10 independent bookshops you have to visit in Dorset

I woman browses a tall shelf of books in a bookstore

Dorset is filled with amazing places to buy your next book - Credit: cottonbro, Pexels

With bookshops able to open once again, we've found ten great independent stores for you to support in Dorset. They stock everything from the latest bestsellers, to children's books, to local authors. You're sure to find your next best read at one of them.

Black Pug Books

West Borough, Wimborne Minster 

This is a delightful antiquarian and second hand bookshop, housed in a beautiful Georgian building opposite the Tivoli Theatre. They supply tea/coffee and entertaining chat, as well as finding books you may be looking for from the vast collection.

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High Street, Christchurch

Owned by a local arts and education charity, your patronage will be gratefully received at Bookends. With two floors jam-packed with books and bookish items, you'll definitely find what you're looking for. There are regularly events and book signings to keep an eye out for too.

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The Bookshop

South Street, Bridport

From the street, The Bookshop looks exactly how you'd hope with an inviting atmosphere and gorgeous window display. Owner Antonia returned to the UK in 2015 after bookselling in San Francisco for a number of years, taking over the beloved business that has been filling bookshelves in Bridport for almost four decades.   

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The Crooked Book

Christchurch Road, Boscombe

This adorable bookshop is so much more than that. You can also pick up plants, antiques, and a spot of lunch on your visit. They specialise in second hand (or pre-loved) books with reasonable prices. It's easy to spend a while perusing the shelves for a great find. 

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The Dorset Bookshop

East Street, Blandford Forum

This is a reader's paradise that looks so inviting you could easily curl up with a book and forget the outside world. Spanning three floors of an 18th century house, for more than 70 years they have lovingly selected a mix of new and second hand books for their visitors to enjoy.

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Gullivers Bookshop

High Street, Wimborne

Since 1969, Gullivers has been bringing the written word to Wimborne. They also operate a record store barely a stones throw away and have been organising the Wimborne Literary Festival since 2011. Three generations of the Angel family have passionately recommended books to locals and visitors alike, so you're bound to find a book you'll love.

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Lyme Regis Bookshop

Broad Street, Lyme Regis

A trip to Lyme would not be complete with a quick visit to the bookshop. It has been a staple in Lyme for more than 40 years and the frontage even featured in the 1981 Oscar-nominated film ‘French Lieutenant’s Woman’, based on John Fowles’ book - which can be purchased inside. New owners Kevin and Jayne Ramage took over in December 2020 and are keeping the spirit of the shop alive with a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. 

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Swanage Bookshop

Station Road, Swanage

A short distance from the station, this bookshop is worth missing a train for. Filled with second hand and antiquarian books, you'll find everything from atlases to walking guides as well as local interest texts. 

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The Travel Book Co.

This gem has only recently opened and is a place to forget about your woes and imagine a far off land. The owners have travelled across the world and are more than happy to share their experiences from Svalbard to Madagascar with visitors.

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Westbourne Bookshop

Poole Road, Bournemouth

Last, but certainly not least, we have a beautiful bookstore run by the same family as Gullivers in Wimborne. They have a huge collection and will often be able to source a book within 48 hours if it's not in stock. 

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