Food, Days Out and Travel stories from Brighton, London and the Rest of the World


The antiquarian bookshop with hidden gems in Holywood

The Old Abbey Bookshop

118 High Street, Holywood, Co Down

Tel: 028 9042 5472

Open: Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 9.30am to 4.30pm

Now permanently closed

The Old Abbey Bookshop, Holywood

Owned by Harold Mitchell this antiquarian bookshop at the top of Holywood High Street is as enticing inside as its sash window display suggests. Full of antique treasures that include a collection by Oliver Goldsmith, letters from the Court of King Charles II to books on vintage cars and old fashioned children's books, there's a subject to suit every book lover.

As well as a diverse selection of antiquarian and second hand books in history, literature, art, cookery and children's titles the collection includes sought after first editions.

First inspired to set up a bookshop 20 years ago after a lifetime love affair with books, Harold has a bookshop full of his own favourite items, "there's a lovely little 1884 first edition of Kate Greenaway's Language of Flowers and a very nice two volume leather bound 1842 illustrated edition of Don Quixote."

What makes this bookshop even more special is the growing scarcity of this type of old fashioned, independent bookshop and so this is definitley a hidden gem worth checking out, located just outside Belfast.

Old Abbey Bookshop, Holywood

While you are in the delightful town of Holywood, Harold suggests some more places worth going to.

"Holywood (the home of golfer Rory McIlroy) has many restaurants such as The Bay Tree and The Coffee Yard and many gift shops such as The Mews, Cape Table, Urban Orchard, The Cove, Antiqua."

Post update: The Old Abbey Bookshop closed in 2017

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