Our cities and market towns are great for shopping expeditions. Independent shops compliment the well-known British stores offering a wide choice of souvenirs, gifts, must haves or treats. So, if your clients are looking for Christmas gifts with a Welsh twist or shopping ideas throughout the year, we have highlighted some of the cities and market towns throughout Wales together with a selection of shops to visit. Please check directly with shops and shopping centres for specific opening times and any restrictions and updates due to Covid-19. We also recommend that you visit businesses that display the ‘Good to Go’ logo. Please note that many markets may not be currently operating, therefore, please also check for updates with the local authorities beforehand.
Shopping in our Cities
Cardiff is a shoppers' paradise. Designer brands, major chains and dozens of independent shops and boutiques in the city’s network of Victorian and Edwardian arcades have helped Cardiff build a reputation as one of the UK’s top shopping destinations. Cardiff Christmas Market 2020 will be going ahead from 12-23 December. For all you need to know about shopping in Cardiff, go to Visit Cardiff.
Newport has plenty of well-known chains and local shops including Friars Walk, a multi-million pound shopping centre with 30 shops, restaurants, an eight-screen cinema and onsite parking. There’s also the Victorian indoor market with over 60 good quality stalls including award-winning butchers, fishmonger, fresh fruit and vegetables and homemade cakes. It’s the only place in Newport to try freshly made Welsh Cakes! You’ll also find clothing, gifts, cafes and the oldest record shop in Newport! For more information, see Shopping in Newport. The historic town of Caerleon, which is home to the Roman Fortress Baths, Roman Legion Museum and an amphitheatre is located approximately 15 minutes drive from Newport and has a selection of small gift shops in the Ffwrwm Arts and Crafts Centre on High Street.
On March 14th 2012, St. Asaph was awarded City status as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Its 13th century cathedral is the smallest ancient cathedral in Great Britain. The main shopping hub is The Tweedmill Shopping Outlet on the outskirts of the city. There is a designated free coach park and rest room for drivers who receive a complimentary meal voucher. is a 13th century cathedral and is the smallest ancient cathedral in Great Britain.
Swansea has lots of big high street names as well as independent boutiques, specialist shops and traditional arcades. Quadrant Shopping Centre is worth a visit and Swansea’s indoor market is the biggest in Wales. It is home to over 100 stalls. Try a range of Welsh delicacies including cockles from the tidal Penclawdd Sands and laverbread, an edible seaweed. Fresh fish here is especially good, as are locally reared lamb and beef, Gower vegetables and local cheeses. Follow the aroma in the market to sample freshly baked Welsh cakes. Go to Visit Swansea Bay for more information.
A tiny ‘city’ more like a small village. This place in Pembrokeshire is special. St Davids is stuffed full of little art shops, galleries and tea rooms. And of course a cathedral, with its very own refectory selling home-made food, made with local ingredients. Galleries include Goat Street Gallery, Oriel Albion Gallery, Oriel-y-Felin Gallery and Oriel y Parc. For Welsh produce, visit St Davids Food & Wine, and Chapel Chocolates is a family run business selling handmade Welsh chocolates. Find unique gifts at The Peepal Tree, a fairtrade shop displaying handmade and artisan crafts from Asia. Basalt and Dune is run by an artist and print/graphic designer mother and daughter. The store is full of unique collection of gifts, homewares and lifestyle accessories that compliment coastal, country and city lifestyles from artists and makers in Wales and the Marches. Pebbles Yard Gallery is an espresso bar with ambient music which exhibits art, jewellery, pottery and the espresso bar has excellent coffee, soups homemade on the premises, made-to-order sandwiches using locally baked bread, and homemade cakes. Whitesands Beach House has everything you need for a day at the beach – wetsuits, body boards, beach shelters, chairs and more.
