UPMINSTER to BRENTWOOD
Upminster-Horchurch-Dagenham Heathway – Barking, Ilford, Romford -Harold Wood – Brentwood.
SLAONE SQUARE to SURBITION
Sloane Square, Parsons Green – Gloucester Road – Kensington High Street – Earls Court – West Brompton – Putney Bridge – Wimbledon -New Malden.
under revision march February 2019
UPMINSTER 7 T
Out of Upminster station (OOS) turn left, cross main road and CHILDRENS SOCIETY shop is on right. Oos cross back to the other side, to the right and left at junction and on left is St FRANCIS HOSPICE. currently being refurbished OOS turn left and on left is MARIE CURIE. Then back to High Road. Turn left at junction and on left is CANCER. All other shops are now on left. RAINBOW, RICHARD HOUSE and SUE RYDER a lot further along.
Back to crossroads, and turn left by the Churchyard, and opposite the school take bus 248 to Hornchurch, all buses from here go to Hornchurch, and if you go back by tube you will still need to take a bus.
HORNCHURCH 6. T
Alight from the 248 bus one stop beyond Hornchurch town centre, by the Queens Theatre, avoid the temptation to get off by St Francis shop in the centre of town, you will end up walking twice as far. and walk back to the HEART shop, Oos turn right towards town centre and there is HAVEN, Cross road towards town centre and turn left and there is SUE RYDER, then cross back over main road and there is RICHARD HOUSE, CANCER and ST FRANCIS, ST F also have a furniture shop on the way into Hormhurch which you pass by bus.
If you come by tube you have to do it in reverse order, and then you have to get back to Hornchurch station and it becomes a very long way,
From St Frances turn right and right and cross road to bus stop and all buses go to Hornchurch station about two stops. it is just possible to walk.
DAGENHAM HEATHWAY 4 T
From Dagenham Heathway station turn left and on left is SUE RYDER. OOS turn left and on opposite corner is BARNARDOS Double back, past station and on right is SENSE. Turn right and there is RICHARD HOUSE
BARKING 5 T.
Out of Barking Station and almost directly opposite to right is PDSA. but you should ignore this shop and first visit the Queen of the East, RFFR which alone makes Barking worthwhile, turn right out of station and left at first major junction, and it is near the traffic lights on the left at the far end of the road
It is the way a charity shop should look, no painting the front every year, or having de lux fascia, none of this designer nonsense or calling it a boutique, or a retro shop, You can still see that this place used to be a pizza joint, it is very large on the outside and yet the stock is very small, this is because they sell the stuff so cheaply, there is no sitting there waiting for the dream customer. I have never had to haggle in here for the simple reason that the stuff is so cheap that even I do not complain about the prices. This is definitely the best charity shop in East London, A silverfish special and Worth A Detour. You should visit the place first even though the PDSA is on the way or rather in the way. The other shops in Barking are only worth going to because it is here.
Out of RFFR cross to other side and there is BARNARDOS then back towards the town centre to RED CROSS. Out shop turn left and left at junction and on right a long walk down is SENSE. back to station and PDSA is on right.
Because of the extension of the Freedom and Oyster card zones it is now possible to go to Brentwood via Ilford. It is not somewhere I would recommend but if you are already in the area then it could be worth a look. You can get bus at stop D, from Sense oos turn left and left at major junction where there is mini bus station.
ILFORD 4 T
From Ilford Station turn right and left into the eventually paved High Street, the one with no name and on left is ST FRANCIS HOSPICE, out of shop turn left and at the far end on the right near the flyover is the SALVATION ARMY, which although more expensive than the others is about the best in the area. Double back past the station and the following shops are all on the right CANCER, PDSA, There is also a Heart furniture shop further along Cranbrook Road .
