UK's most remote bookshop sold to new owners

UK's most remote bookshop sold to new owners

Anchins Book Shop and Coffee Shop near Lochinver in the Scottish Highlands, thought to be the UK's most remote book retailer, has been sold to new owners six years after appearing on the market. 

The previous owners, Alec and Agnes Dickson, bought the shop in 1983, and ran it for nearly 40 years before putting it on the market in 2014. It has recently been sold to Keith and Steph Taylor.

The shop closed just before the first UK lockdown in March. New co-owner Keith Taylor, a retired fireman, anticipates re-opening in spring 2021, with a refurbished cafe and a small selection of the remaining stock on sale to customers. 

"Achins has a weighty reputation around here," he said. "What we felt would be best for us is if there was a selection of local authors and books about characters from the area and guidebooks. We will concentrate on the cafe but I imagine there will be an element of selling books."

Steph Taylor previously worked at an Edinburgh charity before setting up her own coffee and crepe kiosk. 

"She was doing the crepes, and I got roped in to do the coffees," Keith said. "That was the last couple of years before we said, 'The kids are older, now is the opportunity to do what we've always wanted to do and move here'."

Located 100 miles north west of Inverness, the shop is accessed by a 3.5 mile long single track, with its nearest village Lochinver.

The shop is currently running a sale on its stock via Facebook marketplace, which includes titles across children's and adult fiction and non-fiction. 

In a joint statement, the Dicksons said: "Well, at last, we are very happy to say we have passed Achins on to our successors, Keith and Steph. After 37 years it is with very mixed feelings but time to start another chapter. We have been so fortunate to have been able to meet so many lovely people and made so many friends along the way. It was always a joy to see well kent [well-known] faces returning with the children of yesterday now the parents of today.

"We can only thank all our customer friends for their loyal support over the years—lots of laughter and lots of cheek from 'grumpy old man'. We are going to miss you all—but we are not leaving Assynt so will hopefully still keep up with many of you. We wish Keith and Steph all the very best in their new venture taking Achins on their own path."