The Best Bookshops in London

London has been a literary hub for hundreds of years. These bookshops are wonderful places to search through the spines—and keep the independent bookstore alive.

84 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 4QW, UK
Daunt Books really is special. Even if you are not a big reader, it is well worth a visit because the space is so beautiful and filled with exceptionally well-chosen books. Daunt is the ultimate antidote to the Amazon generation and connects you to the books and their authors in a very traditional way. Although Daunt is only 20 years old, it is located in an original Edwardian bookshop, with long oak galleries, graceful skylights, and William Morris prints. Try to persuade the staff to let you into the walk-in safe, where the expensive volumes were once stored. —Jasper Conran
103 Borough Rd, London SE1 0AA, UK
South Bank has both the best river walk in London and the city’s liveliest cultural centers, so a walk along it is a must. The path takes you from the Globe and the Tate Modern along the Thames—passing Gabriel’s Wharf with its stellar restaurants and bars—to the National Theatre, the Royal Festival Hall, the Hayward Gallery, and the London Eye. A two-mile strip has never held so many different entertainment opportunities; you could spend weeks along it without getting bored. That’s not to mention the regular outdoor performances and the unparalleled views of the bridges over the river, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.
183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE, UK
Completely unique and always fascinating, the Wellcome Trust, not far from the British Library, is a free museum devoted to the marvels of the human body. It has regular exhibitions, taking sideways scientific looks at everything from the the anatomy of the brain to the secrets of sleep (and their exhibition on death was not remotely as morbid as it sounds). But it’s worth a visit any time for its permanent collection, which combines clever hands-on exhibits that teach you about your own body with thoughtful artworks that reflect on the human condition—who knew your pancreas is halfway up your back? Plus it has a great cafe and bookshop.
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