A few months ago I wrote about my favorite hobby, shopping at charity shops (thrift stores for those in the US). I put the spotlight on the charity shops in the Edinburgh neighborhood of Stockbridge. Another great neighborhood for charity shopping in Edinburgh is Morningside.
Morningside is an affluent neighborhood that lies to the south west of Edinburgh. It has some lovely boutiques, great food stuffs such as my favorite cheesemonger, I.J. Mellis and award winning Bakery Andante (love their breads!). It’s Victorian style buildings make it a pretty area to live in, dine in, and shop in. You can also find some lovely vintage/antique stores including Very Vintage and Tippi although they are actually a bit further up the street in Bruntsfield. One of the things I love about the charity shops in Morningside is that they are so close together making for some very easy treasure hunting. The shops are concentrated on Morningside Road. Here is a review working our way from north to south.
- Shelter – I like Shelter shops, they often have quirky unusual items and at least some vintage, this one has a bit of both. Be sure to take a few minutes to look in the front windows since they put a lot of the vintage items up there.
- Cancer Research UK – this is one of my favorite charity shops in Edinburgh and my #1 for clothing. There is always plenty of beautiful quality housewares, including some vintage, pottery, ceramics, dishes. One front window contains a lot of their vintage housewares and the other contains their higher end designer clothing and accessories, particularly handbags. Regarding the clothing, this is clearly where the fashionable ladies of Morningside take their donations. You will not find many edgy urban brands, but you will find lots of quality British brands, Dorothy Perkins, Karen Millen, Hobbs, Jaeger, Ted Baker, and of course Burberry, which I have seen in there on numerous occasions. I have also seen some expensive ski jackets in here. There is not a lot of vintage clothing in here at all though in case that’s what you are looking for. If someone asked me what charity shop to go to for a stylish wool coat, I would suggest this shop, lots of them in here. The case of jewelry at the back is good as well, some vintage and real gold items. The shop is immaculate and always well tended to, clothing is separated by color. Bravo all the way around!
- Bethany Christian Trust – is right next to Cancer Research UK. Like most Bethany shops it excels in furniture and housewares, clothing is not as remarkable. Bethany shops are one of the few charity chains that sell large furniture items. Their large window usually displays antique items and often has a mid century piece. This shop is not the most organized or well merchandised, but looking beyond that you can still find some good housewares.
- British Red Cross – is right next to Bethany (remember I said that shops were geographically concentrated in Morningside?). There is some pretty clothing in here, I wrote about a fabulous Pringle rain coat I found in here, which unfortunately was too small for me, sigh….They have a very small housewares section. It is a very clean and well merchandised store.
- Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home – This shop has a bit of everything. Their selection of vintage pottery and ceramics at the back of the shop is the best section and I will always go into a shop that benefits animals.
- Capability – standard selection of clothing and housewares. I have not ever found anything particularly remarkable, but be sure to check both their side and front windows where they display their best wares.
- St. Columba’s Hospice – I really like St. Columba’s shops and while this location is not favorite (Leith location is my fave!), it can still have some finds. Their front windows usually display some vintage and antique items. Inside, the clothing is not very plentiful or interesting, but there is some good home wares. The back book section is good as well. I found an amazing piece of oil cloth in here for a fraction of what it would cost retail.
- Oxfam – I am not a fan of the clothing in this shop, but they have some interesting items in their glass cases in the back, vintage, designer brands, they also do a good job of merchandising their front window with seasonal items or themes. There is an Oxfam book store next door.
- Marie Curie – I love this shop. Their windows are full of great jewelry, vintage bric a brac and generally interesting things. There is some good clothing, interesting jewelry in the cases in the back and a great bric a brac section. They usually have some wool tartan pieces as well. My only issue is that it is crowded and hard to move around in, especially if you want to try something on. I have knocked things over just trying to get around in here.
- Chest, Heart & Stroke – This shop has a lot of style, from it’s black and white striped floors to its antique mirrors and cash register. There is some stylish clothing in here, I saw a Moa Moa jacket in here recently and often see Hobbs and Whistles, and a very small, but interesting bric a brac section. There is not a lot of merchandise in here, but what is there is displayed well so it’s definitely worth a wee browse.