From Watford Junction in Hertfordshire, to Hayes in Kent



updated Jan 2020



The Silver Fish Special of Silver Fish Specials








The best charity shop in London is wonderfully called  NEW HOPE FOR WATFORD, (I don’t know what happened to the old hope) it is not so much a charity shop as a department store. it is Harrods, without the prices,  Selfridges without the crowds and  John Lewis, without the voices. if you can visit only one charity shop in London this is it. The stuff is amazingly cheap and turns over. The staff are extremely industrious, and they have not been ordered to wish you good afternoon the moment you come through the door, they are far too busy for that, but they are genuinely helpful, and it is possible to do the business, but usually you do not have to bother. What they should do is open a school for the halfwits who run Oxfam and the like, or rather dislike. No money is wasted on changing the outside fascia every few years, or installing fancy shelving, or Harvard Business School Methods. Nor are there things that are not for sale – although it did happen to me once – If I was you I would just junk all the other shops in London and visit this place first. They sell everything, from used vegetables and video tapes, to curtains and erotica magazines. I think it would be possible to furnish an entire flat from this place alone. There are no signs on the door saying we only want quality goods. I have never seen them turn anything away. My only cavil is that they close at four in the afternoon which for years meant that I couldnt get into the place, as I never found the rest of Watford attractive enough to go there that early in the afternoon and used to go there late, but now I head for Watford first. But I go to Watford Junction station, out of station turn left into Woodford Road, which is parallel to the rail line on the left, which becomes Queens Road, pass the wonderfully named Orphanage Road, and head for Watford town centre, it is about a ten minute walk and is the white palace on left.

They have a second ordinary size shop in New road Croxley Green, which used to be easy to get to by bus, but you now have wot wait half an hour and half an hour at Croxley Green to Continue to Rickmansworth and this now makes it unworthwile. Plus the Amersham Chesham circuit seems to have gone down.

The above was written last year, and the only thing that has changed is the stock. When I went again in January 2020, when they  were holding a half price sale. From NEW HOPE out of shop turn left and on the right is HOME START, which moved from round the corner and nearly opposite is a DEBRA furniture shop.

Out of DEBRA, turn left go through the underpass and straight through the shopping centre to the High Street. Turn right at Macdonalds – this is where this whole thing of my putting in names and addresses is shown to be absurd, there is no street name at this part of the high street, and I defy you to find a number showing anywhere in the street. This is a field guide to charity shops, not a work of fiction for armchair critics. I am only doing it to improve  the image – and there is KEECH, all the other charity shops in Watford are much of muchness.

From KEECH out of shop turn left, and continue under the flyover and on the right is the HEART charity shop and bang next door is the PDSA, (despite the seemingly different addresses). Out of shop turn right and a little further along is the OXFAM then further north then the newly opened BARNARDOS, at 71 the Parade, WD17  4RU,  I have a vague feeling i have the Oxfam and Barnardos in the wrong order, this is what happens when you have High Streets that change name, every other block, on the opposite side is PEACE HOSPICE. From Peace Hospice double back,  all the way to the south end of the high Street opposite Watford High Street station.  and there is second PEACE HOSPICE shop, which currently does   is currently undergoing refurbishment.


You should expect one in ten shops either to be closed shut down or the worse staff training. the only staff training they need is how to reduce the prices. Oxfam  had half priced four items, which I bought, they had been in the shop for at least six months.

From the first Peace Hospice, if you continue north and under the pass and turn right and on the left you come to Langley Road. and on the right, in it is a small SUE RYDER. but you must make decision at the first PEACE Hospice,  but the Sue Ryder is closer to Watford Junction station.




From Kensal Green out of station, turn left and left into Harrow Road, about 100 yards, and get the 18 bus to the third Stop in Harrow road: Portnall Road, and both shops are on left.  I prefer ANAYA AID, at 524 Harrow road, but I actually did better in AGE UK right next door, you can also walk to these two shops From Westbourne Park tube. From ANAYA AID  out of shop turn right and cross road and back towards KG station and HUMAN AID  is on left, about half a mile

From Human aid out of shop turn left into Harrow road and back to the cross roads, and right into Kilburn lane and and you can get to PEACEFUL SOLUTIONS at 18 Chamberlayne road on the left., it is a bit too short a distance for a bus and a bit to far to walk, but the first shop PS shop is worth a detour especially if you are keen on vintage clothes, I had to use the same photo as the later shop as  the first was permanently blocked by lorries. Out of shop turn left and there is a second Peaceful Solutions  at 79 Chamberlayne road on the right.

This latter is directly opposite Kensal Rise station, (not to be confused with Kensal Green, which i have done previously and continue to do despite going through both of them regularly,) from where you can get the overground to Brondesbury, which is really the north end of Kilburn High Road. Kilburn Park station on the Bakerloo line is not actually in Kilburn High road, The whole area round here is a mish mash of confusing names, technically parts of Harrow Road are Queens Park and at one time London Transport wanted to call Kensal Rise Portobello road. and currently one lister on the internet is saying that ANAYA AID is in St Johns Wood.




