Acquiring a Cello
These are the only London shops I have experience with but you may find others doing a Google search. Feel free to speak to me about any questions you have!
Stringers Music Hire Scheme, hire for up to 3/4 size cellos (sometimes 4/4 available)
Guivier's Student Hire, also for purchase and repairs (does adult beginner rentals)
Bridgewood & Neizert for hire, purchase and repairs
Soundpost, for purchase, strings, and accessories
Musicalchairs, listings for pre-owned instruments
It might sound trivial but I think it makes all the difference if your cello kit is exciting and makes you comfortable! So here is a list of things I recommend for happy playing...
A6 size, to write notes in the lesson as well as personal notes following each lesson
You must have a comfortable chair because cello posture is very important. Have a chair that is good for your height, with no arms, that doesn't move around while you're playing.
I recommend a single-leg wooden stop like the Artino Endpin Sound Anchor (or this or this) because it is the most comfortable to use. 'Black Holes' or stops that require fastening to both legs and finding a specific hole can be cumbersome to use.
Lightweight is a consideration but sometimes this is at the expense of a sturdy build. I have a König & Meyer stand that has served me well which comes in a range of colours and fair price.
A soft dust cloth will be needed to give the cello a wipe after playing.
I use Viotech foam covers that go over the thumbpiece to protect my bow and aid comfort. This rubber "Hold Fish" aid can be handy for your pinky finger while developing a natural bow hand (I myself have never used this but find it interesting)
I use the Ultra Mute when I need to play in hotels or quietly at night - compared to metal mutes that can fall off from vibration, it's a safe and effective mute. GEWA makes one that's metal and rubber clad and is even quieter.
IMSLP Petrucci Music Library - free, downloadable, scores (out of copyright/public domain)
South London Music, East Dulwich
Of course, Amazon.co.uk has many items as well
Around the corner from my flat is the lovely CROL & CO - serves magnificent coffees, cakes, sandwiches, brunch, and evening cocktails!