Five Must-Visit Bookshops in London

Posted in Hammersmith - London, Highbury - London, Bankside - London, City - London, Shopping, Arts
Five Must-Visit Bookshops in London

It's more than likely that you'll need to buy a few books during your time studying in London, and we know just the places to look. The city has many different bookshops, some of which are hundreds of years old. Here are five that are worth checking out:

Brick Lane Bookshop (E1 6RU)

Formerly known as Eastside Books, Brick Lane Bookshop has been going for more than 30 years. It may not be the biggest of shops, but it's got a great deal of character and is packed full of great reads – from classic works of fiction and poetry to food books and travel guides.

It's certainly worth popping in, as you may even find one or two of the titles from your reading list in there – and if you need any help, a welcoming staff member will happily assist you. There are bargains to be had all the time as well, with many of the books marked down under the RRP.

Cecil Court (WC2N 4HE)

With its Victorian shop-fronts and numerous independent bookshops, Cecil Court is a reader's paradise. It's also the perfect place to go if you want to enjoy a quiet coffee or would simply like to get away from the hurly-burly for a while.

You can easily lose several hours browsing through the street's second-hand selections, some of which feature antique editions. Most of the shops specialise in certain types of books, so there's a good chance you'll find what you're after – for example, one proprietor sells mainly 20th-century fiction, while another is entirely dedicated to signed first editions of all kinds of books.

To give you an idea of how much history Cecil Court has, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is said to have stayed there during the London leg of his 1764 European tour – when he was just eight years old.

Foyles (WC2H 0DT)

A short walk from Cecil Court on Charing Cross Road is the enormous Foyles flagship store. The family-owned chain has several smaller shops across the capital, including one in Waterloo Station and another on the South Bank.

The new flagship store was opened in June 2014, just a matter of metres down the road from the old one, which occupied the same building for more than a century. The company felt it had outgrown the original store and decided to move into a bright new site with four floors and 37,000 square feet of retail space. For those who enjoy a coffee and cake with their reading material, there's a wonderful cafe located up on the fifth floor.

Hatchards (W1J 9LE)

Founded in 1797, Hatchards in Piccadilly is officially London's oldest bookshop. It's stayed true to tradition on both the outside and the inside – the shop-front is not at all dissimilar to one you'd find along Cecil Court.

Hatchards spans an incredible five floors and sells all the types of books you can think of. It's definitely the sort of place to go if you need a specific title for your course, as the chances are they'll have it.

Given the shop's rich heritage, it often hosts book-signing events for some of the world's most famous authors – past guests include David Attenborough, Sebastian Faulks, Stephen Fry and J.K Rowling.

Magma (WC2H 9RY)

Specialising in niche coffee-table books, art prints, unique stationery and other unusual bits and pieces, Magma in Covent Garden is the place to go if you're looking for something different. It's an oasis for art and design students especially, and generally a great place for anyone with a creative side.

There's a slightly smaller Magma store located in Clerkenwell (EC1R 5BY), just a 15-minute walk from our City accommodation – so be sure to check it out if you're ever in the area.

Learning and Living in the City

If you're studying at one of London's numerous universities, you'll need a place to relax when you're not attending classes or out enjoying city life. Pure Student Living offers secure and luxurious accommodation in four different locations across London.

For more information, or to book a room, you can reach us on +44(0) 20 8912 5020. Alternatively, you can email us with any queries at