The best independent shops in Cornwall

Penned on the 11th December 2023

The best independent shops in Cornwall

Cornwall is famed for its glorious wild coastlines, sandy beaches and surfing culture – but did you know that it has a wonderful independent shopping scene too? From contemporary fashion boutiques and luxury home stores to quirky art galleries and wine merchants stocked to the nines, there’s something for everyone in this southwest county. Plus you’ll find excellent eateries and coffee shops around every corner, offering tempting treats and cosy corners in which to rest and refuel after a day spent dipping in and out of the shops. 

Festive shop window with Christmas tree and decorations

Cornwall is particularly lovely at Christmas too, where twinkling lights reflect in harbours and beautifully decorated shopfronts welcome you in. The abundance of independent shops gives you plenty of opportunity to support small businesses at this important time of year – and find the most special gifts too, of course. 


Willow & Stone, Falmouth

Best for: Unique homewares

Warm, wooden tones table decor

In the vibrant harbour town of Falmouth just across from the water, you’ll find Willow & Stone, a gorgeous lifestyle shop on Arewenack Street that’s been selling its wares to locals and visitors for over 15 years. On the beautifully-curated shelves you’ll find all sorts of unique and quality home items, from traditional ironmongery, like door knobs and knockers, to earthy crockery and textiles. There’s an exceptional selection of books and stationery too, perfect for gifting. And at Christmas, the team at Willow & Stone bring out their selection of luxurious, eclectic glass baubles, carefully chosen for their nostalgic charm. They make a gorgeous gift for the person who has everything – or a special treat for you to take home for your own tree.

Falmouth has an especially good array of coffee shops, so make sure you allow time to stop to savour a warm brew and a festive treat!


The Good Lyfe, Newquay

Best for: Eco-friendly gifts

Green exterior of eco shop in Cornwall

The Good Lyfe is a plastic-free store in the heart of Newquay, nestled amongst surf shops, cafés and bakeries on the bustling Fore Street. As well as refill stations for nuts, seeds, oats, grains, snacks, herbs and other cupboard essentials, The Good Lyfe offers a lovely selection of eco-friendly lifestyle products and gifts. Enjoy browsing the ethically-sourced books and stationery, bathroom and skincare products, jewellery, outdoor accessories and more – you’re sure to find something unique to purchase for yourself or a loved one (whilst knowing you’re doing good for the environment too!).

Make sure you stop off at Pavilion a few doors down the street for a locally-brewed coffee and a wholesome, freshly baked pastry.


Onda, St Ives

Best for: Luxury wellness

Blue exterior of wellness shop in St Ives, Cornwall

Onda in St Ives is a haven for lovers of natural wellness and slow living. What this little shop lacks in size it makes up for in an exquisitely-decorated shopfront and perfectly selected homeware, wellness, clothing and lifestyle products. Their mission is to ‘evoke memories of sea salt breezes, the ocean soundscape and the ever-changing palette of colours unique to St Ives’. Everything reflects that beautifully – but the range of luxurious wellness items is especially enticing, from handcrafted soaps to meditation ritual kits with sage and dried flowers. Shopping here is a real treat for the senses so take your time and enjoy the process. 

There’s plenty more to do on your day in St Ives once you’ve finished browsing the shops, from exploring the golden sand beaches to sampling some local delights for lunch. Plan your visit using our guide to St Ives.


Old Chapel Cellars, Truro

Best for: Wine

Choosing wine at independent wine merchant in Truro, Cornwall

Wine connoisseurs should head to Old Chapel Cellars in Cornwall’s capital, Truro. This independent wine merchant is a hidden gem based in a former chapel near the Cathedral and it’s run by a passionate team who also supply many of the area’s top restaurants and hotels – so it’s a great place to pick out a bottle or two. In fact, you’re likely to find exclusive, sustainable wines here that you won’t find anywhere else in Cornwall (or even the UK) thanks to Old Chapel Cellars’ direct buying relationships with their small family-run producers. They put together some wonderful gift sets at Christmas, too, so it’s nice and easy to pick out the perfect present for your vino-loving friends and family. 

