A guide to shopping in Penrith holiday cottages

A guide to shopping in Penrith

Kim 13 February 2024

Penrith, the ancient capital of Cumbria, lies just outside the Lake District National Park in the beautiful Eden Valley, just 6 miles from the top of Ullswater. This market town is a vibrant shopping centre, with a plethora of independent and high street stores. Shopping in Penrith is an experience to be savoured, with historic buildings, the ruins of two medieval castles and cobbled streets to explore. 

Your journey will take you through the principal shopping areas of Cornmarket, King Street, Little Dockray, Middlegate, Market Square and the beautiful Victorian Devonshire Arcade. As you discover a world of exciting gifts, artisan foods and handmade chocolate, don’t forget to stop a while at one of the many cafes and tea rooms dotted around the town to simply watch the world go by.   

After all that shopping, you'll need somewhere to store your treasures and refuel before another day of browsing and spending. Check out our Penrith cottages by clicking the button below and find out more about the Eden Valley town in our guide to Penrith.

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Outdoor shops in Penrith

Coast 2 Coast mural in Penrith

The Lake District is a world-class destination for outdoor enthusiasts and sports lovers, so you’ll find an abundance of shops catering to their needs throughout the area – and Penrith is no exception. Head to Devonshire Arcade and Basecamp Creative Outdoors, or Birtle’s Sports on Cornmarket for clothing and equipment.

You’ll see familiar names when browsing Penrith’s outdoor shops, such as Halfords, Mountain Warehouse, Regatta and Go Outdoors, which stock a variety of products for a range of sports and activities. The latter is also worth a visit if you’re looking for a camping shop in Penrith as it sells a range of tents and camping essentials. 

Cyclists in need of a bike shop in Penrith should take a look at Arragon’s Cycling Centre, as they offer servicing and custom bike building, as well as selling a wide range of bikes, clothing, equipment and accessories. They also hire out cycles so you can explore the Lakes at your leisure.

Clothes shops in Penrith

Exterior of N Arnison & Sons in Penrith

Forget fashion chain stores: the clothing shops in Penrith are small and independent. Boutiques such as Adlib, TwentyOne8, and Coy Boutique are great for finding unique fashion pieces, while longstanding retailer N Arnison & Sons, which was founded in 1742, offers a selection of traditional menswear, womenswear and shoes. 

Don’t forget about charity shops too, they’re always worth a visit to uncover preloved fashion gems at a great price. If your tastes lie towards the top end of the market then Handpicked: The Penrith Dress Agency stocks a great range of pre-loved designer clothing, bags, accessories and shoes.

Strolling4Shoes is a family-run shoe shop in Penrith that stocks styles from across Europe, so if you need or you're simply hankering after new footwear, take a walk their way.

Food shops in Penrith

The exterior of James and John Graham
Image credit: James and John Graham

No visit to Penrith is complete without a trip to The Toffee Shop, where you’ll find a mouthwatering selection of handmade toffee and fudge made on the premises to a secret recipe. The shop started life in the town in 1910 and has customers across the region – indeed, across the world – and even counts members of the British Royal Family among its fans!

Counteract the confectionery with foods from James and John Graham, a family grocers and Penrith resident since 1793. Browse artisan breads in the bakery or select from locally sourced produce in the deli – it’s the perfect place to come for sandwiches and snacks to eat on the run, or for speciality foodie gifts from Lake District producers. 

For your top-quality fresh products, look out for one of the Lake District farm shops in and near Penrith. These include Cranstons Cumbrian Foodhall & Cafe and Basecamp North Lakes, which is around 8 miles west of the town centre and located next to the family attraction Alpacaly Ever After.

The town market takes place every Tuesday, with stalls selling fresh fruit and veg, breads and cakes. There’s also a regular farmers’ market in Penrith, held on the third Tuesday of every month. 

Homeware and gift shops in Penrith

Mother and child looking at plates in a homeware shop

There are many amazing home and gift shops throughout the Lake District selling artisan crafts, locally produced toiletries and skincare, soft furnishings, foods, ceramics and more. 

Harper’s Toymaster is an independent toy shop in Penrith so is ideal if you’re looking for gifts for children. Or, for locally made, hand-crafted wooden toys and toy restoration, The Toy Works in Melmerby is just a short car journey from Penrith.

Furniture and antiques shops in Penrith

Exterior of Eclectic shop

If you’re after something to polish up your home, look out for furniture shops such as Lakes Living Home Decor, Vaseys, which first opened its doors in the town in 1956, and The Furniture House. 

For a quirky mix of antique and modern items, head to Friargate House or one of the other antique shops in Penrith such as Brunswick Antiques on Brunswick Road and Eclectic on Angel Lane.

Shopping at Rheged

Couple shopping for homewares at Rheged
Image credit: Rheged

No shopping guide to Penrith would be complete without mentioning Rheged. This hybrid heritage centre, art gallery, cinema, creative space, retail venue and cafe is just 2 miles away. It’s a place to learn new skills in arts, crafts and baking workshops, as well as a place to meet friends and watch a movie or catch up over something to eat. 

It’s great for families and has a play area for youngsters – and a toy shop where being hands-on is encouraged, not frowned upon!

With clothing, homeware and gifts from local artisan producers, you’re sure to find something at Rheged that you’ll love.

Plan your getaway to Penrith

Shopping street in Penrith

Penrith is the perfect base for exploring the Lake District and our holiday cottages in Penrith provide a comfortable and relaxing home from home between shopping trips, sightseeing and outdoor pursuits. Discover more things with our guide to Penrith and browse our selection of cottages to find your perfect place to stay.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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