The Classic London Guide
Our guide to the most iconic spots of this much-loved city, perfect for both locals and visitors alike.
Stanfords12-14 Long Acre, Covent Garden | +44.20.7836.1321
With an incredible range of maps, atlases, travel guides, accessories, globes and more, this long-standing classic is one of the biggest travel bookshops in the world. The store is old, but the philosophy is contemporary, as the guides and focus shift with the trends. Don't miss the map of the solar system above as you're walking up the stairs.
John Sandoe10 Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea | +44.20.7589.9473
Here, you'll find around 25,000 books piled on every imaginable surface, from tabletops to the staircase. The shop has a literary slant but stocks all sorts of titles, from architecture tomes to cookbooks to thrillers.
Daunt Books83 Marylebone High St., Marylebone | +44.20.7224.2295
While there are outposts all over the city, the flagship Marylebone location is an original Edwardian bookshop, with an emphasis on incredible travel titles. All locations also offer a great selection of poetry to fiction, biography and more, all organized by relevant country. Fun.
Sotheran’s2-5 Sackville St., Picadilly | +44.20.7439.6151
In 1870, this bookshop purchased the library of Charles Dickens and H.C. Folger, the great American collector of Shakespeare (who sourced most of his originals from here as well). Quality books of all kinds and friendly staff make this a stand-out London shop with a museum-like feel.
Hatchards187 Piccadilly, Piccadilly | +44.84.3290.8373
Hatchards has been open since 1797, welcoming guests like Rudyard Kipling and Lord Byron. Though now owned by the larger London book chain Waterstones, Hatchards retains a wonderful old bookshop feel, a beautiful interior, and a knowledgeable staff.