Children’s Bookshops in the UK and Ireland
Children’s bookshops – here’s our guide to how schools, parents and children can benefit from children’s bookshops, including a great list of independent bookshops and specialist children’s bookshops throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland to visit with your children, class, school or teaching colleagues.
Why are children’s bookshops important?
Children’s bookshops play a key function in helping to develop reading for pleasure in children. By providing a dedicated space for children’s literature, these bookshops not only make it convenient for parents and teachers to find age-appropriate books, but they also create a welcoming and exciting space to encourage children to explore and choose.
Independent children’s bookshop owners, proprietors and booksellers are passionate and knowledgeable about their stock. They curate their selections for your younger family members with care, expertise and dedication. Additionally, children’s bookshop staff often host author events, book signings and youth book clubs, which give children the opportunity to chance to meet authors and illustrators and to learn more about the stories behind the books. Many establishments also have exclusive offers, sell signed editions, offer in-depth advice and also sell gifts, coffee and cake. There’s nothing better than coffee and cake while your children choose their next few reads.
Furthermore, children’s bookshops can also be a useful resource for educators and schools. Bookstore proprietors are knowledgeable about children’s literature and can recommend books that align with classroom topics and support children’s reading needs. They can also assist teachers in looking for titles to appeal to children with specific interests and reading levels. Many staff in the shops listed below are former teachers, child experts, parents and librarians who have chosen to dedicate their time to developing children’s literature and promoting books for children. The kid-friendly shelves in these recommended children’s bookshops will offer a winning combination of bestselling titles and hand-picked editions you might not have seen before.
However, the knowledge and facilities these small businesses offer will only survive with support. So pick a local bookshop today, support it, and allow these independents to continue to play a vital role in shaping our children’s breadth of reading.
Why visit a children’s bookshop?
Children’s bookshops offer a unique opportunity to browse, explore, chance upon and choose new books in an unpressured environment. Unlike classroom and school libraries, where there is invariably limited time to peruse, in a brick-and-mortar independent bookshop, children have the luxury of time in a fun, literature-rich and stimulating setting. All around them are books and characters are brought to life, and nowhere else are books considered cooler. It’s the ideal spot to instil and encourage reading for pleasure, and if your child chooses a book here, they are much more likely to remain interested in books and take greater ownership of their reading.
Schools will also benefit from regular visits to a good children’s bookshop. Why not arrange a visit for your class, hold a browsing session as staff CPD or an opportunity to pick prizes for speech day, suggest local book signings to parents in your weekly newsletter, or encourage your students to spend their World Book Day vouchers or birthday book tokens at a local independent shop?
And it’s not just the sheer number of books on offer. There’s an element of awe and wonder with captivating displays, towering piles of words on display, hidden rooms and places to delve, posters and cardboard standups, balloons, friezes, bunting and banners – all literature themed – as well as the enticing window book panoramas. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the printed word in places like this?
How to support independent children’s bookshops
As well as visiting bricks and mortar bookstores, you can help support independent bookshops by buying from uk.bookshop.org, an online store “with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops“.
Nothing can be the experience of being surrounded by thousands of children’s books in a physical bookshop. Here’s our list of physical and (mostly) independent bookstores to marvel at, peruse in, wander around, browse feverishly, and enjoy.
(Geographical areas are as defined by UK government ONS regions).
East of England
(Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk & Suffolk)
- Bookbugs and Dragon Tales in Norwich – an extensive children’s section including young adult titles and kid’s graphic novels.
- Books On The Hill in St Albans, Hertfordshire – lots of children’s titles in a lovely setting, and there’s a monthly young readers book club.
- Caxton Books in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex – a vibrant setting to browse and explore.
- Chorleywood Bookshop in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire – lots of regular events, book signings and liaison with local schools.
- Chicken & Frog Bookshop in Brentwood, Essex – finalist for the Muddy Stilletoes best bookshop in 2021. Highly recommended.
- David’s Bookshop in Letchworth Garden City – new and secondhand books and a charming dog-friendly cafe.
- Dial Lane Books in Ipswich – handpicked children’s titles and a champion of #TheBigHoot trail.
