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South Bank Book Market

Shopping, Bookshops South Bank
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Southbank Centre book market

Inspired by the bouquinistes selling second-hand books along the Seine in Paris, this daily market is one of the few open-air book fairs in the UK. Every day from 10am until 7pm, vendors set up long tables outside BFI Southbank stocked with seemingly endless second-hand books, maps and old prints. 

The number of booksellers varies with the weather, but even when it’s raining, the protective arch of Waterloo Bridge makes for dry browsing. Each stall has a separate proprietor, usually keeping a hawk-eyed watch on his or her wares. The selection is eclectic – everything from Penguin Classics to well-thumbed thrillers, coffee-table tomes to kids’ books.

Not on the hunt for a new tube read? Then settle on the terrace of the BFI bar and watch book-loving Londoners and tourists browsing the stalls.


Venue name: South Bank Book Market
Address: Riverside Walk (outside BFI Southbank under Waterloo Bridge)
Opening hours: Daily 12noon-7pm
Transport: Tube or rail: Waterloo
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

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If you're passing by the South Bank, you might be able to spot this makeshift bookshop under the bridge. It doesn't have the widest selection of books, which varies from day to day, but you can be sure that if you look hard enough, you'll find something worthwhile. It's an interesting concept that everyone should check out at least once, and nothing quite compares to browsing second hand books hoping to unearth a treasure. Just make sure you come on a day when the weather isn't too harsh!

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