The Best Independent Bookshops in Kensington & Chelsea

Amy Wakeham

Kensington and Chelsea are renowned for pretty tree-lined streets, grand old houses and chic boutiques. However, no trip West is complete without a visit to at least one of the many choice independent bookshops. Read on to see which one takes your fancy.

1. South Kensington Books

Museum, Store

Nestled in the heart of Kensington, close to the V&A and the Natural History Museum, South Kensington Books should also make any list of must-visit places in the area. A bookshop has stood on this site since the 1940s, and the store today specialises in visual arts, architecture and photography and also stocks plenty of works on history, music, biography, cookery and fiction. Why not stop in to be inspired before your visit to London’s great galleries and museums?

2. Worlds End Bookshop


© TUBS/WikiMedia Commons
Worlds End Bookshop is an established leading dealer in antiquarian and second-hand books in Chelsea. With more than 25 years of practice, this small shop has been a prime location for West Enders for many years. Specialising in architecture, modern art, and fashion and costume, the staff at Worlds End Bookshop are always willing to help with book suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

3. Librairie La Page

Bookstore, School

This French bookshop (librairie means ‘bookstore’ in French, somewhat confusingly) in South Kensington is handily opposite the tube station and close to South Kensington Books. Known as Little France, this area has a bustling French population and the Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, a French primary and secondary school. So, it’s no surprise that this bookshop specialises in French-language children’s books, as well as novels, stationary, non-fiction tomes and more.

4. The European Bookshop


If languages are your thing, then The European Bookshop is the place for you. Specialising in educational texts and general books in a variety of European languages, this bookshop is a must-visit for students of languages or anyone who wants to keep up their fluency. They stock mostly French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and Portuguese learning resources, but they also have books available in many other languages.

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