- Heffers Children’s Bookshop, Cambridge – definitely worth a browse if you happen to be in Cambridge with children. If your school picks books for prizegivings, Heffers is a great option.
- Jacqson Diego Story Emporium in Westcliff on Sea, Essex. A specialist children’s bookshop with events, book clubs and writing workshops.
- Kett’s Books in Wymondham, Norfolk – a community bookshop with a diverse range of adult and children’s titles.
- Maldon Books in Maldon, Essex – wonderful book displays and lots of gifts and games.
- Next Page Books in Hitchin, Hertfordshire – a specialist children’s bookshop focussing on neurodiversity.
- Niche Comics in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire – an award-winning independent housed in a historic building dating from 1573. A great selection of comics, graphic novels and children’s books. Open seven days a week, there’s also a monthly poetry open-mic.
- Norfolk Children’s Book Centre in Norwich – a specialist children’s bookshop and an ‘Aladin’s cave’.
- Red Lion Books in Colchester – a family bookshop with a charming ‘Little Read Lion’ area at the back of the shop.
- The Aldeburgh Bookshop in Aldeburgh, Suffolk – with strong links to the Aldeburgh Literary Festival.
- The Book Hive in Norwich – there’s a fantastic collection of picture books and handpicked middle-grade novels here.
- Topping & Company Booksellers in Ely, Cambridgeshire – the children’s section has dazzling displays, wonderful nonfiction hardbacks and a comfy seating area.
- Woodbridge Books in Woodbridge, Suffolk – with decorated ceilings and walls, the children’s section is a definite highlight.
(Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire & Rutland)
- Books and Banter in Burton Upon Trent – this specialist children’s bookshop includes a timetable for each afternoon including Dungeons and Dragons, milkshakes and homework help.
- Bourne Bookshop in Bourne – a well-stocked independent bookshop in the heart of Bourne close to M&S.
- Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham – with lots of author events and an art gallery.
- Fox Books in Leicester – a fascinating shop on Silver Walk surrounded by cafes, culture and arty boutiques.
- Kibworth Books in Kibworth Beauchamp – with clean lines and lots of engaging titles in the children’s section, this is a great place to browse.
- Magazine Heaven in Rushden Lakes, Northamptonshire. More magazines than you’ll ever see under one roof, anywhere.
- Neverland Bookshop in Newark – a great small independent bookshop with super-helpful staff.
- Quinns Bookshop in Market Harborough – a quaint shop in the heart of the market town that also sells art materials and gifts.
- St. Mary’s Books in Stamford – a fascinating shop with second-hand stock and wall-to-ceiling books. A great spot to browse.
- Scarthin Books in Cromford, Matlock. A magical bookshop spread over 13 rooms and three floors. When you’ve finished browsing there’s a cosy vegan cafe.
- The Book Fayre in Woodhall Spa – includes a dedicated children’s room with a fluffy Gruffalo to cuddle.
- Walkers Books in Stamford and Walkers of Oakham – these great local bookshops also sell cards, gifts and Thornton’s chocolates.
- Wonderland Bookshop in Retford – this specialist children’s bookshop was a 2022 regional Nibbies winner.
(City of London & Greater London)
- Book Mongers in Brixton -a secondhand bookstore “widely known for its unique atmosphere and independent spirit”.
- Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace – with lots of inspired children’s book picks. According to their shop’s website, “twee, kowtowing, conventional it ain’t.”
- Daunt Books in Marylebone, London – an iconic independent bookshop. A booklover’s dream.
- Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford, East London. “The UK’s first Story Centre for children aged 0-11 and their families”. Highly recommended.
- Dulwich Books in West Dulwich – features a lovely children’s corner with cushions and plush toys.
- FARA Books for Kids on Chatham Road – a specialist children’s bookshop “with a dazzling range of children’s literature and teen fiction”.
- Foyles on Charing Cross Road – this flagship store has over 200,000 titles in stock. The lower ground floor is a treasure trove of children’s and YA books.
- Gosh! – the London-based comic shop – with superheroes, children’s books, manga, graphic novels and translations. Highly recommended.
