Whenever we have the chance to explore the wonderful towns surrounding our properties, we always visit the local and independent bookshops. Not only because we love finding new literary inspiration, but also because of the warm and welcoming feeling we always experience when we’re inside.
Bookshops have always held such a magical quality for us, and we wanted to share that feeling with you in our guide to some of the most special booksellers across Cornwall, Devon and The Cotswolds.
As one of Britain’s smallest bookshops, the St Ives Bookseller has been described as the retail equivalent of Mary Poppins’ carpetbag. With a tiny white shop front, the charm continues as you enter into an inviting interior containing thousands of books filling up every ounce of space. The shop holds something for everyone, but the children’s selection is especially renowned.
2 Fore Street, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1AB
This independent bookshop is situated in the Cornish market town of Wadebridge on the River Camel. Filled with interesting titles for all ages, this tiny shop specialises in publications on Cornish heritage and the history of the southwest, as well as local maps for the best walking, surfing and outdoor leisure. There is also a room dedicated entirely to second-hand books.
43 Molesworth Street, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7DR
In the heart of Axminster, the Archway Bookshop sits in a Grade II-listed building where its loyal customers come to explore the diverse range of books that fill the shop’s two floors. Passionate about supporting their local community and book lovers of all ages, the Archway Bookshop also hosts regular events and book clubs.
Church Street, Axminster, Devon, EX13 5AQ
Paragon’s founder Mark Chapman grew up surrounded by books because his father, Chris, ran two bookshops in Lyme Regis and Illminster. Together they opened Paragon, a small shop spread over two floors of a Victorian building in the centre of Sidmouth. Quality and continuity are the driving force of this business where you can find a mix of new and second-hand volumes on the shelves. Children are especially welcome, and their area is filled with a colourful and exciting range of new and old fiction.
38 High Street, Sidmouth Devon, EX10 8EJ,
A lifetime in the publishing industry combined with a strong focus on high-quality books and great customer service has made this bookshop a favourite for Chipping Norton locals and tourists alike. Not only are there regular best-selling author events and a book club that involves wine, but the shop also has a wonderful café serving a delicious selection of homemade treats.
1 Middle Row, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, OX7 5NH
These two independently and lovingly run bookshops can be found in The Cotswold towns of Tetbury and Nailsworth. Inside each shop, the shelves are filled with books that have been selected to suit the interests of the local community. They are passionate about being an environmentally and socially responsible bookseller, as well as working with local schools to inspire and educate children.
21 Church St, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8JG
17 Fountain Street, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, GL6 0BL