- Eel Pie, by Kake Pugh (under creative commons)
Twickenham is really known for one thing, and one thing alone. Rugby. Of course. Yes, you can go see concerts in the stadium (it’s good, I’ve been), yes the Thames is right there and quite lovely, yes you’re right by Eel Pie Island but in the general collective consciousness of this nation, Twickenham = rugby. To me: Twickenham = charity shop happiness.
We commence our afternoon (part two of the long-haul which began in Whitton) in the Holly Road car park. Significant why? Well get there in time and there’s a farmers market there – we bought multitudinous stewing vegetables, and a wild rabbit. Then off to Fara, first of all, local to this area with a goodly number of shops nearby (you’ll find them in Richmond and Whitton as well). Next along is Paws, some sort of pet sanctuary arrangement. Despite being staffed by the single grumpiest shop assistant I’ve met (saying something, living in London), this is a treasure trove. Not only has someone offloaded an entire britpop collection into the CD rack, but there’s also hordes and mounds of the most random tat – you never know when that’s going to have a use. Best of all, up a little set of steps (like being in a crows nest!) to the fenced book section, which is a real joy. I’ve been looking for some Jorge Luis Borges for ages, et voila.
There’s plenty more here: a good Oxfam (we left with a set of old Kew Gardens magazines, don’t ask me why) and a Cancer Research, a Princess Alice Hospice, Mind, British Heart Foundation and Scope. I may even have missed some – it’s a good place to stop.
We didn’t really have the time to explore other than to look for a non-existent McDonalds, but Twickenham is worth a stop anyway. Well worth a stop.
Find: Charity shops in Twickenham on Google Maps
Transport: Twickenham station, South West Trains
Consume with: a Wimpy burger
Visit: the ever-so-slightly mysterious and history-riddled Eel Pie Island
Overall rating: four balls of wool