When visiting Cornwall, you’re spoiled with a plethora of places to visit and things to do, from its multitude of sandy beaches and idyllic gardens, to countless opportunities for coastal adventures and wildlife spotting. Alongside beautiful sites, you can explore something else this county is special for: a flourishing preloved fashion community and array of second-hand clothing shops offering vintage gems and unique pieces for you to cherish.
Lydia Cooke, a model and advocate of second-hand fashion, has shared her favourite vintage clothing shops across Cornwall with us at Unique hideaways, so you can add these spots to your itinerary when visiting, and meet like-minded people who are passionate about more future-friendly ways of living.
Love of Lemons, Newquay
Unit 2, Kew An Lergh, Street Myghtern Arthur, Nansledan, Newquay TR8 4UX
Best for: styling help and outfit curation
On the outskirts of Cornwall’s surfing hub Newquay, you’ll find Nansleden, home to several stores with a sustainable focus, including vintage hub number one: Love of Lemons. Known for her styling tips and eye for quality pieces, owner Bex has nurtured a love for vintage clothing in this corner of the county and created a thriving preloved community which I love. Always on hand to give you the advice your best friend would, the experience you’ll receive at Love of Lemons is one to come back to again and again.
From Carhart jackets and Levi’s jeans, to floral dresses and retro sweats, you’ll have no problem finding your favourite vintage brand in this beautiful shop. Jewellery and accessories from other sustainable brands are also stocked here, so you can easily pick out an entire outfit - whatever the occasion.
Wild Pony, Falmouth
Wild Pony, 19 Arwenack St, Falmouth TR11 3JA
Best for: bomber jackets and creative vibes
Sporting Cornwall’s biggest student population, Falmouth is home to a big community of thrifters and vintage hunters. For years, students and locals in the town have been inspiring the community from within, building a town that sings proudly of second-hand style and future-friendly practices.
Pick up a brew from one of the wonderful independent coffee shops, and explore many environmentally-conscious stores lining the cobbled streets - one of which is particularly close to my heart - Wild Pony!
As you head down Arwenack street on your way to the world-famous port, this once pop-up and now permanent shop kickstarted my interest in preloved wear when I studied at Falmouth University. Filled from floor to ceiling with branded vintage, Wild Pony has become an expressive hub for people near and far, and encourages creativity with fashion. With a particularly impressive collection of shirts, shackets and pristine shoes, you’ll get immersed in the vibe and find plenty of daily staples to take away with you.
Black Jacket Vintage, Penzance
Black Jacket Vintage, 23 Market Jew St, Penzance TR18 2HR
Best for: True vintage and post-hike rummaging
Famed for its magical castle in the sea, St Micheal’s Mount, Penzance is also a town rich with other gems: vintage shops! After a day of hiking in the most rural parts of West Cornwall, I often pop into True Vintage with the hope of finding a perfect winter-warmer.
You’ll find a carefully selected collection of unique pieces here, including leather jackets, bombers, boots and beautifully-crafted dresses, as well as timeless wooly knits. This store is one for picking up an item that you’ll wear for years to come and combine with countless outfits - whether dressing up for a party or dressing down for a day of rambling along the coast path.
Enjoy, Truro & Falmouth
Truro store: Enjoy Truro, Peoples Palace, Pydar St, Truro TR1 2AZ
Falmouth store: Enjoy Falmouth, 49 Killigrew St, Falmouth, TR11 3PW
Best for: Colour pops and festival finds
If it’s an immersive experience you’re looking for, this unique clothing shop is the one for you. With their flagship shop in Cornwall’s capital city Truro, the Enjoy family can also be found on Falmouth’s Killigrew street, so you can pick up colourful statement pieces wherever you’re heading.
