Boutiques and Independent Shopping

From the bespoke to the unique, Kent is full of independent stores and boutique shopping treats.

In Canterbury, the ancient King's Mile is alive with people browsing for top fashion finds, homeware and specialty goods - you can also drop by a designer ceramicist, independent chocolatiere, or a craft brewery. The Pantiles, in Royal Tunbridge Wells, is another oh-so-scenic shopping setting. Here more than 50 antiques businesses fan out from a 17th-century, cafe-packed colonnade, dotted with great cafes and pretty bars.

The independent outlets in Rochester’s Victorian High Street are specialist store heaven - head here for gifts, jewelry, handbags and accessories - and Baggins Book Bazaar; one of the largest second-hand bookshops in England.

Canny shoppers head for Kent's smaller towns and villages too. Highlights include Faversham, with its regular markets and wide range of independent stores, Cranbrook for art, gifts and antiques, picturesque Tenterden, the quirky fishing-port of Whitstable, desperately trendy Deal, and characterful Hythe.