Reasons to shop local in Hitchin!

Hitchin is a cool little town – sandwiched conveniently between Cambridge and London!  It’s a hugely desirable market town in Hertfordshire to live in for so many reasons. I often think of it as St Alban’s little sister, or Cambridge’s cousin.

Things to do in Hitchin

There is so much to do in this great little town! Things of note are the Church, the Market, and the theatres, Hitchin Lavender, British schools museum, comedy clubs, even our music festival! We have great restaurants and cafes, food and drink markets, a fabulous outdoor swimming pool. There are events like Hitchin Fashion Show, beard championships(!) and The Scate Jam! Keen ‘can do’ people organise great events for our town, these are real people, real shop owners and residents.  If you open yourself up to what is going on, you will get to know these characters who are part of the town that people just fall in love with.

Use it or lose it

Business owners and residents  feel a special bond. Hitchin has a vast selection of independent shops, restaurants and cafes – these make it unique! It’s Black Friday this week, there is lots of temptations to make you buy, buy, buy online or join a stampede to get a discounted item. And it seems like it has turned into a week this year, my inbox has been full of it from Monday to get me to ‘add to cart’.  I can’t help thinking that prices are overinflated in the first place for big companies to be able to offer such deals. Or as is sometimes the case there are very few available at the cut price.In an anti Black Friday and local loving way, I thought I’d showcase just what makes Hitchin’s independent shops, great!  I went to each shop and asked could I take a photo out of a selection of the goods they sold. All the shops below are shops that I love, that I use and that I would be sad to lose! These shops have that personal service, expertise, or something that you can’t quite put your finger on! They sell MUCH more variety than I featured here, of course, I just selected items I thought looked good together and that which caught my eye.

You can make a difference – Where to shop in Hitchin

So if you want to help build communities, try or see before you buy and boost local economy – shop local. Christmas sales can account for between 1/3 or nearly 2/3 of a retailers annual turnover. A bad Christmas can mark disaster for a small business. This is just a selection of course, and by no means a complete list, just those who I popped into and who were friendly enough to let me take over their shop for a bit.


I took these photos for a little project on twitter where I posted a photo and asked people which shop I was in. If you click on each photo it will take you to their website or facebook page. So can you guess the shops? Are these amongst your most visited? Which other shops should I go to? Leave me a comment and I will try and add to this list.

Sharon Cooper is a Hitchin wedding photographer covering London, Herts and the uk. Sharon provides creative wedding photography, alternative wedding photography and destination weddings. Please feel free to get in touch and tell me your plans. I’m a small business too!  Find Sharon on Google+


Featured shops are. click on each image above to take you to their website.

  1. Hermitage Road cafe/shop
  2. Jolly Brown
  3. Farleys
  4. Brookers
  5. Gilroy interiors – Habberdashery
  6. What Sarah Did
  7. Humanitas
  8. Fly9
  9. Chilli B
  10. Hitchin Lavender
  11. Rosita Lollipop
  12. Stephanie Rose Florist
  13. Pauls Bikes
  14. Dance of Hitchin
  15. The Wool Shop
  16. Salento
  17. Rubarb
  18. Quotedien Bakery
  19. Kinetic Cycles
  20. Fabios Gelato
  21. Vanity Beauty Academy
  22. Vinegar Hill
  23. Twisted Fabric (Mens)
  24. Twisted Fabric (Womens)
  25. Unikorn

Of course there are lots and lots more indi shops and long standing high street stores. I visited these visits in one week. I tweeted each day and some shops followed the game and tweeted back or messaged me asking could I please include them. Just leave a comment if you think I should add other shops to this post and I will try and add them too.



  • Oh thank you Sharon! Have a nice day 🙂

  • mm

    Sapphia, check out the blog now and you will see Ive been to a few more 😉

  • Hi,
    Great article and love the idea.
    If you was planning on doing any more shops, Unikorn down Bucklersbury would really appreciate the promoting.
    Kind regards,

  • Laura

    What a great idea, fantastic effort, I’m just going to use this to cheekily plug all the independent traders on Hitchin Market too, who are there all year through with our independent shops, with a great selection of Christmas gifts and products, from catering supplies, cheeses and meats, jewellery, handmade lotions, hats, makeup, clothes, Chrismas cards, Christmas Dec’s and trees. I will be shopping with our lovely independent shops and market this Christmas, as I do all year through, love it, thank you for such a positive page xxXxx

  • Please pop by our Play Centre too, we are entertainment but do sell lovely food, drinks and Birthday Parties!

  • mm

    Hey Rick Id happily come in and take a photo. Of course this is not all the shops. I did shops that I love and you know Im a fan of your great shop too. I’d never mean to offend anyone by leaving them out. I did what I could in a week and encouraged shops to let me know if they wanted to play along too, some of these here tweeted to me and I then went and photographed them. I put it out that it was open, as I have here that Id include others if possible. Time was of the essence as all this was done in one week, when I was asked to tweet for @Hitchinisyours where a different person hosts a twitter account and shows them their view of the town. I liked the photos I made enough to want to write a blog post and share it here. I have only photographed small items as this made for a nice photo that fitted my self-set brief. I’d happily add any indie to this list, I know how important shopping local is.

  • Hi Sharon, why didn’t you visit my shop and promote that I’m also an indie that may close if customers only want discounts,

    Not sure why I didn’t get a mention, your right up, seems to gear around where you like to shop, seems odd that we don’t mention in your article??

    May be wrong or missed something down the line,

    Planet clothing 93 ltd t/a twistedfabric

  • Emma

    Well said! Nice to see all the pics together.

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