10 independent Norfolk bookshops for your literature fix
PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:06 06 April 2016
Whether you’re hunting for a new novel, second-hand paperback or children’s classic, we pick 10 of the best Norfolk bookshops to discover new reads
Whether you want the latest bestseller, a specialist nature book, something to inspire your children or to learn more about local history – there is a bookshop in Norfolk to suit everyone, packed full of magical finds waiting to be discovered.
Since it was opened in 2009 by Henry Layte, The Book Hive in Norwich has won numerous accolades and is now an important part of Norfolk’s literary scene. As well as selling a widehuge range of personally selected titles, often hard to find elsewhere, covering fiction, poetry, art and design, children’s books and cookery, it encourages and supports new writers and those seeking to become published. It is also the place to go for high profile local book launches.
The Book Hive, Lo53 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1HL;, 01603 219268
Printing and publishing have been at the heart of the Jarrold business since the 19th century and today it remains one of the county’s Norfolk’s most famous book sellers, with a presence on many of our town’s high streets. The basement of the Norwich store is home to its flagship book department where you can find everything from the latest bestsellers, food and drink titles and travel guides to local books, specialist authors and an engaging children’s department. It also hosts many literary events featuring leading writers from around the globe. And at Cromer, it has a large range of books, including a strong selection of publications about Norfolk.
Jarrold’s, 1-11 London Street, Norwich, NR2 1JF;, 01603 660661
Kett’s Books in Wymondham is a not-for-profit independent bookshop run by the community for the community. In 2013, when the privately run shop looked set to close, a group of volunteers gathered together and set about saving it for the benefit of the whole town. It has a vast stock of books and the volunteers take time to get to know customers and pass on recommendations. It also works closely with schools through numerous initiatives, with a focus on engaging children of all ages in books and literature.
Kett’s Books, 3 Whartons Court, Wymondham, NR18 0UQ;, 01953 603663
For more than a century, Bertram A Watts has been a key part of Sheringham’s town centre. This very traditional bookshop offers a diverse collection of fiction and non fiction books, from the latest bestsellers to specialist local history titles. It also sells a wide range of art materials and stationary.
Bertram A Watts, Church Street, Sheringham NR26 8QP, 01263 823127
Frequently included in nationwide lists of the best bookshops, The Holt Bookshop was opened by Stephen Fry in 2005. Nestled away in a courtyard just off the main high street, it has more than 12,000 books in stock, including a great range of local interest and natural history books. In the past 10 years, it has organised many major author events in the town, including the likes of Alan Bennett, Michael Palin and Dame Stella Rimington.
The Holt Bookshop, 10 Appleyard, Holt, NR25 6AR;, 01263 715858;
The Norfolk Children’s Book Centre at Alby is a joy to visit. Located rather unassumingly down a country lane near the north-east village of Alby, it is fantastic for children and parents alike. Owner Marilyn Brocklehurst and her staff have an incredible knowledge of childrenkid’s books and, as well as running the shop, they also works closely with teachers and schools. Everyone who visits the shop is encouraged to sit down with a free cup of tea and explore the books, with their little ones, and there are plenty of recommendations should you need them.
The Norfolk Children’s Book Centre, Church Lane, Alby, NR11 7HB; 01263 761402; 01263 761402
The Crabpot Bookshop, Cley
Set up by former publisher Louise Abbott in Cley eight years ago, The Crabpot Bookshop is a big favourite with naturalists and twitchers who frequent the Norfolk coast. She has since opened a second shop in Wells. LouiseShe now has thousands of second hand books – from modern and classic novels to more unusual non- fiction books, all waiting to be discovered. She also specialises in bird and natural history books.
The Crab Pot Bookshop, Cley, NR25 7RN;, 01263 740218; and ; 52 Staithe St, Wells, NR23 1AQ;, 01328 710392.
The quaint and inviting Ceres Bookshop and Tea Room in Swaffham sells both new and secondhand books, and is known for its warm welcome. As well as the manyhuge number of books filling the shelves, the shop also orders copiesbooks for collection and runs a book evaluation service. Best of all, it also has its own café with speciality cakes and you can take a book from the shelf to read while enjoying a quiet cuppa.
Ceres Bookshop and Tea Room,20 London Street, Swaffham, PE37 7DG; 01760 722504;,
In the heart of Norwich, The family-run City Bookshop is a haven for book lovers. Not only does it have a fantastic range of new books, there are thousands of second hand titles and rarities to devour. There is a large section of books focusing on the history of Norfolk and the Broads, as well as a large selection of military, art and transport related titles.
City Bookshop, 10-10A Davey Place,
Norwich NR2 1PQ;, 01603 626113;,
The Blickling Hall National Trust secondhand charity book shop opens seven days a week, 10am to 5pm, and it is perfect to pop in after exploring the estate. It is run by volunteers and all the books are all donated by visitors and supporters, with all proceeds for the benefit of the Blickling Estate.
Blickling Hall bookshop, Bickling NR11 6NF;, 01263 738030;