Perched picturesquely above the river is the welcoming market town of Ross-on-Wye. It’s an inviting place to potter with its unexpected mix of vintage and antique shops, galleries and lifestyle stores. While away a winter’s day hunting for stocking-fillers and one-of-a-kind gifts.
At the centre of town sits the 17th-century Market House, now home to Made in Ross. This creative cooperative of local artists and artisans offers everything from felted bird feeders to striking sculptures. You’ll find the Town Ambassadors here too – and their canine friends – ready to answer any questions or show you around. There is an abundance of choice for aficionados of antiques, vintage and retro who can even follow the Vintage Shopping Trail. Fritz Fryer specialises in lighting, from lovingly restored antique finds to their own contemporary designs whilst the family-run Architectural Store is crammed with inspiration for the home.
The Basement is another stylish spot and also sells work from local designer-makers. Relics is known for its fabulous jewellery and interiors, whilst Something Special and Lot 47 specialise in curios, collectables and vinyl. Browse the eclectic mix at Space/Inside, colourful upcycled creations at Vintage Virtu and interesting pieces at Loved Again Furniture. At the bottom of the hill, country furniture specialist Blank Canvas Antiques occupies a magnificent Tudor building which is itself a treat for the eyes.
You can’t fail to feel festive after a trip to Crossfield Creations with its sparkling display of decorations, candles and gifts. Lizzie Bunting is filled top to toe with present ideas, from homeware to bags and accessories and there are lots of eye-catching goodies at Boutique at No.2. The bright red Crows Feet, formerly the bus station waiting room, has curated a superb range including kimonos, silver jewellery and stationery. Scan the new titles at Rossiter Books, including the brilliant children’s department.
Art fans will adore a wander around Gallery 54, which exhibits contemporary abstract artists across two floors, as well as the recently opened Lyons Gold and the studio of ceramicist Sarah Darcy.
A ten-minute drive will bring you to Baileys, a beautiful home store based in a series of listed farm buildings. From tableware to Christmas decorations, Baileys lives by the mantra of plain, simple and useful.
Back in town, take your time over a caffeine fix at Caffe Eleganza which is rightly proud of its custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally. For lunch, check out the modern European menu at No 3 Restaurant or get comfortable with real ale and bar bites at The King’s Head Hotel. If cocktails and tapas are calling you then Leonards at 39 has just the thing.