We love bookshops. There is nothing like browsing the shelves in a local bookstore and sharing your passion for books with the dedicated and knowledgeable people who work there.

We’re very lucky to have such wonderful independent bookshops in Essex and we’re committed to supporting them. Here you will find their details. We highly recommend you visit them, buy your books from them, follow them on Social Media and share the fabulous work they all do.

Red Lion Books, Colchester

Wivenhoe Bookshop

Caxton Books, Frinton-on-Sea

Maldon Books

The Nose, Walton-on-the-Naze

Jacqson Diego Story Emporium, Westcliff-on-Sea

Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Brentwood

Between The Lines, Great Bardfield

Harts Books, Saffron Walden

Manningtree Arts

The Book Nook, Tollesbury

Read on Sea

Red Lion Books, Colchester

In the heart of Colchester, along the High Street, sits Red Lion Books. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming shopfront – inside there is a treasure trove of delights for all booklovers. Red Lion Books is Colchester’s Indie bookshop – proudly independent since 1978. With a wide ranging stock, an overnight order service, author events, signings, book clubs, a downstairs gallery space and always service with a smile. This is a local favourite for very good reason.

Red Lion Books
125 High Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1SZ
Tel: 01206 578584
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @RedLionBooks
Instagram: @redlionbooks

Online shop via their website redlionbooks.co.uk or email [email protected] to place your order.

Wivenhoe Bookshop


“Over 44 years, the Wivenhoe Bookshop has put down deep roots and become a central part of Wivenhoe life. A visit or call to the bookshop isn’t just about a purchase, it’s a conversation, perhaps a long and discursive one, catching up with friends and making new ones.  There will often be an embrace or a shared cup of tea.  Our interests range from the latest adult fiction and children’s books to contemporary poetry, political debate, psychogeography and much more. And we are always interested in what is grabbing your imagination too.

Our love of books, reading and the written and spoken word is about finding common ground, widening our perspectives, and sharing new ideas. This is reflected in our live events, our groups, classes and our uplifting daily conversations.”

Wivenhoe Bookshop
23 High St, Wivenhoe, Colchester, Essex CO7 9BE
Tel: 01206 824050
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @wivenhoebooks
Instagram: @wivenhoebooks

Online shop via uk.bookshop.org/shop/wivenbooks or you can also order books by telephone or email using the contact details above.

Caxton Books, Frinton-on-Sea

Caxton Books & Gallery, owned by the lovely Judith Charlesworth and Sally Johnson, is a well-established independent bookshop in the heart of Frinton’s renowned Connaught Avenue, just a stone’s throw from the sweeping sands of Frinton Beach. They run a book club and events with local authors. The Gallery exhibits local and East Anglian artwork, ceramics and jewellery. Be sure to pay them a visit while you’re in beautiful Frinton.

Caxton Books
37 Connaught Ave, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex CO13 9PN
Tel: 01255 851505
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @caxtonbooks
Instagram: @caxton_books

Online shop via their website caxton-books.co.uk

Maldon Books

Maldon Books is an independent bookshop in the beautiful ancient town of Maldon. It is cosy and friendly and offers a range of new and bestselling titles. They’re a place for book lovers old and new to browse at their own leisure.

“We understand just how much books mean to readers: the simple pleasure of reading without distraction, the moment we finish and close a book that we loved; it is that tranquility, and the sheer joy of reading a good book, that we wanted our bookshop to emanate.”

They also have a giraffe, a tiger and an elephant in their children’s section. Go and see for yourself!

Maldon Books
23 High Street, Maldon, Essex CM9 5PE
Tel: 01621 854968
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @BooksMaldon
Instagram: @maldonbooks

Online shop via their website maldonbooks.com/shop

The Nose

Bookshop & project space.
Tea & coffee served.
Reading welcome.

Curious books about finding out about things to do with; People and Place, Ecology and Environment, Design and Making, Photography and more. Mainly non-fiction along with some Holiday Reading and books for kids. New and a bit of second-hand.

