Word on the Water is definitely the most unique bookshop in London.
This bookshop is quite literally ‘on the water’. Word on the Water is built on a 100-year-old Dutch barge. Often referred to as the ‘bookbarge’, and for good reason! This bookshop takes paper and water don’t mix well to a whole new level! Walk along the canal and you’ll immediately spot the outdoor book collection, then wander inside the narrow entrance onto the bookbarge to take a closer look at their wide selection of books. I promise you’ll be able to find something you’ll enjoy reading! Oh, not a book fan? That’s no problem. You’ll still have to visit this unique bookshop for the experience alone!
So, Where Is This Unique Bookshop in London?
The location is perfect! Only a short 8-minute walk from Kings Cross Station. So, not only will you be able to explore a fantastic part of London, you’ll be able to visit a unique place as well. The closest train station is King’s Cross. But you can also access Word on the Water by bike and of course by walking there (which is how I got there).
The exact address is: Granary Square, Regent’s Canal Towpath, London N1C 4LW. Just head towards the canal and you won’t be able to miss it. There was music playing when I visited so if all else fails, follow the music! The bookshop is open every day from 12 pm – 7 pm but definitely check ahead before you go!
Don’t worry, the bookbarge now has permanent mooring. So it won’t be going anywhere in the near future!
What To Expect at Word on the Water
I’m sorry to disappoint you but there will be no swimming at this location. This bookshop is solely for books! Not recreational diving. Plus, I don’t think you’d really want to take a swim in the canal. Yikes! So, once you arrive at the bookshop, great music will greet you followed by a selection of new and used books along the outside of the barge. Take your time! Read the titles. Even flick through a few pages of the books if you like.
Then, head inside. You’ll find even more new and used books, a comfy chair to sit on, or, a great photo opportunity for the ‘gram (or dare I say, Meta) and then head through the tiny magical doors that suddenly make the bookbarge feel as though its doubled in size! There’s even another section at the back, with comfortable seating for a handful of people.
I mean, books are obviously what draw people to this unique bookshop in London, but that’s not all you’ll find here. I mentioned at the start that you’ll hear music playing. When I went, this was just the speakers. But, I was told that the bookbarge is known for having open mic nights! So, if you check out their Facebook page, you can find upcoming events such as musicians visiting, poetry slams, ‘water talks’ and so much more. How cool!
This truly is such a unique bookshop experience in London. There’s even a selection of children’s books! So anyone and everyone are welcome. Oh! And in case you’re wondering, yes, they accept payment by card. Another tick in my box!
Map Her Miles Honest Review
Finally, it’s review time! So, what do I really think of the most unique bookshop in London? I can honestly say that Word on the Water was the coolest bookshop I have ever been to. Obviously, there are grand bookshops with huge staircases and book displays. But all that doesn’t compare to the uniqueness of Word on the Water. The low-key vibe of the place mixed with the old and new books just makes for such a fun experience. Plus, you get to hang out on a bookbarge while shopping around!
I spent a good hour here. Looking through the books, taking photos and talking to the employees. Although you definitely don’t need to spend that much time here. I would say that 30 minutes will give you enough time and a good experience. I mean, some people were in and out within 5. However, I can’t say that they were really paying attention to all of the detail on this 1920s bookbarge.
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What’s Near this London bookshop?
After you’ve had a wander through Word on the Water, definitely check out the Canopy Market. Here you’ll find handmade treats and various local traders. I had the chai tea which I highly recommend! Stop here for a bite to eat and a drink before exploring more around Regents Canal and Kings Cross. My personal fave is the beautiful St Pancras Hotel. Definitely worth a visit for its beautiful architecture!
Frequently Asked Questions for This Bookshop in London: Word on the Water
Is Word on the Water a bookshop?
Yes, it definitely is! You can choose used and new books. It is not a library.
What are the opening hours for Word on the Water?
The bookshop is open every day from 12 pm – 7 pm.
What is the nearest train station to Word on the Water?
King’s Cross is the nearest station and then it is about an 8-minute walk.
Looking for Another Unique Place in London?
Check out my blog post on Mallow Restaurant in Borough Market. A 100% Plant-based restaurant that will not disappoint you!