Bristol is a city of culture as well as great shops. With a thriving student population, and many poets and writers in residence, bookshops are often highly sought after and the city does not disappoint. While bigger stores such as Waterstones tend to dominate the market for readers there are many great independent book shops on offer across the city. Here are just a few.

Bloom and Curll

As far as independent bookstores go, this one is a real treat. Paper cuttings direct you to the different sections, flyers for literary events adorn the walls and there’s even free cake on occasion. The staff are avid readers themselves and always happy to help you track things down.

Books for Amnesty

In a great position on the busy Gloucester Road, Books For Amnesty is a deceptively small shop from the outside but crammed to the back wall with books upon entering. Well-stocked with many reasonably priced books, shoppers can also feel good about donating to charity whenever they buy books from here.


Starting off as a travel bookshop, Stanfords (situated near the centre of town) has now expanded into fiction as well, making it a great stop for any avid reader. They still stock a huge range of maps and foreign language books – ideal for anybody studying at the nearby BLC English school.

Oxfam bookshop

One of the best charity shops in Bristol, the Oxfam Bookshop at the top of Park Street is a real gem. Books of all subjects are stocked, as well as cards, gifts and ornaments. Some rare treats often end up on their shelves, including an original Harry Potter book which sold for over £700.


Just along from Bloom & Curll, Booty offers a similar array of books along with gifts, clothes and even posh hats. A store you could spend hours in!

Beware of the Leopard

Named after a sign in the great Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Beware of the Leopard is definitely for serious readers. Split over two stalls in St Nicholas Market, one half holds fiction and the other non-fiction with plenty to browse.

Arnolfini bookshop

Tacked on to the modern art gallery near the Docks, the Arnolfini bookshop specialises in art, film, music and photography with some great fiction and poetry thrown in. It’s not cheap, but it’s well worth a visit for some good quality browsing.

J and Star Bazaar

This strange little shop in Southville is a mix of bric-a-brac, books and items from yesteryear. The chaotic layout of the shop doesn’t encourage casual browsing, but there’s plenty to see should you persist. In among the stacks of books are ancient guitars, second-hand bicycles and obscure ornaments. You never know what you might find...


Not technically an independent, Blackwells in Bristol has still done well to survive despite having to downsize from a four-storey megastore to a smaller one-floor shop. A good mix of books is to be found here – those completing teacher training courses in the UK can rely on Blackwells for academic books, while fiction lovers can always find the latest releases. 

The Last Bookshop

Finally, The Last Bookshop on Park Street sells anything and everything book-shaped – all for £2. Walk away with a slim volume of poetry or a huge collection of photography - they’ll both cost you the same price. The shop also offers cult DVDs, postcards and prints.
Resource Box

Visit Bristol

Tourist information for visitors


Official website for Bristol art gallery


Information about the Bristol bookshop

What could be more romantic than enjoying the best of the UK’s countryside on a holiday break made for two? Walking holidays aren’t just for serious hikers – there’s plenty for everybody to enjoy, regardless of your fitness level. Take some time to enjoy each other’s company while enjoying the great outdoors. From the mountains of Ireland to the rolling hills of Shropshire, this article looks at five romantic walking breaks for couples to enjoy together.
Are you and your partner fitness fanatics? Or do you just love to take in the countryside? A walking holiday is a great idea for spending some quality time together, while exploring some of the best sights the UK has to offer. From rolling hills to lush green fields, enjoy the great outdoors during the day and relax in a country hotel in the evening. Still looking for your perfect match? Visit a dating site like eHarmony and start searching for your walking partner! I follow them on Twitter for dating ideas and romantic getaways- they give some good inspiration.

The Shropshire Hills

One of the most beautiful and unspoilt counties in England, Shropshire is home to the lovely hill country – voted ‘An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. Couples can also take in the county town Shrewsbury, one of England’s finest medieval market towns.
The steep valleys of the Long Mynd walking trail are great for expert hikers, or you could visit the gentler trail along Wenlock Edge, which offers lovely views of the surrounding countryside. Views along the Welsh border are also not to be missed.

Wales Coastal Path

For anyone who has met their perfect partner while dating in Wales, the recently-opened Wales Coast Path is a treat for avid walkers. Choose a length of the 870-mile trail and enjoy the beauty of the country together.
Starting from the outskirts of Chester, the path meanders all the way to Chepstow, making it the world’s only coastal path which spans the length of a country. Visit the little-known area of Ceredigion, a beautiful spot for some lovely coastal views.

Offa's Dyke Path

Part of the Wales Coast Path, the Offa’s Dyke path totals 177 miles from Prestatyn, North Wales, to Chepstow on the Severn. The route follows the ancient barrier built by Offa, King of Mercia, to protect his kingdom during the 8th Century.
This is a long route for ambitious walkers, but there are many lovely sights and comfortable hotels along the way. Pass through the Clwydian Hills and cross the Dee Valley for breath-taking sights of the surrounding countryside.

The River Lune

If you’re looking for ancient intrigues and beautiful scenic countryside, try this trail along the River Lune. Winding its way down from the moors at Sedburgh, the Lune flows through timelessly charming countryside and fascinating stone villages. The poets Ruskin, Gray and Wordsworth have all been inspired by this lovely trail.
The Holiday Inn at Lancaster provides the ideal accommodation for holidaying couples, with modern facilities giving you the chance to relax after a hard day’s walking. The peaceful village of Halton can also be found nearby.

The South Coast

You can wander up to the downs to admire some beautiful countryside spots and phenomenal views of the south coast. Seafront in the summer can be the most romantic; many couples enjoy watching the sun set from Brighton Pier - one of the most beautiful things to share together. Another great walk would be along the coast to the Seven Sisters!
eHarmony Dating Website
Whether you're keen hikers or not, there are some great places to walk with your partner or your date. It's a great time to share stories, talk and get to know one another. You'll probably look back and say it was one of the most romantic things that you did.