Canterbury Uncovered

10 curious independent shops to check out in Canterbury

Canterbury prides itself on being a destination for independent shops, cafes, and galleries; it’s here that you can buy a handmade glass lobster, book a tarot reading at Pure Magick and visit a music shop that specialises in oboes all in the space of an hour. As a result of the wealth of independent shopping options at your disposal in Canterbury, we decided to highlight a few that we know and love.

Canterbury Pottery

Location: 56 Palace St, Canterbury CT1 2DY

Situated in the heart of the historic city of Canterbury, opposite the cathedral, you will find one of the city’s treasures. Established in 1963, Canterbury Pottery is run by Richard & Jan Chapman. In the studio at the rear of the showroom, this husband and wife team are crafting beautiful handmade pottery.

Madame Oiseau Fine Chocolates

Location: 8 Borough, Canterbury CT1 2DR

Sandrine, who is a self-taught chocolatier, had demonstrated an early passion and creativity in her mother’s kitchen in Picardy, France, making truffles and caramels from her early teens. Sandrine’s passion continued into her adult life and she opened her first shop in 2003. Over time, Madame Oiseau has developed a reputation for truly delicious and creative chocolate oddities. After all, where else in Canterbury could you buy a handmade chocolate Bonbonnière?

Whirligig Toy Shop

Location:  22 Sun St, Canterbury CT1 2HX

With so many of us addicted to screens, it’s all too easy to get into the family habit of staring at the television or feeling glued to an iPad. Whirligig makes a point of challenging this, offering a specialist toy shop experience that focusses on ‘things to make and do’, including craft projects, jigsaw puzzles, dressing up clothes, models, games, and science kits.

Fudge Kitchen

Location: 16 Sun St, Canterbury CT1 2HX

The Fudge Kitchen has been hand-crafting their original special recipe for over 30 years, using traditional methods and a whole lot of love to create luxury, artisan fudge. It’s made with fresh whipping cream which makes their fudge especially smooth, soft, creamy and delicious. Free sample, anyone?

Antoine & Lili

Location: 46 Burgate, Canterbury CT1 2HW

After being established for over 20 years in Europe, the Parisian clothing brand opened its first UK store in Canterbury last July. This colourful French womenswear brand is loud, feminine and eye-catching, offering an irresistible mix of exotic designs and more traditional lines.

Vinylstore Jr.

Location: 20 Castle Street, Canterbury CT1 2QJ

Indie and alternative vinyl, featuring music from a variety of eras including new releases, limited editions, coloured vinyl, indie label records, box sets etc from new bands and old favourites alike. Happy browsing.


Queen Bee Home

Location: 12 Mercery Ln, Canterbury CT1 2JJ

A little Aladdin’s Cave of furniture, decorations and unique and curious gifts. The shop has three floors to explore and a tea shop with a vintage feel so that you can have a break from the High Street with some coffee and cake.

(Photo: Rachel Phipps)

Luke Goldsmith Jewellery

Location: 6A St Peter’s St, Canterbury CT1 2AT

Each collection is inspired by something special, whether it’s a bohemian feeling or a fairytale. Within each collection comes nuances in shape, colour and materials and each piece of jewellery is made in their in-house atelier, so each piece is truly unique.

Siesta Crafts

Location: 1 Palace St, Canterbury CT1 2DY

Siesta is a friendly Fair Trade shop and wholesaler, dealing in unusual and interesting gifts, musical instruments, and clothing from around the world. Here you can stumble across everything and anything, from fairy lights to djembe drums, kaftans to bedspreads.

Thais ‘R’ Us Oriental Grocers

Location: 20 Lower Bridge Street, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2LG

This shop is the largest centre of authentic Thai and Far Eastern food products in East Kent, with the widest range of quality food supplies direct from the countries of origin. Here you’ll find Chinese, Thai, Filipino, Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean products. It’s absolutely perfect for finding rare or intriguing ingredients for you to incorporate into your next recipe.


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