Considering the worlds still a little bit of a mess, i’ve been missing my favourite bookish places and have been thinking a lot about all the unique libraries, book shops and other places i’ve been to. I’m sure i’m not the only one that is missing the smell of a book shop or the fancy shelves of a library.
I’m here to provide you with a few of my favourite bookish places that i’ve really missed visiting. Admittedly, i wouldn’t have been to many of these places in the last few months. However, it’s made me realise it could be quite some time until i can visit again. Here are some really bookish places i think you should check out.
Punnydukes (right next door to Barristers Book Chamber) – Matlock
This is a place i visited towards the end of last year, on a specific round trip to see Punnydukes for myself. Matlock is a good couple of hours drive from me, but i couldn’t resist this wonderful Harry Potter themed shop. The place is full of small, independant creators and their items. They literally sell everything from stickers, art prints, pins and even wands. It’s one of the most magical places i’ve ever visited and i loved supporting so many different creators under one building.
I want to give a little mention to Barristers Book Chamber which is located right next door to Punnydukes. I wasn’t expecting to find this little place, however we happened to visit on the opening day. It’s an incredibly decorated and taken care of little second hand book shop with a ridiculous amount of choice. I’ve never wanted to explore a second hand bookshop for a whole day, but i could have stayed there for hours. It’s an absolutely incredible place and visiting these two shops together is a great couple of hours spent.
Lit & Phil Library – Newcastle
It’s been a while since i ventured up to Lit & Phil in Newcastle. This private owned library is absolutely stunning, and welcomes visitors to look around their enormous collection of books any time of the day. It’s a stunning building that you again, could spend hours admiring the collection they have built. They have every book you can think of available for loan if you are lucky enough to be a member. I think i did actually spend a couple of hours exploring the winding staircases and the wonderfully packed shelves. This is somewhere i’m really missing, and cannot wait to visit again.
Barter Bookshop – Alnwick
Sticking with the ‘up-north’ theme for now, Barter Bookshop in Alnwick is simply one of the best bookshops i’ve had the pleasure of visiting. It’s massive, vast and packed with all kinds of second hand books. All that, and it’s built in an old railway station with bonus model trains running around above your head whilst you shop! It feels magical. I had huge Harry Potter vibes being in there for some reason, and i have to admit the selection of books (considering they’re second hand) was incredible. I’ve only visited Barter once, but i’ve been thinking about it a lot recently.
Hay-On-Wye – Wales
Hay-On-Wye is well known for being the UK’s largest concentration of bookshops in a village. It’s a small village in Wales, where there are above fifteen independant bookshops within a couple of miles. I specifically took a three day trip to this magical place and shopped until i could not shop anymore. There are some wonderfully themed bookshops of poetry, childrens and even a small gothic shop with a very creepy spiral staircase. If you enjoy cute cafes and endless wandering around small bookshops, without a doubt you should visit Hay-On-Wye
Elizabeth Gaskell’s Home – Manchester
Another place i completely fell in love with a couple of years ago was the well preserved home of Elizabeth Gaskell which is based almost in the centre of Manchester. It is where her and her husband lived, and has been restored with the original furniture, back to how it would have appeared when they lived there. It’s an absolutely stunning house with some excellent history. The volunteers that work in the building know everything (i mean EVERYTHING) about the literature of Elizabeth, family life and who passed through the house. They even have an original autograph of Charles Dickens. Downstairs in the cellar has been converted to a tearoom and bookshop, a place i have enjoyed many times, and i cannot wait to visit this house again, pick out a book and sit down to read.
Haworth – West Yorkshire
Haworth had always been one of my favourite places growing up. Originally it was for the walking, scenary and the nice atmosphere of a small village in Yorkshire. As i grew older and learned more about the Bronte Sisters, it became a whole lot more special to me. It’s the home of the Bronte family, the house and museum. The entire village encompasses them, and it feels so incredibly British. There is so much to learn about this family and the literature they released in to the world in this one tiny village, and i really enjoy a regular visit and learning more and more from the museum of their lives. It has the most incredible atmosphere and almost feels as though you’ve stepped back in time.
These are the place i’m currently missing the most! Admittedly, it would be really nice to have a chilled look around a Waterstones, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon, so i may as well let my brain wander further afield!
Let me know if you’ve been to any of these places or which ones you’re now itching to go to!