If you’re ever in need of a spot of retail therapy, you could hardly have picked a better city, with a versatile array of shops in Bath. Ladies come from far and wide to peruse the pre-owned designer wear of Grace & Ted, meanwhile gentlemen make their way to John Anthony for the finest in men’s fashion. Here, you can also read about Bath’s shopping centres and the city’s handful of marvellous markets.
Shopping in Bath
Southgate is Bath’s main shopping centre, with more than 50 different stores and several restaurants for you to explore while pacing its pedestrianised streets of Georgian-style buildings designed to blend in with the city’s iconic architecture. Southgate is right in the heart of town, so you’re never far away when the shopping bug bites. In terms of stores, there are designer brands like All Saints, Tommy Hilfiger and Kurt Geiger. There are also high street favourites, such as Laura Ashley, Topshop and Debenhams. It’s also where you’ll find Bath’s Apple Store, Boots and Urban Outfitters.
If you’ve got the budget for a bit of boutique shopping in Bath, make your way to Milsom Place. Housed in a stunning series of beautiful Georgian buildings, courtyards and terraces, it’s by far Bath’s prettiest shopping centre. It also houses some of the city’s most stylish eateries, including Hunter & Sons – one of the best places to eat in Bath, thanks to its habit of using fine local produce and palate-pleasing dishes. In terms of shops, you’ll find Bath’s branch of Hobbs, other designer retailers like Ted Baker, as well as homeware specialists Yves Delorme and True Grace, plus shoe-enthusiasts won’t want to leave Bath without a visit to Chanii B.
When it comes to independent shopping in Bath, the Artisan Quarter of London Road and Walcot Street is packed with characterful stores of cool clothes, interesting curios, tasty treats, handmade pottery and much, much more. It’s well worth wandering around, particularly if you have a penchant for places that sell the kind of things you can’t find on the high street.
Bath Guildhall Market
If it’s your first time shopping in Bath, you have to pay a visit to the Bath Guildhall Market, at the west end of Pulteney Bridge. It’s the oldest shopping venue in the city, and home to a historic market that’s been trading on the site for more than 800 years. Inside, you’ll find a couple of dozen traders offering everything from loose leaf teas and local cheeses to fancy dress costumes and fine jewellery. Its main attraction is the 18th-century market pillar, or ‘The Nail’, which is believed to be where the saying ‘pay on the nail’ came from.
Just down from The Circus, on the first Saturday of every month, Queen Square swarms with the stalls of the Bath Artisan Market. It’s the city’s favourite independent market for hunting down unique and quirky items from local artists and makers. There’s also a delicious range of street food and pop-up cafés and bars for you to sample.
When it comes to second-hand shopping and bargain hunting, Bath Vintage & Antiques Market is hard to beat. It takes place under cover in Green Park Station – less than five minutes’ walk from our Bath City Centre hotel – on the last Sunday of every month. It’s a treasure trove of decorative antiques, collectables, furniture and jewellery, and is well worth taking the time to explore.
Alternatively, if you need to get your vintage fix more than once a month, the Bath Saturday Antique & Flea Market takes place on Walcot Street every single Saturday. It’s not the biggest of markets, but the local traders are friendly, they bring a huge variety of fascinating items and there are always bargains to be had.