- Hatchards in Piccadilly – London’s oldest bookshop. The children’s floor “is a haven for young minds to explore.”
- Kirkdale Bookshop, Sydenham -with new and secondhand stock. This store supports LGBTQIA+ authors.
- Libreria on Hanbury Street – a fascinating store with impossibly tall bookcases, this shop is “designed to help you discover new books and ideas, and encourage interdisciplinary thinking”.
- Marchpane Children’s Books, Cecil Court, London – apparently an inspiration for Diagon Alley, this shop specialises in Lewis Carroll books and collectable first editions.
- Moon Lane Ink on Stanstead Road, London. A specialist children’s bookshop. “Dedicated to addressing inequity in children’s books: inequity of access, representation and roles in the publishing industry.” Highly recommended.
- Newham Bookshop in East London. This vibrant and thriving shop is wonderful to browse. “Half of the shop is dedicated to children’s books”.
- Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, London – a specialist children’s bookshop that hosts “preschool activities and after-school-run Young Illustrators and a lively book group”.
- Regency Bookshop in Surbiton. Stocks “a general range of books and a wide selection of children’s books”. Offers services for schools.
- Review in Peckham – a cosy shop that is “dog friendly to friendly dogs!”
- Rye Books in East Dulwich – a charming independent which includes children’s books from babies through to teens.
- South Kensington Books in Kensington – with eye-catching window displays and a useful children’s section. “We serve the local community and schools”, states their website.
- Tales on Moon Lane in Herne Hill, London – a multi-award-winning specialist children’s bookshop. Highly recommended.
- The Alligator’s Mouth in Richmond -a specialist children’s bookshop. Part of the London Bookshop Crawl 2023. Shortlisted for The British Book Awards Children’s Bookseller of the Year in 2017.
- The Barnes Bookshop – apparently it’s “quite possibly the best bookshop in Barnes.”
- The Broadway Bookshop in Hackney – “a small but beautiful independent bookshop in busy Broadway Market”.
- The Bookshop on the Heath in Blackheath – the “oldest second-hand & collectable bookshop in south-east London”. A joy to browse.
- The Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill – this specialist children’s bookshop offers a comprehensive range of services for schools and a vast and inspiring stock of children’s and YA titles. Highly recommended.
- The Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town -features a comprehensive range of adult and children’s titles and regular in-store author events.
- Village Books in Dulwich Village – a warm and friendly bookshop which regularly features children’s author events.
(Cleveland, County Durham, Northumberland & Tyne and Wear)
- Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland – one of the biggest second-hand bookshops in Britain.
- Book Corner in Saltburn – a lovely bookshop conveniently close to the railway station and parking at Sainsbury’s.
- Cogito Books in Hexham, Northumberland – there’s a great selection and a thriving weekend YA book group.
- Drake The Bookshop in Stockton-on-Tees –the children’s section features a great selection of dyslexia-friendly titles.
- Featherhead Books in Houghton-le-Spring – a beautifully presented shop with a great range of fiction and non-fiction books for toddlers, children and young adults.
- Forum Books in Corbridge, The Bound in Whitley Bay & The Accidental Bookshop in Alnwick. The Alnwick store features ‘the UK’s tallest bookshop bookshelf’.
- Seven Stories in Newcastle Upon Tyne – the national centre for children’s books is a must-visit for #kidlit fans.
- The Guisborough Bookshop – a great bookshop with adult and children’s titles, cards, gifts and a plethora of celebration balloons.
(Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire & Merseyside)
- Bear Hunt Books, in Bebbington, Wirral – very strong on primary and early secondary aged titles, this shop celebrates ‘neurodiversity, gender diversity, LGBT and cultural diversity.’
- Broadhursts of Southport – four floors of books including secondhand titles, prints and maps and children’s titles.
- Carnforth Bookshop, in Carnforth – you could lose hours, possibly days in here. A fascinating shop that offers new and used adult and children’s titles.
- Chorlton Bookshop in Chorlton, Manchester – an award-winning indie bookshop on Wilbraham Road.