Market towns in North Wales
Corwen is a great place for vintage shopping and hand-made Welsh crafts and gifts. Corwen Manor is a craft centre with a workshop making candles. There’s Welsh gifts including lovespoons and other hand-made products from North Wales, a wool shop and of course a huge range of novelty candles made in Wales. Light snacks and drinks are available in their café. Award winning Rhug Estate Farm Shop prides itself on selling organic, welsh and local produce including meat, cheese and hampers. It also has a bistro and takeaway. Just a 5-10 minute drive from Corwen is Glassblobbery. They have all sorts of handmade glass sculptures including animals, flowers, dragons and sea creatures. Other gift ideas include jewellery and ceramics by other artists and craftsmen. You can watch the glass sculptures being made at the workshop by appointment. There is also a café next door and ample parking facilities for coaches.
Denbigh, a medieval town, is a hidden gem and has a hub of independent shops and cafes. Baroque has three floors of unique gifts, cards, home interiors, ladies fashion, jewellery and more to discover. Snow in Summer is a treasure trove of vintage goods, local crafts and gifts and there’s The Carriageworks art gallery selling local arts and crafts, with therapeutic workshops and a coffee shop. Hidden away behind the main shopping street lies the Secret Garden. As well as a small garden centre it sells unique gifts, has a café and an ice cream parlour with great views of the Clwydian Range. A monthly market is held on the last Friday of every month at the Market Hall in Crown Square. Visit website for more on shopping in Denbigh.
Llangollen is home to the annual Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal, a World Heritage Site. It is a small town but has some interesting shops. Books Llangollen is a grotto of second hand books and has an internet cafe. There is a number of independent food stores such as Llangollen Oggie Shop, Porter's Delicatessen and Zingiber Wholefoods. The Tourist Information Centre sell local crafts and has an art gallery. A small general market takes place every Tuesday in Market Street car park. On Friday mornings between March and December there is a country market with local produce including cakes, honey and jams and crafts.
Mold has over a hundred independent shops and a good selection of big high street names. It’s a fair-trade town with many shops and cafes selling Fairtrade products. Enjoy the hustle and bustle at Mold Market - the biggest and best market town in North Wales. Street markets are held every Wednesday and Saturday with over 70 stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, meat, crockery, clothes and plants. There’s also an indoor market open Monday to Saturday and a farmers market every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. A great opportunity to taste local food and drink before you buy. In September the annual Mold Food Festival takes place, with stalls and exhibitions.
Ruthin’s historic market town has coach friendly status and offers a variety of stores and unique shops from beauty and fragrance, fashion, soft furnishings to Welsh books and gifts. For arts and crafts, Ruthin Craft Centre is a nationally recognised centre for the applied art and where coaches should park when bringing visitors to the town. Cefyn Burgess is an international textile artist and has his own unit within the craft centre. The centre also has three galleries, six artist studios, retail gallery, education and residency workshop and café with courtyard terrace. The cafe is currently closed for refurbishment but is due to re-open soon. The unique Wayfarer Wool shop is very quirky. It’s a tiny shop in a black and white timber framed building, partly dated from the 1500s, and packed with hand made items. Just two miles from Ruthin you’ll find Homewood Bound Collections selling stylish furniture and beautiful things for the home including gifts, collectibles and antiques, as well as an option for a refreshment stop at their Sugar Plum Tearoom (shop and tearoom is currently closed but they do offer some takeaway options - check website directly for information and updates).
Market towns in Mid Wales
Aberaeron is a lovely harbour town with colourful Georgian houses. For Welsh gifts visit Seld. Find fashion accessories at Glamôr; ladies clothes, shoes, accessories and gifts at Joy's, as well as colour and style consultations. Naturally Scrumptious is a popular deli and café bar offering a wide range of local, regional and international deli products. Not far from Aberaeron, in Cross Inn, is Welsh Vernacular Antiques, currently open by appointment.
