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Independent Bookshop Week: London’s Top 10 Independent Bookshops

Independent Bookshop Week: London’s Top 10 Independent Bookshops

Home to Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare’s Globe, Platform 9¾ and the British Library, London and literature go together like a good book and a fresh cuppa.

To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week (24 June to 1 July), we’re rounding up some of our all-time favourite London bookshops. These are those cherished places to while away an hour (or two, or five!), discovering new favourites and rediscovering forgotten gems.

Below are some of our picks for the best independent bookshops in London. How many have you visited?

1. Hatchards | Piccadilly

The UK’s oldest bookshop, this Piccadilly staple is a London landmark in its own right. As well as an outstanding selection of new releases, here you can pick up some impressive signed and first editions.

Hatchards bookshop, London

What’s perhaps lesser known is that this cherished shop also boasts a second location inside St. Pancras International – so you can pick up an engrossing read before journeying across the Channel!

2. London Review Bookshop | Bloomsbury

Owned by the famed literary magazine the London Review of Books, this acclaimed Bloomsbury shop has described itself as “relentlessly thoughtful”, and we find it hard to disagree! Stocked with more than 20,000 titles, it’s both beautiful and beautifully curated.

London Review Bookshop, Bloomsbury

Just down the road from the British Museum, a trip to the London Review Bookshop is the perfect addition to any afternoon (and there’s cake!)

3. John Sandoe | Chelsea

A trip to John Sandoe Books in Sloane Square promises that quintessential bookshop experience we all long for! The comforting scent of ink and paper, pleasantly creaking floors, narrow stairs packed high with old editions and some like-minded book lovers reading between the shelves.

John Sandoe Books, Sloane Square

Founded in 1957, this atmospheric Chelsea shop is a great place to pop into after a trip to the Saatchi Gallery or a stroll along King’s Road. 

John Sandoe Books, Sloane Square

4. Brick Lane Bookshop | Brick Lane

Originally formed as the Tower Hamlets Art Projects, and previously known as Eastside Books, this brilliant community bookshop is situated straight on Brick Lane, reflecting a rich history of ideas and creativity spanning more than forty years.

Brick Lane Bookshop

As well as boasting a great selection of arts, fiction and non-fiction titles, this E1 shop also hosts book groups and writing workshops. (They’ve also got great tote bags!)

Pop in while at the market on a Sunday, and you’ll definitely return again…

5. Clapham Books | Clapham

Planning on spending a sunny Saturday on the Common? Pop into Clapham Books on the Pavement to pick up a great read from this charming independent. Small but mighty, they’ve hosted events with Will Self, Rebecca Wait, Marion Coutts and more.

Clapham Books, The Pavement, Clapham Common

It’s hard not to love the sound of their signature event: free picture book storytime, every Wednesday at 11AM!

6. Camden Lock Books | Old Street Station

Don’t let their name confuse you – though this shop was originally established in Camden Lock Market, it’s now snug inside Old Street Station, allowing you to grab a book on the go (or get lost browsing and forget your train altogether!)

Camden Lock Books, Old Street Station

Definitely worth a visit for their extensive stock and depth of knowledge. Plus, they’re handy as well as bookish – their shelves are all home-made!

7. Dulwich Books | West Dulwich

This West Dulwich gem was regionally shortlisted for the British Book Awards 2017 Independent Bookshop of the Year – and it’s a well-deserved honour! By delivering engaging events and building great bonds throughout their community, Dulwich Books’ impact extends well beyond its walls. 

Dulwich Books, West Dulwich

8. Tales on Moon Lane | Herne Hill

What better street address for a children’s bookshop than “25 Half Moon Lane”?

Tales on Moon Lane, Herne Hill

This whimsical shop in Herne Hill can proudly call itself the winner of London’s Independent Bookshop of the Year and Children’s Bookseller of the Year in the British Book Awards 2017. Hosting a wide range of children’s and school events, and organizing pop-up shops and festivals, a great example of a bookshop that goes that extra mile.

9. Stoke Newington Bookshop | Stoke Newington

Stokey vistors and locals alike need to give this shop a try! Located on Stoke Newington High Street, its enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff are eager to help  you discover something new. Keep an eye out for great author events, too!

Stoke Newington Bookshop

10. Newham Bookshop | Newham

A lively events programme and a rich community history make this East London shop a must-visit. Supporting read and learning in Newham and beyond, they’re a great example of a local bookshop acting as a thriving neighbourhood hub.   

Newham Bookshop


Have a favourite independent bookshop in London that we’ve left off the list? Let us know on Twitter at @dkbooks. To discover more great indies around the UK and Ireland, check out some of our top picks here.

To learn more about Independent Bookshop Week, which runs from 24 June to 1 July 2017, visit

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