I love a good bookstore. From the scent of the paper to the world of words hidden between covers, I can spend hours browsing and buying. A few months ago I wrote about the best places for books in London, and it was so well received that I decided to write more. Today I bring you 7 specialty bookstores in London that are worth a trip.

Specialty Bookstores in London

Travel Bookstores in London

I discovered Stanfords when I first moved to London, and now I can’t pass anywhere near Covent Garden without popping in. Set over three floors, the bookstore has every travel book imaginable, from classic guidebooks to famous narratives.

Stanfords Bookstore, London

It also has a wanderlust-worthy selection of travel notebooks, cards, and other accessories. And don’t even get me started on how much I love the treasure trove of globes and retro luggage in the basement. Steamer trunk, please!

Stanfords Bookstore, London

Daunt Books
Daunt Books is not only one of the most famous bookstores in London, but also one of the loveliest. The Marylebone High Street location is full of travel books on every destination across the globe, and its inspired interiors make it a mecca for book lovers.

Daunt Books, London

Foodie Bookstores in London

Books for Cooks
Even though I’m the world’s worst cook, I like to think I can still appreciate a good cookbook when I see one. And I see lots every time I visit Books for Cooks in Notting Hill. This specialty bookstore in London is an iconic location in the city, and the perfect place to find culinary inspiration.

Books for Cooks, London

Vintage Bookstores in London

Alice Through The Looking Glass
I’ve been a Lewis Carroll fan since playing the lead role in a community youth theater production of Alice in Wonderland when I was 14. I may have grown up since then—the “Eat Me” cakes helped—but I still love a bit of good Alice memorabilia.

Alice Through The Looking Glass Shop, London

Enter Alice Through The Looking Glass, a shop on Covent Garden’s famous vintage bookstore row, Cecil Court. In addition to first editions of Carroll’s books, the shop also sells everything from tea party-themed greeting cards to chocolate-filled Mad Hatter top hats.

Cecil Court, London

Women’s Bookstores in London

Persephone Books
I didn’t realize there was such thing as a women’s bookstore until I came across Persephone Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury. Specializing in reprints of books written by 20th century female writers, the store not only has a beautiful aesthetic—all the books are bound in gray jackets with colorful printed endpaper—but also an appealing mission. Beyond books, they sell pretty crockery and other lovely-looking objects.

Persephone Books, London

Art Bookstores in London

Over in the hipster capital of Shoreditch, Artwords is one of the best speciality bookstores in London for—you guessed it—art. The little shop is full of books on contemporary visual arts and culture, covering everything from fashion to graphic design. The store itself is a treat to look at, too.

Artwords, London

Photography Bookstores in London

Claire de Rouen Books
I love photography, and looking at books with amazing photos always inspires me to become a better photographer. Tucked away upstairs on busy Charing Cross Road, Claire de Rouen Books has a great selection of photobooks, magazines, and other publications related to art, fashion, and photography. Perfect!

Claire de Rouen Books, London

How about you? What are your favorite specialty bookstores in London?

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Specialty Bookstores in London

22 Comments on Lady’s 7 Specialty Bookstores to Discover in London

  1. The slow pace
    March 7, 2016 at 9:09 am (1 year ago)

    Stanfords and Daunt Books are mandatory stops for me everytime I visit London! (Hopefully I’ll be there in April again, fingers crossed) But now I have to add Books for Cooks to the list! Thank you!

    • A Lady in London
      March 7, 2016 at 11:34 am (1 year ago)

      You’re welcome! Glad I’ve helped you discover a new one!

  2. Frankie Winter
    March 7, 2016 at 4:56 pm (1 year ago)

    I only knew about some of these. I’m not sure if I’m angry at myself for not knowing more, or excited about having some new places to discover! 😉

    • A Lady in London
      March 7, 2016 at 9:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Aw, either way I’m glad you have some new places to discover!

  3. Mary @ Green Global Travel
    March 7, 2016 at 6:52 pm (1 year ago)

    It’s amazing the variety of bookstores that are in London. Books for Cooks certainly has a nice ring to it.

  4. VLB
    March 8, 2016 at 12:45 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks for this awesome selection of bookshops. I know where to stop by for my next visit to London!
    I would personally add Assouline in Picadilly, for lovers of luxury books. They have an amazing collection of Travel books that you praise, but also outstanding Art & Fashion books that you can discover. And the place is so nice with a cafe in the middle of the collections…

  5. Heather @ Ferreting Out the Fun
    March 8, 2016 at 1:11 pm (1 year ago)

    I love that there are still so many specialty bookstores in London. New York City used to boast a bunch, but they are closing at an alarming rate. It’s such a shame because browsing them can be so much fun!

    • A Lady in London
      March 8, 2016 at 10:42 pm (1 year ago)

      Yeah! It’s sad how many are closing down around the world.

  6. Pauline Wiles
    March 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm (1 year ago)

    What a terrific post. I wasn’t familiar with any of these but would love to spend a day exploring, particularly Daunt and Persephone. Thank you!

    • A Lady in London
      March 9, 2016 at 11:09 pm (1 year ago)

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Jennifer @ This Off Script Life
    March 11, 2016 at 10:29 am (1 year ago)

    Great list! I love Daunt Books and try to visit whenever I’m in London. I could spend hours in there.

  8. Kari
    March 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm (1 year ago)

    What a great list! I can spend hours in a good bookshop – Foyles in Covent Garden is my current festival, but will definitely check some of these out!

  9. Jasmin Bleeks
    March 17, 2016 at 1:22 am (1 year ago)

    A mere picture of this Daunt book store is capable of warming my heart. So you can imagine how fit to busting it is when I walk through the door. It’s not very cool but I do also have a sweet spot for the Waterstones in Piccadilly, it’s so vast that I just feel like I can get lost in it, and the book stores always dole out the best recommendations.

    • A Lady in London
      March 17, 2016 at 9:48 am (1 year ago)

      Yeah, I like the cafe at the top of that Waterstones. It’s a great place to take a break from the craziness of central London!

  10. Freya
    June 20, 2016 at 7:45 am (1 year ago)

    A fave of mine is definitely the shop of Shakespeare’s Globe, although it’s not a bookstore only. However, it’s where I’ve gotten many of my Shakespeare books, including reference works and the fave for those who can’t seem to “get” or understand Shakespeare: “Shakespeare on Toast” by Ben Crystal.

  11. Zineb
    April 11, 2017 at 4:45 pm (3 months ago)

    Thanks for the list! I was looking for nice bookstore to visit in London and the ones you proposed look amazing 🙂

    • A Lady in London
      April 12, 2017 at 10:52 am (3 months ago)

      You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy exploring them.


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