Second-hand shopping – and lots of books – in Lyme Regis

Lyme Regis harbour on a beautiful Bank Holiday Monday

What a glorious Bank Holiday Monday! We left the house at eight and drove through four counties to reach Lyme Regis on the Devon/Dorset border. Lyme is one of my favourite places although this is the first time we have visited as a family. We had originally intended to go to the Fossil Festival but when the sun came out we headed for the beach instead. The girls played in the sand and I took a wander through the town, searching for some second-hand gems.

Lyme Regis is a distinctly bookish town. With John Fowles as its onetime resident author and the dramatic setting of the Cobb used in both ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’ and Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ it’s hard not to be.

Walking along the Cobb, Lyme Regis

Walking along the Cobb, Lyme Regis

I always imagine these are the steps that Louisa fell from in 'Persuasion'

I always imagine these are the steps that Louisa fell from in ‘Persuasion’

It may not quite be Hay-on-Wye but I have very fond memories of spending hours in Lyme’s second-hand bookshops. When I was a teenager I harboured an ambition to run this bookstore near to the Cobb:

 

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It's not a Dorset bookshop without a pile of Hardy books

It’s not a Dorset bookshop without a pile of Hardy books

The Sanctuary Bookshop at the bottom of Broad Street also operates as a book-lover’s B&B.

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Further up Broad Street, the main thoroughfare, is  Bygones which sells furniture, bric-a-brac and a few books.

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Lyme Regis doesn’t have as many High Street charity shops as I had expected. I could only find two located on Broad Street. Having never encounted tenovus before my trip to Devizes I was pleased to come across another branch:

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woops – slightly wonky pic!

I also came across a shop run by the Weldmar Hospice Care Trust. This is a Dorset-based charity specialising in hospice and palliative care. They run the Joseph Weld Hospice in Dorchester. Their charity shops are located throughout Dorset.

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 I didn’t quite reach the end of Broad Street, which is a steep climb. On the drive out of Lyme I spotted a couple more second-hand shops: Rummage and  Sublyme Vintage on Silver Street (gutted I didn’t get to the latter as the website looks fab).

There were a few vintage-inspired homewear shops whose stock was predominantly first-hand, but they are worth a mention for their quirky contents:

Lots of Cath Kidstone goodies.

Lots of Cath Kidston goodies.

Paintbox inspired chairs outside Susie Cole

Paintbox inspired chairs outside Susie Cole

Spotted a great orange trimphone in Ruby Rockcake

Spotted a great orange trimphone in Ruby Rockcake

Next door to Ruby Rockcake was the fantastic Alice’s Bearshop and Teddy Bear Hospital – the antidote to Build-A-Bear Workshop. Here toys can be taken to be repaired, rather than thrown away.

Can you see the patients in their beds?

Can you see the patients in their beds?

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I was also interested to find the following sign in some of the shop windows:

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But the shop that got my heart racing was one I stumbled upon by the beach. Nestled amongst the amusement arcades is this gem:

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The cavern-like interior was filled with stalls selling genuine vintage homewear, clothes, signs, books and more:

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I was tempted by a couple of fifties looking dresses that would not have looked out of place when Lyme’s vintage entertainment spots, Scotts Cinema and the Marine Theatre with its fascinating history.

Interior, the Marine Theatre (James Cagney once performed here)

Interior, the Marine Theatre (James Cagney once performed here)

Interior, Marine Theatre

Interior, Marine Theatre

Outside the Marine Theatre was this cool pop up cafe:

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After a day of browsing, eating ice creams and fish & chips by the sea it was time to head home. Plans are already afoot in our house, though, for a return to this gorgeous town.

Second-hand shopping in Devizes

Devizes, Wiltshire

Devizes is a very pretty market town in the heart of Wiltshire.

I believe I have already confessed to my second-hand shopping addiction but I thought I’d post some proof.  Every town I visit has to include some quality charity shop shopping. This is the first of what I hope will be an informal series on second-hand shopping throughout the UK. Now I don’t intend to drive around the country snapping at Oxfam shops on the way. However when I so happen to be in a town, and when armed with a camera, I will attempt to feature a brief summary of the second-hand shops it has to offer. This will probably mean there will be a lot of west country market towns included and not much else. I am also sure there are far better experts in Devizes (Wiltshire) than me – and please do let me know if I need to be corrected on anything!

There's a very funky coloured Barnardos shop.

There’s a very funky coloured Barnardos Shop on the High Street. I spotted this lovely old children’s push along cart with bricks in the window:

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The Shaw Trust shop is on the High Street.

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The British Heart Foundation shop is located in the central pedestrianised area of Devizes known as The Brittox. Next door is a charity shop, which was new to me, called tenovus. This Cardiff-based charity was set up by ten businessmen (hence the name?) in 1943. Since the 1960s it has devoted its resources to cancer care and research. Its scientists established the use of Tamoxifen to treat breast cancer. It also funds mobile cancer support units. It has 64 charity shops spread across Wales and the South West, in particular Bristol and Bournemouth.

Next door to BHF and tenovus shops was this very pretty shop selling vintage homeware:

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While I’m more of a vintage clothes girl there were some very pretty home and garden ware items on sale. I also like this sign:

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Scope, in Devizes, is located on Maryport Street.

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The Oxfam shop, on Maryport Street (opposite Scope) yielded the only purchase of my trip. My middle daughter is currently reading a library copy of Roald Dahl’s ‘BFG’ so I bought her a copy:

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I was tempted by a red dress in the Dorothy House shop on Old Swan Yard, just off the High Street. However, as I am helping to run a Clothes Swap Party tomorrow night I thought I would hold off on all purchases. Kind of regret it though as the dress is haunting me..

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Dorothy House is a local Bath and Wiltshire charity that runs a hospice just outside Bradford-on-Avon.

While in Devizes I also came across this recycling shoe bin:

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It’s run by United Shoe Company which stresses it is not a charity but a business run for profit. The company collects unwanted shoes and redistributes them in deveoping countries.

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Devizes is also home to The Shambles,   an               indoor market space located by the Market Place.  It runs as a general market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and as an antique market on Tuesdays (when I visited).

Along from the Shambles was the Little House of Coffee where I sat in the sun, had a latte and enjoyed a tasty lunch:

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Much needed refreshment after a hard morning spent browsing!