ROMFORD 7 T
Out of Romford rail station turn left and on left are CANCER, then OXFAM, HAVEN and at the junction to left of the paved zone is the newly opened SALVATION ARMY and HEART Furniture across the road.. Double back and there is HEART, and ST FRANCIS HOSPICE, and the newly listed St Francis Electrical. If you continue under the bridge and turn third left into Victoria Road, on the right is a Christian bookshop which has two stacks of general secondhand books, but low key.
HAROLD WOOD 1 T
You can see it from the station in the road alongside, low key but even lower prices out of station turn right, and right siol however it was closed the day I was there.
BRENTWOOD 7 T.
From Brentwood Station turn left cross road and catch bus to Town Centre on right, and this drops you outside Dogs. about two stops. otherwise it is a long walk uphill and you see the dullest shops first. see below. Oos DOGS turn right and there is St FRANCIS general, oos turn right and cross road to HEART, oos turn left and there is SUE RYDER, on the opposite side of the road is CANCER. then back and there is OXFAM and on the opposite side is ST FRANCIS FURNITURE.
If you want to walk out of Brentwood station, turn right up hill, and keep to the left a fork in the road, and turn right at High street, on left is St Francis Furniture, out of shop turn left then CANCER, then OXFAM cross over and back and there is HEART, SUE RYDER, ST FRANCIS GENERAL and then the newly listed DOGS. it is now a long walk back to the station but it is possible to get a bus opposite St Francis.
The Western Half, where you need wads of money but bargains are still to be had.
THE SLOANE SQUARE – KENSINGTON CIRCUIT
When the North South Cross rail proposed a station near Worlds End, the Chelsea residents claimed that there were already three train stations in the area, but I have never found the second one unless they mean South Ken.
it is a bit far to walk to the charity shops unless you are very energetic, and they charge more than the light Brigade. in the Red Cross it was £59 for a suit jacket alone! In the Red Cross in Barking I bought a similar one for £1.99, In the Cancer shop it was £250 for a rain coat, that you would have to pay me more than £250 to wear, for a day. Needless to say it had the designer label outwards, but I had never heard of them. Chelsea is well worth avoiding, save your money for The Geranium in the Kensington High Street. I live near Chelsea – in the darkest slums of Kensington – and I hardly ever go in the shops there. the opening of the YMCA in Kings Walk has made it an even more difficult area to visit all the Cshops. you have to do a lot of walking. The buses do not stop any where near the charity shops.
From Sloane Square continue down Kings Road and on the right about half mile is the newly opened YMCA, which is perhaps the best in the area, then continue past the town hall, and turn south towards the river into Old Church Street. shops are on right RED CROSS General, which just occasionally has bargains and the RED CROSS clothes, which if it is not already the most expensive charity shop for clothes in London is certainly trying for that title.
Out of shop and turn left and left back into the Kings Road. (if you lose the will to live after seeing the prices in the Red Cross Chelsea, the river is on the right). OCTAVIA is on the left.
OOS turn left and left at the kink in Kings Road and on the left is TRINITY, which makes Oxfam look cheap. out of shop and left and there is CANCER almost instantly, Across the road is OXFAM. these three form the main group in Chelsea, you now have to either head back to Sloane Square tube and continue to Gloucester road, or head towards Putney on the 22 bus.
On the 22 bus headed for Putney and on the right at Parsons Green you will see Mary Portas, i did not bother to get off the bus, but photographed it from the lower deck, the picture seems to have come out better than when I stand outside the shop.
A very long way down at 297 New Kings Road nearer Putney Bridge is FARA, which seems to have the same sort of clothes as the above, but is not quite so egregiously priced.
After FARA you can continue on the bus over the bridge to Putney see District line later,. but far better is to go to Gloucester Road and Kensington High street, which in comparison to the Kings Road is cheap. or you can come out of FARA in the new Kings Road turn left and immediately right into Munster Road and right into the Fulham Road., where there is another FARA currently being refurbished., which is usually far more expensive than the latter and not as good. and no doubt once they have reopened, refurbished will ask even more. This area is known as Cashmere Valley, and the shops feel entitled to charge far more than average. Technically it is closer to Parsons Green tube but if you are rich enough to shop here you will have a chauffeur.
