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Daunt Books, London

4.8
#45 of 419 in Shopping in London
Daunt Books is a chain of bookshops in London, founded by James Daunt. It traditionally specialised in travel books. In 2010 it began publishing.
The Marylebone High Street branch is housed in a former Edwardian bookshop with long oak galleries, graceful skylights and William Morris prints. The older section of the Marylebone shop was completed in 1912, and was originally an antiquarian bookshop called Francis Edwards. It is alleged to be the first custom-built bookshop in the world. A large, walk-in safe is visible near the entrance to the travel gallery, and is where expensive volumes were once stored. The shop was bought by former banker James Daunt and renamed Daunt Books in 1990. It now focuses on first-hand titles (especially travel-related material).
The company has branches in Chelsea, Holland Park, Cheapside, Hampstead and Belsize Park. The Owl Bookshop in Kentish Town was bought by Daunt Books, but retained its original name. Daunt Books opened its first branch outside London in Saffron Walden, Essex, under the name Hart’s Books. It opened its second branch outside London in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, under the name The Marlow Bookshop.
Specialising in travel, Daunt Books arranges its sections geographically, with guides, phrase books, travel writing, history and fiction grouped by their relevant country. Reviews have mentioned its customer service and knowledgeable staff.
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Daunt Books Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
198 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • A really nice visit. It's really fun to browse, and you have a very special feeling. Especially for book lovers a recommendation.
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  • I had heard tell of how wonderful Daunt Books in Marylebone was but had never had the pleasure of visiting before. So, with some time off from work, I made the trip in anticipation. I wasn’t disappoin...  more »
Google
  • When I lived in London ten years ago, this bookshop was my regular haunt. I was here a week ago and it is still my absolute favourite bookstore in London. It was a Saturday so it was quite busy on the ground level, but of course there are books upstairs and downstairs. It was a bit quieter in those areas. I also love how the books are organised - towards the back it is sorted by countries. I really like that as it means if you want to connect better with a country/culture, you can read the literature that they are producing. And really, this place just has a comforting charm - partly because it’s familiar and partly because I know I will come across a book that is different and unexpected. I know that whenever I come to this shop, I’ll always find a good read. Furthermore, from what I observed the staff really friendly and helpful, when serving or if you need assistance finding a particular book.
  • The interior and ambience here could convince as parody of the comfortably established and reliable 'old world' shopkeeping tradition. All warm wood, parquet floor, studied inscrutability and gentility. Astute collation, presenting a fairly representative selection across the genres, mostly the commercially viable, current, obvious and popular. The 'travail' section covers the territory with a noteworthy selection. Staff primed, purposed and engaging. Bargains be thin on the ground here.
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