Chelmsford Charity Shop Guide
Charity Shop Walking Guide
January 2012 - latest review! All data below is correct.
If you're anything like me, there's nothing better than to spend a Saturday afternoon out looking for treasures and bargains; here is a guide to where you can find the charity shops in the city centre of Chelmsford, Essex. This guid is a small walking tour of all of the downtown shops.
From the Chelmsford train station, turn left and walk down Duke Street toward High Street. After you cross the street and enter the pedestrian only High Street, the first shop you will find will be:
A. Oxfam Book Store, 94 High Street
- A super source for both books and music
- Current titles as well as older and antique books
- in my opinion: nice childrens' selection, as well as maps and travel books
Next, continue walking down the pedestrian High Street, and the next shop you will come to is
B. Cancer Research UK, 217 Moulsham Street
- This store has a little of everything: clothing, books, shoes, glassware, small electrical appliances and decorative items
- I've noticed that things in this store tend to go fast, if you like something and wait a few days, chances are it will be gone, so buy it when you see it
- It also carries new items, their Christmas cards are particularly nice.
- Open on Sundays!
After leaving Cancer Research UK, continue in the direction you were headed, and cross over (or walk under via the pedestrian tunnel) the A138 Parkway. Here on Moulsham Street there are a few stores in close proximity. First you will find on the left:
C Age Concern UK, 30 Moulsham Street
- This store also has a little of everything: clothing, books, shoes, glassware, jewelry
- They started to open on Sundays, but check in advance to be certain
Upon exit, cross the street and continue up Moulsham Street, almost immediately there, you'll see
D Farleigh Hospice Shop, 37 Moulsham Street
- Similar to the others with clothing, shoes, books
- Good prices on items, very affordable
- Very friendly and helpful volunteers working here
After exiting here, continue up Moulsham Street, and cross back over to the other side. Then you'll come across
Farleigh Hospice Shop, 202 Moulsham Street (not marked on map)
- Sells larger items like end tables, lamps, kitchen appliances
- Plenty of books
- No clothing, shoes or the like
After exiting, continue in the same direction, there is one more shop to see, it will be on the other side of the street, in under a minute's walk:
RSPCA Charity shop, 176 Moulsham Street (not marked on map)
- Very affordable prices, especially when compared to the more central, nearby shops
- Items for sale perhaps not of the same quality as the other shops, so pricing is appropriate
Upon leaving, it's now time to head back into town. Follow your steps back along Moulsham Street and over/under the Parkway, so that you are back on the pedestrian only High Street.
We have a few more shops to see in the centre of town. After you've made it back to the first store, the Oxfam book store, continue up the street a few more steps, until the pedestrian only High Street ends. At this point you will see HSBC Bank to your left; turn left here, onto Market Road.
On Market Road you'll cross one street and then on your left you'll see a small corridor of shops with a Co-op on the corner near you. The corridor of shops leads to the entrance of the High Chelmer Shopping area. Just before the entrance to High Chelmer, you'll see
E. British Heart Foundation charity shop, 3 Exchange Way
- clothing (not children's), books, glassware, shoes, scarves, boardgames
- very small shop, can get crowded with a few people, especially on Saturday mornings
- expensive pricing on the books
After exiting, go in the direction away from High Chelmer, and toward the Co-op to continue down Market Road. On your left you'll find:
Cannot remember the name, 4 Market Road
- books, books and only books
- a wide selection with affordable prices
- this one opened only recently (Apr 2011?)
- visited in December 2012. This is still your best source of inexpensive secondhand books and magazines in Chelmsford.
Then continue on Market Road and you'll find
G. Oxfam, 6 Market Road
- clothing, glassware, shoes, an occasional end table, bookshelf or antique sewing machine
- a large number of frames, some with artwork
- can be expensive, although they have very nice things some days
- in addition, out of all charity shops in Chelmsford, they will have the most vintage items (with appropriately high prices).
After leaving Oxfam, continue down Market Road, and on the left you'll see an entrance to another pedestrian street of stores; the left side the stores, the right side is Chelmsford's Indoor Market. If you go down this pedestrian street, look toward the left, there is another charity shop here
Cannot remember the name, across from Chelmsford's indoor market
- clothes, glassware, books
- many low cost prices, such as baby clothing items at 50p each
- December 2012 - costs are slowly inching up at this one. Ladies' branded items such as Next or Monsoon now run £6 -£8 for a shirt or skirt. :-(
After shopping here, go back to the Oxfam that you just visited and then cross the street and walk towards the Essex County Council building. Pass by the building and continue down the walkway that goes between buildings, there will be a bar without outdoor seating up ahead on the right. The path will end on Duke Street. Cross the street and then turn left to go up Duke Street, back toward the train station.
After you pass by the train station, continue on Duke a little further. There will be another bar and a few fast food type of places. Up on the corner you'll find a new charity shop.
Something Old & Something New, across the street from the Chelmsford Bus Station on Duke Street
- mainly furniture, and a lot of it--dressers, tables, beds, mattresses, everything one would need to furnish a house
- Update - Aug 2011 - they've painted over the sign, so the shop seems to have changed hands and now they only deal in furniture. Not sure if they are still a charity shop, although their prices seem to imply that they are.
- December 2012: they are still open and a brochure in the shop says that their goal is to provide low income families with affordable furniture. Every day (weather permitting) they stack loads of furniture outside and the prices seem to be a range. Lower end further goes for £5 - £10 while nicer, real wood or designer pieces go higher. In addition to furniture they have a few random items, on a recent day I saw a set of dishes and a vacuum.
Upon exiting the shop, continue in the direction that you were previously going, away from the train station. At the first intersection with a traffic light, turn right, and then cross the street, this is Broomfield Road.
If you continue walking for another 30 seconds or so, you should see
Audrey Appleton Trust charity shop, 39 Broomfield Road
- a small shop with lots crammed in
- clothing, a small number of books, glasswares, toys, sheets, shoes
- this shop provides good value for money
- not open on Saturdays, Sundays or Monday mornings
- January 2013: still the best value for money in Chelmsford. Kitchen dishes and books for under .50 p, clothing normally £2 or under, unless it's 'fancy dress'.
After exiting the store, turn right and follow your steps up Broomfield, then cross the street at the traffic light, and turn left down Duke Street to go back to the train station.
I hope this has proved interesting and helpful, and enjoy the day out in Chelmsford!
- If looking for a place to stay in Chelmsford, please check out my other guide: Hotels in Chelmsford