From Fara in New kings road turn right into Munster road and then right into Fulham Road and on right is FARA, currently being refurbished. oos shop turn right and there is the newly listed SHOOTING STARS, on the other side of the road, oos turn left and there is GERANIUM on the other side,, which is not as good as the one in Kensington High Street, then TRINITY & MIND there is also a FARA kids on left. then the newly listed OXFAM opposite the library. if you start from Parsons Green undeground come out of the station turn left and left and just do the shops in the reverse order. you can then get a number 14 bus to Putney.
From OXFAM oos turn right and right into Parsons Green lane and get the tube from Parsons Green to Gloucester Road. or walk towards Fulham Broadway station, and turn left into North End Road. Gloucester road is expensive, but North End Road is cheap and cheerful.
GLOUCESTER ROAD 3 see Piccadilly line
From Gloucester Road tube turn left and cross Cromwell Road, and continue past the cafe with all the flowers outside., TRINITY is on left, but the real reason to come here is FARA, which although it is expensive, bargains are to be had, opposite is OXFAM, which is just expensive. From FARA turn right and walk slightly back towards Gloucester Road Tube and at the bus stop get the 49 bus to Kensington high street. and opposite the old Commonwealth centre, now called the Design Centre. is the best shop in Kensington: GERANIUM.
From Fara in Gloucester road, walk back about 100 yards towards the tube and get the 49 bus to the Design Centre ( the old Commonwealth centre, the place that used to have the lovely blue copper roof, but now that they have improved it, the copper has disappeared. They had to make some money somehow.
THE GERANIUM is undoubtedly the best upmarket charity shop in London. the stuff is not cheap but it is usually very high quality and turns over. This shop alone makes Kensington worth a detour. if you come from Kensington high street tube. turn left and continue past Earls Court road, and the CANCER shop – the Octavia shop is now closed.
From Geranium out of shop turn left and across the road is the OCTAVIA. which has the same stuff but at twice the price and the manageress hates dealers. Out of shop turn left and past HollanD park OXFAM
if you continue back past Ken high St tube and turn left into Kensington church street there are two Trinity shops, the first does mens cloth and the second ladies. but both shops have prices you would not believe.
From the Geranium it is better to turn right and and right into Earls Court Road and get a bus, two stops to Earls Court Tube station. there is general OXFAM but the bigger it gets, and the more often they tart it up the less I seem to buy.
If you walk from Kensington High St, turn right and left and On the left is TRINITY (Mens), which used to be horrendously expensive but is now just expensive. next door is TRINITY (Womens or maybe Ladies), which is still horrendously expensive. they claim that their shop is filled with beautiful things, damn right but that is because it is so expensive, that not even the residents of Kensington can afford to buy them.
From the Geranium you can now either go to Hammersmith by bus, (see Piccadilly line) or back to the Ken High Street tube station and get the train to West Brompton, and North End Road, I think North End Road just wins it. you can also come out of Geranium turn right and right into Earls Court Road, cross the Cromwell road and on the left is the yet again refurbished OXFAM, which has recently tripled in size but now has only third of the interest.
Quite why Oxfam does not lead the way in providing toilets in its shops I know not, for Oxfam the charity is all one way,
Kensington and Chelsea Council used to be very good at providing public toilets, but now all the major ones have been closed down and there are fortress like cubicles disguised as bus stops, (in Ken Church Street, opposite Trinity, and opposite the Design Centre,) one costs 20 pence and the other 30p, maybe they think the customers are richer in Ken High Street. the old established toilets opposite the top of Gloucester Road, by the park now charge 50 pence. it seems to me that there is a huge possibility to make money by the charity shops if they introduced toilets.
In most third world countries the provision of toilets is either non existent, or dire, and the lack of them causes many diseases, if Oxfam provided toilets for customers they could ask for another donation after people had relieved themselves, when most people would pay more than 50 pence, and they could use the money to provide toilets in third world countries.
