Second-hand shopping in Bristol (Park Street)

I realise it’s been ages since I last posted a Second-hand shopping in.. post, but a recent trip to Park Street, in the centre of Bristol, inspired me to add to the series.

I don’t profess to be an expert in all the locations for second-hand shopping in Bristol, but the centrally located Park Street is a good starting point.

Park Street extends from Bristol Cathedral and College Green uphill towards the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (free entry and well worth a look). Being Bristol, there is also a Banksy located half way up the street.

Park Street is bustling with lots of coffee shops, cafes and a smattering of art galleries. Although selling first-hand items, The Guild, is well worth a look at for homewares and gifts.

But it’s the second-hand shops that really catch my eye.

Just parallel to Park St, located on Queens Road, is the Cancer Research Shop which is worth a browse.

The two stand out charity shops on Park Street, though, are the Oxfam Bookshop and Sue Ryder shop.

Second hand books, Oxfam

The Oxfam Bookshop (officially on Queen’s Road) is two floors of paperbacks, hardbacks, specialist texts, vinyl and more. It is a book-lover’s paradise and I could easily spend a few hours browsing here! For second-hand bibliophiles there is another Oxfam Bookshop,located  just over a mile away in Clifton.

Further down Park Street, The Sue Ryder shop is crammed with vintage goodies! There is a dedicated retro clothing rail that seems to go on for ever… For an over-organised person like myself I love that it is colour coordinated too!

vintage clothing,secondhand shopping, Sue Ryder charity shop


I spotted this Laura Ashley dress on the rail; made in Wales, which automatically dates it to pre 2005 (see this post here)

vintage clothing,secondhand shopping, Sue Ryder charity shop, Laura Ashley vintage

The shop also sells a good range of second-hand vinyl, which can be a little pricey. It also has a wonderful curved shop front which I love!

Sue Ryder, charity shop, shop window, Bristol

Beyond the charity shops, Park Street is also famed for its vintage clothing shops.

Squashed between two bigger stores, the diminutive Uncle Sam’s American Vintage is overflowing with secondhand clothing, imported from the US. It is also Bristol’s longest established vintage store, specialising in outfits from the 1940s to 1980s. Unlike many secondhand clothing stores, it also has a good selection of menswear.


Another Park Street favourite, Sobeys also has branches in Exeter and Cardiff. I do like this store but, for me, it’s a little too young. Everytime I step inside they seem to be playing Duran Duran (which I love as an old school Duranie!) but the 80s and 90s themed stock tends to remind me of what I used to wear at the time. Being slightly more mature, ‘vintage’ for me harks back to earlier eras. But they do have an excellent range of dungarees and, once more, cater for male customers too. Similarly, BS8 (not pictured) is a vintage store that caters for a younger market but certainly worth a browse.

If you’re new to Bristol then Park Street is a great place to start your second-hand quest. Other areas such as trendy Stokes Croft and upmarket Clifton are great locations to browse in too, and miles away from the mainstream, High Street stores of Cabot Circus and the out of town mall at Cribbs Causeway.

(Second-hand) Record Store Day in Bristol

Saturday saw the seventh Record Store Day take place in the UK, a celebration of independent record shops with events, special releases and more. As you may know we acquired a new record player at Christmas and have been hunting for vinyl ever since. So, on a rare Saturday off we took a trip to Bristol for a little second-hand window shopping and a visit to the fabled Rise Records in Clifton.

Rise had a number of events, including live bands performing throughout the day.  While I felt older than most of the hip twenty somethings in the store it was great to have a browse through the vinyl. I felt rather smug spotting a couple of Beatles albums which we have at home (inherited from my parents). I was also on the hunt for a couple of classic albums: Carole King’s ‘Tapestry’ and Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’. The former was on sale at Rise but £20 is a little more than I can afford.

As the shop was very busy, and the live music a little loud for our young offspring, we didn’t stay long. Husband and I plan to take a trip to Rise another day when the kids are at school.  As we were in Clifton (posh Bristol) and the trendy Park Street it did seem only polite to have a rummage through the charity shops too.

Youngest daughter picked up a picture book in the Oxfam Bookshop in Clifton village:


We also made a few purchases at the vintage-themed Shelter shop. While there were a few items of clothing I was tempted by I kept my purse in my pocket while husband splurged on a t-shirt and the girls bought a Rubik’s Cube:

We also ventured into the Oxfam Boutique on Park Street but it was at the Sue Ryder shop a few doors down that we made our best purchase. On Record Store Day we picked up two second-hand albums that were new (to the store anyway) that day and cost £1.50 each. The girls have been listening to Simon & Garfunkel and I was gutted that I had got rid of my parents’ copy of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. One of my earliest memories is listening to this album and, as a teenager, I rediscovered it and played it continuously in my bedroom. So imagine my delight in finding it once more in Bristol. I also picked up the Tears for Fears album, ‘Songs from the Big Chair’. I remember this being a huge record at the time and have been recently listening to their earlier stuff.


So having made our purchases we headed for home, got the record player out and listened to our vinyl.