I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
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Published June 10th 2017
Charity shop Mecca, with great food and drink
Moorland road is a bustling and beloved shopping street and community in Oldfield Park, Bath. 'Across the river' from the Georgian Crescents and Georgian grandeur, it is a hidden gem packed full of great places to eat, drink and shop to your heart's content. Under a minute's walk from Oldfield Park train station and a picturesque 20-minute amble from Bath Spa, it is also very accessible. A thriving residential area, it is also well served by bus routes and the 'Next Bike' in Bath scheme. Parking is plentiful along the street itself, or the Co-Operative supermarket has a large car park for busier times. There is enough to keep even the speediest of shoppers busy, so allow at least two hours for a proper look around.
This eclectic street offers everything from charity shops to jewellers with over forty businesses in all and most of them independent. There is a proud community feel to Moorland Road, yet a hearty welcome for all who pay it a visit. Placed within a community of University students, Elderly residents and professional families, it is always a happy and active place at the weekend. It is also, perhaps, what makes the street a Mecca for charity shops. With over seven of them, the largest being 'Dorothy House', there are untold treasures to be discovered.
Feeling hungry? I recommend 'Velo Lounge' at any time of day, but with the newly opened 'Fire and Brew' pizza venue or 'The Grumpy Baker' cafe, there is choice aplenty. Lighter bites are available from the Gregg's or Domino's shops and there is even a Polish Supermarket which offers all manner of tasty treats. Other highlights include a wonderful independent bookshop (see my 'Oldfield Park Book Shop' article for more), a wholefoods store and several barbers and hairdressers. I often think it would be entirely possible to never leave Moorland Road with its launderette, family butchers, traditional greengrocer, library and bank (and there is so much more). Who knows, you might arrive a visitor and end up taking residence!
One of the things I love most about Moorland Road is the palpable sense of history that it has. Originally a working class area built to house the railway and gasworks industries, there are subtle whisperings of the street's history. There are several 'ghost signs' peeping out of the honey-coloured stone and an Edwardian clock still hangs above the street for all to see and enjoy. In our society that is increasingly reliant upon large out of town commercial sites, I am always heartened to visit this small but beautiful community, that is still thriving proudly. One glance above the shopfronts will show you exactly what I mean, and a glance at the shops will draw you in. Of this, I have no doubt.