best bookshops in London

30 Best Bookshops in London That Are A Must Visit!

Hey there! Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. we greatly appreciate your support!

Like this article? Spread the word!

Are you a book lover or looking for secret London bookshops? Well, you’re in for a treat because I’ve curated a list of the best bookshops in London that are dazzling with magic. 

With well over 100 bookshops in London alone, finding the best ones can be a challenge, to say the least. 

London is a treasure trove for book enthusiasts like us, offering an incredible array of bookstores that cater to every taste and preference. And, whether you’re searching for the best new titles, a rare book, or a bargain second hand read, there really is something for everyone. 

I love nothing more than spending a few hours wandering within a bookstore, getting lost down every aisle! For me, finding a brilliant new bookstore (especially one that has comfy seating or a cosy coffee shop) is honestly like a day out. 

Luckily, for a city that thrives on its love for literature, you won’t have to travel too far to discover the most beautiful bookshops in London that are bursting with character and reads alike. 

In this guide, I’m sharing a list of some of the best independent bookshops in London, in addition to some well-known bookstore chains to explore. 

Let’s dive in. 

Related Posts:

The Best Bookshops in London to Explore

#1 Foyles London

If you’re searching for bookshops in covent garden, look no further!

Foyles bookstore London is located in Charing Cross and is home to one of the most iconic London bookshops. Housing over 200,000 books over 6 floors, this is not only one of the best bookshops in the UK but also a hub of literary events throughout the year. 

If you stop by, be sure to take a rest at Foyles Cafe where you’ll find fresh, delicious food every day. 

Location: 107 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DT

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 9am – 9pm, Sunday, 11.30am – 6pm


Phone number: 020 7437 5660

Type of books: over 200,000 books, Jazz CDs and vinyl, languages department

#2 London Book Review

London Book Review is nestled in the charming surroundings of Bury Place, and offers over 20,000 titles, including fiction, poetry, and children’s books. With its warm and inviting atmosphere, it’s not just a place to purchase books; it’s a community for book lovers. Celebrating 20 years in business, you’ll also find a cute cake shop, coffee, and regular events. 

Location: 14-16 Bury Pl, London WC1A 2JL

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6:30pm, Sunday, 12.30pm – 6pm 


Phone number: 020 7269 9030 

Type of books: Curated selection of books suitable for all tastes.

#3 Word on The Water – The London Book Barge

The London Book Barge, Word on The Water, is a unique gem in London’s literary landscape since 2011. This floating bookshop, housed on a 100 year old barge, combines the joy of book browsing with the tranquillity of the water. As one of the most unique new and second hand bookshops London has to offer, it’s a delightful spot for those seeking a different kind of book-buying experience.

Location: Regent’s Canal Towpath, London, N1C 4LW

Opening times: Monday-Sunday, 12pm-7pm


Type of books: Carefully selected new and used books

#4 Daunt Bookstore Marylebone

Daunt Books London is an old-fashioned style of travel bookstore in London, specialising in travel books, non-fiction and other titles. Housed over 3 floors, its unique layout, characterised by oak galleries and skylights, evokes the ambiance of an old-world library. As possibly the prettiest bookshop in London, its distinctive charm and carefully selected books make it a must-visit for those seeking some serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the high street. 

Location: 84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 9am-7:30pm, Sunday, 11am-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7224 2295 

Type of books: Travel literature, fiction, and other titles.

#5 Hatchards


Hatchards London, established in 1797, is a historical treasure trove for book lovers and boasts the title of the oldest bookshop in the country. With its rich heritage and extensive collection of literature, it’s a literary sanctuary for those who appreciate both classic and contemporary works. If you’re looking for book shops close to Oxford Street or bookstores in Soho, then this is your best bet.

Location: 187 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9LE

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 9:30am-8pm, Sunday, 12pm-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7439 9921 

Type of books: Wide range of classic and contemporary literature

#6 Primrose Hill Books

Within the vibrant community of Primrose Hill is the gem, Primrose Hill Books. This independent bookshop exudes a sense of warmth and familiarity, reflecting the spirit of the local community. If you’re looking for second hand books in Camden, then this is one that caters to book enthusiasts of all ages. So, whether you’re searching for the latest bestseller or a hidden literary gem, this bookshop has something to offer.

