5 of the quirkiest independent shops in Newcastle
UpSide Down Presents in Newcastle

Newcastle is a mecca for shopaholics, with an abundance of high street shops and Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre just across the river in Gateshead.

It’s also home to some rather special independent stores, each with their own unique character.

Local blogger Rachel Kershaw, who writes at lifeingeordieland.com, has picked out five of her favourites.

Beatdown Records


Beatdown Records is one of those hidden gems of a music store that’s becoming increasingly difficult to find these days. If you still prefer the look and sound of a physical music collection over the convenience of downloads, then this is the place to get your fix in Newcastle. Beatdown is just a stone’s throw from central station and has a vast array of CDs and merchandise from every genre. It also offers one the largest second-hand vinyl selections in the North East, so prepare to lose a few hours riffling through the records.

Beatdown Records, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4XQ, 0191 261 8894, beatdownrecords.org

Whosit & Whatsit

Unique and beautiful products from some of the world’s most renowned independent designers can all be found under one roof in a stunning Grade II listed building on the historic Newcastle quayside.

Whosit & Whatsit is full of inspiration, from fashion to furniture, and shopping here is a much more exciting experience than scouring the internet for quirky finds. It’s open every day, but heading here on a Sunday means you can also tie in your visit with a stroll along the famous quayside market, which brings even more independent traders and their handmade local goods to this vibrant part of the city.

Whosit & Whatsit, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3JF, 0191 5800 242, whositandwhatsit.com

Yesterday Society

Vintage fashion lovers will be in heaven at this bargain boutique in Newcastle’s eclectic Grainger Market. It may be small but it’s packed to the rafters with vintage, retro and up-cycled clothing and accessories for both men and women. It’s like rummaging through your grandparents loft and discovering they were actually a rather stylish pair of fashionistas back in their heyday. Rosie and Rachel who run the shop are passionate about all things vintage, and even spin their 45s on a vintage turntable to keep your foot tapping while you browse the rails.

Yesterday Society, Newcastle Grainger Market, NE1 5AE, theyesterdaysociety.co.uk

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UpSide Down Presents

UpSide Down Presents in Newcastle

Nestled under the rail arch at the bottom of Dean Street, this quirky little shop is the perfect place to pick up a contemporary souvenir of a visit to Newcastle. UpSide Down Presents has only been open a year but has already gained a great reputation for its truly original collection of greetings cards, local art and Geordie themed gifts. The cards in particular are well worth looking out for; forget your slushy, sentimental verses, these cards say it like it is and are not for the easily offended! There’s always something new to discover at UpSide Down Presents as the owner is constantly adding more unique, handmade finds to the collection.

Upside Down Presents, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13JE, 07512 349 988, 61side.co.uk

Leaf Clothing

Newcastle’s best dressed ladies and most dapper gents have done quite a good job of keeping this beautiful boutique to themselves; many locals still don’t even know it exists, despite the family run business being around since the 70s. It might not be on the main high street, but it’s certainly worth hunting out as the beautiful clothes inside are of the highest quality and the customer service is exemplary, like having your own personal shopper who has scoured the globe for the latest trends. You can expect to find designer names that aren’t available anywhere else in the city, so pop in and let owners Brian and Josie kit you out.

Leaf Clothing, Pilgrim Street Newcastle, NE1 6SE, 0191 2329083, leafclothinguk.com

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Main image: Paul / Flickr / CC