Grab a book and a map: you’re about to find a peaceful slice of heaven in one of the busiest cities on earth.
There’s no greater indulgence in life than an hour or two of solace with one of your favourite books. It’s a chance to escape the hustle and bustle, take time for yourself and let the rest of the world melt away.
We love the company of a good book so much that we’re forever swotting up on a plethora of titles to read next: like the best non-fiction books to come out this year, incredible science fiction books (especially those written by women), powerful memoirs by black women and, for example, moving poetry perfect for when we need a good cry.
We like to think appreciating a beautiful book is a holistic experience, and usually needs a warm, soothing beverage and a cosy spot to hide away in.
City-dwellers will know, though, that finding head space in London is easier said than done. Between the crammed streets and hectic roads, it can feel impossible to get a moments peace.
However, we’re willing to let you into a little secret. If you dig beneath the surface, you’ll find the capital is dotted with quiet corners of paradise. From canal-side coffee shops to cavernous book stores and sleepy inner city squares, these little-known havens are your passport away from the maddening crowds.
So, throw your worries to the wind, leave demanding flatmates, work stresses and commuter woe behind, and grab a well-thumbed read to settle down in one of these fabulous hidden reading spots.
Ray's Jazz Cafe At Foyles, Charing Cross Road
Bunhill Fields Burial Ground, Old Street
Daunt Books, Marylebone High Street
The Kenwood Ladies’ Pond, Hampstead Heath
Dalston Roof Park, Hackney
The British Museum reading room, Bloomsbury
Burgess Park, Elephant and Castle
The canal path opposite Regent’s Park Zoo
The Conservatory at the Barbican, Moorgate
Towpath cafe, Hoxton
Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
The food market by the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank
Camden Arts Centre, Finchley Road
Canada Water Library, Southwark
London Review Bookshop, Holborn
Keats House garden, Hampstead
Geffrye Museum Gardens, Hackney
Lavish Habit coffee shop, Balham
Grays Inn Gardens, Chancery Lane
Monmouth coffee shop, Borough Market
Waterstones, Gower Street
Hill Garden and Pergola, Hampstead Heath
Images: Priscilla du Preez / Instagram / Additional words by Megan Murray