Bookshops / London


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Last Updated on 16th November 2017 by Sophie Nadeau

Just a quick post today, because I just can’t wait to share my newest discovery! Basically, I’m pretty sure that I’ve found the best bookshop in London, and its name is Hurlingham books…

I’ve spent the past year living in Barnes, South West London and one of my closest tube stations is Putney Bridge. Each time I’ve caught the 22 bus and made the walk of a couple of hundred meters to the station, I’ve passed the same bookstore. It’s the kind of old-fashioned quirky bookstore that’s becoming harder and harder to find. Books are stacked from floor to ceiling; all vintage, many rare. Second-hand copies of books comprising of all genres lie next to rare finds and vintage binds.

hurlingham bookshop bookstore in southwest london england hurlingham bookshop bookstore in southwest london england

Hurlingham Books: A Hidden Gem of a Bookstore

The books are stacked from floor to ceiling, filling the windows and most of the available space in the store. In fact, although there are often book readings and various events, spaces are always limited due to most of the space being taken up by the books themselves!

To be honest, when walking past on the way to the station- even in a rush, you can’t help but peek your head around the corner! After all, the familiar smell of well-loved books hits you well before the sight of them. Hurlingham bookshop was founded in 1968 by reading enthusiast Ray Cole and has been open for business ever since. On their official website, they claim to hold the unofficial title of ‘the oldest independent bookshop in SouthWest London‘. Whether this is true or not is still to be verified. However, there is no denying that a quick look inside the store would never be a waste of time. Besides, who knows what you may find…

In fact, infamous writer Brooke Magnanti, author of ‘Belle de Jour’ mentions Hurlingham bookshop in her book:

“Last night I was walking down the fag end of Fulham High Street looking for a cab. There is a book store on the corner –not the horrible kind assaulting… but the wonderful quirky kind. .”

What’s more is that the owner also owns a warehouse a couple of miles away filled with over a million more secondhand-books! If you can’t find what you’re looking for in store, then he’s sure to have a copy somewhere on another, you just need to know where to look…

hurlingham bookshop sbookstore in southwest london england

Shortly after spotting the Hurlingham bookstore, I walked right by this sign! Coffee is a good idea in eveeeerrry kind of climate, right?! Plus, a walk around Fulham would never go amiss…

cafe near hurlingham books london england

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!


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