Octavia's Bookshop, a jewel in the Cotswold crown

After a late start due to the heavy rain yesterday morning, we finally set off down the M4 at 11am. I had it in my head to drive to Bath and then further down into Wiltshire/Somerset but that went out of the window with our late departure. So we resigned ourselves to just a quick trip to Windsor, as it looked like the heavens might open at any time. However, as we approached Windsor we looked out West to see blue sky peering out from under the horizon. So we drove on. Our final destination was Cirencester, we last visited nearly 4 years ago for a Valentine's weekend and I bought my silver glittery Dorothy Wedding shoes there in a little boutique so I have very fond associations with Cirencester. As I have mentioned before on this blog, I have a real affinity to the West Country and The Cotswolds, I was a student at Bristol University a lifetime ago so came to love it there and it's surrounding areas.

Cirencester is a pretty market town, known as the capital of the Cotswolds. The town centre is bursting with cute quirky shops, little alleyways, toy shops and the secret that is Octavia's Bookshop. Not so much a secret anymore by the sounds of it! It is by far the best Children's Bookshop I've come across on my rather extensive travels.  Run by the charming and utterly delightful Octavia, she has an enthusiasm and passion for books that is rare, previously a buyer for Waterstone's, she took the plunge last year and opened her own bookshop. Colourful, rows upon rows of books fill the beautifully crafted wooden shelves. It is primarily for children with a small section at the back for adults. Having said that the husband and I just loved it, it's so refreshing that when you mention a particular book, the lady behind the counter really does know what she's talking about. And not only that, she performs the books for you to illustrate the great writing, I wondered why she never became an Actress such was her talent. Her love of books is evident from the moment you take a peek into the shop window, vintage copies of Alice In Wonderland, The Borrowers and Wizard of Oz sit comfortably alongside more modern authors.  Walls are theatrically decorated in bright yellow with jewel like coloured cushions covering the comfy seating area and vases filled with flowers set the ideal scene for encouraging children to delight in books.

Octavia runs Children's book clubs which are a huge success by all accounts, so if you live in the area get yourselves down there. Needless to say we bought a couple of beautiful books for Matilda, who made some very happy noises whilst being entertained by the beguiling Octavia.

Sweeties for the well behaved children! Matilda received a pink marshmallow which she devoured immediately.

The Cotswolds are full of hidden gems but Octavia's Bookshop wins hands down for me, the perfect Bookshop that from now on I'll be making special trips to from London. There is no bigger thrill for me than coming home armed with a handful of freshly printed books even though they were all for Matilda on this occasion.


  1. I have been visiting Cirencester quite a bit recently as I have a house nearby. I absolutely love it. Lots of wonderful independent shops being run by people who genuinely interested. I am back there on Tuesday and can't wait!

    1. Lucky lucky you! I do wish I could move there, I guess I have to settle for lots of visits in the meantime. Do check out Octavia's Bookshop and the pub next door to Octavia is very good too! We had a lovely lunch there and very reasonable too. All locally sourced homemade food. The Chef apparently comes from a long line of local pub owners/Chefs and is very well know in the area!

  2. I am on my 3rd loyalty card from Octavia's ... don't think I have ever bought less than 2 books on every visit.


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