Alongside an incredible collection of vintage denim, shirts and leather, Enjoy also nods to the changing seasons. I absolutely love the festival season, and this is my go-to for perfect festive combos, from denim shorts and vibrant shirts to dresses and handbags, they’ve got every summer event covered. And when winter rolls in, Enjoy dazzles visitors with rails of glittery clothes ready for Christmas festivities.
Lady Eve Vintage, Helston
79 Meneage St, Helston TR13 8RB
Best for: Stories from the past and upcycled treasures
Standing as the golden gates to the Lizard Peninsula and Helford River, Helston is a historic town surrounded by coast and countryside. The town also proudly beholds a time capsule like no other in the form of Lady Eve Vintage.
The Lady Eve team sources their collections from individuals across the country looking for a special place to pass on their possessions. By doing so, they have curated a room full of the finest quality vintage, each item continuing a story from its previous owner. From velvet jackets and jewellery, to prom dresses and knitted jumpers, this boutique is for those looking for glorious tales from the past.
You can also pick up some unique upcycled homewares and accessories here. From scarf racks upcycled from cots, to beautiful fabrics giving lampshades and cushions vintage glamour, every detail is carefully considered, and a low carbon footprint is at the heart of this treasure trove of delights.
Bohl's Yard, St Thomas St, Penryn TR10 8JP
Best for: A community hub
Penryn is a quaint and welcoming waterside town neighbouring Falmouth, and is home to a network of streets with independent businesses. Proving that size doesn’t matter, Penryn Vintage is a small shop that packs a punch, and is bursting at the seams with charming, preloved clothing. You’ll find this gem in the mix of independent shops and food providers in Bohl’s Yard.
Like a bee to a flower, you can’t help but be drawn to the collection of colours that flow from its doors into the courtyard. Packed with a variety of second-hand garms, you’ll be spoilt for choice with everyday favourites, from dungarees to eye-catching silk shirts.
While you’re there, why not check out The Famous Barrel pub next door and sip on a Cornish tipple to celebrate your finds? Another hidden gem in Penryn, this pub is one to make a stop for, especially if you time it on quiz night!
Retro Falmouth (supporting Cornwall Hospice Care)
Retro, 36-37 Church St, Falmouth TR11 3EF
Best for: Antiques and supporting charity
Looking after the planet and looking after its people naturally go hand in hand, and at Retro Falmouth you’re invited to do both. Fundraising for Cornwall Hospice care, this large space offers a wonderful selection of items for both you and your home.
Sweeping you back to the mid 1900s, the shop is filled with unusual items from yesteryear, including dresses, fabrics and accessories. From delicate lace to unique materials, the rails are mesmerising and packed with stories from days gone by. Split across the room, the second half of the store features antique homeware finds; the ideal statement for a modern space. From teak furniture to retro kitchen pieces, Singer sewing machines and vintage typewriters - there’s something to pique many tastes.
Vintage Superstore, Launceston
Units 6A, 6B, 6C & 6D Course View Trethorne, Kennards House, Launceston PL15 8QE
Best for: An afternoon of rummaging and Levi’s
Whether you’re exploring North Cornwall or heading home after a blissful Cornish stay, you’ll want to plan a stop at this vintage jungle on your journey.
Just a couple of minutes off the A30 is the increasingly popular Vintage Superstore warehouse. This place really is exactly what it says on the tin: two large warehouse spaces with wholesale stock as far as the eye can see. Be prepared to spend a whole afternoon here as you rummage rail after rail for the perfect pieces. From sought after brands, such as Levi’s, to lesser-known ones, shopping at the Vintage Superstore is an activity in its own right. If you’re on a budget and fancy the experience, the second warehouse at this superstore is dedicated to a £10 label, making vintage affordable for everyone.
So, whilst you enjoy Cornwall’s iconic views, unbeatable foodie scene and charming towns during your unique stay, be sure to factor in some vintage shopping for an unforgettable trip. Every second-hand purchase is a more environmentally friendly choice for the planet, allowing you to feel good about fashion and work towards a brighter future… happy rummaging!