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Cool Bookish Places: Steyning Bookshop

Lucas Maxwell


Lucas Maxwell has been working with youth in libraries for over fifteen years. Originally from Nova Scotia, Canada, he's been a high school librarian in London, UK for over a decade. In 2017 he won the UK's School Librarian of the Year award and in 2022 he was named the UK Literacy Association's Reading For Pleasure Teacher Champion. He loves Dungeons & Dragons and is the author of Let's Roll: A Guide for Setting up Tabletop Roleplaying Games in Your School or Public Library. You can follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

Finding a great independent bookshop in the UK isn’t as easy as you might think.

I’ve written before how the number of non-chain bookshops has dropped to under 867. 

That’s why I was delighted to stumble across the amazing Steyning Bookshop in Steyning, West Sussex.

Steyning itself is worth a visit and has a long and interesting history. William Butler Yeats lived there for a while and the church dates back to 857 A.D.

The Steyning Bookshop was opened by Sarah and Robin Bowers in 1984. The building itself dates back to the 1700s, it’s a very cosy space that is wall-to-wall books.

One of its most endearing features is a book train that sits proudly in the middle of the children’s section.

The Steyning Bookshop hosts tons of literature based events and author visits, including the Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo. 

There are also afternoon and evening book clubs that meet regularly at the shop. Book club members are offered tea and homemade cakes so there’s no reason not to join.

In conjunction with a local cafe, the Steyning Bookshop also holds “Author Suppers” and other author events and workshops in the bookshop itself.

It’s a gem of a bookshop and well worth a visit!