You’ll find high street stores and a good selection of independent shops and original boutiques in this university town. For antiques, visit The Furniture Cave which also sells paintings by local artists and Welsh pottery. Coastal Antiques is ranged over two floors of an 18th century coaching inn and a courtyard garden selling local antiques, retro items including vinyl, vintage clothing and gardenalia. Abertique is almost next door for more antiques and collectables. Aberystwyth Arts Centre is home to the University’s collection of ceramics and also sell ceramics. The International Ceramics Festival is held here every two years. Siop Ffoto, (featured in the crime drama ‘Hinterland’), sell local photos on canvas and Oriel Y Bont Framing shop sell works for well known locally based artists. For women's clothing there are a number of independent shops - Pollys, Closet and Lily’s boutique and for men there is Cactws and Clive’s Menswear. Her Dandy Wolf sell vintage style clothing, cards and house accessories. Next door is Aberdashery, which is full of interesting and colourful fabrics to create your own unique style. . Driftwood Designs sell cards, fine art print, poster prints and Welsh gifts. For nore Welsh gifts browse Siop Inc, Siop y Pethe, Broc Môr and Welsh Home Gifts and the shop at the National Library of Wales (shop and exhbitions at the library are currently closed, check website for any updates). If you’re looking for books then Ystwyth Books has over 80,000 and Cerdd Ystwyth for music - it’s the hub for the region’s musical community. A number of popular food places include Tŷ Coed Treehouse for organic, ethical produce, Ultracomida, Medina, Maes y Meysydd, Iwtopia vegan deli and Jonah’s Fish Market.
Brecon has a good selection of independent retailers as well as high street stores. Find a special gift at Beacons Crafts selling quirky china sculptures and locally handmade things. Clarke’s Toy Shop is a popular and historic shop and pick up some top class country and formal clothing at Aiden Sweeney. Ardent Gallery has an excellent selection of artists including pieces from nationally recognised artist Timmy Mallett to local artists such as Allan Morgan. Gate Gallery & Glassworks located on the riverside in a 17th century building where there is a gallery of glasswork, ceramic, silver, enamel and acrylic art (currently open by arrangement only - check website for details and updates).
You’ll find high street shops and a number of good independent shops in Cardigan including Yum Yum Sweets, an old fashioned sweet shop; Dewi James butchers; Crwst deli, bakery and cafe; Cardigan Bay Brownies; Awen Teifi, a Welsh books and gift shop; Trizaro for gifts and jewellery and Mundos which has a good range of locally relevant gifts and home décor. There is also U Melt Me for locally made crafts, fragrances and gifts; Truly Scruptious, a dessert shop; Bara Menyn Bakehouse and Blue Boat next door for blankets, crafts and natural skincare. A visit to the castle is a must and it has a small shop. The Guildhall and the Guildhall market are also worth a visit. There are a number of galleries too - Corn Exchange Gallery in the Guildhall, which hosts regular exhibitions by Ceredigion Craft Makers; Canvas; Stiwdio 3, a cafe with Make it In Wales craft workshops and Custom House Gallery. Visit the website for more on shopping in Cardigan.
With the River Usk, Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons National Park and Crickhowell castle close by, the town is a picturesque stop for shopping. The town has a number of independent shops, restaurants and pubs and was awarded the title of the UKs best high street in 2018 by Great British High Street judges. Natural Weigh is a plastic free, organic, additive-free health food shop. Both Nicholls and Webbs are department stores selling a range of products, and visit Book-ish for a good book as well as coffee and cake in their café. CricVisit website for more information on shopping in Crickhowell.
This historic town was once the meeting place for Owain Glyndŵr and the gaols have been converted into shops and coffee houses. The character and architecture of the town makes this an unique market town. You won’t find many chain stores in Dolgellau but there is a good selection of independent shops from local butchers and bakers to maps and outdoor gear. There’s Waterloo and Siop Medi for gifts. You’ll find Welsh souvernirs, Clogau Gold and exclusive Carrie Elspeth “Made in Wales” jewellery in Waterloo. Siop Medi is a quirky design-led shop offering unique top end products from Wales, Scandinavia and beyond. It’s owner, Nia Medi, is an actress, novelist and ex-designer on makeover programme, Real Rooms for Pebble Mill. Tŷ Siamas, the National Centre for Welsh Folk Music has a music and gift shop, selling CD’s, musical instruments, gifts and more. It also houses a multi-media musical exhibition, café and bar and holds live music concerts in the auditorium.