From Brondesbury overground station out turn right, south towards Baker Street,  quite a way down are CANCER and OXFAM, on the other side of the road is PDSA, back to the other side and a lot further long walk down is HEART, From Heart out of shop turn right and right into Cambridge Gardens, the one with the street sign so filthy you cannot read it. but the first major junction where the buses turn right, and on the right is Kilburn park station, from where you can continue to Baker Street. You culd also skip Kensla rise and go direct to Kilburn high road, and do the shops in the reverse order. if you go this route then it is better to take the train to West Hampstead on the Overground line from Brondesbury.

I do not count TRAID as being a charity shop . I have written a long diatribe about them at Harrow, on the Metropolitan line.




From Baker Street station, on the north side, turn left, towards Madame Tussauds, cross road and turn right past the church into Marylebone High Street by cutting through the gardens. About half a mile down on the right is OXFAM, which used to be solely a secondhand bookshop, but despite having helped to destroy secondhand bookshops all over Britain and getting all the books for free, Oxfam still had not got the gumption to make a profit from them and now the shop does clothes as well. On the left, is a CANCER shop which is a major contender in the most expensive charity shop in London, Out of shop turn left, and second right into  George Street. on the left is BARNARDOS, which thinks it is  in competition with local Cancer shop,  but on the right is the GERANIUM,  which is the sole reason to visit this area, and which now does everything under £10. which is the level that other shops in Marylebone start at.

The Geranium is actually closer to Bond Street Tube on the jubilee line.From here it is best to walk to the next shop at Oxford Circus.


it s wonderfully bizarre that the Salvation Army should have the only charity shop in Mayfair. From Oxford Circus tube station head south down Regent Street and  right and shop is on right tends to better quality and higher prices than most of SA shops.,






You must  find the shopping Centre Exit at the Elaphant and castle, which is as quite a distance to to walk, and the enter the Shopping centre up the ramp. and YMCa is towards the rail station entrance

 From the Elephant and Castle shopping centre out of YMCA at side entrance on left,, turn left  into Walworth Road, unless you know exactly what you are doing, do not take the first bus – you will end up in Nova Scotia – but if you take the number twelve bus, or any towards towards Camberwell you now end up in the two best shops in the area if you alight at the third main stop.

On the other side of the road, just after the bus stop, Westmoreland road?) is ALDLIFE, then cross back over for GERANIUM, which has recently changed management and is now very flexible. and well worth a detour. If you build up a circuit near you, you should always keep an eye on the expensive shops, as the management does not last long, and when a new manager comes in they often reduce the prices considerably.

I used not to rate the Walworth Road, but now it is worth a detour, because of these two shops, Aldlife and Geranium, the following shops are all on the right going back towards the Elephant and Castle station. TRINITY, SHAW TRUST, SALVATION ARMY, SENSE the newly opened MIND and CRISIS. Unless you have won the Euromillions, I suggest you avoid Crisis, and get the bus straight back to the Elephant and Castle shopping Centre, all the buses go there, and then get the train to Catford on the overground. The entrance to the station is inside the shopping centre. and you need to be very careful to get the train to Catford.

Trinity Hospice in Walworth Raod has two unique claims to attraction , it is the only charity shop I have ever seen with air conditioning, and it has notices on the door saying no mobile phone



From Catford Station, the one that is on the line from the Elephant and Castle come out of the station and turn left over the bridge, keep to the left ahead and you will come to the SALVATION ARMY,  ( AGE UK is now shut down) which is I think about the best in the area, and has the unique distinction in London that  you can enter and leave from opposite ends of the shop., exit through the shopping centre side and turn left, and on the right is SUE RYDER, the one with the terrible picture,, and further along is HEART,

When you come out of Heart, which will be pretty soon, turn right and follow the exit left of the Tesco ( where there are toilets) car park and then round to the right and this leads back to the bridge, the Station you now want is Catford Bridge, not the one that you arrived on. you want the one that goes to West Wickham and Hayes




From West Wickham station (if you arrive from Catford, cross to the other side) and exit left up the  incline, turn left, pass the cross roads and sports Centre, to cross roads past Sainsburys and turn right, DEMELZA is opposite,  Out of shop turn left for SALVATION ARMY, OXFAM and SENSE are all on same side,

From Sense, cross to St Christophers and then back towards cross roads is CANCER and MIND,

Near the MIND shop you can get a 119 bus to HAYES,  rather than walk back to the station for a one stop and half hour wait.





It used to be that the primary reason for coming on this route was HAYES in Kent, and if you are based in South London you would still do best to start your charity shop trawl here first. There used to be seven shops in Hayes, but there are now only four and half, but the last two fundraising shops are exceptional. On a drear day in South London starting at the Elephant Castle, and environs, when I bought nothing it was only in the last shop in Hayes that I  got something  All the shops in Hayes are very cheap,  all are very close to the station and they have two trains an hour,  from Charing Cross and another from Cannon street. it is the terminal of the Oyster Card and the Freedom pass, but I have never seen anybody checking tickets there and there is no barrier. If you fail to buy something here, you might as well throw in the towel now.

Out of Hayes station across main road to the left,  and there is. SENSE, St CHRISTOPHERS.  whcih now  has funture shop on the other side of the road, then FURNITURE FUNDRAISNG  This latter is undoubtedly the best shop for up market goods and furniture in London. Across the road is another Fundraising shop, towards the station they have a more usual shop. but still extremely cheap.

I usually go Hayes before West Wickham, and you can then get a bus nearly opposite the station  to West Wickham, which drops you outside Demelza.

You can also get a bus to Bromley