I visited Bristol a few month ago, and I LOVED it (and the good weather must have help a bit). It’s lively, it’s modern, it’s green: it’s enchanting. I have a thing for harbour cities, Victorian docks and wharves, and Bristol add it all. The old streets, small independent shops and quiet mansions from the city centre to Clifton village are also quite charming. The same goes for the numerous parks of the city. But, well, I’m not here to sell you Bristol, but rather to tell you about the nice shops I found on my way : everything you need to buy books and stationery in Bristol.
Bookshops in Bristol
It’s the first bookshop I stumbled upon, off Castle Park. I must say I was happily surprised by this Waterstone branch. It was nice and big, with lots books, a nice cafe, some Bristol souvenirs and a lot of other articles for bookworms like me (like some Out of print clothing pins enamels that were hard to resist to).
11A Union Street, Bristol – www.waterstones.com
A little bit further, amidst the modern shop of the Broadmead shopping area, I came across a Foyle’s branch – to my surprise, as I always associate Foyle’s to their flagship store in London, not knowing they add other addresses. It’s a small branch, and it doesn’t really compare with its neighbour Waterstones, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find some good books in there. Yep, I left with another book in my hands.
6 Quakers Friars, Cabbot Circus, Bristol – www.foyles.co.uk
St Nicholas Market
Back to the city centre and the old city. The lovely St Nicholas Markets host several stalls and shops selling second hand books. I didn’t spend long there so I can’t give much details, but I’m sure you’ll find some good bargains.
The Exchange, Corn Street, Bristol
Bloom and Curll
Had I know there was such a wonderful bookstore in Bristol, I might have saved my quota of books-to-be-brought-back-home for this indie shop. They sell both new and second-hand books, chosen with care. I might be biased for I saw lots of authors I like… Anyway, pay them a visit, it’s near the Christmas Steps. It’s great, the atmosphere is charming and they also specialize in bookbinding: The back of the shop is a small workshop. If you had to pick one of these addresses to visit, go there, it really has something special (I confess I hesitated with Papersmith for the top address award, but Bloom and Curll wins).
74 Colston Street, Bristol
The Last Bookshop
This last address is aptly named as it’s the last bookstore I found on my way. It lies in a building currently being renovated, but it still is pretty visible — just look for some orange signs everywhere. It’s selling point? Each book at £3, 2 books at £5 and 3 books at £10. I went there by curiosity, as I usually don’t expect much from “clearance” stores and like (and I couldn’t bring any more books home). Well, well, I was wrong, this store is worth paying a visit and I would have gladly bought some books there. They have some titles from Penguin Modern Classics and Vintage editions (my favourites) and authors like Hemingway, Cocteau, Yates and the like (among my favourites too ^^). Make your calculation, £3 a book usually sold around £9.99, it’s a bargain!
60 Park Street, Bristol
Stationery in Bristol
And if this hunt for books has exhausted you, a few steps from the Last bookshop you’ll find the Guild. It’s a shop, they sell some stationery too, mostly postcards, but I rather recommend it for its very quiet and shady patio, where you can enjoy a piece of cake and some coffee. Perfect for a break on a warm day!
68 – 70 Park Street, Bristol
This one is for stationery lovers. It’s part of the reason why I wanted to visit Bristol, to be honest! The store in itself is a pleasure (bright and spacious), and what they sell won’t deceive you. They have high quality notebooks, pens and pencils, accessories, maps and city guides of the best kind (Herb Lester and Walk with me), beautiful books and magazines… You won’t leave empty-handed
And it sits in the heart of the Clifton Village, which is definitively worth a go, so you don’t have any excuse!
6a Boyce’s Avenue Clifton Village, Bristol – www.papersmiths.co.uk
A little bit further Bloom and Curl, in Colston street, Blaze is a small shop selling the works of local illustrators – if you’re more on the postcard or posters side of life. They also sell ceramics and other artworks, for all tastes.
84 Colston Street – www.blazestudio.co.uk
Of course this is only a selection of shops I came across while visiting the city. If you have other addresses to share, do leave a comment!