Stanfords is a specialist bookshop of maps and travel books, and was established in 1853 by Edward Stanford. The store on its present location on Long Acre in Covent Garden, central London, first opened its doors in January 1901. In 1997 a second store opened in Bristol.
The company also operates a division based in Manchester providing mapping for business purposes such as large scale maps for planning applications.
As having a reputation for its extensive collection of maps it is claimed to be "an essential first port of call for adventure and armchair travellers alike". Customers past and present include names as David Livingstone, Scott of the Antarctic, Ernest Shackleton, Florence Nightingale, Ranulph Fiennes, Bill Bryson, Michael Palin, and Sherlock Holmes.
The store sponsors the annual Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards.
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