This is a general guide to shopping in Cornwall, not just the best shops but how to make an memorable day of it. This includes the best places to have a break from all that shopping theory, catch up over a hot drink and relax with home make croissant. There are even landmarks that you should look out for that have transformed the dynamics of this rustic area of the UK.
This delightful village is home to the Kingsely Village Market where there is a host of things to keep you busy for hours. Principally a high quality arts, crafts and gift market, it show cases some of Cornwall's most brilliant craft workers. If you want to take gifts back home with you then this is the ideal shopping event. Choosing the right gift has never been so easy with such a wide range of beautiful hand sewn teddy bears, jewellery, books, maps, hand made cosmetics, bath products, locally produced candles and basketry there is even woodturning and glassware. Quite often the there are crafters showing off their skills on the shop floor so you can see who has made it and how.
To try and lure you away form the crafts is the food hall, offering every thing that you would ever want, from fish which was landed just down the road, seasonal fresh vegetables, meats, freshly baked bread and a variety of creamy cheeses, even Cornish ciders, beers and wines. So after you have seen everything that is Cornish you can then sit back and relax in café have a coffee and show off your new buys.
There is free parking out side this unique shopping centre and if you are looking for a gift for any one, you are certain to find something here. There is good disabled access and loads of room for every one to move around in this large and spacious building. Make the most of the terrific restaurant serving all sorts of dishes, light snacks from breakfast, to afternoon tea. This is where you can find a piece of Cornwall to take home with you.
This on one of Cornwall's hidden gems, once a quite fishing port Padstow has more recently become a booming tourist destination and when you see it yourself, you will understand why. The harbour is the focal point of the town with fudge, ice cream and lots of harbour side eateries to choose from, giving you a brilliant view of this still functioning harbour.
There are many interesting shops to venture in to, a high portion being independent shops like Gwyneths that is a jewellery shop with sparkling rings and accessories, which have been designed in Padstow and around the world. There is the Padstow Farm Shop selling their own vegetables, salads, beef, pork and lamb, as well as Tri Society which is a specialist woman's clothing store selling their own brand clothing. These are just a very few examples of what there is to see and do, many of the shops in the high season stay open late into the evening so after having a good browse around this beautiful town you can then finish off your day in one of the many restaurants.
Rick Stein has moved into this area in recent years and has opened a variety of different food establishments, his most famous being his seafood restaurant which takes the catch that comes off the boats just across the road in the harbour. You cant get much fresher! Rick now own the Metropolitan Hotel, bakery and his own fish & chips take away, which can provide you with the ingredients for a take home meal. Rick's fame and endorsement has resulted in sophisticated eateries so now Padstow has a wide variety of up market cafes, bistros, pubs and restaurants.
Not what you would thing of as an original shopping experience, St Eval contains a Candle factory to offering quality candles and services. The factory is placed on a farm in North Cornwall the factory takes its benefits from one of the most gorgeous areas in England. The process used here is a traditional candle making methods involving dipping, pouring, and drawing. The products made here range from scented tins, fragrances, classic church candles, beeswax and natural candles, you can even get a commissioned candle made for your own needs, giving you a wide variety to choose from.
This is an perfect village to have a wonder around and take in some of the sights, sounds and tastes of this traditional village that has been untouched in time. Although small you can quite easily spend a whole day exploreing all the hidden nooks and crannies while looking in the variety of shops that are in this area.
When you initially arrive why not have a wonder around the bonsai nursery with Japanese garden attached where you can pick up your own unique and special bonsai tree for your own garden. Then head into the heart where the life of village is. There's a antiques shop, gift shop and village post office which also doubles as the village shop selling Rogers delicious jams and also is a tea room selling the best cream teas I have ever tasted.
In all this is a wonderful day out for the family, young and old will love walking around this quiet little village, finding out about the secrets that are held within it.
Initially a Market town Wadebridge is untouched by change. The shops here are predominately individual and most of them are positioned along the pedestrian high street which has still got its original cobbles giving it that real authentic look and feel. This unusual town is a maze of traditional toyshops, boutiques, jewellery shops and the always-popular cafes selling the best cakes that you could ever envisage, perfect for indulging on the riverbank.
Compared to bigger towns, Wadebridge does not have the same frantic pressure. There are time-honoured shops mixed in with the newer shops so the old market town has not lost it appeal. For those who wish to wonder around town that are some fantastic galleries with some great arts and crafts shops.
Wadebridge is built on the river Camel and for those who wish to take a trip down memory lane, there is a popular children's playground just across the "Challenge Anneka" footbridge build by Anneka Rice in the early 90's.This passionate town gets visited by swans, herons and the infrequent otter that honour the river with their presence. So when you are searching for a break from the shops come and unwind by the river and estuary and take pleasure in the wild life that fills these banks.
There are many fine establishments to eat and drink in Wadebridge with good restaurants serving delicious evening meals or if you fancy something a bit less formal there is always a fish and chips to be had by the river. The restaurant The Glass House has recently changed ownership and server's authentic English dishes as well as simple Italian cuisine, all are perfect with a glass of wine.
A suggested coffee shop is Relish run by a passionate couple Hugo and Sarah who know a lot about their food and drink. Hugo has even won the 2008 UK Barista Championship and represented the UK in the World Barista Championship. They are avid about coffee and are a great inspiration to the industry.
This seaside town is trendy as a popular tourist destination in the summer, perfect for sun bathing and then heading to the high street to have a wonder around the shops while eating a Cornish pasty.
