Book Shops

Whilst out and about my wife and I like to visit different book shops. Below are details of some we have visited recently.

The Book Stop

Tavistock, Devon
The Book Stop, Tavistock

I came across this place by accident on an unplanned visit to Tavistock in August 2016. I was taking a photograph of an aqueduct when I spotted the sign. It is a small but well stocked shop with friendly and helpful staff. I found a couple of books on my “wish list” and went away happy.

Laurence Oxley

Arlesford, Hampshire
Laurence Oxley, Arlesford

One of the hidden gems of our trip to Hertfordshire was in the small town of Arlesford. Laurence Oxley is an antiquarian bookseller and picture framer located in the town’s high street. He stocks a large selection of interesting old books, some in better condition than others. On our visit I purchased an undated copy of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare”. It has no spine and needs some TLC, but for £5 I considered it a bargain. It is not particularly old, being litho printed, but I couldn’t resist it.

Rather interestingly I found a large selection of German books at the back of the store. Not something I am interested in myself, but an unusual find nonetheless.

The Last Bookshop

Salisbury, WIltshire
The Last Bookshop, Salisbury

In August 2015 we visited the city of Salisbury to see the Magna Carta. Whilst there we visited “The Last Bookshop” on Butcher’s Row, one of the city’s more interesting pedestrianised areas.

The Last Book Shop specialises in remaindered books, so not the place to go for the latest best sellers. Nonetheless, they stock a wide variety of books at reasonable prices. I picked up 3 books from my wish list for under £10. The shop itself is light and welcoming and the staff friendly and helpful. What more can you ask?<

The Winchester Bookshop

The Winchester Bookshop


On our recent visit to Hampshire we visited several book shops, but not as many as we might have. One of these was The Winchester Book Shop (in Winchester!). Although I didn’t buy anything on this visit, I was intrigued by the range and quality of the antiquarian and second hand books on offer. There are three floors, packed with everything from old textbooks, to literary classics.

The Winchester Book Shop is hidden away down an alleyway off St George’s Street in the centre of the city. We almost missed it, so if you do plan to visit. Keep your eyes open.

The Wordsworth Book and Coffee Shop

Penrith, Cumbria
Wordsworth Book and Coffee Shop

One of the more interesting book shops we discovered on a recent holiday in the Lake District was The Wordsworth, with a small selection of books on the first floor, and a quaint café on the ground. It is situated in the busy St Andrew’s Churchyard in the centre of Penrith.

One of the things I loved about this place was finding a selection of crosswords on the tables for customers to work on over their coffee. It’s a great little shop with an interesting selection of local and children’s books to complement their mainstream selection.

Hot and cold drinks and a wide selection of homemade cakes make this a must.

Visited August 2014

The Hedgehog Bookshop

Penrith, Cumbria
The Hedgehog Bookshop

Also in Penrith is the Hedgehog bookshop. The ground floor is dedicated to children’s books and toys, with a smaller, but interesting selection of adult and teen books on the first floor. We were particularly interested in the Murder Mystery selection, coming away with several juicy thrillers for future reading.

The staff we dealt with were friendly – the lady who served us had been playing with children’s toys when we came to pay!

Visited August 2014

Wearings Bookshop

Ambleside, Cumbria


On a single floor they boasted a wide range of books for all ages and a large selection of local maps. Like most shops in the Lake District, they had a good stock of authors with local connections, but also a wide range of non-fiction.

I picked up a Zadie Smith, something I didn’t expect to find

Visited August 2014

Book Ends

Keswick, Cumbria
Bookends, Keswick

On the Keswick Main Street, just off the pedestrianised section, is Book Ends, a small but well stocked book shop. We last visited this store back in 2012 when I picked up a couple of Sherlock Holmes stories.

Visited August 2012