Hay-on-Wye is world famous for its annual Festival of Literature and also for its books - from which it derived its name 'The Town of Books'. There are millions of them, and they are everywhere. The castle's a book shop, the cinema's a book shop, the fire station's a book shop, the alleyways are book shops. It’s not just books that can be picked up here though. Hay Deli has a fine selection of delicatessen and whole foods bought locally. The End specialises in French linen, quirky one off antiques and interesting goods. Number Two sell a good selection of high quality clothes and find unique hand made jewellery at Satori. Hay houses a varied selection of small shops - The Hay Makers with their quality crafts; Jones Home Hardware for that special piece of kitchenalia or exploring the Hay Antique Market.
Lampeter and Tregaron
Lampeter is the place to visit for Welsh quilts and blankets. You will find The Welsh Quilt Centre in the town centre. Just a 10 minute drive from Lampeter is the Jen Jones Welsh Quilts and Blankets shop in Llanybydder. Heading towards Tregaron and approximately 15 minutes drive from Lampeter is Jane Beck Welsh Blankets (currently open via appointment only - check website for information and updates). It’s also worth visiting Tregaron, well-known for the Rhiannon Welsh Gold Centre - a shop, gallery and jewellery workshop.
You’ll find Teifi Harps here. It’s not a shop but a workshop with a show-room and they can take pre-arranged visits. Nyth y Robin is a family run, eclectic range of antiques, vintage, retro and collectibles as well as handmade products and gifts. Allt yr Odyn Antiques is located across the road to Yr Hen Gapel, Llwynrhydowen, between Lampeter and Llandysul which was restored by Capeli Cymru – the Welsh Religious Buildings Trust.
Market towns in South West Wales
Narberth's high street was shortlisted in the Great British High Street Awards in 2019 and is stuffed full of independent shops including Narberth Pottery, deli’s such Ultracomida, Fforc and Plum Vanilla, galleries such as Oriel Q and The Golden Sheaf, jewellers, clothes stores and antiques shops. There’s Narberth Antiques and Interiors, The Malthouse and Bazaar Vintage where you’ll find a loads of vintage, antique and artisan items. The home of Sara Lloyd-Morris Jewellery can be found in Market Street in the wonderfully named shop Sara and Squidge’s Place. Sara makes contemporary hand jewellery and runs jewellery making courses.
Carmarthen is the oldest town in Wales and offers the perfect shopping mix of traditional and new with arts and crafts, high-street stores and independent shops such as Pethau Bychain. Merlins Walk shopping centre has over 20 shops with names such as Argos, Game and TK Maxx. There’s also over 20 shops including Debenhams department store, a cinema and restaurants at St. Catherine’s Walk. The indoor market built with Welsh Pennant stone and slate, has over 60 traders selling traditional and contemporary goods and handicrafts. The farmers market takes place on the 1st and 3rd Friday each month.
You’ll find a small variety of national stores in Haverfordwest town centre with further stores in Withybush Retail Park. Smaller local traders include the Welsh Bakery; Bosanquet Jewellery gallery; The Glan-yr-Afon/Riverside Gallery; the independent Victoria Bookshop; The Sheep Shop (Welsh gifts); The VC Gallery, who work with service veterans and the wider community on a variety of art projects; Bonkers Ladies Fashions and The Creative Café Gallery & Crafts which showcases local makers & artists and Fairtrade women makers from around the world. Vincent Davies, an independent department store can be found just outside town on the road to Fishguard. Haverfordwest Farmers’ Market on Castle Square takes place every Friday, selling local produce - meat, vegetables, cheese and dairy, plants, bread. It’s a great place to meet and chat with the producers.
