Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • Favourite Store in the UK
  • Premier Icon SaxonRider

    I know someone asked about this with respect to favourite supermarket not that long ago, but my kids had me looking for some boots online, and it got me to thinking wistfully about my absolute favourite store on Earth, Canadian Tire. As a business, it embodies a sort of optimism and sense of adventure, encouraging the average Canadian to get off the couch – even if only to clear the driveway (shovel snow). Whenever I get back to Canada, I make sure I pay them a visit.

    The problem is, I have found nothing in the UK to replace it with. So inspire me.

    What is your favourite store in the UK?

    For the purposes of this thread, please avoid stores that are merely local unless you just want to mention them as a footnote. Your choice should be something most people in the UK can identify.

    Mine? I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but… Halfords. Mostly because it carries stuff associated with activities I like – even if I wouldn’t necessarily buy it from them. And I don’t mind a bit of B&Q either.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I love a good rummage in a B&M Bargains. You go in looking for one thing, and come out with 30kg of bird seed and a lava lamp. And at no point do you ever know how much anything costs.


    Probably Waterstones – I love reading and spend hours browsing in there. Nice to have a cafe in there too.

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes

    Booths – just because
    Tiso – outdoor gear done well


    TK Maxx for me.

    Premier Icon duncancallum

    I love tiso good shout.

    Though tj Wright’s wine merchants take a lot of my money

    Premier Icon AlexSimon


    Alpkit, Hathersage – although the prices are no longer no-brainers.

    I can’t resist a look in CEX

    To be honest, even though in one sense it’s hell, I love an excuse to go to IKEA too.

    Premier Icon Wally



    I love stationery shops, so nationwide – Ryman; local, London Graphic Supply; worldwide, BHV in Paris.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider

    Of course! Decathlon! I have never been in one in the UK, but there is one near our Belgian place, and it is an incredible store. I feel active and athletic just going in there!

    As for Ikea, I will admit to liking that one too.

    Premier Icon scotroutes

    Highland Industrial Supplies and/or MacGregors. Just those sort of stores you can wander around in and find all sort of incredibly useful stuff you never knew existed/you needed.

    At the other end of the scale, London Stores and Drumbeg Stores in the far NW.

    Again Decathlon, obvs. Screwfix, go outdoors.

    Used to love machine mart, but I moved and no longer have one nearby.

    Countrywide, before they folded

    Maplins was awesome, I’m still in mourning 😣

    Any highland village hardware store.


    The Secret Cave of Wonders.

    Accessible only through the Laminated Book of Dreams.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    On my travels I always look in any branch of Cash Convertors I see. Not to buy anything but there’s something revealing about the locale in terms of what stuff people are cashing in.


    Beers of Europe. Unfortunately they also stock a large selection of rum and single malts.

    Premier Icon w00dster

    Trek Milton Keynes. Quite a few bikes on display, also a Cotswolds Outdoor with a decent floor space and a costa. Within a few hundred metres there’s also a Decathlon and a Go Outdoors.
    Have spent a fair amount of time and money in there.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster

    Another vote for Decathlon. I can lose myself in there for hours just looking at stuff.

    Premier Icon Houns
    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    I forgot one.
    Axminster tools shop in Warrington (although I assume all branches are amazing).
    Nothing like browsing through japanese hand tools mixed with power tools of all shapes and sizes.

    They were incredibly helpful when buying my lathe – giving the whole family a couple of hours tuition and free drinks.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    It’s a toss up between Bunners Hardware in Montgomery and Boardwise in Cannock.

    I seem to spend a lot of time and money in Boardwise (actually going to nip in later today to talk about where in the world is best to learn to SUP surf in waves in February) and when off to do a bit of windsurfing at Aberdyfi, or biking at Mach or CYB, we like to stop in Montgomery for breakfast at Checkers Pantry (ex Michelin Star place) and browse Bunners for the most obscure things. I bet you can still get real creosote there…

    Premier Icon lunge

    I reiterate my views in the previous thread:

    Big shops:
    Decathlon – A proper sports shop that I can’t help but spend loads of money in.
    Aldi – Good food and the legendary middle aisle.

    Small shops:
    Anderson & Hill, Birmingham – A top class deli that also does the finest sarnies in Brum.
    The Liquor Store, Birmingham – A borderline hipster clothing shop that also has a very nice secret bar.
    Aubrey Allen, Leamington Spa – A top class butchers, great quality meat and good, friendly staff.

