all checked and visited 2019

From Southgate to South Ealing

The Piccadilly line is nowhere near as rewarding as you might expect and you have to keep veering off  line.




Out of Southgate Underground  station and directly opposite, to left is MIND, out of shop run right and newly listed is BARNET HOSPITAL where the old Oxfam used to beout of shop turn right to SCOPE  then CANCER RESEARCH. cross road and there is NORTH LONDON HOSPICE. 

Then back to Southgate tube, where you can also catch a bus to Palmers Green, which is only worth a detour if you are keen on books. You should alight at Palmers Green rail station and continue to Green Lanes and turn left. (This rail line does not seem to lead to anywhere useful for charity shoppers).

The morning I was in Southgate most of the charity shops had opened reliably by 9.30, MIND claims to open at 9.   Not even I get up that early, however Scope was still closed by the time I left Southgate at 10. I dont know why charity shops do not understand, that there is a major catchment from charity shop crawlers like me, who go round all the shops in one area. and who are willing to spend money, even if it is not as much as they would like, I bumped into three the morning I was doing the northern end of the Piccadilly line, and they are not going to hang around, waiting for shops to open possibly, plus by being closed it makes the other shops in an area less attractive.


PALMERS GREEN  five and half




From Palmers Green rail station, turn left and left into Green Lanes, and it is  CANCER, HOSPICE, RED CROSS general, RED CROSS Bookshop and HEART, this latter is easy to miss, as i did the last time I was there, then cross over to other side south, and it is OXFAM,  where you can then get a bus south to Wood Green. In the strange empty quarter just south the North Circular Road, which London Transport insists is Palmers Green, there is a the  CITIZENS ADVICE CENTRE charity shop, which is worth a getting off the bus for if you come this way.





    Out of WOOD GREEN station station turn right and on right is NORTH LONDON HOSPICE, the bus stop just outside it, double back towards the high street past the tube station, and past  the cross roads on right is OXFAM which  has been revamped, and is now even duller than it used to be. Continue south for HEART then, NORTH LONDON HOSPICE. then CANCER. On opposite side of the road is SHELTER. this is a long walk for not much reward. Nearly outside the shelter shop you should get the 43 bus to the fourth stop at St Annes Road, to two of my favourite shops, which together are better than anything in Wood Green High road.



   From Turnpike Lane tube station walk towards Manor House,  it is a long way, or you can get a bus (43 & 29 ) from the Scraggy bit of the Green, south after the road forks, to St Anns Road, the third stop, where  there is HUMAN RELIEF FOUNDATION, on the left, which is worth a detour, then on the other side of the road is MARIE CURIE on the right, and at 471 Green lanes N4 is the spectacular RMVF, which must win the prize for the longest opening charity shop in London, if not Britain: Seven days a week to seven pm. and would be worth a detour for this reason alone, but it is also a Silverfish Special, it is actually closer to Green Lanes rail station, I think this shop and Human Relief are a better bet than all the shops in Wood Green. From there you should get a bus on the left going south and right, to Finsbury Park station.

The day I was in Green lanes, I intended to praise Human Relief and RMVF to the hilt, and rubbish Marie Curie, but Marie Curie was the only place where I bought something, however i still rate RMVG and Human Relief. From RMVG you can get the 29 bus to Finsbury park

At Turnpike Lane you can get a bus. west, to Crouch End, but I think it is better to approach it from Finsbury Park



  From the current disaster zone which is Finsbury Park tube and rail station cross Seven Sisters Road and nearly opposite is MARIE CURIE, out of shop turn right and right into Blackstock Road. on right is RSPCA.

A long walk down on the left at 161 Blackstock Road is SECOND CHANCE, which should really be called First Chance in this area, it is well worth a detour,  opens at 9.30 in the morning, and is very reliable about this and is a silver fish special. From here it is closer to Arsenal tube station on the Piccadilly line in Gillespie road. See local maps. Further down is House of Hodge, a second hand bookshop animal Aidnow seems to be closed.

You can also return to Finsbury Park tube and then get a bus that heads for Crouch End and Muswell Hill. see Victoria line. On this circuit I think it would actually be better to begin at Arsenal tube station, and visit SECOND CHANCE  in Blackstock Road first, and then  RMVF in Green lanes, except that you will miss the joy of being in a charity shop at seven on a Sunday evening.







It is better to go for SECOND CHANCE in Blackstock Road and RMVF in Green lanes, but if you want to go, go to Holloway Road tube station, out of station turn left and the first 4 shops are all on the right beyond the Waitrose, in pairs, CANCER & OXFAM and then,  SHELTER & HEART out of Heart turn right SCOPE is nw closed, but on the left is SENSE.  continue towards Finsbury Park for HEART FURNITURE. from  which  you can get a bus back to Finsbury Park station, about 3 stops butb e sure toget theoen that says finsbury Park.



