Beckside Books is home to 14,000 books, maps, photographs, postcards and other ephemera.

Our books cover all genres, however we have strengths in local history, Lake Poets, Ruskin, Virago, military history and archaeology.

Only a small portion of our stock is currently available online but we are regularly adding to our listings on the following platforms:


A whole corner of the shop is dedicated to adventure sports: mostly climbing & mountaineering but also including canoeing, kayaking, sailing, mountain biking, fell running & bushcraft.

We have 70+ climbing guides, signed and scarce first editions, early expedition photographs, skills development, adventure education, rescues and epics, essays, biographies & maps.


The rugged, natural beauty of the region has drawn many a poet to these parts, most notably Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey, De Quincey and Lamb. We have a good selection of their poetical and non-poetical works, from paperbacks to fine bindings, as well as biographies and analyses.


Virago Press was established in 1973 to revive and champion otherwise neglected female writers, bringing the iconic, green-spined Virago Modern Classics series 5 years later. We have dedicated Virago fiction and non-fiction sections.


Ruskin left a rich legacy both in and out of print. His influence over William Morris can be seen in the Arts & Crafts movement, of which there are numerable architectural examples in Cumbria, most notably Blackwell at Bowness-on-Windermere. You can also visit Ruskin's home, Brantwood at Coniston. Either would make a great day trip from Penrith.


We stock a large range of archeology books and a wide span of Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeologocal Society (CWAAS). Local sites include Papcastle, Birdoswald and Hadrian's Wall as well as numerous stone circles, which we usually have some books on. More local sites of interest here