London is home to some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and a thriving literary scene. Here, you’ll find the most charming independent bookshops for book lovers of all tastes and interests.
These long-established establishments offer a haven for bookworms, where you can lose yourself in the pages of a good book while savouring the atmosphere. In this article, we take you on a tour of some of the best London independent bookshops.
Daunt Books, Marylebone
Nestled in the heart of Marylebone, Daunt Books is a beloved institution among the most iconic London bookshops. The shop’s distinctive Edwardian interior with oak galleries and skylights creates an inviting space to explore its extensive collection of travel books. Daunt Books is known for its carefully curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, and travel literature, making it a delightful destination for both travellers and book enthusiasts.
Persephone Books, Bloomsbury
Tucked away in Bloomsbury, Persephone Books specialises in forgotten and out-of-print 20th-century women writers. The shop is a haven for readers seeking hidden literary gems, with its signature grey covers and endpapers. Persephone Books also offers a subscription service, delivering a new book to your doorstep each month, making it a perfect choice for those looking to expand their reading.
Word on the Water, King’s Cross
Word on the Water is not your typical bookstore; it’s a floating bookshop situated on a barge along the picturesque Regent’s Canal in King’s Cross. This charming and quirky shop offers a diverse range of second-hand books, live music, and a cosy atmosphere. As you browse the books, you’ll also enjoy stunning views of the canal and the surrounding area.
Lutyens & Rubinstein, Notting Hill
Lutyens & Rubinstein is a literary haven in the heart of Notting Hill. This bookshop is known for its thoughtful and beautifully curated selection of titles, making it a go-to spot for discovering new and captivating reads. Lutyens & Rubinstein provides an excellent browsing experience with its cosy reading nooks and welcoming staff.
Dulwich Books, Dulwich
Dulwich Books, situated in the picturesque neighbourhood of Dulwich Village, has been serving the local community since 1982. This cosy bookshop boasts a well-curated selection of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books. With its welcoming ambience and knowledgeable staff, it’s a popular spot for book lovers seeking personalised recommendations.
The Second Shelf, Soho
The Second Shelf in Soho is a bookshop dedicated to rare and collectable books by women authors. It’s a literary gem that celebrates the often-overlooked contributions of women writers throughout history. The shop’s unique collection includes first editions, manuscripts, and other literary treasures.
Although these bookshops are worth a visit, they only represent a fraction of the cultural wonders in the British capital! The next time you visit London on one of our exciting London tours, indulge in quiet reading at one of the Londoners’ favourite bookshops, and you might stumble upon your next favourite book.