A good village shop is the heart and soul of the community — does your local make our list?
South-East of England
Lodsworth Larder, West Sussex
Eco-friendly paragon built in a pub car park; sells everything from luxury chocolates to surplus produce from the allotment.
Heath Stores, Horsmonden, Kent
Local Chapel Down wines, wild-garlic pesto and home-baked ham, plus competitive prices on basics (it’s part of Londis).
Hampstead Norreys Community Shop and Courtyard Café, Berkshire
Worthy 2019 winner of the Countryside Alliance Village Shop/Post Office Award. ‘There was no heart to the village until it opened,’ divulges one correspondent.
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Ponsanooth Village Stores, Cornwall
Fresh pasties, a farm-shop range of food, post office open seven days a week.
Halstock Village Shop and Post Office, Dorset
Staffed by volunteers, it sells all the basics (plus bargain coffee at £1 a cup), alongside local balsamic vinegar and sausages.
Mells Village Shop and Café, Somerset
Mouthwatering array of West Country produce, plus all the essentials, local pottery, plants and an outreach postal service to neighbouring villages.
Shalbourne Stores & Post Office, Wiltshire
Delicious food to eat in or take away, newspapers, tasting evenings and Christmas meat orders.
Chettle Village Store, Dorset
Estate owner Alice Favre says that ‘turning a profit is not the first thing on my mind’; even so, the shop does a brisk trade in delicious produce and pies.
East of England
Orford General Store and Post Office, Suffolk
Superb selection of fruit and veg, a deli counter, takeaway sandwiches and coffee.
Garboldisham Village Store and Post Office, Norfolk
Former diamond-industry executives Kelly and Robbie Starling swapped selling precious stones for stamps and milk.
Houghton & Wyton Community Shop, Cambridgeshire
Offers a home-delivery service for its excellent range of East Anglian fare, full range of postal services, plus recycling.
The Shop in the Church, St Leonard’s, Yarpole, Herefordshire
Shop, cafe and post office (shop open seven days a week).
Pontrilas Post Office, Village Shop and Café, Herefordshire
A prescription service and dementia-friendly cafe to tackle rural isolation saw this lifeline crowned 2017 Countryside Alliance champion for ‘going beyond being just a post office’.
Brenda’s of Norwell, Nottinghamshire
The lynchpin of her community, if owner Brenda doesn’t stock it, you can request it on her customer-suggestion list. Laundry collection, fresh-fish orders from Grimsby and a post-office service two mornings a week.
North of England
Cartmel Village Shop, Cumbria
This quaint old store is the home of the famous sticky-toffee pudding, plus many other local delicacies and an excellent tearoom.
Ashton Hayes and Mouldsworth Village Shop and Post Office, Cheshire
Amazing range of services and products. Warm, shop-baked croissants and pain au chocolat are a feature of Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Cornhill Village Shop & Coffee Shop, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland
Fine local produce, such as Lindisfarne mead, alongside ‘cash-and-carry’-priced basics. Stalwart sisters Lynda Waite and Julie Jones have raised more than £100,000 for Macmillan since taking the helm in 2002.
Barkers of Huby Village Shop and Post Office, North Yorkshire
Sells its own-label jams, marmalades and pickles, and threw a breakfast barbecue as a thank-you to customers to mark its first year in business.
Llangurig Post Office & Stores, Montgomeryshire
The CA champion for Wales in 2019, the homemade Welsh cakes and Oggies get a special mention, as does the lifelong commitment of owners Colin and Mary Davies to keeping the doors open.
Rhydymwyn General Stores, Flintshire
This local store-cum-garage has extended opening hours (6.30am–8pm), a delectable selection of local food and a Wednesday-night pizza service.
The Bay Kitchen & Stores, Whiting Bay, Isle of Arran
Simply ‘brilliant’ is how one fan describes this forward-thinking shop, with superb customer service, a wonderful range of foodstuffs, great coffee, a piano, a log burner and community pop-up events, including a supper club.
Bùth Bharraigh, Castlebay, Isle of Barra
Set up in 2013 to ‘create opportunities for islanders’, this shop stocks more than 80 producers, provides a laundrette, hot drinks and free wi-fi. It’s always open when the Oban ferry docks to assist tourists, ‘whatever time that might be’.
The best fish and chip shop in Britain has been named as Millers of Haxby.