The shops in Newquay stretch on for over a mile just set back from the beach and consist of gift shops and bakeries with surf shops filling in the gaps. The shopping experience is vastly improved by the pedestrian shopping high street and is always full of colour and life throughout the high season. There are big brand companies as well as small private retailers. The shops here often stay open until late so you are able to wonder around in the evenings and enjoy the last of the suns heat, before heading inside for a meal at one of the many eateries located in Newquay.
There are some great places to have a coffee like Costa coffee or my favourite The Harbour Café which is an independent tearoom serving cream teas through to light seafood lunches with the ingredients coming from the harbour below.
Truro is the capital and the only city of Cornwall; it is certainly far from a classic metropolis. Elegant and graceful, Truro is full of gorgeous Georgian architecture that the town has worked hard to preserve.
As far as shopping goes, Truro has undergone a mass of rebuilding to make it into a stylish place. The new pedestrian area works very well with the original area of the high street. There are not only the normal high street brands, but also some very fashionable retailers such as Oh Knickers, which is a unique lingerie boutique which fits in with many of the other local specialist stores. The town is a regular host to the local antique fairs, flea market and an undercover pannier market making shopping in Truro one of the best locations in Cornwall.
When you're not in the shops looking for your next purchase take a moment to investigate the interesting cathedral and museum, this city is full of history everywhere you look. On a hot day have a break at Malpes just outside the centre of the town. One side is a huge park with gardens set overlooking the river which runs through the centre of the City the other is a duck pond. A ideal place to get away from the hustle of the main high street.
If you are looking for a place to have a bite there are some astonishing establishments just off the main drag, have a quick look down some of the side streets and you are sure to find somewhere that suits you perfectly. People from the length of Britain travel here to experience the splendid menus that regularly changing with the seasons, using the best ingredients at a reasonable price.
This is a natural harbour formed at the union of many estuaries and has some very fascinating history providing the town with much character. Falmouth is a great place to walk around in and discover some of the secrets this town holds.
Eating out in Falmouth has always been good. The food is delightful and makes the most of the fresh produce in the area, home to the best take away and stylish restaurants that are located up and down the length of the town.
When wondering around the shops you will find it exciting. From looking in the windows you will want to go inside to investigate further. There are many individual craft and gift shops selling all sorts of hand crafted bits and bobs, much of which has something to do with the maritime roots of this old town. The town centre is a pleasant area to spend some time and favours pedestrians over the motor vehicle. There are well known chain combined with individual shops making Falmouth an tremendous shopping location.
St. Austell offers a brilliant choice of shops like many of the towns in Cornwall. It consists of galleries, arts & craft shops with museums and the odd surf shop. There is a super market supplying the locals and holidaymakers with everyday provisions.
What sets this town apart is the individual indoor market, The Cornish Market World. It is set in an old building, which is full of character, perfect for the conventional market stalls that fill it.
Once you have haggled your way round the market there are many incredible places to sit back and recharge your batteries. There are small cafes and restaurants that are spread throughout the town and of course not forgetting the classic Cornish pasty available everywhere.
This is a refuge for artists. People from all over the world come here to fashion their art work. It is even better for those who want to sell those pieces. The town was once a pilchard fishing port and now is home to a roaring tourist industry sitting on its picturesque qualities. One of the most pretty locations in Cornwall St Ives is home to the Tate St Ives as well as an vast amount of art galleries and craft shops.
It is a beautiful place to come and wonder around with its narrow, cobbled streets which are just wide enough to walk down. There is a famous sculpture in a garden of Barbara Hepworth, who was a well-known sculptress but to find it you will have to search.
The centre of town never seems to finish, with a never-ending amount of small independent shops hidden round every corner. If you look hard enough you will find a few surprises as well. There many small cafes and restaurants that are positioned through out the town but my favourites are located by the harbour. They all radiate a warm atmosphere that is felt all over the town. By the time it comes to leave you may even feel stimulated to pick up a paint brush yourself.
This quaint village is home to only small independent retailers giving this village some of the finest foods in the world. There are two of the best farm shops in north Cornwall located within Mawgan Porth. Gluvian Farm shop is part of an organic farm that makes a wide assortment of produce from home baked bread, pasties and cakes with a range of organic eggs, meats and vegetables with a few other things depending on the time of year.
Bre Pen Farm Shop sells all things that are Cornish - bread, meat, vegetables, fruit, fruit juice, wine ( from the Camel Valley), cakes , pasties and local crafts to name but some.
This busy town in the middle of Cornwall is one of the biggest and oldest in the county. Its history was heavily involved with the tin industry and has stayed to this day as a business oriented town with many trades and business start ups.
The town is full of well known brand and independent shops. One example is Stable Art, positioned behind the Shire Hall in the center of town, not only does it stock a broad range of frames but they also have a massive range of art supplies a great place for a wonder around. A brilliant place for something to eat is Malcolm Barnecutt a bakery ideal for a light lunch, there is a seating area at the rear making it more than just a bakery. The food and service was superb, I highly recommend it.
Once you're in Bodmin there is no need to leave, there are a few attractions within walking distance including the Court Rooms Experience, Steam Railway and two grand country houses Pencarrow and Lanhydrock, both with amazing gardens perfect to have a wander around including taking a pit stop for a cream tea.
All in all this is a fabulous day out and Bodmin will not disappoint.