A cultural hotspot with history-filled streets, Cambridge lives up to its literary legacy through numerous bookshops you can find down every street, and around every corner. With rich collections written by some of the world’s most notable authors, Cambridge’s bookshops make for a perfect day out.
If you enjoy losing yourself in fiction, improving your mind and body through the power of narrative, learning new skills, or reciting profound lines that transpose you to a different time, Cambridge’s bookshops will tick all your boxes with their range of literature.
If you are an avid reader and plan on visiting, you will want to know the bookshop opening times in Cambridge. A glance at the city will have you know that you are spoiled for options in your search for book stores. Therefore, we have chosen three key bookshops to bring you the prime times to visit with the help of shop information experts Opening Times, as well as the times these shops open in different locations.
Whether you are a Waterstones enthusiast, Blackwell’s devotee, or prefer WHSmith, their range of sites, opening hours, and in-store experiences are brought to you alongside the busiest and most relaxed times to visit.
If you want to experience a library feel or keep on the safe side out of peak hours, we will let you know the best times to visit, as well as each bookshop’s Covid regulations for a good experience.
What are the bookshop opening times in Cambridge?
According to Opening Times, the key stores we selected have opening hours ranging between 6:30am to 7pm on weekdays, 8am to 6:30pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 5pm on Sundays, when most shops are still open.
However, Waterstones, Blackwell’s, and WHSmith all have distinct opening times which vary depending on their location. On the positive side, they are open to the public most sociable hours, making it easy to access their services in case of a book-reading emergency, like an urgent birthday present, or the personal need of a good book.
So let’s dive in and explore Cambridge’s various book shops, their opening times, and best points of the day to visit, alongside each of their safety measures to ensure your safety during Covid.
Blackwell Heffers Bookshop Cambridge
An independent bookshop of Cambridge, Heffers was founded in 1876, and therefore holds great literary history between its walls, as well as extensive experience in the trade. Now part of Blackwell’s, the store offers a wide collection of literature, as well as board games, stationary, and others.
Blackwell Heffers Bookshop Opening Times on Trinity Street
The opening times for Blackwell Heffers on Trinity Street are between 9am and 5:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 9:30am and 5:30pm on Tuesday, with a shorter availability on Sunday, when the opening hours are 11am to 5pm.
A bookshop for scholarly reads and popular contemporary books alike, Cambridge’s Waterstones store inspires its customers to get comfortable with a book, or lost between shelves browsing, and top up with a cup of tea in their indoor sitting area.
Waterstones Opening Times on Sidney Street
For Waterstones on Sidney Street, the opening hours are between 9am and 6pm Monday to Saturday, with their store closed on Sundays.
The two locations of WHSmith bookshops in Cambridge both bring unique experiences to their visitors. While the Market Street bookstore is conveniently located in the city centre for easy access, with an array of literature for all, its twin on Station Road is conveniently placed near the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and the railway station to provide a good read for those on the go.
WHSmith Opening Times on Market Street
The WHSmith on Market Street is open between 8am and 6:30pm from Monday to Saturday, with a shorter availability to shop on Sunday, as they are open from 10:30am to 4:30pm.
WHSmith Opening Times on Station Road
The opening hours for the WHSmith on Station Road are 6:30am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, with shorter availability over the weekend, when the opening hours are from 8am to 5pm on Saturdays, and 9am to 4pm on Sundays.
What is the best time to shop for books in Cambridge?
We conducted our own testing using Google data and figured out the best times for you to browse and find your next favourite read in the Cambridge WHSmith bookshop on Market Street. We are viewing the ‘best time to shop’ as the store’s quieter hours, for your safety during the Covid pandemic.
We hope to help you find a good moment to visit within your own schedule. Moreover, we are also including the busier times for those looking for a library atmosphere while remaining in accordance with Covid guidelines and restrictions.
The best time to shop in the WHSmith bookshop on Market Street is before 2pm and after 4pm Monday to Friday, with the exception of Tuesday, when it is best to visit before 12pm and after 3pm, and Friday, when the store is quieter before 11am and after 4pm.
On Saturdays, the best time to visit is before 10am and after 5pm, while on Sundays the store is not too busy during their opening times, meaning a safe visit at any point in the day.
The busier times in WHSmith on Market Street are therefore between 2pm and 4pm on weekdays, with Tuesdays busier between 12pm and 3pm, and on Fridays, visits increase between 11am and 4pm.
The shop’s peak hours for customers are on Saturdays, when between 10am and 5pm the store is at its busiest. Sundays are usually very quiet, and therefore not the best day to visit if you are looking for some company.
What are the Covid safety measures in bookshops in Cambridge at the moment?
The bookshops of Cambridge have adapted their stores to protect customers during the Covid pandemic, just like many other retailers in the United Kingdom. Therefore, before you visit any of the bookshops, whether it is to browse, have a tea in a library-like atmosphere, or quickly make a purchase, you will need to follow the safety measures that are in place in each store.
We have put together a break-down of the to-do list before attending a shop, as well as the main things to consider while you are there.
Covid safety measures in Blackwell, Heffers Bookshop
Before you go to Blackwell’s Heffers Bookshop, you need to ensure you have a face mask, as they are required on entrance. This of course differs in the case of exemption.
You should know that the bookshop’s staff sanitises all surfaces between visits, ensuring a safe environment for all its customers.
In order to offer social distancing in stores, safety dividers have been implemented at checkout, so your experience at Blackwell Heffers Bookshop can be as safe as possible.
Covid safety measures in Waterstones
Face masks are also required in Waterstones, where all but children under eleven, medically exempt individuals, or other outstanding cases must wear a face covering.
The bookshop encourages sanitising and provides hygiene stations on entrance.
For the safety of their customers, Waterstones have implemented safety signage to be followed, and limited customer numbers, forming external queues to ensure efficient social distancing.
The furniture and layout of their store has been reviewed to ensure enough space for staff and customers to move at a safe distance.
Sneeze screens have been installed throughout the bookshop, as well as floor vinyls at tills to direct customers towards the queue outline and the safe places to stand within the queue.
Covid safety measures in WHSmith
WHSmith asks all its customers to wear a face covering indoors, with the exception of customers medically exempt from wearing a mask.
The bookshop implements social distancing measures, with floor markings, decals, and staff supervision at checkout to ensure correct distancing.
There are hygiene stations in store, with hand sanitiser available on entrance. The number of customers that can enter the store is limited for your safety.
WHSmith offers payment by card and contactless to reduce direct contact and the chance to spread Covid.
With that in mind, we trust that your visits to Cambridge’s bookshops are filled with literature’s magic veil of stories, experiences, and marvels.
We hope that our insight into the bookshop opening times in Cambridge has been useful, alongside the information on highest activity times in-store, as well as quieter periods during the opening times.