- ebb & flo bookshop in Chorley, Lancashire – with handpicked titles and a ‘pop-up’ bookshop service for schools.
- Kernaghan Books in Liverpool – located in a spectacular grade 1 listed building in the city centre.
- Linghams Books in Heswall -open 6 days a week there’s a great range of YA titles.
- News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop in Liverpool – a nonprofit workers’ co-op shop with thought-provoking and interesting book picks.
- Pritchards Bookshop in Crosby, Liverpool – there’s a lovely children’s section with vibrant displays and wall-to-wall bunting.
- Sam Read Bookseller in Grassmere, Cumbria – an award-winning small bookshop in a glorious setting.
- Simply Books in Bramhall Village, Cheshire – an award-winning bookshop and cafe with lots of events and regular book groups.
- Storytellers Inc in Lytham St. Annes – fabulous window displays and close to the promenade.
- Tell Tale Books in Padgate, Warrington – a specialist children’s bookshop with amazing books, a cosy cafe and lots of cake.
- Urmston Book Shop in Urmston, Manchester – with regular author events, book clubs and services for schools.
- Verey Books in Pooley Bridge, Ullswater, Cumbria – a beautifully presented shop with a deliciously enticing children’s section. Fabulous setting.
- Westwood Books in Sedburgh, Cumbria – “The largest book shop in the Yorkshire Dales”.
- Write Blend in Waterloo, Liverpool – absolutely stunning children’s section and there’s free wifi for the parents.
- Books, Paper, Scissors, Belfast – with a dedicated children’s room this is a beautiful shop to spend time and browse in.
- Bridge Books in Dromore, County Down – a wonderful boutique shop packed with exciting books and gifts.
- Little Acorns Bookstore, Londonderry – a deceptively large bookshop with a colossal number of books. There’s also a fascinating typewriter museum.
- No Alibis, Belfast – a gloriously arts-orientated shop on Botanic Avenue, No Alibis has a fantastic handpicked children’s section. The shop also hosts author events, and readings, and operates its own small press with titles on sale on the shelves.
- Stacks Bookshop, Belfast – a cracking second-hand bookshop with lots of affordable children’s titles.
- The Dragon’s Quill Bookstore, Dromore – a specialist children’s bookshop with particular strengths in picture books and illustrated fiction. There’s also a weekend gardening club.
- The Secret Bookshelf, Carrickfergus features a wide range of carefully selected children’s books as well as adult titles, gifts and rare editions across lots of different rooms. It’s easy to lose hours exploring here. Highly recommended.
Republic of Ireland
- Banner Books in Ennistymon, County Clare – “A Haven for Booklovers” with new and secondhand books.
- Barker & Jones in Naas, Kildare – a great selection of children’s and YA titles. There’s also a wide range of collectable cards such as Match-Attax and Pokemon.
- Books At One in Dublin, Louisburgh and Letterfrack – “a collective of locally managed community bookshops”, “fostering a love of reading”.
- Books Upstairs, Dublin – “Dublin’s oldest independent bookshop” with lots of children’s, YA and graphic novel titles.
- Bookworm Bookshop & Cafe in Thurles, County Tipperary – with books, music, crafts and a great cafe.
- Chapters Bookstore, Dublin – reopened in 2022, this enormous and iconic shop stocks new children’s and adult books and an extensive selection of secondhand books. A fabulous spot to browse and also trade children’s and YA titles.
- Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway – with over 100,000 new and secondhand books arranged in almost impossibly tall bookcases, you could lose days, possibly weeks, browsing in here.
- Halfway up the Stairs, County Wicklow – this specialist children’s bookshop was nominated for Children’s Bookseller of the Year 2021. Highly recommended.
- The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin – both stores, in Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar and Railway Road, Dalkey feature engaging children’s sections with hand-picked stock.
- Aberfeldy Watermill Bookshop & Cafe in Aberfeldy, Perthshire. There’s a dedicated children’s room in this fascinating shop that’s “full of nooks and crannies!”
- Better Read Books and Gifts in Ellon, Scotland – an independent bookshop with a good children’s range, especially picture books.
