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Shopping in Hampshire

For those in the know, Hampshire is recognised as one of the UK’s top shopping destinations. So, if you’re holidaying in Hampshire, be sure to schedule in some extra time for essential retail therapy; go shopping in Hampshire scene and pick up a gem.

Shopping in Hampshire Hot Spots

Shopping opportunities abound, throughout the county. From large out-of-town shopping centres and retail parks to city centre boutiques, specialist shops, antique shops and rural retail outlets, Hampshire’s got the lot!

Southampton: A veritable shopping Mecca, Southampton is regarded as the top shopping destination in the South of England. Southampton boasts one the UK’s top ten shopping complexes, West Quay with over a hundred stores including all the high street favourites. Three other shopping centres are all within close proximity of the city centre. Southampton is also renowned for its cutting edge boutiques, designer outlets and its tantalising array of antique shops in the city’s popular antiques’ quarter.

Portsmouth: Another favourite Hampshire shopping destination; Portsmouth’s main shopping areas are located at: Boardwalk, in the Port Solent Marina area (mainly small, sports and leisure-oriented outlets and some arts and craft shops); Bridge Centre (Asda supermarket and a variety of smaller shops and boutiques); Commercial Road (traditional town centre shopping and Cascades Shopping Centre); Gunwharf Quays (numerous designer outlets, plus waterfront bars, restaurants and leisure facilities); Ocean Retail Park (large free car park, large multiples, electrical, computer and home furnishing stores); Palmerston Road, Southsea (Waitrose supermarket, Debenhams, Woolworths, Boots, WH Smith, etc.); The Pompey Centre (mainly DIY stores); Victory Retail Park (large free car park, mainly large furniture stores).

Winchester: For those in search of a superb range of independent retailers and specialist outlets, class boutiques, antique shops and art galleries, Winchester’s compact city centre is definitely the place to shop! Enjoy the picturesque setting with its laid-back ambiance and pedestrianised streets cram-packed with decidedly up-market shops. Winchester also has some interesting markets – great for browsing.

Eastleigh: With more than 50 retail and service outlets including major high street names all under one roof, Eastleigh’s Swan Shopping Centre has a fine reputation for delivering a one-stop shopping experience; excellent facilities and plenty of parking.

Basingstoke: The popular Festival Place Shopping Centre in the heart of Basingstoke draws shoppers from far and wide; offers more than a great selection of shops, also a place to enjoy café culture, Hampshire style!

Petersfield: Traditional market town; offers a fair mix of small independent shops and popular high street brand names; Rams Walk Shopping Mall, in central Petersfield, has names such as WH Smith, Monsoon, Accessorise, New Look, Ottakar’s and Waitrose.

Shopping Opportunities off the Beaten Track

If you prefer to shop at a slower pace, why not explore what some of the delightful villages and market towns dotted throughout the county have to offer. Brockenhurst, for example, in the New Forest has a surprising variety of small shops and services that would appeal to tourists – bike hire, well- stocked book shop; an equestrian centre, camping and gas supplies, pharmacy, a friendly café and much, much more.

Shopping in the Local Community

Where better to start than with the regional winners of ‘The Best Rural Retailer’ competition organised by the Countryside Alliance initiative? Into its second year, the competition aims to support and promote rural communities and to stem the ubiquitous rural decline of small independent retailers. Pick of the bunch of entrants for the first round of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Countryside Alliance’s Best Rural Retailer competition include:

 Best Local Food Retailer – Briddlesford Farm Shop, Isle of Wight, where, according to the panel of judges, ‘every effort is made to encourage and inform customers – information on origin of produce, recipes, health benefits and environment issues are all evident in this local community farm shop’.
 Best Village Shop/Post Office – Abbotts Ann Store and Post Office: Comments included, ‘Abbotts Ann has grown into a thriving community hub …the store is welcoming, well stocked … hosts special events, promotes local producers and … is an absolute credit to the village’.
 Best Diversification – Suthwyk Ales: A dairy and arable farmer for over 25 years, in 2000, Martin Bazeley diversified into selling beer and cider sourced mainly from Hampshire micro-breweries. The business has never looked back and today sells its own range of Suthwyk Ales brewed from barley grown on the farm!
 Best Traditional Skills – Robjents, Stockbridge: An independent shooting and country-clothing shop with an amazing range of fishing tackle; described by the judges as a ‘wonderful Aladdin’s cave for … country pursuits’. The owner, Alistair Colebrook is always happy to share his first hand knowledge of the countryside with visitors to his shop.

Shopping for Local Flavour
Looking for something different, a gift maybe, that encapsulates fond memories of your stay in Hampshire? Look no further than the many local producers of arts, crafts and local produce. The following are merely a few possibilities to get you started: Blackmoor Farm Shop, Blackmoor Estate Ltd, Blackmoor, Liss; Bonne Bouche, High Street, Hamble, Southampton; Brocks Farm Shop, Manor Farm, West Worldham, Alton; Country Market, Malthouse & Osborne Farms, Kingsley, Bordon; Sunnyfields Organic Farm, Jacobs Gutter Lane, Totton, Southampton; Dairy Barn Farm Shop, Dairy Barn, North Houghton, Stockbridge; Hampshire Brewery, 6 Romsey Industrial Estate, Greatbridge Road, Romsey; Itchen Valley Brewery, Unit 4, Shelf House, New Farm Road, New Alresford; River Test Smokery Ltd., The Watch Estate, Coley Lane, Chilbolton, Stockbridge; Mill Farm Organic, Mill Farm, Isington, Alton; Mr Whitehead's Cider Company Ltd., The Old Granary, Inadown Farm, Newton Valence, Alton; Solent Fish Ltd., Unit 5, Marshland Road, Farlington, Portsmouth; Suthwyk Ales, Offwell Farm, Southwick, Fareham; Warborne Organic Farm, Warborne Farm, Boldre, Lymington; Whitchurch Silk Mill, 28 Winchester Street, Whitchurch; The Oven Door Bakery, Unit 4, Botley Road, Fairoak, Eastleigh; Oakleaf Brewing Company, Unit 7, Clarence Wharf Industrial Estate, Mumby Road, Gosport; The Naked Grape, 20 West Street, Alresford; and The Fairground Craft & Design Centre, The Fairground, Weyhill, Andover.

Check out Hampshire Fare’s website http://www.hampshirefare.co.uk for more local souvenir shopping suggestions with a difference.

Happy Shopping!

Shopping in Hampshire

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