Stroud is a small Gloucestershire market town at the edge of the beautiful and historic Cotswolds. In this quaint and idyllic town, you’ll find farmer’s markets, old manor houses, and endless countryside walks across rolling hills.
The town boasts Victorian homes, some charming cafes, and two delightful independent bookstores: one of new books, one of old; as well as a beautiful book cafe where one can while away an afternoon in absolute bliss with a latte and a stack of books. Part of our Bookstores Around the World series.
Why not base yourself in Stroud (we recommend the Wild Garlic Hotel) while exploring the stunning Cotswolds and enjoy all of the bookish goodness.
To be found at the bottom of Nelson Street, as the town centre begins, R&R Books is a quaint and charming store which sells a range of second-hand books from almost every genre of fiction, as well as some non-fiction (travel, history) and even a delightful Penguin section; a small wall of old Penguin paperbacks in their iconic orange style.
The store is an organised treasure trove of wood panelling and that good, hearty, old-book smell. What you’ll find – as it is with all second-hand stores – is very much up to chance, but chance can yield some wonderful surprises.
Most UK people make a beeline to Waterstones or Foyles when a new book is released. But what about those nestled in the quieter corners of the country? For the lucky residents of, and visitors to, Stroud, there is the Stroud Bookshop.
This store is a little shop of wonders, stocking the newest releases in hardback and paperback fiction. A display by the door proudly showcases the latest books, and the shelves next to the till are decorated with the current year’s paperbacks. There’s even a small corner tucked around the side with a reading chair, and a play area at the back in the children’s section. This shop is an absolute delight, and it is wonderful to see a small town have such easy access to the newest releases in literature.
You can follow them on twitter here.
Bonus: Black Book Café
If you’re a fan of the BBC classic Black Books, you’ll be delighted by a café overflowing with books which shares its name. If you’re not a fan, you really should be.
This café can be found on the corner beside R&R Books, and serves homemade cakes, a range of coffees, and every wall without a window is decorated from floor to ceiling with bookshelves. Buy a book at one of the above stores, bring it into Black Book, nestle down, and lose a few hours.
[Insider fact: this article was written and edited from a table in Black Book, by a happy writer cradling a latte]