For those that love literature, history, cozy spaces or all the above, Hatchards is a must.
This shop claims the coveted title of London’s oldest bookseller. Opened in 1797 by John Hatchard at 187 Piccadilly, it has been a treasure for hundreds of years with John’s portrait still gracing its staircase. By looking at the facade alone, one could easily walk past Hatchards and never think twice about it. However, its unassuming and quiet outside leads to a treasure trove inside.
Because of Hatchards extensive history, its clientele is made up of literary and historically elite.Â It has seen the likes of Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron, and more recently, JK Rowling, SebastianÂ Faulks, and David Attenborough.
This bookstore houses almost 100,000 books spanned across five floors. If you can’t find a book you’re looking for, Hatchards staffÂ will find it for you, no matter howÂ obscure or rare it may be. Need a first edition, signed copy of Ian Flemming’s Dr. No? Or a second edition copy of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land? Hatchards are your people. All you have to do is ask.
If you only visit for the atmosphere, that’s alright too. The dark paneling and original fireplaces make you feel as if you’re part of an old literary club that only allow entry to those who have read every book by Thomas Hardy. Twice. Never fear though, if you’re just looking to kill a few minutes or buy several new books for your collection, all are welcome.
Though Hatchards is now owned by Waterstones, it is still a journey every book lover should make.