While I spend quite a lot of time browsing the second hand shops in Bath, I’m also known to do some charity shopping in the market town of Chippenham. This Wiltshire town is only eight miles from where I live and, unlike Bath, has a lot of those useful cheaper shops such as Wilkinsons and a large Poundland – as well as a good range of charity shops.
At one end of the High Street (closer to the train station) is a small grouping of four charity shops.
Dorothy House and Age UK are located next to each other. The Dorothy House has a good selection of toys and games, and is well worth browsing for clothes. At the neighbouring Age UK I have picked up a couple of good items: a vintage black dress, and a women’s navy suit (for a Margaret Thatcher outfit!)
Across the road from these shops is the RSPCA. Earlier in the year it was damaged by fire. It’s good to see it back in place on the High Street. This is a welcoming store with lots of space and a big selection of homeware. The prices are very reasonable as well, and you can pick up some good vintage clothing (as below)
Further along is the Oxfam shop. Oxfam shops never disappoint. They always have a good selection of clothes and homeware and, in most cases, a large dedicated book section. This Oxfam also has a bridal department downstairs.
The rest of Chippenham’s charity shops are located in the pedestrianised part of the High Street. British Heart Foundation is centrally located. Although it is quite small it has a large selection of clothing.
Further along is the Blue Cross shop, which sells vinyl as well as clothing, toys, books and homeware.
My personal favourite, though, is the Julian House charity shop which opened a couple of years ago. Julian House is the Bath based charity which works with excluded people; one of the projects it runs is a homeless hostel in Bath (see also Chippenham’s Doorway Project which works with homeless and vulnerable people).
The curved window of the Julian House shop is very eye catching:
Inside the clothes and accessories are laid out with lots of space between them:
It also has a great vinyl selection:
I recently picked up my favourite Henry Holland dress from this shop and, although not as cheap as other charity shops, its clothing section is well worth a browse.
Beyond Julian House is the Red Cross Shop. In the past I’ve picked up some great LPs from here.
Not pictured, and located beyond the High Street, is Magpie Vintage: a second-hand shop selling vintage clothing, homeware and, upstairs, a dedicated music department.
And beyond that is Chippenham’s other record shop, Scratch the Surface, which sells new and old vinyl.
Finally I can’t talk about charity shopping in Chippenham without mentioning the dedicated second hand furniture and electrical stores. Dorothy House and British Heart Foundation are located in the centre of Chippenham. The furniture store Waste Not Want Not is on the outskirts. In the past we have donated, and bought from, all three of these stores.
Below are some of our purchases incl: ice cream maker, bread maker, vacuum, sofa, keyboard and vacuum cleaner 🙂