If you want to tie in your trip to Truro with a delicious lunch or evening meal, try Piero’s, a family restaurant that’s been serving authentic Italian cuisine here for over 25 years. 


Art on Point, Lizard

Best for: Cornish art

Exterior of small art gallery on the Cornish coast

If you’re looking for an art gallery with a difference, head to Art on Point. This tiny gallery sits on the headland at Cornwall’s remote Lizard Point, overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean and dramatic craggy cliffs below. But it’s not just the breathtaking location that makes this gallery worth a visit. Inside you’ll find art and creations available to purchase from a variety of local artists, including paintings of the surrounding coastal landscapes, ceramics and jewellery. There are also plenty of charming handcrafted decorations that’ll add a touch of Cornwall to your Christmas tree, like wooden seagulls, Santa in fishing boats and delicately-felted mermaids and mackerel. 

After your visit enjoy the two-and-a-half mile walk along the south west coast path to the famous Kynance Cove to see the spectacular serpentine rock stacks. This magnificent beauty spot is very popular in the summer months but at this time of year you can often enjoy a more tranquil walk along the cliffs.


The Cornish Hen, Penzance

Best for: Deli goods

Exterior of bakery in Cornwall

In far west Cornwall in the heart of the cultural town of Penzance you’ll find this idyllic little delicatessen, The Cornish Hen. As well as delectable goods from producers in Cornwall, the shelves are laden with Spanish and Italian products too. Expect savoury delights like olives, oils and cheeses; sweet treats like cakes, chocolates and preserves; and delicious artisan spirits including Penzance Gin. There’s something for all discerning tastes here, making it an excellent place to find a tasty gift for your foodie friends and family. Plus The Cornish Hen team can make hampers if you’re searching for an extra special gift or festive treat.

If all the shopping is making you hungry head to the wonderful bar and kitchen nearby, 45 Queen Street, for a freshly prepared lunch and cocktail, should the mood take you!


Alice in Scandiland, Lostwithiel

Best for: Interior design-lovers

Pastel blue and pink exterior of homeware shop (left) and interior of Scandinavian inspired shop (right)

Alice in Scandiland is a contemporary and vintage lifestyle store in the historic town of Lostwithiel – and a must-visit for Scandinavian interior design lovers. From the front window and the decor to the products on the shelves, this shop’s style is minimal, natural and calm, with lots of neutral wood textures. Owner Alice showcases a mix of modern and vintage finds, including gorgeous textiles, unique art prints and more home accessories, as well as a special Scandinavian children’s collection. Many of the products champion local creatives too. 

Lostwithiel is known as the antiques capital of Cornwall, thanks to its number of antiques shops and the fairs that are held here every second Sunday of the month – so interiors-enthusiasts might like to make time to stay for some extra homeware treasure hunting!


Roo’s Beach, Newquay

Best for: Fashion fans

Shop window display in independent clothing shop (left) interior of independent clothing shop

Right beside Porth Beach between Newquay and Watergate Bay you’ll find the bright, uplifting, contemporary clothing and lifestyle boutique, Roo’s Beach. Here you’ll find a cool collection of casual fashion curated by owner Roo, from brands like Levi’s, Free People, American Vintage, Veja and more – all of which feel right at home in its vibrant surf location. But it’s not just the clothing that you’ll want to peruse at Roo’s Beach. There’s a brilliant range of home and lifestyle products that make lovely gifts, as well as a ‘Plant shed’ outside dedicated to houseplants, hand-painted pots and seeds. 

Roo’s Beach Coffee Hut also serves hot drinks, sausage rolls, tasty toasties and locally-made cakes, so you might like to grab a takeaway to enjoy with a stroll on the beach once you’ve finished shopping. 


