Shopping, Bookshops St James'
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
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Holding court with Fortnum & Mason and other Piccadilly royalty is London’s oldest surviving bookshop, dating back to 1797. Its old-school charm and refined aura have helped it maintain an ambience all its own (even though it’s now owned by HMV). The grand shop is extensive in its stock, but particularly good for travel and biography, new hardback fiction and signed editions. Benjamin Disraeli, Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde are former fans. These days, celebrated authors come to sign the books – recent visitors include Antonia Fraser, Ian McEwan and Philip Pullman. Mowbray’s religious booksellers is located on the third floor. Hatchards prides itself on its knowledgeable staff and professional service.


Venue name: Hatchards
Address: 187 Piccadilly
Opening hours: Open 9.30am-7pm Mon-Sat; noon-6pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube
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5 / 5

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Avatar for Grace I

You may think that this is a snooty and snobby bookstore (the regular customers can be quite pretentious), but the staff are incredibly helpful and the book displays are usually intriguing. The shop regularly hosts author-signings or talks, and leftover signed books can be found for sale afterwards. This is a great place to browse happily for hours (and so much better than the giant Waterstone's down the street).

Avatar for Joss B

It is quite a remarkable store filled over numerous floors from floor to ceiling with exquisite books, covering practiclally every topic, many quite specialised. It is also the perfect place to find a signed copy of a new book, or even to meat the author, as the shop also holds evenings with many of the authors it stocks.