25 September, 2014
Wokingham has a thriving community of independent shops, boutiques and restaurants. Bringing a little flavour to the high street, these gems are perfect for those seeking something rather different to the norm.
The prettiness of Wokingham's winding high street and historical Tudor buildings really lends itself to the individual character of these independent shops, creating an atmosphere that's different to the often homogenised UK shopping centres. Many retailers have been in Wokingham for decades, enduring the ebbs and falls of trends or styles, whilst helping support the local economy throughout. With a huge variety to choose from, these shops can be found all around the town centre itself, as well as a little further out.
For those on the search of jewellery, a must visit is Kaanaanmaa which has been designing and creating unique pieces in Wokingham for over 30 years. The building alone is worth a look, as it dates back over 400 years! Purveyors of fine jewellery, Kaanaanmaa offers popular collections, as well as its own pieces designed and made in store.
Family owned business Wellington Jewellers perhaps takes the medal as the oldest independent in the town. Founded in 1895 it offers everything from bespoke engagement rings and watches to tailored wedding bands.
Clothing and gifts
For clothing and accessories the quirky Dollshouse Boutique is always popular, offering a unique range of day and evening wear, including a bespoke hat and fascinator service. Antique Rose, also in the town centre, is perfect for discovering unusual and inspirational items not available on the high street - as it offers wonderful ideas for the home alongside great gift ideas.
Bookends is another long running venture which has become part of the Wokingham landscape. Trading for over 20 years the shop offers a great selection of books, cards and gifts.
TG Art Gallery, meanwhile, is a must visit destination for visitors and residents alike. As an independent gallery it is able to source art from many agents, as well as directly from artists themselves.
Many of the independent high street shops are taking part in the Living Advent Calendar festivities in the town centre this December, which will return for its third year.
Venturing a little further out, Holme Grange Craft Village is a treasure trove of independent shops and craft workshops. With free car parking in a quiet rural location, it offers regular activities and an annual Christmas Fair. There is an array of 20 shops and workshops offering wares including handmade silver jewellery, crafts, Italian delicacies, old fashioned sweets, furniture and fabrics.
If after all that shopping a beverage is needed then Oslar Coffee comes very highly recommended. With a comfortable atmosphere and knowledgeable, passionate staff, it's the perfect place to kick back and finally set down those shopping bags.