Hoptroff & Lee
Antiques in the Alley
Antiques Trails in Stamford
The Stamford antiques trails are designed to incorporate antiques/collectables shopping with reference to historic buildings and places of interest you will pass along the way.
We have also included some of the small independent cafes/eateries where you may wish to stop for refreshment on your trail.
**PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT TIER SYSTEM CERTAIN BUSINESSES MAY HAVE ALTERED HOURS OR SERVICES. YOU ARE ADVISED TO MAKE ANY ENQUIRIES YOU MAY HAVE WITH INDIVIDUAL ESTABLISHMENTS.**
You can do all or part of the trails suggested and stop off at some of the buildings on the way, the choice is yours!
We advise you to use GPS or a map as a companion to your trail but all of the basic information is right here.
Length of walk, disabled access, and other important information is given for each trail. Please be aware that Stamford has local road traffic like any other busy market town so do take care. Please also be aware that paving slabs are ancient and can be uneven.
Click on the links in the text as you go to receive more information about that place. More detailed information about buildings, history, eateries, guesthouses and cafes are given on their respective pages and you will find highlighted direct links through to these.
Takes in Hoptroff & Lee, St.Mary's Bookshop,
Length: Long approx. 45 minutes (add on time for browsing in shops, cafe visits and time spent in St.Martin's Antique Centre).
Disabled access: see below
Nearest car park: North street or Wharf Road
Cycle, walk or drive
Toilets: St.Martin's Antiques Centre
Our first trail starts in High street. If you are coming from the Wharf Road car park have a look at your map as there is a picturesque walk along the river to St. Martin's Antiques Centre if you leave the car park at the very bottom via the white Albert Bridge (wheelchair access).
Parking in North Street: follow shoppers down Nags Head Passage into Broad Street, down Ironmonger Street straight ahead of you and into High Street. *Ironmonger street is a good place to stop for refreshment before your walk.
In High Street, opposite Superdrug you will see St Michael's church which has been converted into shops. To the right of the church is a narrow passage between Jack Wills' and Oasis. This is Cheyne Lane and the home of Hoptroff & Lee Antiques in the Alley at No. 4. Drop in here for a warm welcome and some unusual and traditional items at great prices.
You will find lots of independent businesses in the lane including Lambert's Kitchen Deli. Turn right at the bottom of Cheyne Lane past the old Stamford Hotel and you will see St.Mary's street stretching out ahead of you: this is where you will find many of the cafes and eateries such as Sam's Place, Just So Italian, Cloisters, Fine Foods, etc. and you will be coming back this way if you fancy some refreshments later. But to continue on your trail, turn down St. Mary's hill which is now to your left, round the church (see image right).
On St.Mary's hill you will find St. Mary's Bookshop so pop in here for a look at their cards, prints and antique books. (Please check opening times). Opposite is the Town Hall.
Walking further down St.Mary's Hill you will come to the town bridge with wonderful views over the meadows where it is worth pausing for the view!
Pass the famous George Hotel with unusual gallows that span the road. You are now in High street St. Martins taking its name from the church on your left. St Martin's antiques centre is a little further up on the same side of the road as the church. (Please check opening times).
When you have spent all your money at St Martins Antiques (!) head back to The George Hotel and turn left into Station road, which runs alongside the hotel, and then right at the Cattle Market car park and walk back into town across the green and leafy meadows you saw earlier from the town bridge. There is a tarmac path that leads straight over the meadow into Castle Dyke, so no muddy shoes! There are seats for you to sit and watch the world go by and eat sandwiches....and there are plenty of ducks and swans who will help you! Walk over the footbridge and past the castle remains into the Sheepmarket at the top of Castle Dyke. To your right is St Mary's Street again and you will see Gooch's, Riverside Fish and chips, No.1 kitchen. Sam's place, Fine Foods, Cloisters along this street with various other restaurants and pubs.
Disabled access: there are the usual kerbs, inclines etc and St. Martin's is a bit of a hill but no steps or difficult areas on this walk from High Street to St.Martins and back to town. However, attention should be paid to the volume and speed of traffic in St.Martins, please be careful whether on foot or in the car.
Nearer car parking can be found at St Martins antiques itself by turning left immediately after the antiques centre into Barnack Road locating the car park first left. The entrance is small so don't miss it! Extra parking is usually available opposite on rough land (Burghley Lane).
The Cattle Market car park is also quite close on Station Road (turn right into Station Road at the traffic lights just before The George Hotel gallows if you are coming from town).
Length: Short approx. 15-20 minutes (add on time for browsing and shopping)
Disabled access: see below
Nearest car park: North Street or Wharf Road
Cycle or walk
Toilets: Stamford Arts Centre
Trail 2 starts in High Street again. If you are parking in Wharf Road you will need to access High street by first crossing the main road into the tiny, narrow Gas Lane, turning left into St.Leonard's Street at the top and right into High Street. Please consult your map or sat nav.
From North Street car park follow shoppers down Nags Head Passage into Broad Street, down Ironmonger street ahead of you, passing Cafe Au Chocolate on your left and "Frothy's" on your right, down into High Street.
