72 F
London
HomeCultureLondon BooksThe London Fiver – Five Bookshops to Visit in the City of...

The London Fiver – Five Bookshops to Visit in the City of Westminster

London Forecast

London
scattered clouds
72 ° F
74.2 °
67.9 °
41 %
3.2mph
29 %
Mon
71 °
Tue
69 °
Wed
71 °
Thu
70 °
Fri
69 °
USD - United States Dollar
GBP
1.28
EUR
1.08
CAD
0.73
AUD
0.67

Popular London Tours

Popular

The Tube: 10 Interesting Facts about the Circle Line

The Circle Line is one of London’s oldest Tube...

Great London Buildings: Fortnum & Mason

The iconic Fortnum & Mason building on Piccadilly is...

Londinium: 10 Interesting Facts and Figures about Roman London

  Londinium was the Roman name given to the settlement...

Ruins of London’s Past: 10 Ruins You Can Visit in London

London, a city steeped in history, is home to...

Great London Buildings: Liberty of London

The Liberty of London building, a landmark destination for...

New Tube map with Elizabeth Line published by Transport for London

Transport for London (TfL) has released a new Tube...

How London Became the United Kingdom’s Capital

Long one of the greatest cities in the world;...

Share

Foundry / Pixabay

Westminster is one of London’s largest and most important boroughs.  A city in its own right, it contains the Houses of Parliament, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, and many more.  With all there is to see here, you might not be thinking about finding a good bookshop, but that’s where we come into the picture.  We have found five great bookshops that you can visit within the city to find everything from antique tomes to some travel books that will help you explore the city better.  If you think we left out a good store that you’ve visited, let us know in the comments.

Daunt Books Marylebone

Daunt Books was founded over 30 years ago and has become a top destination for travel books in London.  The flagship store is located in Marylebone in a building that had been a bookshop since 1912 and, as such, is one of the best-looking bookshops in the entire city.  It has just about everything you could ever need to prepare for a trip (book-wise, at least) with phrasebooks, travel guides, and personal accounts all arranged geographically.  If they don’t have a book on a certain corner of the globe, you probably don’t want to go to that place anyway.

Bookmarks

Advertising itself as “the socialist bookshop”, Bookmarks is a good place to go for books on political, economic, social studies, and current events.  Bookmarks has been in business for over 40 years and sells books for any age from children’s literature to philosophical texts and guides on activism.  It also has a number of titles designed to help employees in the workplace to educate them on their rights from disability accommodations to union formation.  Whether you agree with the shop’s politics or not, it’s worth visiting for an eye-opening and educational experience.

Quinto Bookshop

Past Quinto’s green exterior you’ll find one of the best varieties of second-hand and rare books in the whole of the City of Westminster.  The store is actually two stores in one, as the rare books of Francis Edwards can be found on the ground floor while Quinto’s secondhand books are located in the basement.  Francis Edwards is amongst the most respected names in antiquarian books, having been around since 1855, so you can guarantee that it has some very old and very antique tomes in its collection.  Additionally, if there’s something you’re looking to get rid of, Quinto will probably be willing to take it off your hands and give you some extra spending cash.

Hatchards

While now owned by Waterstones, Hatchards is quite possibly the oldest bookshop in the United Kingdom.  John Hatchard founded it in 1797 and today under Waterstones’ management it has all the selection of a big box store while retaining the charm of an age-old booksellers.  Hatchards has a more modern location at St. Pancras Station, but it’s the main store in Piccadilly that you’ll want to visit for its lovely historic interior.  Additionally, Hatchards has the Windsor seal of approval with its Royal Warrant to provide books to the British Royal Family.

Waterstones

Yes, it is a chain bookshop, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for at any of our shops mentioned above, there’s a good chance you can get it at Waterstones or have it ordered.  Much like Barnes and Nobles in the States, it’s good a friendly, clean atmosphere and unlike any other Waterstones, it has one of the best views out the front doors, from which you can see Westminster Cathedral.

John Rabon
Author: John Rabon

John is a regular writer for Anglotopia and its sister websites. He is currently engaged in finding a way to move books slightly to the left without the embarrassment of being walked in on by Eddie Izzard. For any comments, questions, or complaints, please contact the Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's haircut.

Book London Tours Now!