Location: 134 Regent’s Park Rd, Primrose Hill, London NW1 8XL

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-6pm


Phone number: 020 7586 2022 

Type of books: Diverse range catering to the local community

#7 Walden Books

This charming bookshop is a paradise for book connoisseurs. Specialising in rare and secondhand books, Walden Books is a treasure trove for collectors and avid readers alike. The knowledgeable staff and the intimate setting create an environment where every visit feels like a journey into the world of literary treasures, especially as there are over 50,000 books in stock.

Location: 38 Harmood St, London NW1 8DP     

Opening times: Thursday to Sunday, 10.30am-6.30pm (closed Monday to Wednesday) 


Phone number: 020 7267 8146

Type of books: second hand titles

#8 Skoob Books

Skoob Books is a hidden gem, based within The Brunswick Centre. This bookshop boasts a labyrinth of shelves, offering a vast selection of secondhand and academic books. With its inviting atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, Skoob Books is a haven for scholars, students, and book lovers seeking unique finds and discounted books.

Location: 66 The Brunswick Centre, Marchment Street, London WC1N 1AE

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-7.30pm, Sunday, 10.30am-6pm


Phone number: 020 7278 8760

Type of books: Secondhand and academic books

#9 Nomad Books

First opening in 1990, Nomad Books is more than just a bookshop; it’s a cultural hub in the heart of Fulham. This independent bookstore caters to the varied tastes of its community, hosting author events and book clubs. With its wooden floors and cosy sofas, this is a great place to take a little rest and relax. 

Location: 781 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5HA 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11pm-5pm


Phone number: 020 7736 4000

Type of books: Diverse selection catering to the community, including kids

#10 Waterstones Piccadilly

Europe’s biggest bookshop, Waterstones Piccadilly, London is a bibliophile’s paradise situated in the heart of the West End. Spread across six floors, it offers an extensive array of popular books that cater to every literary taste and interest. The store’s design, including its stunning Art Deco architecture, adds to the overall experience. With its spacious layout, cafes, frequent author events, bar and restaurant, this is a must visit for any book lover.

Location: 203-206 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9HD 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 9am-9pm, Sunday, 12pm-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7851 2400 

Type of books: Extensive selection across genres

#11 Brick Lane Bookshop

In the vibrant Brick Lane stands Brick Lane Bookshop, providing all kinds of books for adults and children. This independent bookstore, and one of the best bookshops in East London,

has been open for over 30 years and even offers a subscription service for independent books. Whether you’re looking for contemporary fiction, thought-provoking non-fiction, or unique editions, this bookshop is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

Location: 166 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, London E1 6RU 

Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 10am-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7247 0216

Type of books: Diverse range, including a good selection on the local area

#12 Judd Books

Judd Books is a haven for academic and specialist readers in Bloomsbury. This cute bookshop offers both new and used books on many subjects, such as art, history and politics. With over 50,000 titles in art and social sciences, if you’re interested in these subjects then you’ll definitely find something that fills your appetite. 

Location: 82 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AG

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 11am-7pm, Sunday, 12pm-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7387 5333

Type of books: Academic and scholarly works

#13 The Riverside Bookshop

Along the picturesque South Bank of the River Thames is The Riverside Bookshop. This independent book store which opened in 1987 is one of the best children’s bookshops in London, boasting a vast selection of fiction and non-fiction. There are also gifts and jellycats. The store’s idyllic location invites visitors to indulge in books while enjoying the serene river views.

Location: 15 Hay’s Galleria, Tooley St, London SE1 2QN 

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9.30am-5.30pm, Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-5pm


Phone number: 020 7378 1824 

Type of books: Fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books

#14 The Atlantis Bookshop

The Atlantis Bookshop is a mystical haven for those intrigued by magic and the occult. Established in 1922, it holds the title of London’s oldest independent occult bookshop. With a curated collection of rare and contemporary works, this bookshop also offers tarot cards, magicware, rare books, and artifacts for hire. 

Location: 49A Museum St, London WC1A 1LY 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-6pm


Phone number: 020 7405 2120 

Type of books: Occult, magic, and spiritual literature

#15 Heywood Hill Ltd

Heywood Hill Ltd, located in the Mayfair district of London boasts new and used books for readers and collectors. With a subscription-based book service and a wide selection of books, this charming bookshop offers a unique experience tailored to individual tastes. Located over two floors, their main focus is on fiction, architecture, travel, history and biography. However, there is a children’s department with new and classic titles. 

