Independent book stores tend to be disappearing from our streets, but we’ve searched the UK to find some of those that remain. Grab your monthly bus pass and hop on a Stagecoach bus to visit some of our top picks.
Marylebone High Street, London
Edwardian architecture can make any bookstore look special, and it does exactly that with this bookstore that opened in 1990. 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
With over 5,000 books on their shelves, this store is one of the top independent booksellers in the UK. 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
This bookshop is all about fun, as well as providing their customers with some of the best books in the world, they host regular events 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
Booka was awarded Bookshop of the Year in 2015, it probably had something to do with their community spirit 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
This bookshop in the Lake District is perfect for those rainy days – there’s nothing better than a nice hot drink and a book to read. 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
This bookshop compared themselves to Radio 4 – this shop is full of different books and genres. 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
Books can often capture our imaginations, and visiting this bookshop in the countryside would make a perfect fairy-tale. 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
You can’t miss this bookshop when you’re passing through Cirencester – it’s completely purple! The bookshop focuses in particular on children’s books, and won the Best Children’s Independent Bookshop in the 2013 Independent Booksellers Industry awards!
Opening in 2011, the bookstore is known for hosting regular reading groups and children’s parties – there’s always a reason to be there.
The Big Comfy Bookshop
Far Gosford Street, Coventry
Using a Kickstarter campaign to open a bookshop can be nothing more than high hopes, but this bookstore did it. 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!