Falmouth Bookseller, Falmouth

Best for: Holiday reads

Exterior of bookshop in Falmouth, Cornwall

Another of Falmouth’s most beautiful retailers is Falmouth Bookseller. This shop is ranked as one of the best independent bookshops in the country, let alone Cornwall – and you’ll soon see why. From the moment you step inside it’s easy to get lost amongst the wide choice of wonderful fiction and non-fiction titles, from Cornish lifestyle and cookery books to arts, history and gardening. There’s an excellent children’s section too, if you’re searching for a Christmas gift for the little ones in your life. And if you need a helping hand to find something in particular, the knowledgeable staff are always happy to make recommendations. 

If literature is your thing, take a look at our Booklover’s Guide to Cornwall for plenty more ideas for places to shop, festivals to visit and famous literary destinations in the county. 


Tre, Pol & Pen, near Launceston

Best for: Local produce

Interior of farm shop in Cornwall

Tre, Pol & Pen is a fantastic farm shop and restaurant situated in the Tamar Valley countryside on the Cornwall and Devon border. In the modern farm shop you’ll find a huge range of specialty food and drink items from growers and producers across the south west, including cheeses, charcuterie, fresh bread, fruit and veg, wine, beer and more. It’s an excellent spot to pick up a Cornish foodie gift – or to treat your family to a selection of delicious local goods for a special Christmas meal. There’s even a butchery on-site where you can purchase fine cuts of Red Ruby beef or locally-reared lamb.

Visit the Tre, Pol & Pen restaurant whilst you’re here for an afternoon tea, hearty focaccia or one of their renowned stonebaked pizzas. There are often community and creative events on here too, so take a look at the schedule to find out if there’s anything that takes your fancy. 


The Leach Pottery, St Ives

Best for: Ceramics

Inside of pottery shop in Cornwall

Cornwall has a long legacy of potters and ceramists and one of the most famous and longest-established is The Leach Pottery, founded in St Ives by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada back in 1920. The studio and buildings are open to tour the gallery spaces and see some of the original designs, as well as some more modern ceramists’ creations. You can have a go at the wheel yourself in a throwing workshop. Or you can stop by The Leach Pottery shop to pick up a piece of iconic Leach Ware to take home or gift to someone you love. The mugs and egg cups would make extra special stocking fillers…

Why not visit Tate St Ives, whilst you’re nearby too? You can explore the modern art exhibitions from this spectacular space beside the stunning Porthmeor Beach, for an inspiring, creative day out. 


Jam Records, Falmouth

Best for: Vinyl

Records in vinyl store in Falmouth, Cornwall

Jam Records is a part-vinyl store and part-coffee shop on Falmouth’s characterful Old High Street, nestled amongst lots of other wonderful independent boutiques, cafés and barber shops. Music lovers could easily spend hours flicking through the sleeves searching for a gem to take home, for either yourself or to gift to a fellow vinyl fan. Across the shop’s two floors, there is a huge range of genres to discover, from new indie and electronica to folk and jazz classics. There’s a great selection of indie magazines on offer too, so post-shopping you can spend a little while relaxing on the comfy sofas with an interesting read and a Monmouth Coffee.  

And for a tasty festive treat, take yourself to the nearby Stones Bakery afterwards for a freshly baked mince pie or cinnamon bun.


Vintage Superstore, Launceston

Best for: Second hand gems

People shopping at Vintage Superstore in Cornwall

For fashion that’s unique and sustainable visit Vintage Superstore, a huge 13,000-square-foot warehouse just off the A30 in Launceston, packed with rail-upon-rail of pre-loved and vintage clothing. This increasingly popular spot is especially good for finding a pair of quality, secondhand jeans, with brands like Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler piled up high. If you’re happy to spend a while rummaging, you might just find yourself (or your loved ones) the perfect pair for under £10.  

There are plenty more opportunities to shop vintage or pre-loved in Cornwall too. Take a look at our guide from local second-hand fashion advocate, Lydia Cooke.


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