The wealth of antique shops in Leominster (pronounced ‘Lemster’) leads to regular star appearances on TV but fortunately it hasn’t gone to the head of this unpretentious market town. It is fabulously down to earth about its treasure trove of independent shops and its beautiful blend of medieval, Tudor and Georgian architecture. Take a meander around its historic streets and find special Christmas gifts with a unique story to tell.
There’s over 20 antique dealers in town, so where to start? Broad Street is a good bet as it is lined with shops, including Stockmoor Antiques which sells country furniture from its period showroom and No 14 which focuses on nostalgic interiors. Meanwhile The Antique Market and Leominster Antiques Centre have almost endless rooms to explore, as do the Secondhand Warehouse & Antiques Centre on nearby New Street and The Merchant’s House on Corn Square. There’s also fascinating specialist stores including The Light Shop, War & Son for medal and military antiques plus The Barometer Shop for clocks and, you guessed it, barometers!
For modern makers, make a beeline for The Lion Gallery which represents over 300 contemporary artists, from printmakers and painters to sculptors and ceramicists. Nearby, Oxenham Art showcases the work of its namesake artists alongside modern art, pottery and jewellery.
Tucked under the medieval overhangs of Drapers Lane you’ll find Noted which is known for its on-point collection of contemporary womenswear and jewellery. Elsewhere, Jumping Ships designs and makes sustainable ladies’ fashion whilst Sassy is a tiny boutique brimful of clothes, shoes and accessories.
To treat the little ones in your life this Christmas visit Martins Models – a proper toy shop, stacked with delights for children of all ages. There’s also a super selection of arts and crafts gifts in Roundabout Stationery, whilst Rossiter Books appeals to all literature lovers, including younger readers.
The pretty Corn Square hosts the weekly Friday open-air market and has some great options for a coffee break or lunch – perhaps a pie at The Press Room or pancakes at The Flying Dutchman? Or take the short drive to the outdoor café at Wellington Home & Gardens which also does a fabulous line in reclaimed interiors, courtesy of sister business English Salvage. On Friday afternoons The Swan Brewery heartily welcomes visitors to pop in and taste their ales.
For something extra special, finish off your Christmas shopping with a 30-minute jaunt to the beautiful Golden Valley. The Woodee Store in Dorstone is open by appointment all year round and sells magnificent handcrafted firepits, artisan tools and fireside accessories.