Saturday 2 May 2015

A Charity Shop Trail - Bath City Centre (#BEDM Day 2)

I overheard a conversation last summer when I was in Weston Super Mare mooching round the charity shops - one lady said to the shop assistant in a slightly out of town (but still within walking distance) charity shop, "ooh I didn't know this one was here". Shop Assistant replied, "oh yes, there's quite a lot of charity shops in town in different places". Lady commented, "you know, someone really ought to produce a leaflet telling you where they all are".
Well I can't do the leaflet but I can share my knowledge of where charity shops are in certain towns. One of the things I like most when I visit somewhere new is to search them all out and it's a terrible habit but I do tend to judge how good a place is based on how many they have (and also what type). There's quite a few towns across the UK which I've visited so often that I've paced a well-worn trail around the streets and if I can make it a circular tour of the town, even better.

So, first up - Bath city centre (and if I've managed to create the map properly, you should be able to click on the markers and hopefully they should show more info)
Date of visit: March 2015
Amount of charity shops: 14

1. Disabled in Need and South West Holidays for the Disabled
A new little one that seems to have just popped up, occupying the former MINT vintage shop on Manvers Street. Lots of things to rummage around in and fairly cheap prices with a shop assistant who'll happily chat away to you while you're browsing.

2. Dorothy House Hospice Care
A medium sized shop in the main shopping area of the centre, just round the corner from Abbey Green and opposite the side entrance to Marks and Spencer. It's a little bit narrow in places but everything's well organised and decently priced.

3. Cancer Research Campaign
Quite a large shop on Westgate Street near Komedia but a bit hit and miss with the prices occasionally. Most of the times I've been in, it's been rather busy but you certainly get to overhear some interesting conversations (bringing back hanging anyone?)

4. Mercy in Action (aka The Charity Shop)
I didn't actually get to go into this one as the Saturday morning I was exploring, they were shut at 10am. It's a short walk from the train station across the River Avon if you fancy visiting.

5. Oxfam Books and Music
Tucked away near to the Chapel Arts Centre on Lower Borough Walls, you could easily spend hours in here browsing! Lots of books, lots of records and a range of prices depending on what you're looking at.

6. Oxfam
Just across Pulteney Bridge and occupying two floors, whenever I've visited it seems to be a good source of slightly more upmarket clothes - obviously the prices reflect this but it's worth a browse to see what gems you might find.

7. Dorothy House Hospice Care
Only a couple of doors away from the Oxfam shop above, again this branch seems to have a more posh range of clothes but like with all charity shops, you never know what you might find!

8. Save the Children
The first one you come to when walking up Walcot Street, it's a bit hidden away but has a good range of stuff all at fairly decent prices.

9. Julian House
Further up Walcot Street is another branch of Julian House and this one is quite a large shop. It goes quite far back inside with good displays (they clearly have a very good windowdresser) and a vintage rail hidden at the back. Lots of houseware bits and bobs and a lot of vintage childrens books that I spent far too long looking through.

10. Bath Women's Refuge Shop
A very small shop on the corner of Walcot Street and Chatham Row, it's packed with stuff but some of clothes are in need of a bit of TLC. Cheap prices though (books at 50p and dresses at £3 for example) and if you like a good rummage and don't mind a bit of mending, it would be worth a visit.

11. Dorothy House Hospice Care
This one's on Broad Street and was very busy the last time I visited. Lots of clothes, books and bric and brac though.

12. British Heart Foundation
Found on Green Street, right next to (the very posh) Milsom Street, it's got the usual range of clothes and homewares - some well-priced, some slightly overpriced, much like most other BHF shops.

13. Shaw Trust
Another shop that appeared to be closed, this time on a Saturday afternoon but from what I can remember the last time I was there, it had a good range of clothes and the prices were quite good too.

14.  Oxfam Boutique
Right on the corner of George Street and Gay Street, it's actually an Oxfam Boutique with a mixture of normal items and redesigned or altered items of clothing. There seemed to be a lot of space on the shelves when I was there and although I liked seeing how clothes had been changed, sadly there was nothing I liked enough to buy. If you're going past it anyway though, it's probably worth a peek in.

So there you have it. There's several more charity shops in and around the outskirts of the centre but they're all a bit far to walk really. Hopefully the map should work and feel free to use it however you want if you're a charity shop aficionado planning a trip to the city. Also, it goes without saying but all the info was correct as of March; obviously if you're reading this several months or years in the future, please be aware things may have changed (although if I spot one that's closed or a new one, I'll update the map as and when).
(This post is day 2 of Rosalilium's Blog Every Day in May challenge - after sticking to the topics for the last couple of years, this year I'm going off piste!)


  1. Ooh this would be such a great idea for an entire blog! I'd love to be able to get a charity shop guide for places near me x

  2. That's a pretty comprehensive description of Bath's charity shops! I love your way of describing the BHF in Green St. Probably as close as a charity shop has got to Milsom St! Sadly the number of charity shops can reflect the number of other shops that have failed. The high council taxes in Bath have driven a lot of shops out whilst charity shops don't have to pay them. Ok I'll get off my soap box now! Well done!

  3. Thats a lot of charity shops and the map is such a good idea! I kind of do agree with the above comment. Its the same in my town with the rents and the rates.My friends have just had to close their shop after a year and pouring all their heart and soul and savings into it. Not the fault of the charity shops though.x

  4. What a great idea for a blog - Alan loves charity shops so this would be his dream. So glad you're doing BEDM too.

    Lizzie Dripping

  5. This is a great idea! I thought of doing this for places I go to, but probably won't get around to it. You have a good quantity. I met up with two blogging friends in Ipswich yesterday and we went on a charity shop tour with lots of success, Hazel was a great guide to them!x x

  6. I do love charity shops, and have an inbuilt homing beacon for them when I'm out and about. However, like Maggie I have misgivings about their increasing dominance on the high street - a town dominated by them tends to be a sign that other (often independent small) businesses can't survive there. Oxfam bookshops, for example, are renowned for being quite aggressive in terms of competing with indie secondhand bookshops.

  7. Oo I love the charity shops in Bath :) Great post :)

    Hannah x
    Paloma in Disguise


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