No doubt the ladies playing at Harrods in the Ken High Street branch would throw up their arms, and noses, in horror at the mere thought of it, but even Harrods has toilets. and now that the charity shops have forced labour from the job centres, they wouldnt have to do the job of keeping the toilets clean themselves, and it would give them something else to moan about.
If MacDonalds can successfully provide toilets – and as a Veggie I am deeply grateful to them, and they are to be congratulated on their civic responsibility – I do not see why Charity shops cannot do the same. especially large rich ones like the place in Kensington High Street. If people are busy looking for a toilet they cannot be buying something in your shop.
The current idea in Britain is that if you abolish public toilets the whole problem will go away, but if you do not provide public toilets it will end up like the third world, where people piss and shit in the street. There is a free toilet in Earls Court Station, that looks like it was designed to withstand a nuclear bomb blast.
WEST BROMPTON (NORTH END ROAD) 7
Not a short trek, but you can also start from Fulham Broadway tube but either way you are going to have to walk and West Brompton is easier to follow. From W B. If you turn right towards Earls Court there is a charity book section in Nucleus on the left.
But for North End Road out of station turn left out of West Brompton and left at the major junction of North End Road (about a ten fifteen minute minute walk, On left is FARA, out of shop turn left and across the road is the newly opened RED CROSS, which mainly does furniture, but I think is still the best in the area, on the left further south you come to SHELTER. Out of shop cross road the others are all, south on the other side of the road. SUE RYDER, HEART and CANCER. Out of Cancer turn right and right into Dawes road, the major junction and on the left is the newly listed Furnish.
From Cancer if you turn left behind church to get to Fulham Broadway tube station. You can also turn right down Fulham Road, at the bottom of North End Road, beyond Dawes Road towards Putney to what is known as Cashmere Valley where even winning the Euro millions is not enough. I once saw a mens tie in a charity shop here for £72. I dont think I would pay £72 for a new tie if I won the euro millions jackpot. And it is a long walk Most of the shops are on left
OXFAM, MIND, TRINITY, GERANIUM, SHOOTING STAR (other side), and FARA there is also a FARA kids on the other side of the road nearly opposite MIND. You can now get a 14 bus to Putney. see District line Sloane Square Kensington Circuit
PUTNEY BRIDGE 6
Out of Putney Bridge Station, the one this side of the river, out station to left and left over Putney Bridge and straight ahead. All shops are on left bar the initial Trinity furniture shop which is in Putney Bridge Road first on the left over the bridge. Then back to Putney High Street and left.
HEART, CANCER, TRINITY, OXFAM all on the same side. At the top turn right into Upper Richmond Road and on the te left is the newly listed OASIS, which I think is the best in the area. a long way down is on the right OCTAVIA. Now double back to East Putney tube station on the right, not a short trek, (not the Putney railway station on the left. although you can use it to get to Sheen, via Mortlake station, and I think Sheen is a better bet. and has one of my favourite shops or you can get a bus direct to Sheen. from near the Octavia.
WIMBLEDON 6 t
From Wimbledon station, turn left into main street and all shops are on left. HEART, OXFAM, CANCER, SCOPE, and TRINITY, From just beyond the Trinity it is possible to get a bus to South Wimbledon underground station and the Northern line, but far better is to head to New Malden and Surbiton from Wimbledon station. Wimbledon village has only three chain charity shops is not really worth the effort
NEW MALDEN 7 T
From New Malden Station turn left into Malden High Street, and cross road and on the right are BARNARDOS, SALVATION ARMY, CANCER, OXYGEN, and St RAPHEALS then cross to the other side and there is FARA, which is the best in New Malden, double back and there is OXFAM, HEART and PRINCESS ALICE. From beyond the FARA, if you go straight across the roundabout it is possible to get a bus to Worcester park where there are six Cshops, but it is only really worth it if you are in the area.
