Thursday 31 May 2012

A Thrifters Guide to the London Borough of Bromley

The lovely Lulastic has set up a 'Charity Shop Blog Hop' to help fellow thrifters to discover what wonders may wait for them a little bit further from home.

I'll start with Bromley Town Centre - most of the charity shops in the town centre are quite pricey. I find that with most Oxfam, British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research shops. Not that they are crazy expensive, but they do price things up a lot higher than the less frequent shops, and you have to be careful of the Primark trap. Recently a Marie Curie shop has opened in the North end of the town centre, I managed to start my summer wardrobe with 2 dresses, 3 tops and a necklace for £10 in there the other day. Closer to where I live, but heading out of the town is...

Chatterton Road, Chatterton Village - the closest set of shops to three primary schools (and our closest shopping area) holds a few small charity shops laden with children's clothes, children's books and toys. At the end of the road there is a slightly grubby looking animal charity shop (which is incredibly un-child friendly - no buggies would fit in) but inside is a treasure trove of cheap crockery, sheets, napkins, cutlery, it takes a bit of a rummage but we've had some great finds (in fact it is my main supplier of hankies for bunting). They also often have boxes of wool, embroidery threads and needles etc. Probably not worth travelling to get to alone, but close by you can also get to...

Hayes (Kent) - the High Street along from the station is primarily charity furniture shop heaven. Three furniture stores strong there is something for every need and budget. Additionally there are a further four charity shops. All of the shops in this area are good value and the Air Ambulance shop always has some haberdashery items and baskets of cheap baby clothes. And it is a stones throw from...

West Wickham - there are a handful of charity shops on the high street in this area. We used to travel here when I was bored of Beckenham. Although, I'll be honest I think I was more enticed by a love of Starbucks than the charity shops.

Beckenham - my first home in the Bromley area, I lived there for 6 months after Kit was born. I spent a lot of time trekking up and down the street of charity shops. It's a well-trodden route by the mums in the area, and consquently it is generally quite pricey, but bargains and treasures can be found, especially at the St Christopher's Hospice shop near Beckenham Junction station, and the Barnados shop at the opposite end of the High Street (near the cinema) - I believe that it was also seen on Mary Portas 'Queen of Charity Shops' .. the star of which is not far away in...

Orpington - we've only recently started to trawl this area, but we spent the entire of Saturday there with a friend last weekend, there are just so many charity shops (plus a singer sewing shop and a lovely cafe 'Mystic Brew' which sells every tea known to mankind). It's a bit slim on decent clothes, but bric a brac is a-plenty and cheap. I managed to get some bargainous lace and scrabble pieces, which made me very happy. I don't think the Save the Children shop improved much from Mary's intervention, but I may be thinking of the wrong one.

Last but not least...

Petts Wood - there are two sides of the railway track here, the Morrisons side and the Sainsburys side. The Morrisons side has the better charity shops - in fact the ones opposite are our favourites - especially for wool and sewing bits, and children's clothes. On the Sainsburys side the charity shops have better adult clothes. I've picked up a lot of bits for me there.

Some of our recent finds.


  1. wow amazing finds!!!Very jealous of all the Miffy books! x

    1. The Miffy books are a bit of a work in progress. Although most came from one shop. We have a couple of duplicates (I'm not very good at remembering which we have!) I'll try to remember to bring them to Worthing some time and Martha can have them. :)

  2. I'm visiting from Lulastic's blog hop - and obviously live pretty near you as these are my stomping grounds too! I'm often to be found doing the coffee shop/charity shop trail in West Wickham and Beckenham, but I did my guide on Crystal Palace - not half so many charity shops, but loads of vintage and second hand.

    Thanks for the Orpington reminder, I saw the Mary Portas programme but haven't investigated yet.

  3. Hayes, Bromley and WW I know well but after this I can hear the others calling my name!
    Brilliant post! x

    1. I missed off Chislehurst - there is an awesome church charity shop there that sells everything really cheaply. :)



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