London Bookshops | Holly Goes Abroad

One of the best things about Oxford is its location: removed from any loud cities, but only an hour and a half bus ride to London. This makes it possible for my friends and I to take spontaneous day trips to London (when our work loads allow, of course). A few weekends ago a friend and I decided to escape the Oxford bubble for a bit and head to London to spend the day bookshop-hopping and sightseeing. Here are some of the bookshops we visited:

Hatchards

What’s a London bookshop crawl without a visit to Hatchards, London’s oldest bookshop? Hatchards was established in 1797, meaning that it has been located at 187 Piccadilly for over two centuries.Β The highlight of this shop is definitely the seemingly endless staircase that spirals both up and down from the first floor, making it feel like the shop goes on forever and ever.

Waterstones

The thing I really appreciate about the Waterstones chain is that each location feels vaguely familiar yet still unique. I’ve been in several Waterstones already (the one in Oxford center is fabulous) yet the Waterstones we visited in London nevertheless had its own charm that drew me in. I loved the winding way it was built as well as the little art gallery we found on one of the lower floors. You never know what you’ll find in a Waterstones!

Daunt Books

I think Daunt Books was my favorite stop of the day. Not only is it an adorable bookshop–I love the color of the walls, and those lights!–but the books are also organized by country, which is really interesting. I also love how deceivingly big it is on the inside (quite like the TARDIS?!).

Here’s the real surprise of the day: I managed to not buy any books! (As someone who has to think about luggage capacity for flying back home, this was a miracle.) I can’t wait to go back to London within the next few months and explore even more lovely bookshops!

Click here to check out other posts in my Holly Goes Abroad series!

Have you ever been to any of these bookshops? What’s your favorite bookshop (in London or otherwise)? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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31 thoughts on “London Bookshops | Holly Goes Abroad

  1. I’ve spent 6 months in England about 1.5 years ago and I also visited the Waterstones at Piccadilly. Unfortunately, I spent only two days in London and since there was so much to see I only went inside for a good half hour. Plymouth, which is where I spent 6 months, had two Waterstones and I loved going inside and just looking around. πŸ™‚
    Sabrina

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  2. I’ve been to Daunt books with a friend of mine who came to visit London for a week. I loved how they organised books by country and if I ever win the lottery, I think I would go mad in that shop.

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  3. You have so much self-control!! If it were me I would probably tell myself that I couldn’t buy any books for my overflowing bookshelf… but end up with two or three books anyways. πŸ˜‹ Your day trip to London sounds perfect — I mean, why would it not be when your focus was visiting bookshops? I hope you do get more opportunities to explore London’s bookish side! Great post! πŸ˜‹πŸ“š

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  4. Oh my goodness this post is just aahhhh ❀ ❀ ❀ Those photos of that staircase at Hatchard's and then all the windows at Daunt Books. And who doesn't want to shop at Waterstones??!!

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  5. Ahh! Daunt Books was definitely my favorite bookstore visit in London. Though I was also partial to Persephone Books, which I think you’d probably like.It’s a bookstore that reprints oft-forgotten and primarily women 20th century fiction/non-fiction. It is amazing!

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  6. I LOVE these pictures so much, it’s so great you can get to London so quickly to visit all of these beautiful bookshops ❀ Makes me want to go back to London right now, haha πŸ™‚ x

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