Shop till you drop, Cotswold style
Forget bland High Streets and boring malls – the Cotswolds has glamorous, independent shops that showcase local crafts and remind you why browsing can be a genuine pleasure.
Lapstone (off the A44) – Drive time: 5 mins
Just three miles from Dormy House, off the A44, Lapstone is a little department store with a big difference. It’s housed in a picturesque barn in the middle of a vast field, and it stocks a very select range of gifts, furniture and clothes.
Broadway – Drive time: 5 mins
A good place to buy gifts and cards, or – if you’re feeling flush – art and antiques. Like many Cotswold market towns, Broadway still has “real” shops like a traditional family butcher and an excellent deli.
Chipping Campden – Drive time: 7 mins
This is another Cotswold town with great individual shops, including a treasure trove of accessories called Frankie Doodle and an excellent second-hand shop which describes itself as “a dressing up box for the grown up lady.”
Stow-on-the-Wold – Drive time: 14 mins
Stow-on-the-Wold is famed for its collection of antique stores and art galleries. It’s also got some great coffee houses, boutiques and the first organic food shop in the UK. Stow is the home of the famous catalogue store, Scotts of Stow.
Daylesford Organic – Drive time: 20 mins
Also worthy of a mention in its own right, Daylesford is a legendary organic foodstore and cookery school, with an exclusive range of clothes, kitchenware and spa products on the side. An upmarket shopping experience for those who already have everything they need.
Cheltenham - Drive time: 35 mins
Only a half-hour drive from Dormy House, Cheltenham is our favourite shopping destination. For elegant shopping in whitewashed Regency splendour, head to Montpellier at the top of town. Here and along The Promenade, stylish boutiques are interspersed with continental-style pavement cafés. Come to shop and be seen and be prepared to part with your dosh.
Cirencester – Drive time: 43 mins
It’s worth travelling the extra mile to Cirencester for its lovely shopping streets in old stone. But also look out for the regular weekly markets in the Corn Hall: a home, fashion and garden bazaar from Monday to Thursday; antiques and collectables on a Friday; a craft market every Saturday.
Tetbury – Drive time: 1 hour
If you love distressed (or is it stressed?) furniture and bric-à-brac, you’ll love Tetbury. The recent addition of the Highgrove Shop, opened by the Prince of Wales himself, has added a touch of royal cachet to this lovely market town. His first retail venture sells organic foods from Duchy Home Farm and items made by local artisans and craftspeople.