café with a great selection of hot drinks and cakes, and also hosts a range of events with authors. They have an online shop, too, and offer free delivery within 10 miles!
Sam Read Bookseller
Broadgate House, Ambleside
With the weather in the Lake District not always being at its best, you can reside in Sam Read and spend the day flourishing through books. This little literary oasis has traded as a bookshop since 1887 and, despite its size, has a great selection of books. A perfect stop on your trip to the Lakes!
The Edinburgh Bookshop
Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh
Referring to itself as the Radio 4 of bookshops, this place is full of unusual, intelligent and topical books. With a huge selection of books spanning four floors, Edinburgh Books is happy to help you source any weird and wonderful books you might be struggling to hunt down. It won Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year in both 2014 and 2015.
The Book Case
Market Street, Hebden Bridge
You can’t beat a bookshop in the middle of the countryside, especially when you need to escape from reality. The Book Case has been part of the local community for nearly 30 years, and when it was flooded in 2016,dozens of authors donated signed copied of their books to keep it going. It has a great selection of second hand books, and regularly hosts book readings and poetry events.
Black Jack Street, Cirencester
Opening in 2011, this bookshop is bold and beautiful with a purple exterior that is very inviting. The bookshop focuses in particular on children’s books, and won the Best Children’s Independent Bookshop in the 2013 Independent Booksellers Industry awards!
There’s nothing that doesn’t go on at Octavia’s Bookshop, from reading groups to children’s parties – there’s always an excuse to be there.
The Big Comfy Bookshop
Far Gosford Street, Coventry
Who said you can’t open a bookshop by starting a Kickstarter campaign? In 2014 this bookstore saw big changes including adding its very own food menu. A bookshop by day, the shop transforms into a gig and event venue in the evening, serving local ales and celebrating everything from live music to poetry in the evening. The Big Comfy Bookshop really does have something for everyone!