Shopping in the North East

Polly Checkland Harding

Many of the best shops in the North East of England are a reflection of this unique part of the UK, with outdoor clothing and equipment shop Reynolds Outdoor Centre in Sunderland an ideal resource for the surrounding countryside, the North East Art Collective in Newcastle a snapshot of work by local artists, and bespoke jewellery shop Gavin Shelley Jewellery adopting Durham Cathedral for its trademark. These independent boutiques, gift shops and bookshops are also distinctive in their own right: discover an eclectic mix of clothing and products across six rooms of a listed building at The Mugwump in Durham, or radical view and unusual second hand volumes at the People’s Bookshop. Read on to discover more of the best shops in the North East.


  • 1. Glamorous Owl

    Glamorous Owl
    Courtesy of The Glamorous Owl

    Glamorous Owl, 2 Old George Yd, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 1EZ - Visit now

    Both a gift shop and jewellery shop above this, the award-winning Glamorous Owl in Newcastle stocks jewellery, leatherwork and art from over 40 artists, as well as offering workshops and courses.

  • 2. North East Art Collective

    North East Art Collective
    Courtesy of North East Art Collective

    North East Art Collective, 45 Eldon Garden, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RA - Visit now

    Selling work by artists based in the North East of England, the North East Art Collective sets out to offer something for everyone – including oils, watercolours, photography and jewellery by notable local creatives

  • 3. Fenwick

    Courtesy of Fenwick

    Fenwick, 39 Northumberland Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7AS - Visit now

    This designer department store in Newcastle first opened in 1882, and has served the city and its visitors ever since. A shopping destination in its own right, Fenwick has everything from dining to fashion spanning five floors.

  • 4. The Grainger Market

    The Grainger Market
    Courtesy of Grainger Market

    The Grainger Market, Clayton Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5QN - Visit now

    Another historic shopping venue in Newcastle, The Grainger Market first opened over 200 years ago, and remains a hugely popular hub for shopping, indoor dining and entertainment. The historic venue was voted ‘Britain’s Favourite Market’ in the British Market Awards 2020.

  • 5. The People’s Bookshop

    The People’s Bookshop
    The People’s Bookshop

    The People’s Bookshop, 70 Saddler St, Saddlers Yard, Durham, DH1 3NP - Visit now

    Dealing mainly in second hand books, The People’s Bookshop is a radical outfit in Durham that seeks to reflect the local community, pull focus away from best sellers and help contribute to improving the world. An admirable aim and a local institution.

  • 6. The Mugwump

    The Mugwump

    The Mugwump, 37 Saddler Street, Durham, DH1 3NU - Visit now

    Spread across six rooms in a listed building, the Mugwump in Durham was established in 1966 by two art school graduates, and continues to sell womenswear, contemporary glassware and ceramics, homewares, prints and more. Drop in for unusual finds in an eclectic mix.

  • 7. Gavin Shelley Jewellery

    Gavin Shelley Jewellery
    Gavin Shelley Jewellery

    Gavin Shelley Jewellery, 72 Saddler St, Durham, DH1 3NP - Visit now

    A bespoke jewellery shop named after local jeweller and owner Gavin Shelley. Each piece is created in Shelley’s unique style, with Durham Cathedral used as a stamp of quality.

  • 8. Port Independent

    Port Independent
    Port Independent

    Port Independent, Unit 4 St Thomas Street, Sunderland, SR11QD - Visit now

    Port Independent in Sunderland stocks four in-house streetwear brands, as well as concessions including Redstar, Vaux Merch and Art of Football. A go-to for all your streetwear needs.

  • 9. Aphrodite


    Aphrodite, 8 Vine Place, Sunderland, SR1 3NE - Visit now

    This men’s designer clothing store in Sunderland has been operating since 1994 and is now an official stockist for international brands including Barbour, Belstaff, CP Company and Fred Perry,

  • 10. Reynolds Outdoor Centre

    Reynolds Outdoor Centre
    Reynolds Outdoor Centre

    Reynolds Outdoor Centre, 6 Derwent St, Sunderland, SR1 3NT - Visit now

    Friendly expert staff, repairs services and a wide range of outdoor clothing and equipment all set Reynolds Outdoor Centre in Sunderland apart. It’s a great resource, whether you’re beginning your adventures, or a seasoned explorer.

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