Location: 10 Curzon St, Mayfair, London W1J 5HH 

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9.30am-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7629 0647

Type of books: New and used selection, including kids’ books

#16 Books for Cooks

Books for Cooks, situated in the heart of Notting Hill, is a culinary paradise for food enthusiasts and aspiring chefs. With its emphasis on cookbooks and culinary literature, it’s a place where books and food come alive. With a cafe and cookery workshops, browsing for cookbooks into a sensory and educational experience.

Location: 4 Blenheim Cres, Notting Hill, London W11 1NN

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am-5pm 


Phone number: 020 7221 1992 

Type of books: Cookbooks and culinary literature

#17 Foster Books

Foster Books, tucked away in the heart of Chiswick, is a treasure trove for collectors and lovers of vintage books. Housed in an 18th century building, this beautiful bookstore offers out of print books, illustrated books, old and rare editions. So, whether you’re a seasoned collector or simply intrigued by the past, Foster Books offers a journey through literary history.

Location: 183 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 2DR 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10:30am-5.30pm, Sunday 11am-5pm


Phone number: 020 8995 2768 

Type of books: Old and rare editions

#18 Housmans

Housmans, located in King’s Cross, stands as a cornerstone for social and political literature. With its commitment to promoting peace, equality, and progressive ideas, this not-for-profit bookshop offers a selection of books that inspire activism and critical thought. Housmans isn’t just a place to buy books; it also offers monthly events!

Location: 5 Caledonian Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9DY

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 11.30am-6:30pm, Sunday, 12pm-6pm


Phone number: 020 7837 4473

Type of books: Social and political literature, activism

#19 Bookcase London

Bookcase London is a welcoming retreat for book lovers. This independent bookshop offers a wide range of popular reads, new releases and timeless classics. In the basement is a new vinyl record store, so if you’re searching for something a little different, this is one of the best places to visit. 

Location: 268 Chiswick High Rd, London W4 1PD 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-6pm 


Phone number: 020 8742 3919

Type of books: Vast selection of literature

#20 Any Amount of Books

Need a bookshop near Trafalgar Square?

Any Amount of Books, located near Leicester Square, is a treasure trove for bargain hunters and book enthusiasts alike. This secondhand bookstore is housed over 2 floors and 5 rooms, making it a goldmine for those seeking literary gems at affordable prices. The helpful staff ensures this London bookshop is a real gem in the joy of book hunting.

Location: 56 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0QA 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 11.30am-7.30pm, Sunday, 11.30pm-6.30pm 


Phone number: 020 7836 3697 

Type of books: Secondhand and rare editions

#21 Lutyens & Rubinstein

Lutyens & Rubinstein, situated in Notting Hill, is a small independent bookstore where you’ll find fiction and non-fiction, including art, poetry and children’s books. With a focus on quality over quantity, this bookshop offers a thoughtful selection of reading. In addition, you’ll also discover book clubs, events, and bespoke events. Fun fact – this was the first independent bookshop owned by a literary agency. 

Location: 21 Kensington Park Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2EU

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-5pm


Phone number: 020 7229 1010 

Type of books: Chosen selection with a focus on quality

#22 BookMongers

BookMongers is a community-driven bookshop and secondhand bookstore that has a large collection of books. The friendly staff and house cat make this a cosy place to visit, ensuring it’s a place any book lover will enjoy. From contemporary fiction to thought-provoking non-fiction, BookMongers boasts an affordable range of books, many at half the retail price. 

Location: 439 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9 8LN 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10.30am-6.30pm, Sunday, 11am-5pm 


Phone number: 020 7738 4225 

Type of books: Eclectic range of secondhand books

#23 Libreria 

Searching for the best bookshops East London has to offer? I got you.

Libreria, situated in the vibrant borough of Hackney, is more than a bookshop—it’s a cultural hub that fosters connections between literature and art. Designed by a Spanish architect, the interesting interior has a small seating area, while books are organised by theme. This inspiring bookstore provides a memorable shopping experience, both for tourists and locals. 

Location: 65 Hanbury St, Spitalfields, London E1 5JP 

Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-6pm. Sunday, 12pm-6pm 


Phone number: 020 3818 3240

Type of books: Curated selection, organised by theme

#24 Owl Bookshop

Owl Bookshop, nestled in the leafy suburb of Kentish Town, is an independent bookstore for book lovers seeking new and top titles. It offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere where you’ll find a brilliant range for adults and children, seating, events, and local reads.