It is a long walk from the tube station but out of station turn right and south towards Kings Cross and on the right is PDSA  out of shop turn right and few doors down is LORD CROOKES,  a silverfish, at 269 Caledonian road.
    If you go by bus, go south down the Caledonian Road towards Kings Cross, it is the Story Street Bus stop, the third. From here Kings Cross is the closest station but it is a long walk,  and they have now added a bus in the Caledonian road which goes to the Angel, which is confusing, Essentially it is now better to avoid Kings Cross Station, even if you want to do the Western half of the Piccadilly line. In an effort to save the use of trains, at Kings Cross station the passengers now have to walk miles underground to get to any sane platform or get out. It is best to get a bus back to Caledonian road Station

At Caledonian Road you have to make a decision, whether to head north to Finsbury Park where you can get buses to Crouch End and Muswell Hill, ( See Victoria Line,) or continue on to Gloucester road, Hammersmith and Chiswick  and beyond for the Western half of the Piccadilly line.



Western Section


It is now a long way to the rest of the Piccadilly line and I think that it is more lucrative to double back from Finsbury Park to Walthamstow on the Victoria line.



  There are only three chain charity shops in Gloucester Road, but surprisingly I often do very well in the FARA, which at first seems very expensive, but often produces bargains. and is well worth a detour. From Gloucester Road tube out of station turn left, cross Cromwell Road towards Kensington Gardens, it is a long walk, but eventually on the left is TRINiTY, then FARA and then OXFAM on the other side of the road. you can also proceed form here to Kensington High Street. see District line,


Above all checked Feb 2019

The OXFAM in Earls Court is now hopeless since they tarted it up, they doubled the size and halved the quality.


(T in shopping Centre for which you have to pay.)




 Out of Hammersmith station and left into King Street and all the shops are in one line on the left:. OXFAM, TRINITY, CANCER, SHELTER, HEART. and AMNESTY booksho

From AMNESTY Bookshop it is closest to go to Ravenscourt Park tube. Although you can get a bus to Chiswick High Road, directly outside the bksp, but you must ensure you get on the right one. It is safer to continue west along King Street and turn right into Ravenscourt Road,  nearly opposite the church on the left, and then you can continue to Turnham Green on the District line and then to change at Acton Town back onto the Piccadilly line.



  Hammersmith charity shops suffer from the strange delusion that they are in a middle class area, and can ask more than average for their goods. It is very odd phenomenon but the shops in working class areas of London alway seem to ask far more than anywhere else.

In the Trinity shop, in Hammersmith about six months ago I spotted a book I liked the look of. The dustwrapper was slightly damaged and they were asking £30, this was one of the few books where the illustrator also designed the dustwrapper,

I decided not to buy and assumed that they would eventually do the sane & sensible thing, because I know that Hammersmith is a working class area, and reduce the  price. I went in about a month or two later and it was still £30, I think I was back at least six months later and then the dustwrapper was even more torn and missing a part, and they still wanted £30.

It is a mystery to me why they dont understand that if they adjusted the prices or did a deal at the time, they could’ve got me to buy it instantly.

According to my girlfriend I am not your typical charity shop customer, allegedly I am rude, arrogant, mean, bad mannered, aggressive,…. the list goes on, I never take much notice, but had they said £25 for that book I would have bought it there and then, but now I wouldnt give £10. I am not sure I would give £5.

    Hammersmith is a working class area, dreaming of the ultimate customer, who is polite, well informed, generous, well mannered and gentle, is not going to sell the stuff at a high price in a short time, The charity shops regularly turn away good stuff, and not just this one. They now also look up everything on the internet and think pricing it one notch below the most expensive  item listed is going to sell it. It is not just this shop, the Amnesty bookshop and Heart suffer from the same delusion. The Oxfam in Hammersmith, is about the most dire of all the Oxfams in London. The object of the exercise is to get the most money, but in the shortest possible time. if they genuinely had the needs of the causes they claim to be supporting they would sell the stuff now, not wait until they get their dream customer. There is no limit to the junk people have in their london flats and houses and want to get rid of, but because charity shops have become so sniffy about what they want to stock, and the prices they want to get, they are turning stuff down before they have seen it. Instead of getting money in now, they dream of getting the top price for everything.