- Bookpoint in Dunoon – a “social hub and a resource for the great communities in Dunoon and Cowal”.
- Carmina Gadelica in Portree, Isle of Skye – including many Gaelic titles and “an extensive range of contemporary books for adults and children”.
- Dornoch Bookshop in Dornock – a beautiful independent bookshop on the high street with fabulous window displays.
- Far From the Madding Crowd in Linlithgow, West Lothian- this award-winning bookshop offers weekly storytelling sessions.
- Foggie Toddle Books in Wigtown – in the heart of Scotland’s ‘book town’, this specialist children’s bookshop stocks new and used children’s and YA titles and features a play area.
- Ginger and Pickles Bookshop in Stockbridge, Edinburgh – a specialist children’s bookshop run by an experienced secondary English teacher.
- Hyndland Bookshop in Glasgow – an independent with “an eclectic range of fiction and non-fiction & children’s books”.
- Leakey’s Bookshop in Inverness -Scotland’s largest secondhand bookshop with over 100,000 books.
- Minerva’s Emporium in Kingussie, Scottish Highlands – a thriving bookshop and LGBTQIA+ safe space that also stocks colourful yarn.
- Night Owl Books in East Linton, East Lothian – “new and second-hand books for adults and children, with a particular focus on wildlife and the natural world”.
- Scotia Books in Kilsyth, North Lanarkshire – also organises events for schools.
- Stromness Books & Prints in Stromness, Orkney. Scotland’s only drive-in bookshop with a fascinating history. Listen to the backstory.
- The Bookhouse Broughty Ferry in Broughty Ferry, Dundee. Very strong on fantasy, sci-fi, YA and Warhammer. Highly recommended.
- The Bookmark in Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland – a vibrant children’s area with an extensive range.
- The Celtic House in Islay – with a strong focus on Scottish writers and Hebridean culture. The gift shop features a delightful collection of knitted sheep.
- The Edinburgh Bookshop in Edinburgh – with a comprehensive children’s section and lots of weekly book clubs.
- The Ginger Cat Children’s Bookshop in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire – a specialist children’s bookshop with handpicked titles, signed copies and gifts.
- The Highland Bookshop in Fort William. Features “an extensive stock across all subject areas, including fiction, nature, Scottish and children’s”.
- The Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells, Melrose, Roxburghshire. Children’s Bookseller of the Year 2010, and there’s also a cafe and a deli.
- The Nairn Bookshop in Nairn – with lots of children’s books, this charming shop “always aims to surprise you with our selection”.
- The Orcadian Bookshop – in Kirkwall, Orkney. “Passionate about all things books” this independent’s strengths include local Orkney titles, graphic novels and YA novels.
- The Portobello Bookshop in Edinburgh. Open seven days a week this shop is well organised with a sense of space and room to browse.
- The Ullapool Bookshop in Ullapool, Scotland – “specialising in books about the Scottish Highlands and Islands”, there’s also a cosy children’s section.
- Whitie’s Books & Crafts in Peebles – features “a variety of teenage genres and also all the curriculum-linked titles.”
(Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey & West Sussex)
- Afrori Books in Brighton – offers “books of black origin” with a vibrant children’s and YA section and an “ARK” anti-racist kids club.
- Bags of Books in Lewes, East Sussex – this specialist children’s bookshop includes regular author events and a weekly storytime session.
- Chiltern Bookshops in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire and Gerrard’s Cross, Buckinghamshire.
- Fourbears Books in Reading – a vibrant and friendly local independent.
- Harbour Books in Whitstable, Kent – a well-stocked children’s section including poetry and dyslexia-friendly titles.
- Hungerford Bookshop in Hungerford, Berkshire – new and secondhand titles.
- Madhatter Bookshop in Burford – a “wonderland of your making, just add a little imagination and the wonders of the written word”.
- Moon Lane Books & Toys in Ramsgate, Kent. UK children’s bookseller of the year 2020. Highly recommended.
- P & G Wells in Winchester, Hampshire – established for over 300 years. Offers book fairs for schools.
