Major cities have shopping malls with big-names stores, but the South West is also hive of independent shops with memorabilia and local crafts, vinyl. Find antique shops and collectables everywhere and garden centres selling much more than plants. Also look at galleries for local paintings, arts and crafts.
1. Bicester Designer Village, Oxfordshire
On the eastern edge of the Cotswolds, this custom village is a designer retail outlet with more than 130 lifestyle and fashion boutiques offering savings on big-name designers. Labels include Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Mulberry, Chloe, Dolce & Gabanna, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York.
2. St. Nicholas Market, Bristol
Covered markets with independent retailers. Find gifts and vintage at the Nails Market on Fridays and Saturdays, local produce and street food at the Friday Food Market and the Bristol Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays. Also find historic covered ‘Pannier Markets’ in Tavistock and Barnstaple, both in Devon.
3. Stokes Croft & Gloucester Road, Bristol
Lined with independent local shops and cafes, just the place to hunt for vintage, retro and shabby chic. Stokes Croft is famous for its ‘Banksy’ street art and hunt down those vinyl records at Idle Hands, 74 Stokes Croft. Gloucester Road also has home wares, toys, health and beauty.
4. Barn Antiques Centre, Warwickshire
In the North Cotswolds with over 40 experienced dealers occupying a large area with two floors of antiques, retro items, jewellery, collectables, furniture and kitchenalia. There’s also a bistro called Violettes, and an interiors shop. Find antiques and collectables shops all around the South West.
5. Burford Garden Company, Gloucestershire
Eclectic shopping which has grown from the original plant centre – gorgeous notebooks and journals, books, bath and body products, some clothes, throws and rugs, candles, an art gallery, dinnerware, deli and kitchen shop, toy shop. Now also a ‘blue room’ for perfect accessorising
6. Daylesford Organic Farmshop, Gloucestershire
Well-heeled foodies of the Cotswolds adore Daylesford’s organic produce with over 100 varieties of seasonal fruit, vegetables, herbs and Daylesford Cheddar cheese. Apart from the farm shop, there’s great food at the café, a day spa and wide range of cooking classes on offer.
7. Artisan Quarter, Bath
Walcot Road and The London Road area are known locally as the Artisan Quarter with independent shops for vintage clothes, designer homewares, cafes and galleries. Browse for antiques at the Old Bank Antiques Centre and, in Bath over a weekend, visit the Saturday flea market.
8. Montpellier, Cheltenham
Montpellier Walk has Cheltenham’s most elegant independent shops, both architecturally and in their content. Browse for women and men’s fashion, shoes, home and gifts, jewellery, art and photography with little brasseries and cafes for respite from the decisions of a delightful few hours of shopping.
9. Leach Pottery: Studio & Museum, St Ives, Cornwall
See exhibitions and shop for work by local and international potters at the restored Leach pottery, run by John Bedding. Bernard Leach was a major figure working from this studio set up in 1920, using the West’s first Japanese wood-fired kiln for his signature work.
10. Lobbs Farm Shop, St Austell, Cornwall
Irresistible farm shop next to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, selling home-grown produce from the Kestle Farm, home-made ready meals, Cornish Yarg Cheese, home-made sausages, pies smoked fish and deli items. Look for local crafts as the Countryside Barn Dairy here holds frequent craft fairs.