19 Magical Bookshops Every Book Lover Must Visit

Snuggle up with a book.

1. Barter Books, Northumberland

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Based in a former Victorian train station, Barter Books is breathtaking. Comfy sofas, a model railway and a children’s room too. Oh! And it’s the home of the original Keep Calm and Carry On poster.

2. Daunt Books, London

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Daniel Dalton/BuzzFeed

Though Daunt Books has six locations over London, the Marylebone outpost is probably the most famous. An Edwardian bookshop with plenty of events, and of course, some iconic tote bags.

3. The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland

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You can tell by the destroyed Kindle on the wall (left) that this bookshop doesn’t mess around. Situated in Scotland’s National Book Town, The Bookshop stocks about 100,000 titles, so the odds of finding something good to read are high.

Octavia’s Bookshop won the 2013 Best Independent Children’s Bookshop award, and it’s not hard to see why. Utterly enchanting, with regular readings by authors, and Moomin fairies in the window!

Board the bookshop that floats, and sail away. If you’re feeling especially civilized, join them for a Breakfast Chug, and “read, relax, chomp jam, juice & fresh bread for only £10”. Or buy their book, and stay on dry land.


Secondhand and antiquarian books, in a picturesque setting. And on Saturdays, there’s a cake sale. So charming!

7. Madhatter Bookshop, Oxfordshire

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This quirky shop sells both books and hats, and is utterly delightful. They’re committed to hosting literary events, as well as “book clubs, literary study groups, break-into-books groups and creative engagement with GCSE and A level groups.”

8. Hatchard’s, London

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The oldest bookshop in London, Hatchard’s was founded in 1797. It’s easy to lose yourself in the swanky Piccadilly site - right next to Fortnum and Mason’s. If you’re in King’s Cross, they’ve also got an outpost at St Pancras.


A treasure trove of second-hand books, as well as vinyl and CD’s. If you’re in the area, you could also visit Wenlock Books , another wonderful independent bookshop.


Based near Paddington station, you can float merrily on this Dutch barge, while checking out their selection of second hand stock. They also host readings and live music on their roof stage. Delightful!

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This large second-hand bookshop offers some delightful gems, like a dictionary of sailor’s slang.

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With five floors of books, this is a bibliophile’s dream. And what’s more, there are cosy sofas, and tea-making facilities. Wonderful.


Open since 1879, Blackwell’s can serve all your bookshop needs. Seriously, if they don’t have it, well, maybe it’s not worth reading. If you won’t be able to make it to Oxford soon, then take a virtual tour.

14. Honesty Bookshop at Hay Castle, Hay-on-Wye

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A tradition since the 1960’s, the Honesty Bookshop has no till. All books are £1 or less, and the money is left in a collection box. Amazing.


Named for a joke from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this second-hand bookshop has a big selection. Perfect for rummaging.

16. Wild and Homeless Books, Dorset


A bookshop named for a Virginia Woolf quote? How delightful. The cutest thing? Customers can leave reviews on their typewriter.


OMG this bookshop has an open fire. And a cafe. And yes, lots and lots of books.


Often described as a TARDIS, it’s easy to get swept up in Armchair Books. By the way, if you’re a book lover in Edinburgh, try and get a ticket to Electric Bookshop to chat about the future of books.


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Not only is it a charming bookshop, the back of the store looks out onto the Fishguard coast (the photo on the right isn’t the exact view, but you get the idea).

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Ailbhe Malone is the UK lifestyle editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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