Is “shop til you drop” your middle name? Then the intimate maze of twittens (alleyways) and lanes that comprise the cities and towns of Sussex beckon. Lose yourself in the designer boutiques, antiques emporia, specialist jewellers and independent retailers. Then head for the bohemian areas; a riot of colourful characters and street traders where you’ll buy things you never knew you needed.
It’s a pleasure to walk around the compact, pedestrianised shopping streets of the cathedral city of Chichester, a good destination for antique pottery and glassware, jewellery and kitchenware. Medieval Petworth’s 40 antique shops specialising in knock-out pieces make it a fave hunting ground for savvy collectors and interior designers. Arundel is also well known for antique shops and you’ll find an eclectic mix here – antiquarian maps, art deco glass, teddy bears and French country tables. Galleries and crafts stores abound too. Eastbourne, Hastings & St Leonards and Rye are good for antiques and bric-a-brac too.
Brighton has four main shopping areas. There’s the Churchill Square shopping mall for all the essential brands and chain stores, The Lanes for antiques, upmarket fashion and jewellery, and the offbeat and bohemian North Laine for cool interiors stores, edgy clothes shops and specialist goodies like graphic novels, unicycles and vegetarian shoes. Head east from the Royal Pavilion to Kemp Town for antique shops specialising in art deco, theatrical memorabilia, 70’s lamps and vintage cocktail dresses.
The historic county town of Lewes is popular for its many antique shops and flea markets – the emporia in Cliffe High Street are stocked with collectables like Venetian glass, Victorian jet and art deco bags - and innovative contemporary arts and crafts. Horsham has a vibrant events programme with lots going on.
And tucked away in towns and villages all over the county, you’ll find fascinating, unusual shops selling everything from Sussex trugs to Gujarati bedspreads and Swedish candlesticks.