Monday, 17 September 2012

Charity Shop Hop - Bedford

This is where I hail from, and growing up here with it's plethora of charity shops, it's no surprise really I ended up the way I did!

I still remember vividly some of the second-hand shops long since gone that I used to trawl around as a kid with my mum.  There was one on Midland road which had a fabulous old shop counter, glass fronted with pull out drawers laden with buttons, linen and jewellery.

There was one on Bromham Road run by two old ladies, which was where my mum would buy Christmas ribbons by the bin bag full, and a second-hand clothes shop upstairs along St Peter's street, which always seemed to turn up Clothkits kid's clothes.

Anyway, back to the present. There is a wealth of charity shops in the town centre, but I'll save those for another post.  Instead I'm concentrating on the Castle Road area.

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This is one of the most sought after areas of Bedford to live, with its good schools, park and the beautiful embankment nearby.  It has a very 'villagey' atmosphere with a great sense of community, and row upon row of Victorian terraced houses.

All these vintage, thrifty hotspots are within a few hundred yards of each other, so this is certainly a trip easy on the shoe leather.

Here you'll find an architectural salvage shop, well worth a browse, especially in the courtyard out the back.  There's all manner of chimney pots, stained glass, pine doors and fireplaces.

Opposite is the Mercy in Action charity shop.  I've found many beautiful items here but they can be a bit pricey.  They have a dedicated vintage section, and often sell small items of furniture, spilling out onto the street.

Further along is the Children's Society shop.  Again lots of bargains to be had here, although it is mainly clothes.

Next-door is the Pine shop, and you'll probably catch a whiff of the Briwax as you walk past.  They do sell antique furniture as well as made-to-measure items, so it's worth a peak inside.

Further up is Eagle Bookshop.  Heaven for the kindle-phobics.  Beautifully laid out over several floors, you will find vintage and antique books on every subject under the sun.

Opposite is my favourite shop in Bedford.  Bargain Alley is a joy.  A house clearance shop, you literally never know what it's going to turn up.  You need to roll up your sleeves and have a good rummage here.  The prices are incredibly reasonable, and you're likely to find furniture bargains, as well as kitchenalia, crafting items like broken jewellery, games pieces, playing cards and fabric.

This street has a lovely cafe culture, and there's plenty of cafes, coffee shops and beer gardens to choose from.  Personally I'd recommend The Cheese Kitchen - go and check out their sparkly new cafe and deli.

Joining in with Lulastic's Charity Shop Blog Hop.


  1. TAKE ME HERE! I love it! Thanks loads for linking up. It is kind of hard work, this link up eh? Wondering if that is why it was popular first time and not so much second time- people realised that writing up your favourite routes does actually take a bit of time... Boooo! x x x x x

    1. I think it may be more that people don't want to enlighten the world about their secret thrift stores! x

  2. I absolutely LOVE Charity Shops. Whenever I go to a new town it's the first thing I check out and I pop into my favourites here at least a couple of times a week. That street looks like my kind of heaven, how lucky you are to live there. I keep meaning to do a post on my finds and now I find there's a blog hop about them??? Heading over to take a look at the others.

    1. Hi Sarah. It's an awesome street!!

      Come and link up with my Magpie Monday linky - every week to show off your finds x

  3. Ooh, Bedford looks well worth a visit. I'm in Leighton Buzzard and we have eight charity shops here, so I'm spoiled for choice...xx

    1. I visited Leighton Buzzard town for the first time recently. Amazing array of charity shops, but also craft shops and cool cafes. I was in love!

      We should do a 'play date'!

  4. Right, my next charity shop hop with the Mr is defo a trip to Bedford, it has a book shop so he will be like a pig in mud! x

  5. good work, I have been doing mine for some time now too!

  6. Hi,
    I've been sorting through my jewellery boxes, drawers and cupboards, and I have acquired quite a lot of broken and unwanted bits and pieces of jewellery and broken watches. I'm afraid none of it is gold or silver (I wish it was), but I hate throwing it away when it may make a little bit of money for charity. Would you be interested in it if I brought it down to you? I love your shop and have been into it a couple of times since I discovered it when visiting The Word bookshop.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind regards, Marian Matthews, Brickhill