Leominster is a small town set in beautiful, rolling Herefordshire countryside. For years it's been overlooked: caught between upmarket Ludlow and Hereford with its Cathedral. But Leominster seems to be carving out a niche for itself as a kind of second-hand heaven. And if that's your thing, you will find happiness here!
Broad Street, Leominster
It's the first place I thought of when I read about Lulastic's charity shop blog hop: I've been rummaging round Leominster for years.
There are charity shops galore - all a short hop, skip and a jump from Broad street, pictured in the photo. You'll find the usual suspects like Oxfam, Sue Ryder and the British Heart Foundation. They're all quite old school with slightly faded window displays and plenty inside. The YMCA and DEBRA sell furniture too - more miss than hit this time. But that's the thing I find about them: the same charity shop can be brilliant one day and dodgy the next. Difficult to judge based on a single visit (great excuse for regular trips though) The beauty of Leominster is there are so many you've a good chance of coming across something you like. I picked these up for the boys in the British Red Cross shop.
Top tops for £1.50
And it does have a 50p basket - like a lucky dip by the door. The St Michael's Hospice shop is usually pretty good: there are a few in Herefordshire and they're always shifting their stock about. Nearby you'll find shelves of weird and wonderful stuff in a local animal shelter charity shop. I very nearly bought a large, green, eagle-shaped bottle with a removable head. I would have been buying it for the wrong reasons....
I'm going to stray from Charity shops, because it's hard not to get distracted here. You see Leominster is brimming with second-hand stores, and quirky antique shops. Many of them are down Broad street, so not far to go. Honestly it's tricky to know where to start. This is one of my favourites.
Number 14, Leominster
...just a little tempting?
Antiques, vintage, reclaimed, bric a brac, retro - SO much stuff. It does vary, but on the whole the prices are pretty good. Really good if you live anywhere near the M25. And there are always, always deals to be done. I got this for a few pounds - reminds me of 70's sitcoms.
The shops are quite an experience in themselves. Many are in beautiful old buildings that haven't been been touched in years, so everything's displayed in higgledy-piggledy rooms with lots of original features. I bought the corner shelf on a previous trip - the apple jug too. There's a bit of me that always feels guilty about spending money on something someone else has done up, but I'm a decoupage disaster area, so easier to pay the money (£20) and avoid the pain.
A short walk away in New Street there is an enormous Antique warehouse - it's so big they've thoughtfully put a coffee machine halfway round to keep you going.
Now I know I've veered off the charity shop trail, but Leominster is a bit of a second-hand all-rounder, and a perfect place for a bit of treasure hunting.
Do you know a top spot for charity shops? If so, why not join Lulastic's Blog Hop - or just pop along for some thrifty inspiration!