Broadstairs has long been loved for it’s retro feel – and that goes for many of the shops here too! Photos of the town from years ago show that it still looks very much as it did in years gone by. It is the quintessential old fashioned English seaside town and has never lost its charm. No wonder our holiday lets here are so popular, it’s a lovely little town to enjoy a relaxing family holiday.
There are some lovely shops in Broadstairs, some have been here for years and are well known, others are newer on the scene. We thought it would be a good idea to tell our prospective guests about some of the more interesting and offbeat stores in town, that you might like to seek out while you are here.
I’ll tell you first what prompted this post – Wormwolds Magical Emporium. This extraordinary place opened up this summer and is reminiscent of the shop in Diagon Alley where Harry Potter bought his wand, in the books by J K Rowling.
If you fancy browsing for magical items and tricks, tip toe up towards the top of the High Street, between the Co-op and the station, next to a great second hand furniture and homewares store, Second Chance, and the well loved gift shop and framers, The Bay, both of which are also well worth a look. Wormwolds appears to be a real one off. Take some pennies to spend.
Still on a somewhat magical theme, wander down to Eldon Place, the Parade, a little pedestrianised row of shops behind the old cinema, to discover The Angel Rooms – the prettiest little shop imaginable full of all sorts of delicate angelic nick nacks and jewellery – all designed to make you feel happy and at one with the universe.
The Angel Rooms is next door to a great milkshake place and a sweet little art gallery and there’s a nice card shop there too as well as the traditional Amusement Arcade. Plenty to browse in that part of town.
If you nip up the side alleyway at the top of Eldon place and head off the Parade to the street behind it (Albion Street) you’ll discover Bee Antiques and Teddy Hospital, amongst other interesting little shops on that road. Bee mends toys and sells old vinyl alongside many other quirky bits and pieces.
Should you follow Albion Street away from the High Street, down to the bottom then up and round out of the main town centre a tiny bit, you will find Victory News which is not just an independent and very friendly newsagents but also makes and sells its own delicious pies. We have not one but three fantastic High Street butchers in Broadstairs but Victory News also sells top quality local meats. To boot – they have a sense of humour that you could never find in a run of the mill shop – look out for gourmet treats with a twist like ‘Siberian Reindeer in a vodka gravy’, alongside their very extensive range of magazines – perfect to take back to your comfortable holiday home and put your feet up with!
Walking back towards the main town centre, follow Albion Street till it curves upwards and becomes the High Street. Instead of walking up the hill carry on to Charlotte Street. Arrowsmiths is an old apothecary and still has the original shopfront and fittings with little wooden drawers behind the counter. The shop itself is very pretty and they sell a range of excellent quality unusual gifts, cards, jewellery and fashions – for adults and children. Opposite is Vasoullas, a very grown up fashion store with high quality ladies accessories and comfortable stylish clothing from brand names like Masai. There’s another very nice little art gallery here too as well as more antiques and the town’s very own independent off licence, The Bottleneck.
At the end of Charlotte Street, on the corner with York Street, sits Harringtons, a treasure-trove of a hardware store that hasn’t changed in over seventy years and sells, well, everything! Ronnie Barker is rumoured to have written his famous Fork Handles sketch about Harringtons, Do pop in while you’re in town and take something home with you that will be a more useful memento of this holiday than that silly giant donkey you got in Marbella that your mum won’t let you throw out. You know you need some picture hooks, a new saw, or something!
Stroll along Charlotte Street some more. There’s a couple of great furniture and housey type emporiums – McCarthy’s is all new stock but in that quite retro style that is so fashionable. Then, where the old music shop used to be, almost on the corner with Oscar Road, there’s a new vintage place packed to the rafters with old mirrors, cabinets, taxidermy and the like – all at great prices and nicely curated.
Hopefully that’s given you an idea of the kind of shops Broadstairs has. There’s a big modern out of town shopping centre a short drive away at Westwood Cross (M&S, TK Maxx, Debenhams, etc…) but we really want to encourage our guests to enjoy shopping in the town itself. Please support our local economy and “shop local” if you’re going to shop at all while you’re here – and if you find a shop you really love that you think we should include in our blog just let us know – we love to hear what you liked best about your Broadstairs holiday and we love spreading the word about all the good things guests of our holiday lets discover while they’re here!
Needless to say we have only had space to mention a very few of the wonderful shops in our town. There are many, many more, just waiting for you to come and enjoy them!
Tags: arrowsmithsbee antiquesbroadstairs shopsmccarthysretro shopshopaholicthe angel roomsvintage shopswormwolds