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Lancaster's Traditional Markets, Local Produce, and Independent Gift Shops

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Lancaster's shops clustered close together in the town centre. Penny Street is home to well-known chain stores, as are nearby St. Nicholas Arcades and Marketgate. You can browse independent boutiques and arty shops along Penny Street. For food, crafts, and clothes there’s Lancaster's twice-weekly Charter Market, and Morecambe’s Festival Market 4 times a week. And don’t miss the handpicked contemporary artworks and gifts in Arteria, on Brock Street.

St. Nicholas Arcades and Marketgate


In the middle of Lancaster there are 2 indoor shopping centres where you’ll find many British high-street stores and a few local favorites. St. Nicholas Arcades - known as St. Nic’s - is a refurbished glass-roofed mall that houses around 30 different stores and food outlets, including branches of Next, Boots, and Argos. Marketgate hosts the popular UK retailers Marks & Spencer and Primark, as well as busy cafés, bookshops, supermarkets, and independent stores. Both malls are open 7 days, neither is more than 5 minutes' walk from the nearest train and bus stations.


  • St. Nicholas Arcades, 12 Lancaster Gate, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1NB; Tel: +44 1524 846569; Website: St. Nicholas Arcades

  • Marketgate Shopping Centre, Market Square, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1JF; Tel: +44 1524 382845; Website: Marketgate Shopping Centre

Charter Market


On Wednesdays and Saturdays, Charter Market comes to the heart of town. Dating back to 1193, it's 40-plus vendors tempt you to their stalls with local produce like fresh fish, tangy cheese, and homemade bread, as well as plants and flowers. You can also pick up cheap clothing, handmade jewelry, books, crafts, and pottery. Food stalls specialize in everything from traditional hog roasts and inspired soups, to international favorites like French pastries, falafel, and Indonesian curries. The market is open year round, with stalls setting up by 9 AM and beginning to close down around 4 PM.


  • Charter Market, Market Square, Market Street, Cheapside, Church Street, and New Street, Lancaster, Lancashire, LA1 1XD; Tel: +44 1524 414 251; Website: Charter Market


The Assembly Rooms


The refurbished 18th-century Assembly Rooms on King Street, a short walk from the central Market Square, are well worth exploring. The landmark heritage building is home to eclectic shops and stalls, with a cosy café serving light snacks, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. You can poke through secondhand books, buy vintage and retro clothing, choose handmade crafts and gifts, try on jewelry and accessories, and pick up jigsaws and games.


  • The Assembly Rooms, King Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1JN; Tel: +44 1524 414251; Website: The Assembly Rooms




Lancaster's next-door neighbour, Morecambe is home to may independent retailers, as well as the popular Arndale Shopping Centre. Four days a week, the traditional Festival Market opens up by the promenade, with nearly 100 stalls selling a wide range of goods. You can find fashion, homewares, crafts, and fresh local produce - including English Lakes ice-cream - in a picturesque location by the stone jetty and seaside. Keen readers will be charmed by the Old Pier Bookshop nearby, where you can burrow through the racks and shelves and perhaps dig out a rare and obscure title.


  • Festival Market, Central Drive, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 4DW; Tel: +44 1524 414251; Website: Festival Market

  • Old Pier Bookshop, 287 Marine Rd Central, Morecambe, Lancashire LA4 5BY; Tel: +44 1524 409360; Website: Old Pier Bookshop