Quirky and alternative shopping in Darlington

Darlington is a true haven for independent boutiques and retailers. Whether you’re looking for designer fashion, handmade jewellery or one-of-a-kind art pieces, there’s something for everyone. There’s also a fantastic community of colourful and quirky sellers that ideal for shopping with if you need a gift or even a little something for yourself. Take a look at our unique picks and get your shopping trip planned in.


For all things vintage, look no further than Refrill at 32 Bondgate. This is a shop that’s a total cave of wonders and invites you to spend time perusing through all the items to come across some hidden treasures. There’s absolutely everything a vintage fan could want, including cameras, badges, glassware, comics… the list just goes on and on. And the best bit about Refrill is that no two visits are the same, thanks to the new stock that is often brought in. It’s a lovely shop to pop into for a browse and to see which vintage gems you can find to add to your collection.


The clue is in the name with Whimsickal! This is a family-owned curiosities shop that’s cosily tucked on Post House Wynd, and filled to the brim with playfulness and whimsy. There’s absolutely loads of products to browse through, including fun jewellery, clothing, mugs, candles, prints and so much more. From the cute to the creepy to the bizarre, Whimsickal has got all bases covered, so it’s a great spot for gift shopping or to add some edge to your home.

Studio Eleven

Bring a distinctive and individual feel to your home with Studio Eleven on Crown Street. This spot is home to bespoke hand-painted furniture, such as clocks, side tables and drawers. But alongside the furniture, you’ll also find an array of fantastically unusual home décor and gifts. This includes things like flamingo head vases, balloon animal statues and giant playing cards, but the stock changes all the time, so you never know what you’ll find on your next visit. It’s a real treasure trove for those of us who love making a statement in the home!

Rage & Love

Rage & Love offer a space for everyone to feel like their true selves with their space at 33 Bondgate. It’s more than a shop, with an arcade machine and the anti-social social club upstairs, where anyone can go to sit for a breather. But if you were in the mood to do a bit of spending, you’ll find bright hair dye, incense sticks, clothing, makeup and plenty more in their shop. If you’ve got a musician in the family too, they’ll be pleased to know that they can get D’Addario Strings and Vic Firth drumsticks in Rage & Love as well.

The Queerish Bookshop

There’s no mistaking The Queerish Bookshop’s gorgeous pink façade as you walk down Bondgate! This independent bookshop is home to a huge range of LGBTQ+ and radical literature, fiction and young adult novels, to poetry and non-fiction essays. They also run regular events, such as open mic nights, conversations with authors, film club, and the fabulous and free monthly book club on the last Monday of the month. The Queerish Bookshop is all about community, curiosity and change, so they welcome everyone through their doors, no matter if they’re part of the LGBTQ+ community, an ally or simply someone who loves reading great books.

The Darl Knight

If you have a comic book lover in the family, The Darl Knight is the place for you. This shop is comic heaven with around 70,000 comics in stock, and each of them come bagged and boarded to keep them in optimum condition. There’s all kinds of new and back issue comics to browse through, including Marvel, DC, graphic novels and manga, as well as a finder service to help you get exactly what you want. But that’s not all – there’s board games, t-shirts, trading cards, autographed photos and so much more. If you or a family member are a regular collector or are just taking those first steps into comic books, then this is place to be.

Darlington is incredibly easy to reach by road or rail, and alongside these fantastic town centre shops, you’ll find a whole host of incredible places to eat and drink, and lots to see and do. Find more inspiration for your visit at enjoydarlington.co.uk


Enjoy Darlington