Books. Westwood Books, Sedbergh

More than 70,000 titles are stocked at this cracking bookshop, the biggest in England’s Book Town and the ‘largest bookshop in the Yorkshire Dales’. Most of the books are secondhand but there’s a great selection of new and antiquarian titles here as well.

Wander around over the two floors and you’ll find classic fiction, historical fiction, crime, science, travel, Wordsworth’s classics, children’s Wordsworth classics, natural history, science fiction/fantasy, and outdoors and nature.

There’s a large number of secondhand Folio Society titles, books from the New Naturalist series and a dedicated Collector’s Book Room for scarcer items. Plus cards, bookmarks, stationery, toys, games, maps, guide books and gifts, the latter including Ollie Collie mugs, coasters and key rings. Ollie Collie, named after a sparky looking Border Collie, is the business of bookshop owners, Heather and Paul Thomas.

The couple took on Westwood Books in the spring of 2020, thanks to the Sedbergh Book Town Festival two years previously. Heather had helped organise the event and spent some of the festival time working with the shop’s former owners.

When it came up for sale, they opened another chapter in the history of this building which was once Sedbergh’s Nuvic cinema. It closed in the 1970s. Both were relatively new to bookselling but they’ve brought massive enthusiasm and great ideas to Westwood’s running.

Keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages because they’re always suggesting ‘topical’ books to read and detailing any upcoming events at the bookshop. An evening with comedian, writer and broadcaster Robin Ince was one coup for the shop last year.

Westwood Books, Long Lane, Sedbergh LA10 5AH: 015396 21233, You can sit down and have a cup of coffee here too.

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