- Pigeon Books in Southsea, Hampshire – A lovely children’s section that’s particularly strong in illustrated board books. Highly recommended.
- Portrait Bookshop in Herne Bay, Kent – a specialist children’s bookshop focussing on diverse titles.
- Sevenoaks Bookshop in Sevenoaks –Muddy Stilettos Bookshop of the Year, 2022.
- Steyning Bookshop in Steyning, West Sussex. A great children’s corner including signed Julia Donaldson books. Also offers school book fairs.
- The Bell Bookshop in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire – “offers a different and more eclectic range to the chain shops”. Amazing window displays.
- The Book House in Thame, Oxfordshire – a specialist children’s bookshop with a great selection of classics and new titles. The shop is guarded by a Fat Puffin.
- The Bookmark Stockbridge, in Stockbridge, Hampshire – “Children’s, fishing and natural history books are a speciality along with American voices”.
- The Book Nook in Hove, East Sussex – a specialist children’s bookshop. Children’s bookseller of the Year, 2018. Highly recommended.
- The Haslemere Bookshop in Haslemere, Surrey – warm and cosy with friendly staff.
- The Hayling Island Bookshop in Hayling Island, Hampshire. South of England Independent Bookshop of the year 2009. Also organises school events.
- The Little Bookshop in Cookham, Berkshire – a “bijou literary hot-spot”.
- The Snug Children’s Bookshop in Olney, Buckinghamshire – features Grace the Book Bus, a double-decker that can visit your school.
- The Woodstock Bookshop in Woodstock, Oxfordshire – with thousand of books in stock and a “large selection of children’s books”.
(Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire)
- Atomic Comics & Games in Yeovil – with a vast number of comic and regular gaming events including Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Book Stop in Tavistock – an independent whose “particular strengths are children’s and local books”.
- Dogberry & Finch Books in Okehampton – with a “hand-picked, ever-changing and carefully curated” stock and a great children’s area. Browsing is encouraged.
- Green Dragon Bookshop in Crewkerne, Somerset – a lovely children’s area and friendly, helpful staff.
- Gullivers Bookshop in Wimborne Minster – offers services for schools including visits, and bunting and display materials for school libraries.
- Little Toller Books in Beaminster, Dorset – “books for readers of all ages that celebrate the very best writing about the natural world, farming, rural life and the environment”.
- Max Minerva’s in Bristol – with a strong background in children’s education and creativity.
- Mr B’s Emporium in Bath, Somerset – features a “surprise reads” scheme for children and teens to encourage reading.
- Octavia’s Bookshop in Cirencester – an award-winning specialist children’s bookshop. Highly recommended. Features a unique “rehome a Moomin” scheme.
- Owl And Pyramid in Seaton, Devon – a multi-award-winning independent owned by a former primary school teacher.
- Padstow Bookseller in Padstow – with a hand-picked selection of titles and regular author events.
- Rocketship Bookshop in Salisbury – a specialist children’s bookshop with a fantastic handpicked selection of contemporary titles. Very strong range of picture books.
- Rossiter Books in Cheltenham – a vibrant independent with regular author events.
- Stories by the Sea in St Ives – a beautifully presented bookshop with handpicked children’s titles.
- Storysmith in Bristol – a “community-focused bookshop” that wants “to help the next generation of readers come into contact with more books”.
- The Bookery in Crediton, Devon – UK children’s bookshop of the Year 2022. Highly recommended.
- The East Gate Bookshop in Totnes, Devon – a charming independent shop. Also runs “Wild Book Talks” with nature writers.
- The Edge Of The World Bookshop in Penzance – a wonderfully quirky shop with a specialist children’s section. Organises events and author visits.
- The Harbour Bookshop in Kingsbridge, Devon – with more than 10,000 books in the centre of idyllic Kingsbridge.
- The Ivybridge Bookshop in Ivybridge, Devon – a family bookshop in Ivybridge. Named National Book Tokens Newcomer of the Year in 2022.
- The Oldfield Park Bookshop in Bath – “keep to support local books groups and local schools”.
- Topping & Company Booksellers of Bath – with a great blend of classic and contemporary children’s titles.
