WychWood Vintage and Antiquarian Bookshop

If like me, your want a rare book shop to be small and full of mouth watering volumes, and the sort of place you would like to spend hours poking around, then look no further, WychWood Books in Stow-on-the Wold is for you.

It has a cosy, literary atmosphere which is sadly lacking in today’s chain store bookshops, where everything is marketed according to a sales formula, and there is nothing personal or unique on offer. Here every book you pick up you’d like to own.

Stow-on-the Wold has had a revival and is no longer just a place where Americans head to for antiques. There are small, unique shops offering all sorts of desirables. Just next door to WychWood Books, is a chocolate shop, Melt, where all the chocolates are made by hand with the darkest cocoa ever from Venezuela.

Munching a chocolate covered ginger, I walked into WychWood Books and fell in love. I wanted to sit down and start thumbing through beautifully illustrated old books. The shop is owned and run by Lucy and Henry Baggott, who were born in Stow and are the children of a local antique dealer who has the shop next door. They specialize in beautiful second-hand and antiquarian books. You can find anything from a copy of the 2004 hit The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, to a 1701 copy of Camden’s Britannia, which is the first topographical and historical study of Britain and their current pride and joy.

The books are displayed meticulously on bespoke shelves with comfortable armchairs nearby, should you wish to delve a little further. Each book is chosen with care and consideration and all are in excellent condition. The stock ranges from early traditional leather-bound tomes to more recent paperbacks, but if you don’t know what you are looking for, Henry and Lucy are on hand to guide you through the collection. The brother and sister team can also source absolutely anything, from a sought-after first edition to something long out of print. They take a particular interest in architecture, antiques, illustrated and children’s books, and when I was there I was attracted to an appealing hardback copy of Barbar’s French Lessons on display. Their range is eclectic and far-reaching so there should be something for everyone.

Pop in and have a scout about or wait until one of their book events, where you can combine book browsing with a glass of wine and the chance to walk about and discover what Stow has on offer these days. I challenge you to find a more delightful rare book shop anywhere!

— Lucinda Baring

WychWood Books
Sheep Street
GL54 1AA
01451 831 880

Opening times
Monday – Saturday 9.30 – 5.30

www. wychwoodbooks.com

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  • Tania Llewellyn