Llandeilo is a shopping hot spot, with lots of stylish galleries and boutiques. It has quaint little shops such as Toast, which has now expanded to open branches in London, Harrogate and Oxford. It sells clothes, shoes and accessories as well as home wears such as bed linen and soft furnishings. Heavenly, a miniscule shop on the High street is famous for its handmade chocolates and ice creams made from local organic milk and cream. The flavours range from the classics to peanut butter and Mississippi Mud Pie. Fountain Fine Art and the Bridge Gallery are found across the road and sell the work of local artists with an ever changing exhibition of new works. Peppercorn which sells a great selection of cookery paraphernalia all housed in a grade II listed building which used to be an ironmongers. In keeping with the theme the shop stocks a range of kitchen wear and gadgets. Its interior has many of the original fittings and fixtures dating back to the 18th century. More on shopping in Llandeilo.
Market towns in South East Wales
Abergavenny is home to the famous annual Food Festival where visitors can purchase and taste local produce. Here you’ll find department store Nicholls and a great selection of local shops. There’s two award winning butchers, Rawlings and Neil Powell. Chesters Wine Merchants sell local food, beers, wine and spirit and you will find breads and pastries, a selection of cakes, handmade soft-serve ice cream and coffee served at The Angel Bakery. Find unusual gifts at That's Lovely That. The Tuesday market in the Market Hall is well known as one of the major markets in Wales. Craft Fairs and Antique Fairs are also held here. Visit website for more information on shopping in Abergavenny.
This historic border town is home to the prestigious Coral Welsh Grand National held at Chepstow Racecourse, where you will find flea markets on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. Walk down Moor Street at the top end of town and you will find Scandia, an independent ladies shoes and accessories shop, along with Hannah’s Music - an Aladdin’s Cave for musicians – as well as the award-winning Queen’s Head micropub. Don’t miss Tell me Wine which sells a wide range of sustainably produced wine, cider, vinegar and oils, and fifth generation Deacon’s Florist. The pretty cobbled area of St Mary’s Street and Arcade has a number of small independents to browse including St Mary’s Street Collectables, Foxglove Antiques, Country Clutter Gift Shop, Chepstow Book Shop, Badman Jewellers and the Silk Road Bazaar. Café highlights include Cwtch Café, Tiffin Vintage Tea and Coffee House and the Orange Crate for a healthy smoothie or juice. Chepstow also has a town centre market on Sundays.
Cowbridge has lots of trendy shops offering designer labels and is referred to as a department store on one street. It has more independent boutiques per square mile than any other town in South Wales. It was awarded Wales' 'Rising Star High Street' by the Great British High Street in 2018. Elephant and Bun delicatessen sells fresh Welsh produce which varies on the change of the season as well as gifts. At Happy Days Vintage Homestore you will find vintage, retro and antique delights for your home and garden. Awesome Wales provides a huge range or zero waste goodies as well and an eat in café upstairs. West Hampton and No.30 both offer a wonderful range of interior design furnishings as well and unique items that make the perfect gift. And Cowbridge has a wonderful variety of café options to choose from, including Penny Farthing Café and The Bear Hotel. Forage Farm Shop just on the outskirts of town on the A48 offers a great selection of local food which are also served in their café. Visit Cowbridge Guide for inspiration.
Monmouth has a good selection of lovely independent shops including delights such as MonTeas, selling a wide range of fine teas, teapots and accessories; Salt & Pepper with over four shops selling cookware, toys, clothing, gifts, and a café; Marches Delicatessen where you will find a wide range of local artisan produce and Fingal Rock which sells an eclectic selection of wines from around the world. As Wales’ first ‘Bee Town’ the Monmouth based Charity – Bee’s for Development also has a charming gift shop. At the top end of the town you’ll find some delightful courtyards and a pedestrian row of quality Independents, bookshops, a green-grocer, butcher, cafés, jewellers and florists such as Atelier Gilmar a jewellery design studio making and selling innovative contemporary jewellery collections and Granny Brown’s old fashioned sweet shop.