This July celebrates Independent Retailer month and if you’re looking for somewhere away from the bustle of larger cities and high street chains, Ross-on-Wye is the perfect destination to enjoy a unique shopping experience in a picturesque setting next to the River Wye.
Independent Retailer Month, a global ‘Shop Local’ campaign launched in the US back in 2011, encourages consumers to shop local and celebrate indie retailers, creating more sustainable cities, towns and communities. Each year, the campaign provides information showing how a community benefits financially with the jobs created and pounds re-spent within that community.
Unlike the larger chains who have more security and financial backing, the economic outlook for independents, or indies, is far more challenging as they face uncertainty with disrupted global supply chains, the energy crisis, inflation and the cost of living crisis. On top of this, independent shop owners, with family commitments and the need to take time out for themselves, are also often limited on budget for staffing and struggle to stay open for the long hours that larger retailers can finance.
Ross-on-Wye however has a thriving retail offering with around 40 independents providing a wide range of goods and services that could compete with any larger town. There is a huge range on offer for every occasion from gift shops to galleries, boutiques to barbers, gyms to garden shops and much more.
Several recent additions to the town centre include a lovely new art space, Urchin’s Gallery in Croft Court, and The Crystal Tree, offering unique gifts and pretty crystal jewellery. On the High Street, popular cocktail bar, Leonards at 39, has changed hands and has been refurbished and rebranded as Tweet Bar & Kitchen, with a fresh new look and fantastic tapas menu for all tastes.
Here are some of our top picks:
Gifts & jewellery
Find a huge range of unique gifts, accessories, bags, clothing and jewellery at Crowsfeet, Boutique at No 2, Lizzie Bunting, The Cookshop and The Crystal Tree. If you’re looking for something sparkly, check out Lalena Jewellery on the High Street or Silver Store on Gloucester Road, or much-loved traditional jeweller, HE Phillips – you’ll be sure to find that special piece of jewellery from their wide range of silver, gold, precious stones and crystals.
For something special and stylish, nothing beats small independent women’s boutiques. Ross-on-Wye’s top ladies’ retailers include at broad street and Suzy’C both on Broad Street and Lainey’s and Walker & Walker on Gloucester Road. Crowsfeet also has a range of stunning ladies’ dresses and loungewear alongside an eclectic mix of costume jewellery. The personal service you receive is incomparable to the larger chains and these indies always deliver on the friendliest of customer service.
Food & drink
Whether eating out or looking for quality artisan treats, Ross-on-Wye delivers on all fronts. Skip the supermarkets and head to Hank’s Meat & Game for award-winning game and meat products, or if you’re looking for cheese, biscuits, relishes, wine, beer, cider and local gin, pop into Field Fayre The Organic Store on Broad Street, Truffles or Ross Wines on the High Street. Or if you fancy a night off the washing up, book into one of Ross’s best eateries including The Conservatory at The King’s Head Hotel, Avellino Italian restaurant, No 3 or the The Hope & Anchor by the riverside.
Children’s toys & gifts
If you’re looking for something to keep the kids occupied or are looking for clothes, gifts or books, there are lots of great little retailers in the heart of the town. Toybox on Broad Street has a huge selection of games, puzzles, books & soft toys whilst Andy Pack a little further down has a great range of vintage style toy cars. Little Chic is an absolute treasure trove of colourful, quality branded clothes and accessories at great prices as is Little Saplings (currently moving to New Street as of July 2023). For your little bookworms, pop into Rossiter Books for a wide range of children’s reading matter – and en route, why not grab a bag of gobstoppers from vintage sweet shop, Tudor Sweets, to keep them quiet!
Arts, crafts & galleries
Art lovers will be spoilt for choice. Bang in the middle of town upstairs at the Market House, you’ll find the wonderful Made in Ross gallery with loads of amazing arts and crafts made by local artists and crafters. Also, all within walking distance of the Market House, are Gallery 54, Urchin’s Gallery, Livinloom, Yat Pottery Art School, Sarah D’Arcy Ceramics and if you fancy crafting something yourself, check out KTS Craft Warehouse on Trenchard Street which has everything you need to create your next masterpiece.
If you’re in need of a bit of TLC or a girls’ pamper weekend is on the cards, look no further than Ross-on-Wye – there are plenty of beauty salons, nail bars, massage therapists, yoga or fitness classes and treatments on offer right in the centre of town – try Perfect Measure, Nails by Niamh and Wye Valley Massage Therapies all on the High Street or Ross Health & Fitness on Trenchard Street.
For more inspiration, head over to our Shop page to see what else is on offer.
Click here to access the Ross-on-Wye Vintage Trail, with the best antique and vintage shops in the town.