- Westbourne Bookshop in Westbourne, Bournemouth – an award-winning indie with a cosy children’s corner.
- Winstone’s in Sherborne, Sidmouth and Frome – an award-winning trio of shops with well-stocked children’s sections.
- Yellow-Lighted Bookshop in Tetbury and Nailsworth, Gloucestershire – work closely with schools and school libraries in the area.
- Awen Mena in Menai – an independent books shop with a wide range of Welsh and English titles.
- Book-ish in Crickhowell, Powys – their philosophy is “to connect people to books, help children to develop a lifelong love of reading and encourage conversation around books and reading.”
- Broadleaf Books in Abergavenny – a beautifully presented and friendly secondhand bookshop.
- Chepstow Books in Monmouthshire – adult and children’s titles and regular events and book signings.
- College Street Books in Ammanford, Wales – a fascinating shop with lots of local interest and Welsh titles.
- Cover To Cover in Swansea – an independent with lots of contemporary children’s and YA titles.
- Griffin Books in Penarth, Wales – includes books clubs, a weekly storytime session for toddlers and lots of great children’s and YA stock.
- Goldstone Books in Camarthen – a cracking second-hand shop with over 700,000 books.
- Gwisgo Bookworm in Aberaeron – there’s an “extensive range of new and second-hand children’s titles in English & Welsh”.
- Palas Print in Caernarfon – a great shop to find track down Welsh language editions of popular children’s titles.
- Rossiter Books in Monmouth – there’s a well-stocked and imaginatively selected children’s and YA range with a strong focus on middle-grade novels.
- Seaways Bookshop in Fishguard – according to their website, customers say they find books here “they haven’t come across anywhere else”.
- Siop Inc in Aberystwyth – Welsh and English books including lots of children’s titles and some great window displays.
- Tenby Bookshop in Tenby – this independent stocks a great selection of children’s titles, as well as toys, gifts and vibrant glove puppets.
- The Bookshop, Mold in Mold – with over 4000 titles in stock, there’s a good range of children’s fiction and nonfiction as well as a useful education section.
- Victoria Book Shop in Haverfordwest – an award-winning independent with regular book signings, local author promotion and events for schools.
(Birmingham, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire)
- Astley Book Farm in Bedworth – with a ‘Children’s HayLoft’ accessed by a themed staircase and decorated with a plethora of quirky furniture and ornamental children’s literature references, this is a fantastic space to help children and teens choose new books.
- Bear Bookshop in Smethwick – a specialist children’s bookshop that strives “to help children and parents experience the joy of reading and learning”. Highly recommended.
- Blue Sheep Books in Wednesbury – “Alright bab? We are Blue Sheep Books!” With great displays, hand-picked children’s books and regular author events, this is a great shop to visit and grab a ‘Baa Gain‘.
- Booka Bookshop in Shropshire – a wonderful independent in Oswestry that offers age group book clubs for children and teens, and offers services and events for schools.
- Coach House Books in Pershore – a charming small independent with vibrant window displays and a great range of art materials.
- How Brave is the Wren in King’s Heath, Birmingham – this specialist children’s bookshop also operates a travelling service in a caravan. Highly recommended.
- Kenilworth Books in Kenilworth – this independent in the town centre offers a great range of children’s and YA including many titles you might not have come across.
- Rossiter Books in Ross-on-Wye & Leominster. There are some inspired choices in the children’s sections and there’s also a loyalty card scheme.
- Tag Artworks in Fargo Village, Coventry – a specialist comic, book and art shop with a fabulous range of diverse titles.
- The Bookshop on the Green in Bournville Green, Birmingham – with stunning book displays and presentations this is a lovely place to browse. Strong connections to the local writing and festival communities.
- The Children’s Bookshelf in Hereford – a stunning range of children’s and educational titles. Highly recommended.
- The Children’s Bookshop in Hay on Wye, Herefordshire. With over 20,000 titles in stock, there’s plenty to browse! Set in a beautiful spot near the River Wye, with parking.
