Hot Lists Wednesday, March 2nd Words by: Catherine Yarwood, pictures by: Catherine Yarwood

Reading list: the best independent bookshops in Herefordshire

Hot Lists Wednesday, March 2nd

Reading list: the best independent bookshops in Herefordshire

We all know (and love) Hay-on-Wye and its world-famous literary festival, but what else is there in Herefordshire to satisfy a book nerd?

Catherine Yarwood opens the cover of the best independent bookshops around the county.

Rossiter Books
Ross-on-Wye (and Monmouth)


Rossiter Books is an independent bookshop in the middle of Ross-on-Wye. It is bright, compact and beautifully arranged. New books prevail here, along with an impressive list of author events. Upcoming visits range from Chris Cleave, author of bestseller The Other Hand, to acclaimed history writer Alison Weir. They also boast a regular book group and a next-day ordering service.

Rossiter Books
The Corn Exchange, 7 The High Street, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire HR9 5HL
01989 564464

Aardvark Books and Cafe, The Bookery
Brampton Bryan



Aardvark Books sits on the border with Shropshire and Powys, in the middle of farmland and hills as far as the eye can see. Yet in the midst of farm buildings is a thriving community hub with lots of exhibitions and events throughout the year.

On the ground floor you will find a cosy cafe, wood-burning stove and a huge collection of new and secondhand non-fiction. Visiting families also benefit from the BookBurrow, which you travel to through a hobbit doorway to find. Within lies a fantastic selection of children’s books, a reading castle to play in and most exciting of all, a pirate ship ‘treehouse’ that you can climb up to.

Upstairs is secondhand fiction and some non-fiction. It is a large space, but bursting at the seams with books covering every space possible. A quick glance shows you that this is a carefully cultivated collection with some rare and unusual books on display.

Aardvark Books and Cafe, The Bookery
Manor Farm, Brampton Bryan, Bucknell, Herefordshire, SY7 0DH
01547 530888

The New Strand



What doesn’t The New Strand offer? It’s a bookshop, cafe, pub, post-office and purveyor of local produce. They even have a boules pitch in the garden!

Books appear by the front door of this unusual building, increasing in volume to tempt you as you wander further inside. Through the shop (containing an intriguing selection of titles focusing on Herefordshire’s natural landscape), along some corridors and round some corners you eventually find the ‘official’ book collection. Two floors, cobwebs, draughts, rickety stairs and creaky floorboards all add to the feeling of being in a storybook yourself.

Back to reality, you will realise that the selection is enormous and the prices extremely good value. Wrap up warm and you can easily spend hours trawling through a diverse and never-ending selection of books.

The New Strand
Church Road, Eardisley, Hereford HR3 6PW
01544 327285

Albion Books (The Merchant’s House)



Albion Books is a shop within a three-story antiques emporium, though what is on display is not the end of the story. Albion Books provide books, vintage tools and collectables. They often trade at fairs and markets, so if you are after something specific, it is worth getting in touch.

The shop itself is a unique combination of antique tools and second-hand books. There is a good selection of popular novels, and a substantial selection of medieval history. An added joy to this bookshop is the antiques house it is contained within. Hours can be spent exploring this treasure-trove and there is even a cafe to stop and refuel.

Albion Books, The Merchant’s House
10 Corn Square
07582 213278

Chapters Charity Bookshop



A ‘blink and you’ll miss it’, this is a small second-hand bookshop on a road-less travelled in Hereford city centre. A charity bookshop, their proceeds support Hereford Dial-a-Ride - a vital organisation that helps the isolated and people with limited mobility with visiting local towns and services.

Inside you will find a great bookshop for fans of pure storytelling. Whilst it does have a non-fiction collection, it is the well stocked and organised fiction sections that will lure you in. There is a varied sci-fi section and an array of sturdy penguin paperbacks to pick from. The crime section is vast.

Towards the front of the narrow shop is a beautiful display of old books converted into floating art. It may look small from the front, and be off-track, but it is worth visiting to find your next thriller or classic at a bargain price. Mind your head though.

Chapters Charity Bookshop
17 Union St, Hereford, Herefordshire, HR1 2BT
01432 352149

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