In a city filled with impressive buildings, it’s no wonder that the city’s largest bookstore is in the former Victorian Wool Exchange.
From the Gothic revivalist style to the more modern glass panelling of the Waterstones Cafe, the building is a remarkable fusion of classic and modern styles, and the best thing of all? It contains lots and lots of books.
From the moment you walk in, you immediately realise this is not just a bookshop. This is a place to experience and to feast the eyes as well as your literary inclinations.
The high vaulted ceiling and intricately patterned windows are all visible from the ground floor, so you can appreciate the fine architecture wherever you are in the store. There is also a mezzanine floor with a cafe where you can pick up some pretty good coffee and cake.
After a short stop for refreshment, while watching the crowds pass by through the glass exterior of the cafe, you can browse to your heart’s delight along the shelves downstairs.
And there are enough books to keep you browsing for a good while, but it doesn’t offer nearly as much as the branch in Leeds that boasts three floors and more ample space for its cafe.
This branch is worth a visit to see the spectacular interior of the church-like building, particularly if you’re in the city anyway, but possibly not if you’re after a wider shopping experience.
One thing that you’ll notice while walking around the city centre is the number of buildings undergoing refurbishment and construction.
This is a city on the rise, but in terms of its bookstore and the other shops around the centre it pales into comparison with neighbouring Leeds.