Location: 207-209 Kentish Town Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 2JU 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 9am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-6pm


Phone number: 020 7485 7793 

Type of books: Vast selection of books for most ages

#25 Goldsboro Books

Goldsboro Books is a treasure trove for collectors and enthusiasts of signed and first edition books. This independent bookshop offers new releases from established and emerging authors, as well as rare books that are difficult to find. With over 25000 first edition hardbacks, there is plenty to choose from.

Location: 23-27 Cecil Ct, London WC2N 4EZ

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm, Saturday, 11am-5pm 


Phone number: 020 7497 9230 

Type of books: Signed and limited edition books

#26 Archive Bookstore

Located over two floors, Archive Bookstore, is a hub for secondhand books and printed music. The vast amount of books means you’ll need to have the patience to look through them, especially if you’re searching for a particular title. However, the helpful staff and eclectic collection make this a paradise for those who want to spend a few hours amongst vintage titles of all genres. 

Location: 83 Bell Street, London NW1 6TB 

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10.30am-6pm


Phone number: 020 7482 8212 

Type of books: Secondhand books and printed music

#27 Hurlingham Books

Hurlingham Books has been coined the oldest independent bookshop in South West London. A literary oasis for book lovers, this quirky bookstore offers one of the biggest selections of secondhand books, including fiction, non-fiction, and art books. Despite being small, it offers a welcoming environment for browsing and discovering new reads. 

Location: 91 Fulham High St, Fulham, London SW6 3JS

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am-7pm, Sunday, 10am-5pm


Phone number: 020 7736 4363

Type of books: Secondhand fiction and non-fiction

#28 Shapero Rare Books

Shapero Rare Books in Mayfair is one of the best rare bookshops in London, offering rare and first edition books and specialising in travel and exploration. You’ll also find rare books on literature, art, politics, history, and architecture. This unique bookstore also houses modern art downstairs, making it an exciting and interesting place to visit. 

Location: 106 New Bond St, London W1S 1DN

Opening times: Monday to Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-6pm 


Phone number: 020 7493 0876 

Type of books: Rare and limited edition travel books

#29 Marcus Campbell Art Books

Marcus Campbell Art Books, situated next to the Tate Modern, boasts rare and limited edition books on art-related literature. This art bookshop in London caters to both scholars and art lovers alike, offering titles on photography, design, architecture, and art. The bookshop’s commitment to promoting artistic exploration makes it a vital resource for anyone curious about the visual arts.

Location: 43 Holland St, Kensington, London SE1 9JR

Opening times: Monday to Sunday, 12am-4pm 


Phone number: 020 7261 0111 

Type of books: art books

#30 Blackwell’s Bookshop

Blackwell’s Bookshop, located in the heart of Holborn, is the biggest academic bookseller in the UK. With its extensive selection spanning multiple genres and subjects, it’s a place where readers of all ages can find something captivating. With a coffee shop and an assortment of additional goods, including board games and magazines, this cosy bookstore has a decent selection of titles. 

Location: High Holborn, Holborn, London WC1V 6EP 

Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am-5.30pm


Phone number: 020 7292 5100

Type of books: Wide range across genres and subjects


What is the most famous bookstore in London?

One of the most famous and iconic bookstores in London is Foyles since it has over 200,000 books over 6 floors. Another notable bookstore is Hatchards, which holds the title of the oldest surviving bookstore in the UK.

What is the largest bookshop in London?

The largest bookshop in London is Waterstones Piccadilly. It’s often referred to as Europe’s largest bookshop and spans multiple floors, offering a vast selection of books across various genres.

What is the famous bookshop street in London?

The famous bookshop street in London is Charing Cross Road, known for its abundance of independent bookstores and larger chain bookstores. The street has been featured in literature and popular culture, and it’s a popular destination for both locals and tourists. 

The Best Bookshops in London: Recap

London isn’t just a city of bustling streets and towering landmarks; it’s known for its secret bookstores that are waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re searching for the best second hand bookshops in London, rare and limited edition finds, or popular classics, you’ll find something to tempt your wallet. From the historic shelves of Hatchards to the charming nooks of the independent stores, this city has something to offer every book lover’s heart. 

The best bookshops in London are ready to welcome you. So grab your reading list, put on your comfiest shoes, and get ready to lose yourself in the magic of these literary gems. Happy reading and happy exploring!

Similar Posts