Petworth draws in crowds from across the globe thanks to its booming arts and antiques offering. But did you know, this traditional market town is bursting with incredible independent shops and beautiful boutiques too?

Whether you’re on the lookout for signature clothes, one-off gifts, greeting cards from award-winning card shops, eye-catching art, valuable antiques or hard to find books, you can find it all in Petworth.

To help you know where to get started, we’re bringing you a round-up of the best independent businesses in town.

Best for Antiques: BEAR Petworth

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Think Petworth, and you’ll no doubt think of antiques too. Having gained a well-earned place on the international stage for the quality of its antique offering, this historic market town draws in quite the crowd of antiquarians.

With so many incredible antique shops on offer, including John Bird Antiques, Antiquities, Chequers Antiques, Tudor Rose Antiques and Petworth Antiques Market to name just a few, it can be hard to know where to start.

But one of the newer antique shops on New Street, BEAR Petworth, is creating quite a buzz. Opened in 2020, the goal of this independent business is simply to offer an interesting and beautiful mix of pieces for the home and soul. With interesting modern and antique pieces from around the world on offer, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East, BEAR Petworth favour pieces for their aesthetic merits, quality and enduring design over a specific period or place of production. Put simply, you’ll find some of the most beautiful items from across history and the world, here.

Offering that personal service that only comes from a dedicated independent, if you can’t find what you’re looking for BEAR Petworth offer a sourcing service, meaning you can pretty much get what you need. What more can you ask for? 

Best for Greeting Cards: Red Card

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It doesn’t get much better when it comes to independent businesses, than award-winning independent businesses. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Red Card. Named Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer in the Home Counties and South East an incredible three times, this is a shop not to miss.

Inside this unique emporium located in Petworth’s Golden Square, you’ll find a huge range of greeting cards for all occasions, as well as wrapping paper, notebooks and notelets, stationery and a wide range of gifts for all ages including popular Jellycat toys.

With a stand-out, old-fashioned personalised service and generous assistance in card and gift selection where needed, it’s no surprise that this greeting card shop has walked away with the prestigious Retas trophy three times.

Best for Gifts: Oakapple Trading Company & Artisan at Lombard Street

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Whether you’re looking for that treasured item for your home to remind you of your visit to Petworth, or you’re seeking a special gift for a loved one, you’ll find all you need at another of Petworth’s incredible independents: Oakapple Trading Company, located in Petworth’s Golden Square.

Owned and operated by Ben and Tamsin, the beautiful Oakapple Trading Company is bursting to the seams with tremendous textiles, captivating ceramics and every other enviable item you could think of for your home. From candles and fragrance, chalk paint, rugs and throws, mirrors and tableware to lighting, furniture and clocks, you’ll find it all here.

With treasures from popular brands inside including Emma Bridgewater, Humble, Garden Trading, Quail Ceramics and Bronte by Moon, in addition to a huge range of original gifts that can’t be found elsewhere, this is your one-stop independent shop for gifts…to others and yourself.

Immerse yourself in local Sussex crafts at Artisan at Lombard Street. This is a haven for celebrating the finest works of Sussex artisans and small independent businesses. This beautifully curated shop showcases a unique collection of art, ceramics, jewellery (including some gorgeous pieces made by Artisan owner, Denya Dessena), textiles, and handcrafted delights. Whether you're searching for the perfect gift or a special piece to treasure for yourself, you’ll be sure to find something here.

Best for Homeware: Tallulah Fox

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Looking to support a unique independent that’s stood the test of time? Specialising in homewares and antiques, Tallulah Fox has been running for over 10 years and has been described by many as the best little shop in the prettiest street (Lombard Street) in Petworth. There’s nothing not to love.

Run by trained fashion textile designer Tiffany, Tallulah Fox is spread across three floors. You’ll find a huge range of furniture and homewares to enhance your home and garden on offer. From textiles, glassware and ceramics, to candles, home accessories and furniture, you’ll find it all here. While you’re visiting, keep an eye out for the signature Italian, French and Swedish antique furniture, designer cushions and quirky pieces from the Indian subcontinent that Tallulah Fox has built a well-deserved reputation for specialising in.

Best for Womenswear: Gigi Boutique & Sorella Clothing

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Rewind to 2015, and you’ll find fashion royalty Cos and Katerina Constantinou setting up their new venture, Gigi Boutique.

Now, gracing Petworth’s East Street (in addition to stores in London and Haslemere) this unique independent clothes store features womenswear, footwear and accessories from over 50 exciting and independent brands across the world. Husband and wife duo Cos and Katerina are the sole buyers for Gigi and in case you’re not familiar with their names, come from renowned fashion heritage and success with their popular brand Kate Kuba.

Often described as a micro department store, you’ll find limited pieces inside Gigi Boutique, guaranteeing exclusivity. With an eclectic mix of attainable and independent brands on offer however, and with new stock arriving weekly, you’ll be wanting to visit time and time again. 

A little further up East Street, you'll find Sorella Clothing established by Liz Singleton, here you'll be given a warm welcome and find a stunning collection of quality but affordable ladies fashion, beautiful leather accessories and jewellery. Friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff are delighted to assist you to choose the perfect outfit for any occasion.

Best for Menswear: Allans of Petworth

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Serving Petworth for an incredible half-a-century and more, Allans of Petworth is an independent retailer offering a personal service to everyone who steps through the door. From assistance in choosing the perfect items for that special event, to sourcing products that aren’t stocked in-store, Allans of Petworth are a prime example of why independents are thriving in this historic market town.

The current owners, Callum and Jan, bought the shop on New Street in 2012 and have diversified the offering over recent years, from what was once a menswear only store. With the addition of the popular Dubarry brand, a great selection of women’s boots and coats are now on offer. What’s more, Wendy, the in-store seamstress, is always on hand to help with alterations for any items that don’t fit perfectly.

Best for Books: The Petworth Bookshop

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A true independent success story, the popular Petworth Bookshop - nestled on Petworth’s Golden Square - has been running for an incredible 20 years. This carefully curated emporium of books, cards, games, stationery and music stocks over 7,000 titles including new releases and hard to find books you won’t see elsewhere.  The bookshop also pledges to deliver as many books as possible within 24 hours if they can’t be found in-store.

With a long-running tradition of independent bookselling, The Petworth Bookshop is the latest incarnation of a bookshop in this traditional market town. But it’s certainly an incredibly impressive one.

Whilst businesses like The Petworth Bookshop rely on local support, they too support local, having been a key sponsor and proud supporter of the popular Petworth Literary Week which takes place at the end of October every year.

More to do in Petworth

Inspired to visit Petworth? Whether you want to explore more of Petworth’s shopping opportunities including it's world-famous antiques scene, visit some of the galleries on offer, eat in its award-winning restaurants or discover the wonderful walking on offer here, there’s so much more to discover. Find out more about Petworth here.