With the Bath Christmas Market in full swing, we thought we’d also add to your shopping foot-miles by suggesting some great independent traders to visit while you’re staying in the city. The Market is a mecca for local businesses but we’d hope that you’d take some time out to explore a bit more of the city on foot and perhaps one of these shops you will stumble across may tempt you too. We’ve split our post into two parts. The second which will be online later this week will feature Food & Drink, ideas for the Sports Lover in your life and a list of some unique gifts you can find in the city.
Clothing & Accessories
Bath is so lucky to have many independent retailers within the City, plus lots of great charity and vintage shops too. These will require a separate post another time; but here are a choice few for your Christmas delights.
* Liz Cox – Since 1995, Liz Cox has been selling her 100% Made in England bespoke leather handbags here in Bath. All produced locally you can even create your very own customised bag to suit your style (or even your car or dress, whatever takes your fancy!). Men aren’t left out either with their own range of bags and accessories as well. With the monogram currently fashionable on the catwalk, you can make sure your clutch or satchel is initialed too. Head up towards The Royal Crescent and this hidden shopping street of other great independents is found between the Crescent and The Circus. [17 Margaret Buildings]
* Grace & Ted – We all love a bargain and this mother and daughter run boutique is an Aladdin’s den of designer resale clothes, shoes and accessories for both men and women. The fashionable set of Bath come here to sell on their last season wardrobe as well as pick up a Prada or Hermes classic. They also create bespoke hats and fascinators here too. Found in the 18th Century delight of Kingsmead Square there are plenty of great cafes and restaurants around here in which to rest your weary legs. [10 Kingsmead Square]
* The British Hatter – A really unique find, you can almost walk past this shop without realising. It feels like a step back in time when you go in, but The British Hatter still creates and sells headwear to the gentlemen and ladies of Bath of styles both contemporary and traditional. Perfect for that hat for races, weddings or garden parties. [9-11 Walcot Street]
* Alexandra May & Not Cartier – There are many wonderful designers and both small and big shops in Bath that deserve mention; but I will mention in this blog two businesses who bring out the magpie in most people. Alexandra May can be found on the walk up to The Royal Crescent from The Circus; a fabulous shop crammed with jewellery, beads, gifts and curios that will be perfect this Christmastime for stocking fillers. Not Cartier is based inside the Guildhall, and sells everything from early plastics to 80s cast offs and everything diamante in between. Great to pick up that princess tiara, but it’s the earrings and necklaces that truly dazzle here. Clip on Earrings also are a great find for those with un-pierced ears.
Books & Maps
If you’re a Bibliophile then you’ll love spending hours in these wonderful shops getting lost amongst the tomes.
* George Bayntun – Antique Books & Bindery. Dates to 1894. Located just next door to us on Manvers Street. [5 Manvers Street]
* Topping & Co. – Lots of collectible books and very popular talks by authors. To be found just at the top of Broad Street as you turn right onto The Paragon. [The Paragon]
* Bath Old Books – A co-operative of 5 experienced book dealers who run this small but fascinating shop. Filled to the brim with general and specialist books on two floors. [9c Margaret Buildings]
* Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights – winner of Independent Bookshop of the Year twice this haven for booklovers is hidden around the back of busy Milsom Street. [14-15 John Street]
* Antique & Map Shop – Located on the world famous Pultney Bridge, this small shop is full of maps from all around the world from the 16th to 19th Centuries; along with books and atlases too. [9-10 Pultney Bridge]
Bath was once filled with lots of independent antique shops at once point, but there has been a decline of late. Some have remained though and the ever popular Bath Vintage & Antiques Market that’s run out of Green Park Station every fourth and first Sunday of the month and is a great place to start searching for that gem that will get you on The Antiques Roadshow! Occasionally on a Saturday there is also a pop up Flea Market in the car park next to the Hilton Hotel on Walcot Street; however there are no regular dates for this, so best just to walk along to check.
* Bartlett Street Antiques Centre – This is a great undercover place to visit where there are over 150 dealer showcases and 12 stands filled with jewellery, fine art, glass, toys and many other pieces of Ephemera and Collectibles. Bath’s Goldsmith Company are also on site for restorations, repairs and commissions. It’s to be found on your way walking up to the Assembly Rooms and Circus. [8 Bartlett Street]
We hope we’ve wet your appetite and that you’re looking forward to Part Two coming soon!