Having arrived in London we hopped on a bus and headed to Hampstead. However, we discovered from a fellow passenger that the bus was being rerouted due to a road closure so we hopped off at Broadhurst Road and decided to walk the rest of the way. It’s a good job too as we walked past the Finchley Road Waterstones which we hadn’t realised was in the o2 shopping centre nearby! The shop is light and airy with an interesting layout. Despite its name, the o2 centre has nothing to do with the telecommunications services provider of the same name – it had the name first. I really liked this store, so apologies for the number of photos…
The Children’s/Young Adult Department
After leaving the shop we walked towards the pretty London village of Hampstead. On the way we popped into St John-at-Hampstead church, home to several famous graves (more about that later!) before heading into the High Street for a drink.
We stopped overnight in Camberley on our way to London for the late August bank holiday weekend. Although we wanted to get off early in the morning it would have been silly not to go to the Waterstones whist we were in the vicinity so we made a quick visit to the store after breakfast.
Camberley is well-known as being the location of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and one of the entrances was opposite The Premier Inn where we stayed the night. Famous alumni include Princess William and Harry, chef Keith Floyd and musician James Blunt.
‘The Right Way’
Rick Kirby’s sculpture, ‘The Right Way’, was installed in the town in 2009. It’s purpose suggests that whichever way one goes in the town, they will not be disappointed, but as we didn’t have time to spend exploring I cannot agree or disagree with this statement! Maybe we’ll return one day?
Currently reading The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin
We drove down to Lymington, a seaside town on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire, to meet up with our friends Sarah and Mark from Kent who were staying nearby. Lymington is a pretty and popular town which gets very busy in the summer months. The Waterstones here is in the High Street and there has been a book shop on this since the early nineteenth century, when, according to the book Lymington Through Time by Jude James and Roland Scott, the King family moved their Bookseller and Stationers’ business to this address.
After leaving our friends we headed to Lyndhurst in the heart of the New Forest for a wander round the town. The ashes of Alice Liddell, who is considered to be the inspiration for Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are buried in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels Church in the town.
Currently reading Heartburn by Nora Ephron and listening to Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus #3) by Ian Rankin
Our final stop on the way home from our week away was Northampton for breakfast! We didn’t have a lot of time to explore the town but it has some gorgeous buildings. The Waterstones is in a pedestrianised area close to a large sculpture of a cobbler’s ‘last’ – the work of sculptor Graham Ibbeson, whose most famous piece is probably his statue of comedian Eric Morecambe which overlooks Morecambe bay in Lancashire. The ‘last’ is in homage to the shoe industry which was once prevalent in the area.
Ibbeson’s Cobbler’s Last Sculpture
Former building of Malcolm Inglis and Company, leather importers of Glasgow
Now a sandwich shop, but what a gorgeous building!
Next up on our holiday was Peterborough in Cambridgeshire. The Waterstones here is in a pedestrianised area close to the Guildhall and the Cathedral, which this year celebrates its 900th anniversary.
Katherine of Aragon’s grave is situated in Peterborough Cathedral. Katherine was Henry VIII’s first wife. He divorced her in 1533, causing the split from the Catholic Church and leading to the formation of the Church of England. People leave pomegranates on her grave site – the fruit is her heraldic symbol. It is also the former burial site of Mary Queen of Scots, but she was moved to Westminster Abbey by her son James I in 1612.
King’s Lynn was originally called Bishop’s Lynn, but became a royal town when Henry VIII dissolved the monarchy – first becoming Lynn Regis before being given its current name. It is a pretty market town set on the river Great Ouse with many beautiful old buildings. The Waterstones in King’s Lynn is set on one floor and has a large children’s department.
Town Hall and Trinity Guildhall
The Corn Exchange
The Custom House
The man in the statue is Captain George Vancouver who explored parts of the North West cost of North America and has several places named after him. The plaque on the statue reads:
King’s Lynn Conservancy Board Offices and Pilot’s Tower
River Great Ouse
There are a couple of branches of Waterstones based in University campuses – this one is at the University of Anglia, situated to the west of Norwich. The University was founded in the 1960s and notable alumni from the world of literature include Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Tracy Chevalier.
Although this branch is open to anyone, it felt really weird walking to the branch through the campus – I felt like an interloper!
The architecture of the site is in the Brutalist style and was designed by Sir Denys Lasdun with later additions by Sir Bernard Feilden. This type of building is considered by many to be ugly, the construction material being concrete, but I quite like it!