3 Best Places to Shop in The West Country, England

St. Nicholas Markets

Fodor's choice

In the heart of Bristol's former financial district, St. Nicholas Markets have been trading goods since 1743. The main part of the indoor market, the Corn Exchange, was designed by John Wood the Elder—best known for his architectural work in Bath—and today houses dozens of stalls selling crafts, jewelry, old postcards, accessories, and clothes. Behind it, the maze of lanes holds small shops and a cornucopia of cafés and street food outlets of every hue, perfect for a snack or quick lunch. The four truncated pillars outside the main entrance, known as "The Nails," are said to be where the expression "pay on the nail" originated.

Exeter Quay Antiques

A dozen or so dealers display their diverse wares in Exeter's former fish market, including everything from old postcards and rare vinyl to "royalty thimbles." It also includes a quayside café.

The Cider Press Centre

On the edge of the Dartington Hall estate, a dozen stores in and around an old cider press make up the Cider Press Centre. Open daily, it's a great place to find handmade Dartington crystal glassware, kitchenware, crafts, books, and toys. The Food Shop and the connected deli counter sell local food and drink, including Sharpham cheese and wine, fudge, ice cream, and Devon cider while a café/restaurant, Bayards Kitchen, has an excellent selection of organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and meat dishes. The Centre also has a branch in Totnes proper, offering a small selection of Dartington craft items and a greater stock of books.

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