I’m not a big London person, my visits to the capital are limited to essential trips and the occasional day trip in when visiting family but last week I found myself on one of those essential trips for an appointment that lasted less than an hour. It takes me almost 4 hours on the train to get to London so why not turn it into a little day trip and take the chance to visit some of London’s independent stationery shops?
For all of the chaos and busy-ness of London it does have its advantages. For me it’s lots and lots of stationery shops. So on my day in London (which outside of the stationery shopping ended up to be chaotic hot and stressful I made a plan to visit as many stationery shops as I could. This blog article will take you on a tour and you can use it if you want to do your own stationery tour of London!
Tube Stop: Oxford Circus
Liberty London – Stationery Room
Liberty London is an iconic designer department store located in the heart of London’s shopping district on Regent Street. Their beautiful building is full of incredibly beautiful items but my favourite place is their stationery room. As luck would have it I randomly chose an entrance and walked straight into the stationery room! It was meant to be. They have a great range of their own notebooks (with personalisation available) and a lot of cool brands like Ban.do organisers. It’s such an iconic place in London that it’s the perfect place to start your stationery tour.
Soho Stationery Store
Not too far from Liberty you can find the Soho Stationery Store down a small side lane. It’s a tiny shop filled to the brim with a great selection of funky design stationery and some good quality pieces. They stock some great well known brands and some cool new brands.
Tube stop: Tottenham Court Road
Paperchase Flagship Store
From the Soho Stationery Store its a 10 minute walk to Paperchase‘s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road. It’s not really worth getting the tube by the time you’ve changed to get on the correct line its a very straightforward walk.
You generally won’t find anything really different than in most Paperchase stores but they have 3 floors and whole areas dedicated to different types of stationery including a floor of art supplies and loads of products on sale. If you feel like treating yourself or a friend you can also get a notebook personalised at their personalisation station. The flagship store also has an area for craft workshops and their own coffee shop Tinderbox coffee. Where better than to enjoy basking in the glory of your new Paperchase purchases?
Tube stop: Covent Garden
Here’s a little updated section for you all from September 2019. I headed to London again for a stationery filled weekend and managed to pop to Covent Garden to check out some great places to shop for stationery.
Muji is actually a bit of an everything shop. The Japanese brand whose identity is basically ‘there is no brand’. All of their products are simple nicely designed and functional. They have a great range of basic stationery and their gel pens are one of my Bullet Journal staples. In the basement they have a small stationery area and it’s great place to pick up some good quality basics.
Kikki.K’s flagship UK store is located here in Covent Garden. Full disclosure I didn’t actually manage to get there in the end (London overwhelmed me and I had to retreat!). But I’ve been to Kikki.K in Australia before and they do often have great sales. A great place to pick up a beautiful bargain on their gorgeous planner and stationery ranges.
London Graphic Centre
This place is literally heaven for anyone obsessed with stationery and art supplies. I actually felt a bit dizzy at the selection of supplies. I had to be very restrained since I don’t have much spare cash right now but I still treated myself to a few Tombows and other pens that intrigued me. They have two floors and stock pretty much all great stationery and art brands.
Tube stop: Angel
Present & Correct
Not too far from Angel tube station you can find Present & Correct at 23 Arlington Way. It’s a lovely little treasure trove of vintage inspired stationery with design at the forefront. Present & Correct opened their virtual doors in 2009 and was started by 2 graphic designers. It’s easy to see with the way the tiny shop is meticulously organised. They stock some great classic brands including the famous Palomino Blackwing pencils.
This was the last stationery shop I managed to visit on my tour around London since the weather was hot, I had blisters and I was running out of time before my train. It was like a haven. When I arrived the lovely shop assistant even offered me a glass of water to help me recover from the heat while we had a lovely chat all about calligraphy and stationery in general. Quill offers a custom design service and options to personalise paper goods with their beautiful calligraphy.
They sell a good range of stationery perfect for budding calligraphers including some great starter kits to help you get into modern calligraphy. I chose their mini calligraphy kit which includes a straight holder, ink and a nib perfect for beginners all in a lovely little canvas bag for £14. Even better they hold workshops in the studio where you can learn all about calligraphy and lettering and a club for letter writing called the London Letters Club.
Tube stop: Old Street
From Angel carry on to Old Street tube station to explore trendy Shoreditch and to find two of the best independent stationery shops in London. Unfortunately I ran out of time and didn’t make it to these two despite having planned to but this is the route I had planned to take.
You know how your heart does that little flippy thing when you see something so beautiful and perfect you kind of want to cry? Like a tiny kitten or a puppy? Well when I saw a picture of the inside of this pop up shop that happened to me. I’m still gutted I didn’t get a chance to check it out but it’s the top of my list for my next visit to London.
Update September 2019: I finally got to visit this wonderful little haven of stationery loveliness! It was all I dreamed it could be and more.
Sadly one of the other stores I didn’t have time for but was desperate to visit, Choosing Keeping is on Columbia Road. They stock a beautiful range of notebooks, paper, writing instruments and their speciality marbled printed paper.