By Megan Burroughs, Nazifa Khan and Holly Presswell
As winter sets in and holidays approach, most of us seek a comforting distraction from the frosty season. What better way to do that than to surround yourself with the smell of fresh pages and the warmth of a seasonal hot drink? In this issue, we have compiled a list of twelve charming bookshops across the UK that will whisk you away from the winter blues and transport you to a world of literature and wonder. Whether you are looking for a cosy spot to curl up with a good book or searching for that perfect Christmas gift, these bookshops will surely delight!
1. Daunt Books – Marylebone, London
Daunt Books is a wonderful bookshop located in the bustling city of London. It offers an extensive selection of titles, both new and used and hosts a variety of literary events and workshops. Its charm and ambience make it a must-visit bookshop this winter. Visit their website here to find out more!
2. Sam Read Bookshop – Grasmere, Cumbria
The Sam Read Bookshop is a cosy and welcoming spot in the heart of Cumbria. With a curated selection of titles and a warm atmosphere, it is unmissable for bibliophiles looking for their next adventure. Browse their website to learn more about what this bookshop offers here!
3. Lionsheart Bookshop – Woking
Located in Woking town centre, Lionsheart is an independent bookseller and café. They offer a wide selection of books, games and gifts. With its relaxed atmosphere and delicious range of snacks and drinks to warm you up this season, it's the perfect place to curl up with a good book and a lovely hot beverage. What's more, this bookshop supports local charity causes and holds regular events for readers of all ages.
4. Toppings & Company Booksellers – Bath
Located in the heart of Bath, Toppings Bookshop is found in a beautiful, old Georgian building. As you step into the store, you are greeted with a breeze of warm air and the glorious sight of shelves and upon shelves of books. The most memorable part of the store is the wooden ladders on every other shelf that you can climb to reach the top shelves. With over three floors of books to explore, you could spend hours lost between the books.
5. The Travel Book Company – Shaftesbury
The Travel Book Company lies just outside Shaftesbury. The shop is run by people who have done their fair share of travelling – from the USA to Zambia to New Zealand. Using their world knowledge, they have filled the store with the very best travel books. The shop aims to "help you get lost" and discover your next adventure. If you are thinking about going away soon, this is the shop to visit to plan your journey.
6. St Ives Bookseller – St Ives
Hidden in the depths of the cobbled streets of St Ives is the St Ives Bookseller. This bookshop is one of the leading independent bookshops in the UK and has a Cornish theme throughout. St Ives Bookseller is well known for their beautiful window displays and amazing selection of children's books supporting local authors.
7. Blackwell's Bookshop – Oxford
Blackwell's has stood on the streets of Oxford since 1879. They are one of the largest academic and specialist booksellers in the UK and now one of the most famous booksellers in the world! Blackwell's is a must-visit bookshop in the UK and will welcome you in with open arms to browse their endless shelves of books.
8. Afrori Books – Brighton
Moving from the North Laines to the Brighthelm Centre, Afrori Books is a Black-owned, community-based bookstore with space for all. Offering one of the largest selections of books by Black authors alongside workshops and events, Afrori has space for everyone. Visit them here to see what they have to offer this Winter season!
9. Word on the Water – Camden, London
A Winter walk along Regent's Canal is only complete with a visit to this bookstore on the barge. A London favourite, every nook and cranny of this boat is filled with a range of new and used books for your browsing pleasure.
10. Baggins Book Bazaar – Rochester
Baggins Book Bazaar, the largest second-hand bookshop in the UK, is located on the high street of Rochester – and there is no better place to end a tour of the historic city. Everyone is sure to find something for themselves within the store's labyrinthine walls, open seven days a week.
11. The Book Hive – Norwich
In the Lanes area of Norwich, The Book Hive offers a unique browsing experience. Face-out shelves and genre mixing by recommendation encourage everyone to spend time reading and discussing. They also host regular events and a weekly quiet reading time. Find out more on their website!
12. McNaughtan's – Edinburgh
A bookshop and gallery for antiquarian lovers, this store is part of the oldest trade body in the book world. Also, it is the oldest second-hand bookstore in the city, and you'll be able to find rare collectables of the classics you love in a place rich in history. Take a step back in time and leave with a new book to call your own.