- The Heath Bookshop in King’s Heath – a delightfully presented shop which includes children’s, YA and dyslexia-friendly titles, as well as regular events and weekly live music courtesy of the Mosely Misfits.
- Warwick Books in Warwick – Warwick’s ‘only independent’ in the marketplace offers a great range and regular evening author events.
- Wyre Forest Books in Bewdley, Worcestershire – there’s a dedicated children’s area that not only includes lots of exciting titles, but also a range of book character-themed plush toys. Why not combine a visit with a trip on a steam train at the nearby Severn Valley Railway?
Yorkshire and the Humber
(East Riding of Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire & North and North East Lincolnshire)
- Boggledybook in Doncaster – this specialist children’s bookshop offers services for schools including in-school book fairs. Highly recommended.
- Children’s Bookshop in Huddersfield – a charming specialist children’s bookshop with highly experienced and knowledgeable staff. Also organises school book fairs, group visits and author events.
- Grimm & Co in Rotherham – based in The Old Town Hall, Grimm & Co is a ‘magical apothecary’ offering a spectacular collection of potions, wands, children’s books and gifts, this charity supports “under-resourced children and young people aged 7 to 18 with their confidence and skills around creativity and writing.” A unique experience.
- Imagined Things Bookshop in Harrogate – offers “an eclectic mix of books across a range of genres for adults, young adults and children”.
- Kemps Books in Malton. Including regular events, local author promotions and some great children’s titles in a cosy setting.
- OK Comics in Leeds – based in Thornton’s Arcade, there is a simply stunning range of comics and graphic novels in every genre. Highly recommended.
- Read in Holmfirth – there’s a dedicated children’s room, ‘magical’ author events, and school groups can visit the shop.
- Rhyme & Reason Booksellers in Sheffield – an “Aladdin’s cave in Hunter’s Bar.”
- The Blue House Bookshop in York – a specialist children’s bookshop stocking books for babies through to older teens.
- The Book Vault in Barnsley – an independent shop in the town centre with a dedicated children’s area and weekly children’s storytelling sessions.
- The Helmsley Bookshop in Helmsley – a gem of a bookshop in the marketplace, conveniently located next to several cafes and coffee shops.
- The Little Bookshop in Chapel Allerton, Leeds – opened in 2017, this bookshop offers a “diverse range of inclusive books” for children.
- The Little Ripon Bookshop in Ripon – with a beautifully decorated children’s area carefully stocked with a balance of classics, bestsellers and contemporary titles. Highly recommended.
- The Rabbit Hole in Brigg, North Lincolnshire – passionate about books for children, this cracking independent also offers regular events and workshops. Very highly recommended.
- Reading Roots in Wetherby, Leeds – a great range of children’s books – especially picture books – in an engaging dedicated area.
- The Thoughtful Spot in Skircoat Green, Halifax. Lot’s a great contemporary children’s titles, including signed stock by Tom Palmer. Highly recommended.
- The White Rose Book Cafe in Thirsk – an award-winning independent bookshop with a large cafe and great cake. Perfect for the whole family.
- The Wonky Tree Bookshop in Leyburn – an enticing children’s section with some inspired choices of picture books and middle-grade fiction.
- Through the Wardrobe Books in Mirfield, West Yorkshire – a specialist children’s bookshop in an atmospheric and memorable setting. Very strong on indie titles, poetry and picture books.
- Truman Books in Farsley, Leeds – a warm and friendly bookshop and cafe complete with a lovely children’s books and seating area.
Travelling all over the UK
- How Brave is the Wren – book this spectacular travelling caravan bookshop to arrive at your school event, author visit or prize day. Highly recommended.
- The Roving Bookshop – “an independent bookseller without sales premises, which provides a hands-on specialist bookshop of 3000+ titles inside just about any specific venue“. Spreading a reading-for-pleasure message and offering bespoke book fairs for schools around the UK, we’ve heard lots of good things about the Roving Bookshop. Highly recommended.
Note: “Highly Recommended” denotes positive feedback from multiple sources, including our team of writers, teachers, librarians and reviewers and our readers.
- Do you want to suggest a great children’s bookshop to add to this list? Get in touch using the form on our contact page!