“An absolute treasure of a bookshop situated in the beautiful and historic town of Cowbridge.”

High Rise Books - Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan

I visited Cowbridge last summer, it was the first time I’ve ever been there although I have driven through a few times. What a pretty little place it is, with some delightful little quaint shops around every corner. About half way down the high street I saw a sign for High Rise Bookshop, welcoming me was a single door, a bookshelf, and some books stacked up all higgledy-piggledy in the door way. I was instantly hooked!

Up a flight of stairs, more stacks of books, hundreds of volumes of books from the last hundred years waiting to be stacked, waiting for new homes, waiting to be sorted. A quick duck for a low ceiling and you’re in the ‘shop’ where I was just telling my friend how excited I was to look around when I heard a little ‘hello’ from behind a bookshop and met the friendliest bookshop owner ever!

After a rather long chat about books and literature I got to explore the shop, you’ll want a good couple of hours if you really want to just browse, the place is Tardis-like! Through another door and it’s more books, here I find reference books, books from all ages on the UK, including a huge section on Wales, then more bookshelves and another door and you’re into more reference books, art, literature, geography, it’s all here, waiting to be discovered.

In the corner I spot a ‘mind your head ‘sign and a tiny Alice in Wonderland archway, all I can see through there are stacks of books, fiction this time. I think it’s a little cubby of books, but when I get there it’s another staircase. You’ll need to duck for this one, the mind your head sign doesn’t exaggerate and I’m glad to be so petite. On every step, Dean Koontz, Terry Pratchett, it’s all there and as you meander up it’s clear there’s much more of this shop to see. When I get to the top more bookshelves greet me. In front of me are two more bookcases, loaded up with the books that fit and the books that don’t, continuing the higgledy-piggledyness. To the right, fiction starting at A and through half the alphabet. For all it’s stacks of books, it’s clear this shop is always in a state of sorting with plenty of organised shelves among the stacks of books on chairs, on windowsills, in the dormer, and to the ceiling. The second room on this landing is the other half of the alphabet, more fiction from all the authors you’ve heard of and plenty that you haven’t.

I could wax lyrical about this shop all day, it’s without a doubt one of the most interesting and fascinating bookshops I’ve ever visited. I’m only sad that I had just an hour to spare, because this place really does deserve exploring properly!

~ Kath Cross

Address: 41a High Street, Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, CF71 7AE

Facebook:  HighRiseBookshop