See Piccadilly line
Essentially walk west along King street. See Piccadilly line for photos and update
TURNHAM GREEN 11
Essentially turn left out of station and right at the High Road. See Piccadilly line for more details
If you continue to Chiswick Park you will have to double back to Turnham Green to get the tube for Richmond, or continue to Gunnersbury along Chiswick High road on the left. it is hidden beneath an office block.
The next station is Richmond, but the Cshops are largely dire, other than on the other side of the river. I always get confused here as to which is north and south. and it is far more sensible to start in Sheen, which is two stops back on the rail line.
ALL ABOVE REVISED MARCH 2019
SHEEN 7 T
At Richmond tube it is better to go to Sheen on the rail line but be sure to alight at Mortlake station.
Despite British Rail calling it Mortlake
Be sure to alight at Mortlake Station the second stop back from Richmond towards Clapham Junction.
South London Sports and Education is undoubtedly the best charity shop in Sheen and possibly the best shop in South West London, I also suspect that it is one of the cheapest shops in London. It may be called something like South London Youth Sports and Education, but they do not waste money revamping the name on the outside every year, It is directly opposite Mortlake station, but you cannot currently read the name even when you are outside, and you are wasting time if you stand outside doing so. There is so much good stuff inside and out. and who needs a de lux fascias?. The stuff is so cheap and turns over. and I have never seen a time when I did not buy something good in it. It does only open at midday, but unless you live in Sheen, you are not likely to get there before then. and if you cannot you should delay, but not by going here.
From the above out of shop turn left, past the Library on the right, where there are toilets. at the cross roads you have to decide whether to go left or right. I think left is better even though it is then a long walk to another good shop.
if you turn left there is CANCER on the left, continue for about half a mile and you comm to OCTAVIA on the other side of the road, out of Octavia turn left for MIND, then SHELTER out of shop turn left at the cross roads for BARNARDOS, out right, and left into the high road towards Richmond, where there is a PRINCESS ALCIE and FARA and another OCTAVIA, which is undoubtedly the best of the chain shops in Sheen. and elsewhere.
From the Octavia in Sheen continue westward and get a bus – it is a far longer walk back to the station – and alight at Church Road just before Richmond town, about five stops cross to the other side of the road and continue downhill, which applies to the shops.
From Richmond Station turn left, and left a the first pathway and just beyond the supermarket is the small MARIE CURIE. then bacc to the high street for OXFAM, which charges with aggression, Oos turn right just before the Department store, towards the green and left there is the newly listed MARY PORTAS, I cannot even afford to window shop. Back to the high street and right for CANCER. the continue and cross road for PRINCESS ALICE and SHELTER BOUTIQUE. you would do much better to ignore all these shops and cross Richmond bridge on the right.
The Charity shops in Richmond are the reverse of the beggars who intimidate by just sitting outside stations, here you pass them on the way back to the station. They go in for what is known as intimidation by carpet, and wishing you hello, and inspecting your shoes at the same time, like the commissionaire in some five star hotel, they are not there to genuinely welcome you but to keep the hoi polloi out. Now led by the newly listed Shelter boutique, that claims to have fabulous prices, which is true they are fabulously unbelievable. and to make a Crustie like me feel unwelcome, which is the real purpose. Having slaughtered the junk shops of London, the charity shops are now intent on going even more upmarket. Not only that the first three have addresses which are as long as the double barrelled names of the people they really want. and a part of the reason I hate having to do the addresses. Essentially you just come out of Richmond station turn left and head towards Richmond Bridge, and you should find six of them, you do miss the Marie Curie but it is mainly what they call boutique clothes, the sort I wear in secret.I did once buy a pair of red braces in there. If you want to keep your money, you should just ignore the Richmond charity shops and head over Richmond bridge.
Richmond Part Two the other side of the River
I have no idea if this part is north or south, as if you come from Hammersmith you cross bridges twice, some tiem it is called North Tweickenham other times it is East.