    Premier Icon hatter

    Can’t say I have any great affection towards any chains (unless you count Nandos as a ‘shop’) but I do apreciate Ikea, on the condition that I only go on my own and that the trip ends with a traditional dirty dirty hotdog.

    I’m lucky to have numerous brilliant independents near me though.

    Empire Records – Eddie and Dave have an almost uncanny ability to locate weird vinyl that’s sold out everywhere else.

    PJ’s Camping – Proper family camping kit sold by people who actually know what they’re talking about.

    Lariat Skateshop – I know sweet FA about skatebords and Alex there has been a huge help with getting my 2 flying about on them.

    JTB Butchers – Proper rustic old school butchers hidden away in the lanes North of St Albans, best Sausage rolls on the planet and I don’t say that lightly.


    goldings of bedford

    Premier Icon weeksy

    Premier Bikes KTM near Oxford…. well.. .they have KTMs … and loads of orange stuff.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl

    It’s a toss up between Bunners Hardware in Montgomery

    That place is seriously entertaining, truly unique.

    Premier Icon darkroomtim

    Probably Decathlon – impossible not to buy something – followed by any one of those old fashioned hardware stores you stumble across in a small town, usually owned by someone who’s been behind the counter since the Boer war – they all have that certain smell – you can get anything from these places: paraffin / creosote / bags of nails that are weighed / rat poison / weird tools you have no idea what they’re for etc etc

    Decathlon is a good shout, but i’m gonna throw “the works” in there too. can walk out with bags of stuff that you didnt go in for spending very little in the process. cheap art supplies always get me 🙂
    as for Bike shops its got to be my LBS Stif cycles. super lucky to have them 2 mins down the road 🙂

    Premier Icon SaxonRider

    How did this thread worm its way out of closure?!? It got shut down yesterday for being a duplicate, but here it is again. Which mod thought it was worthy?

    Premier Icon kennyp


    How did this thread worm its way out of closure?

    It’s the Joe Cocker of threads.

    It never really died.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Tiso is a good shout. The closest UK thing to REI.


    LOL..Canadian Tire is awesome…can’t believe I never went in a UK Decathalon though… (just France and Spain and always thought I’d feel let down in a UK one)
    In order to do a bizarre twist the hire car in Ibiza came with a screw in the tyre they wanted to charge us for after realising 30 mins after leaving the hire place… luckily Decathalon is 500m away and had tubeless repair kits which actually worked the whole 2 weeks…

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Which mod thought it was worthy?

    Wuzzn’t me.

    Playing devil’s advocate, one could perhaps argue that the other thread is for “Tesco” and this one for “Dave’s Used Teaspoons in Micklethwaite”? I think it probably is a duplicate, but I don’t really want to be playing Musical Threads and I’m not sure as I can bring myself to care sufficiently to argue it out.

    Premier Icon tomd

    Trago Mills.

    I’ve never seen anywhere that attemps the depth and breadth of that place. Kitchen ware to carpets, shotguns to spices, kids clothes to cross bows, car parts to christmas tat.

    They do things in every pack size. One bog roll, 4 bog rolls, family pack and *** off giant bale of bog rolls. Tiny 200g tub of swarfega, medium tub and giant lifetime bucket of the stuff.

    Haven’t been in in years since I moved, I hope it hasn’t changed in all its mock-tudor glory.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen

    How did this thread worm its way out of closure?!?

    I reported the closure post because I didn’t think it was that similar to the previous one (Bunnyhop’s one, not the supermarket one)  even though the titles were similar – and its not like both threads were on the same page.

    I was a long, impassioned and detailed plea, attempting at first to appeal to their better nature and remind them that they were just like us before the power of the Mod turned them into cold, emotionless enforcers of the forum. Then I tried threats, then I tried blackmail, them I tried threats of blackmail. Then I offered to let them be Man United if we play Subbuteo and that seemed to clinch it.

    Then I offered to let them be Man United if we play Subbuteo and that seemed to clinch it.

    That rules Stoner out.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    I also asked the mods to re-open. You can thank me by buying one of whatever I may decide to produce and sell in the future – even if it isn’t in a bricks & mortar store.

    I’ve ignored Tiso previously, because I thought it looked a bit like a dare2b. Now I shall have to wait until my next Scotland visit.

    Premier Icon grtdkad

    Cotswolds Outdoor is up there for me. Also enjoy a good bookshop, for an experience Barter Books in Alnwick.

    But my favourite shop has got to be JG Windows music shop in Central Arcade Newcastle. Such a glorious building, trading over 100 years and a massive range of musical instruments…

    Premier Icon kelvin

    Trago Mills.

    Little has changed.

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