Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Independents' Day

A few years ago there was a report which said Cambridge was the ultimate 'clone town', characterised by having all the national and international chain stores and not much else. I don't know where they were looking!

Or rather I know exactly where they were looking! They were looking at the main street and new shopping arcade and ignoring all the specialist and independent shops which lie just off the beaten track.

As a guide to the area says "most of Cambridge is off the beaten track".

But not all of it. The photo above shows the entrance to the wonderful "Nomad", which sells craft items from all over the world. It stands right opposite King's College. 

And "When I was a kid" is right opposite Trinity College. Here are a few more shops and cafes I've pointed my camera at or into recently....

...a bunch of flowers?....

...a good book?...

...fancy a coffee?...

...or something stronger?...

...say cheeeeeese!

And when you've had enough of searching out the shops and coffee houses you can always visit the market square - fruit and veg, second hand books, clothes, bike repairs, CDs and vinyl, arts and seven days a week.

And then there are always some buskers around and they are definitely independent and certainly not clones!

Or is that a clone creeping up behind? Only in Cambridge could someone wearing a top hat just wander, right on cue, into the background of a photo.

Take care.

Apologies, by the way, to those of you who 'tuned in' yesterday to "By Stargoose And Hanglands" only to find a post which was first published a few months ago. Gremlins in the system!


  1. It is years since I visited Cambridge. Now I want to go again John - tomorrow!

  2. Looks like a great place to take a nice walk around. Makes me want to go there and have some tea.

  3. I'm certain I'd enjoy the part of Cambridge you've given us a taste of in this post.

  4. Is that what the problem is with my computer -- Gremlins! Many neat stores that represent people rather than corporate managers. -- barbara

  5. John, I enjoyed my stroll around Cambridge with you. It appears that Cambridge does have its share of fine local merchants. (And people walk into your photos wearing top hats? Lucky you!)

  6. I think it's true of many towns. The big box and chain stores are so big and obvious, and traffic is directed to go right by them. You have to search out the old downtowns where the interesting places are, and if you are persistent you can find some real jewels. That's where I spend my time and money!

  7. Toy store, flower shop, bookstore and then some light refreshments. The makings of a pleasant afternoon. The small shops definitely still have lots of supporters.

  8. Seems like a good balance to me. It's so nice to see lots of thriving independent shops. I'd definitely want to seek for those on a day out in Cambridge:)

  9. It looks like a great town to explore to me! I enjoyed seeing some of the independent shops here.

  10. That certainly doesn't look like any 'run of the mill' town to me. Thanks for sharing the 'different' side of the place. I would love to spend some time there.

  11. It looks there are quite a few unique and fascinating shops in Cambridge to me John. I wonder if that guy has a spare top hat. I think it would suit me.

  12. I love these photos you show us about the town. I would love to walk there.
    Have a happy weekend.

  13. I suppose you have you sample of M & S, BHS, H & M and so forth, but you have proved you point beyond doubt. Yet another reason to visit Cambridge :-)

    PS Kudos for the Tophats!

  14. We love Cambridge and would say it's nowhere near as clone-y as most places. Perhaps it's because we usually call in to look at its museums and other wonders, not to shop!


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