     They are demented if they think Hammersmith is a middle class area, Chiswick is a middle class area, and Kensington is an upper class area, and if you go to the Kensington GERANIUM opposite the Design Museum (the old Commonwealth Institute), they usually and invariably have much better quality goods than all the Hammersmith charity shops put together, they hold discussions about the prices, and on Fridays they regularly seem to hold a half price sale. You are more likely to buy good things in the Kensington GERANIUM cheaply, even taking into account the bus fare. If you come from Hammersmith and want to pretend to be middle class for a day then go by cab, it will still be cheaper than paying the prices asked in Hammersmith.






For this first group emerge from Turnham Green station turn left by the lovely large maps under the bridge, and continue for the first five shops on the left, OXFAM bookshop, SHELTER, FARA. BARNARDOS, FARA KIDS, AND TRINITY  the last shop is on the right, at the Chiswick High Road turn left for the MARY PORTAS then double back, west along for Chiswick High road. and the OXFAM that looks like an undertakers.



Not strictly on the Piccadilly line, but it is the closest to Hammersmith  and there has been a mushrooming in the number of charity shops. Chiswick seems to be trying for the most number of charity shops in one area of London award, but Elstree and Barnet still win however it must now have the most in West London.

TURNHAM GREEN (Chiswick) 12.

From Turnham Green Station turn left, and there is an OXFAM bookshop, which is well worth avoiding, words change their meaning before they change their prices. continue left and there is SHELTER boutique, (if this is the sort of Interior Designer place Shelter want me to live in I think I would rather be homeless), next door is FARA, which at least looks like a charity shop and where I was happy to spend £12.50. Then BARNARDOS then FARA KIDS. then on the other side of the Road is TRINITY HOSPICE. Oos shop turn right and left into Chiswick High Road, and on the left is MARY PORTAS, outside they have two chairs and a table, I think this is because they have had so many people feinting at the prices being asked inside, and they dont want them dying from shock on the premises. if you get the bus from Hammersmith alight here.

Double back past Turnham Green terrace and there is an OXFAM. which is trying to look like an undertakers. Continue westwards and there is CANCER, and then OCTAVIA. and then TRINITY then another CANCER, which mainly goes in for tweedy mens clothes. and then MIND next door,

There are toilets in the Sainsburys nearbye.

Out of Mind turn right and first right towards Chiswick Park Station , which is on the District line, but you need to go here to get to some genuine charity shops in South Ealing, not the sort of places that only appear in Vogue or Time Out. There may only be three but I think you will find a lot better and certainly cheaper stuff than in Chiswick, Get the District line train to Acton Town, then change back to the Piccadilly, and alight at next stop South Ealing.




Out of South Ealing station turn right and there is MAPF on the right, The Polish charity shop the old Acton reycling is relocating to 134 South Ealing road  from March 2019

You can also get a bus to Ealing Broadway from just Acton Recycling shop. Or walk back to station and then back to Acton Town.

     It is not on the Piccadilly line but the only sane thing to do if you go South Ealing is to go to Ealing Bdy, by bus, not because it is that great but because from there you can get to West Ealing.

EALING BROADWAY 7 (T in shopping Centre).

The place which gets in the way of West Ealing





From South Ealing get any bus to Ealing Green, alight at Bond Street. and on the opposite aide of the road is FARA, out of shop and turn left, and cut through the green and turn left, opposite are MARY PORTAS and OXFAM bookshop, neither of which are worth crossing the road for –  and on the left is RSPCA, oos and on the left is OCTAVIA.  At the Uxbridge Road if you turn right a long way down past the shopping Centre is CANCER but it is seldom worth the effort, if you turn left for the bus stop (which is opposite the church) and continue on the right there is an OXFAM, I never usually bother with it, but out of a sense of duty, I went in and it was there that I bought the only good thing I got all day. Shopping in Charity shops is so random, that it is very hard to make judgments about them, but I still prefer West Ealing,

Get the 207 or 607 bus, not the stop opposite the Oxfam but back towards the high st by Burtons. to West Ealing Broadway and it should stop directly outside FAMILIES RELIEF





FAMILIES RELIEF, the first shop is by the bus stop and is the best in the area, even if they have recently put up the prices considerably, out of shop turn right back towards Ealing and on the right is YMCA, then  HEART . then there is the PDSA and then HEART furniture shop. Cross road and there is CANCER currently obscured by Scaffolding and workman, Oos turn right and ther is the newly opened and very large ALICES ATTIC

You now have to return to Ealing Common station to get a train west to Ruislip Manor and Uxbridge, see Metropolitan and Jubilee line. You could also get a 607 bus to Uxbridge, from outside Families Relief, and do the shops in reverse order,