If you’re a keen reader, then seeking out new bookshops is surely one of the great pleasures in your life. For many of us, discovering a hidden gem in a new town or city can be a getaway highlight.
But away from the big chains like Waterstones (which are generally modern and accessible, with lifts and wider entrances), what are the options? How accessible are many of the smaller, independent stores?
Well, to help you out, here is Quingo Scooters’ guide to the five best accessible UK bookshops. Happy book hunting!
- The Watermill Bookshop, Aberfeldy, Scotland
This is a fantastic place that has been voted the UK’s best independent bookshop in the past and we think that title is very well deserved. Situated within a former oatmeal mill, both the bookshop itself and the excellent cafe are accessible to all.
They also hold regular events here too, with everything from book signings to talks from authors. There is an excellent range of books and staff who are always happy to help. And the homemade cakes in the cafe are just delicious!
- Foyles Bookshop, 107 Charing Cross Road, London
We’re going to cheat a little with this one, as of course Foyles is a famous chain. But we wanted to include it as we are big fans of their new home on Charing Cross Road in London. Of course, this is a location that is synonymous with the book trade (immortalised forever in the film 84 Charing Cross Road) and the whole area is absolutely packed with bookshops.
But Foyles have been on this street since 1906, and they are rightly proud of their flagship store at number 107. It’s light and spacious, and most importantly fully accessible with lifts to all floors. A bibliophile’s heaven.
- Barter Books, Alnwick, Northumberland
Barter Books is something completely different. Situated in the lovely town of Alnwick in Northumberland, this independent bookshop is generally accessible to those of us with different mobility needs. It even has its own parking outside (including two Blue Badge spaces).
Once you’re inside you won’t want to leave. It’s situated in the town’s old Victorian railway station and is one of the most charming bookshops we’ve ever visited. They have an excellent selection of books (including some antiquarian rarities), but it is the building itself that’s the real star. It has a lovely cafe, open fires and even a 40ft mural!
- The Ennis Bookshop, Ennis, County Clare
Ennis is the main town in County Clare, Ireland, and it is a picturesque, historic place to spend a few days. We recommend visiting the beautiful Franciscan Friary while you’re there – but we’re also big fans of The Ennis Bookshop.
It has everything a local independent bookshop should have. Lots of great titles, of course – but also a welcoming and knowledgeable team who really know their books. And best of all, it’s fully accessible to all.
There isn’t a great deal of information on their website, but give the team a call on +353 65 682 900 if you want to plan your visit ahead.
- High Peak Bookstore and Café, Ashbourne Road, Buxton
Buxton in Derbyshire is a great town and a wonderful place to base yourself if you’re wanting to explore the surrounding Peak District. But one of the highlights for us has to be the High Peak Bookstore and Café – a real jewel in Buxton’s crown.
It has its own handy car park close by, and a huge range of fiction and non-fiction. It’s a welcoming place, with friendly staff, an excellent cafe and even some strategically placed bird feeders to watch while you sip your coffee.
About Quingo Scooters
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