Over Richmond Bridge, towards Twickenham and all the shops are on the left. FARA, FARA KIDS, PRINCESS ALICE, OCTAVIA, MIND and RSPCA. I like the RSPCA best as it opens at nine, and is reliable about that. and together this group is far better than Richmond proper. it could be better to go to St Margarets and come out of the station and turn right. I am told this area is officially called East Twickenham, but i used to know somebody who lived there and they called it Richmond, I bet the estate agents do too.
If you catch a bus from Richmond, from the Rspca shop turn left and left, be sure to alight just after Twickenham begins, next to the HEART shop Since the Princess Alice shop moved it is no longer worthwhile getting off at Twickenham station.
Twickenham 7 T at station.
If you come from the station out to left into town centre, turn right at cross roads and cross to HEART., cross back over the road and all the following shops are on the right: OXFAM, SHOOTING STAR, CANCER, PRINCESS ALICE and much further along is SUE RYDER For Teddington cross back over to the other side and double back to the first major road right and get 68 bus to Teddington
As far as I can see there are no toilets at Teddington station, London Transport does not think they are middle class enough nor do any of the supermarkets offer such facilities.
The bus from Twickenham, nearly opposite the oxfam in the side road, stops directly outside the Oxfam shop, but on the way you pass a FARA Kids and a MARY PORTAS, but they make it quite a distance to walk and it is better to skip them and alight at the OXFAM stop. From the Oxfam cross to the other side of the road and proceed west and on the right is CANCER oos turn right and there is BLUE CROSS and SHOOTING STAR
Cross back over for Princess Alice, oos turn right, past the Tesco, the huge one with NO toilets, and on the right is FARA General. oos turn right and on the right is FARA BOOKS. From here it is best to go to the railway station , sign posted just before the bridge and get a Waterloo via Wimbledon train. this way you can easily avoid Kingston. an afternoon not going to Kingston is well worth having.
KINGSTON 5 T
Like Hell, but without the warmth
Kingston is a town devoted to road works, or rather roads that dont work, it is like being in a Formula one track, cars and buses suddenly appear out of nowhere, at speeds you would not believe, the drivers all intent on exercising their divine right to kill with impunity. The town planners or rather the road traffic planners have massacred the medieval town, and now spend all there time trying to sort it out. There is never a time when there are no road works in Kingston. if you do not live there it is best avoided, if you do live there you can only leave. There is no internal logic to the place, The good news is it very easy to get away from..
From Kingston station cross straight ahead, if you survive this turn left into Castle street, for OXFAM, OOS turn left, and right and then continue for what seems like half a mile, and right into Eden street. for CANCER but I assure you it is not worth the effort. even if you live there. There is a second Cancer shop in Kingston, which I have been in at least twice, but the third time of attempting to find it I ended up in Surbiton, a far more pleasant and lucrative place. OOS double back on the the right hand side until you come to Kingstons nearly redeeming feature the Collapsed Telephone Boxes. turn right. into Old London road, then PRINCESS ALICE FURNITURE is on the left and the right OXFAM BOOKSHOP, which is possibly the dullest charity Oxfam bookshop of all time and then PRINCESS ALICE HOMEWARE it should more accurately be called Shabitat.. Far better is to skip Kingston and go to New Malden.or Surbiton.
SURBITON 7 T
From Surbiton station out on left and continue to the first junction on the right, ignore the shops on the other side of the road for the moment, and turn right into St Andrews Road, where you will find the best shop in Surbiton, and possibly South West London FIRCROFT. my terrible photograph hides a wealth of worthwhile goods and clothes. Unlike the Oxfam across the main road, where I have never managed to buy anything.from Fircroft oos turn right and and right for PRINCESS ALICE then left and the following shops are all on the left, CANCER, FARA, HEART. then continue to nearly opposite Surbiton station and on the second left behind the bus stop on the other side is the CHILDRENS Society.