Opening Times: Wednesday to Saturday 10.30am until 5.30pm

The Nose
28 Newgate Street
Walton on the Naze
CO14 8AL


Jacqson Diego Story Emporium, Westcliff-on-Sea

This award winning children’s bookshop is filled with books, stories and oodles of imagination, creativity and wonder for young people from birth to 16 years. Their space brings together everything they do to inspire children and young people through books and stories on their own terms. Their mission is to match every child with their perfect book and set them on a path of adventure and curiosity for life.

Jacqson Diego Story Emporium
444 London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9LA
Tel: 01702 344262
Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @jacqsondiego

Online shop via uk.bookshop.org/shop/jacqsondiego or you can order via email or telephone.

Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Brentwood


A specialist children’s bookshop with a tuition centre on site, Chicken and Frog Bookshop stock an eclectic mix of diverse books to suit all tastes and interests.

They have a real passion for children’s books and are committed to providing a community-centred bookshop in the heart of Brentwood. The shop stocks all kinds of wonderful books, as well as being a place to drop in for free story times and rhythm & rhyme sessions plus much more.

Chicken and Frog Bookshop
30 Crown Street, Brentwood, Essex CM14 4BA
Tel: 01277 230068
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @chickenandfrog
Instagram: @chickenandfrog

Online shop via uk.bookshop.org/shop/chickenandfrog

Between the Lines, Great Bardfield

Between the Lines is a small, but beautifully-formed, independent bookshop offering a wide range of fiction and non-fiction for all ages. They opened in June 2013 and are open daily. Book ordering and searches happily undertaken.

Between the Lines
Vine Street, Great Bardfield, Braintree, Essex CM7 4SR
Tel: 01371 810087
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @BTLBardfield

Harts Books, Saffron Walden

For over 175 years Hart’s has been Saffron Walden’s independent bookseller of choice, occupying shops in the centre of town. The fabulously friendly team are always on hand to help with all your book-related needs and recommendations. You can reserve books via their website.

Harts Books
26 King Street, Saffron Walden, Essex CB10 1ES
Tel: 01799 524552
Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @hartsbooks
Instagram: @hartsbooks

Manningtree Arts

A Space for Stories
Books | Coffee | Creative Space

Manningtree Arts opened it’s doors in 2023. Owner, Zoe’s love of theatre, books and her hometown led to her creating a bookshop that houses not only books, but a sacred space for artists, dreamers and storytellers. Through rhyme times and storytelling sessions, creative workshops and chats with local authors, Zoe brings together a creative community in this very special corner of the world. We highly recommend a visit.

Manningtree Arts
19 High Street, Manningtree, Essex, CO11 1AG
Tel: +44 7534 893953
Email: [email protected]

Instagram: @manningtree.arts

Online shop via the website manningreearts.com/bookstore or email to place your order

The Book Nook

The Book Nook is a small bookshop in the village of Tollesbury. It sells both used and new books as well as having “stay and read” sections for both adults and children.

The bookshop hosts a small coffee/tea room, where cakes and drinks can be bought and consumed on site.

With frequent workshops and events for both adults and children, there is something for everyone in the community to get involved with. The Book Nook prides itself on being not only a store but a hub for the community.

The Book Nook
19 West Street, Tollesbury, Maldon, Essex, CM9 8SU
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @the.book.nook.tollesbury

Read on Sea

Read on Sea opened in Leigh-on-Sea in December 2023. An idea that sprung from many conversations about how much locals missed the much-loved Grinley’s – a bookshop that had been in Leigh for about 60 years.

It is not only a bookshop but also a place where people can gather for a laid back time as well as for interesting conversations. To that aim they host a variety of events in the evening, from author events to talks about art, poetry readings, presentations about a various interesting topics, live music, and childrens readings on Sunday mornings.

They have their own book club and writing group as well (although those are full up at the moment).

They serve coffee, soft drinks, and cakes as well as wine and beer in the afternoons and in the evenings when they host an event.

Read on Sea
28 Broadway, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 1AW
Email: [email protected]

Website https://readonsea.co.uk
Follow on instagram @read_on_sea