Independent bookshops are getting more and more love at the moment. They’re often warm and cosy, and run by welcoming, friendly staff. There is something special about stumbling across a gem of a bookshop – and so here are five to visit, found all over the UK.
Booka Bookshop is based in Shropshire, on the border of Wales. It is run by a ‘husband and wife’ team of Carrie and Tim Morris, and after opening in October 2009, quickly established itself as a destination bookshop. It won Best Small Business in 2017, and is one of the leading independent bookshops in the UK! Booka Bookshop isn’t just home to plenty of books though, it also has a cafe – so sit down with a hot drink and a cake, and enjoy your brand-new read.
You can find Booka Bookshop via their website (https://www.bookabookshop.co.uk/) or at 26-28 Church Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 2SP.
This family-run business specialises in the best maps, local books, and walking guides of Thirsk, as well as a range of general titles. It was first opened by Sue Lake and her father in October 1995 and is now run by Sue and her sister. The shop won Best Independent Bookseller North in 2014, and was a Regional Shortlist for Bookseller North in 2017. This gorgeous little shop is home to books, cards, and a coffee bar! Sit outside (on sunnier days) in the terrace garden with a slice of homemade cake – or even some warming homemade soup. Yum!
White Rose BookCafe can be found at 79-81 Market Place, Thirsk, North Yorkshire YO7 1ET, or via their website (http://www.whiterosebooks.com/index2.html)
Established in 2007, The Edinburgh bookshop is a wonderful place to visit if you’re looking for some refreshing reads – with the business focussing on “unusual, intelligent and topical” titles. It won Scottish Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2014 and 2015, as well as UK Children’s Bookseller in 2014. They host regular events including author visits, writer’s workshops and story time for under-5’s. You’ll find something for everyone here!
Head to 219 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4DH so experience it for yourself, or have a look on their website (http://www.edinburghbookshop.com/index.html)
St Ives Bookseller is part of a family-run company, Mabecron Books Publishing. It was established in 2005, and has since been shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year 2016. If you’re looking for more reasons to visit then you may also like to know that it won Independent Bookseller of the Year South West Region in 2012, and stocks over 5000 titles! You will find children’s books, local titles, and even signed novels if you’re lucky!
Visit the website (http://www.stives-bookseller.co.uk/) for more information, or pop in at 2 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall, UK, TR26 1AB.
This beautiful, welcoming bookshop was named one of the best ten bookshops in the world by The Guardian in 2015. It is owned by a husband and wife team of Nic and Juliette, and opened in 2006 after the idea ‘hatched’ in 2004. Customers can expect a personalised experience, with staff taking time to sit down with you so as to give you personalised recommendations. The shop won Independent Bookshop of the Year, not once, but twice, in 2008 and 2011. As if that isn’t enough, the company decided to create a ‘festival bookshop’ at Glastonbury in 2017, allowing festival-goers to purchase new books day and night.
Make sure you visit Mr B’s at 14-15 John Street, Bath, BA1 2JL, or have a look at their website (https://mrbsemporium.com/).