Once at your main starting point, locate St. Michael's church opposite Superdrug. There is a narrow passage to the right of the church between Jack Wills' and Oasis. This is Cheyne Lane and the home of Hoptroff & Lee Antiques in the Alley at No. 4. Drop in here for a warm welcome and some unusual and traditional items at great prices (check opening times).
You will find lots of independent businesses in the lane including Lambert's Kitchen Deli.
At the end of Cheyne Lane turn left into the Eastern end of St Mary's Street and pass St.Mary's Vaults. Pass the Arts Centre incorporating the Tourist information Centre on your right and into St.George's Square with its towered church and former film set of "Middlemarch" and "Pride and Prejudice". From the square you can turn back and walk up Maiden Lane towards the library. Or go past the church, bearing left and along St.George's street past the oldest house in Stamford, recognisable from its tall round chimney pot.
Once in High street you can take one of two routes. Route one: turn right into St.Paul's street which is a continuation at the Eastern end (Marks & Spencer on your right). Here you will find St.Paul's Book Shop on your left (check opening times). This is the prettiest and most photographed of all of the Stamford streets. It is particularly lovely in spring with all the daffodils out in the grounds of the Stamford Endowed School a little further along. The school had many famous boys including Colin Dexter, Nelson Dawson and Malcolm Sargent. In the grounds you can also see the remains of St.Paul's church. Return to High Street for refreshment in the many coffee shops and eateries.
Route two: keep walking down High Street to your left, past the library and No.20 High Street with its terracotta facade, and right into Ironmonger street again where you will find Cafe Au Chocolate and Frothy's Coffee Shop towards the top.
Disabled access: apart from the usual kerbs and inclines there are no real difficulties for wheelchairs along this route.
Length: Long approx. 45 minutes (add on time for browsing, sight seeing and shopping)
Walk, cycle or drive
disabled access see below
Toilets: Red Lion Square, St.Martin's Antique Centre
Trail 3 starts in Broad Street. The best parking for the start of this walk is in the North Street Car Park. Otherwise you will need to consult a local map. From North Street, follow shoppers down Nags Head Passage into Broad Street. You will see the Corn Exchange Cafe and shops (check opening times) just to the right. Here you can spend some time browsing before heading off down Broad Street (turning left out of the shopping arcade), past Browne's Hospital and down Red Lion Street (bear left) and into Red Lion Square at the bottom where you will find The Central Cafe among other shops and eateries. Public toilets are in the Square and you may be interested to know that the building was once a butter market! All Saints Church is a spectacular building in the centre of the Square and is often open to visitors. From here you are going to walk over the Meadows to St Martin's Antiques and you can go via one of two routes. The first is to walk past St.John's church in the left-hand corner of the square, (St.John's street), turning right past The London Inn and then left into Castle Dyke where you will see the green meadows and the river and the remains of the castle. There is a regular ice cream van here for refreshments in the summer months! You will also delight to see the many ducks and swans (and pigeons and sometimes the local cat). The alternative walk you can take from the square is to pass the post office just to the right of the newspaper shop with the clock above it, turning left into Mallory Lane. This is the site of a montage of historical images (image right) giving an insight into bygone Stamford. It is well worth a visit to this labour of love by Harrison & Dunn, a local hardware business in All Saint's street. At the bottom of the lane, walk across the road crossing to Castle Dyke and down to the meadows. The Castle remains are on your right. Walk over the centre of the meadow (tarmac path) and keep walking straight ahead over the bridge and up the hill ahead of you with the George Hotel car park on your left. Turn left into Church lane and out the other end to see St Martins church, St. Martin's Antique Centre (check opening times) being just past the church on that side of the road. You can return to town via the same route or you can walk straight back over the town bridge taking in the meadow views from a different angle! Enter High Street via Cheyne Lane which is behind St.Mary's Church to the right of the old Stamford Hotel and you will pass Hoptroff & Lee Antiques in the Alley (check opening times). Nearer car parks are at St.Martin's antique centre itself (Barnack Road, first turn after the centre if you are coming UP the hill from town)
or the Cattle market car park close to The George Hotel.
Apart from the usual kerbs and inclines there should be no difficulties with wheelchair access on this route.
Length: medium approx. 30 minutes (add extra time for shopping and browsing)
disabled access see below
Nearest car park: North Street
Cycle or walk
Toilets: at the opposite end of High street or at The Arts Centre in St.Mary's Street
Trail 4 starts in Star Lane at the Eastern end of Broad st (and High st). From the North street car park follow shoppers down Nags Head Passage into Broad Street. Turn left and follow the street along until it becomes Star Lane at The Broad Street Practice on your left. Turn left from Star Lane past Domino Pizza and into St Paul's Street and walk along past the ancient buildings to call in at St.Paul's Street Bookshop (check opening times). Walk a little further to the Stamford School where you will see the remains of St. Paul's church in its grounds. This is one of Stamford's prettiest and most photographed streets, particularly attractive in the spring when all the flowers are in bloom. Visit the Tobie Norris Inn on the way. Then head back into High Street. This trail can be continued by walking down Cheyne lane (between Jack Wills' and Oasis), to Hoptroff & Lee antiques in the alley (please check opening times), then turning right at the end of Cheyne Lane and immediately left down St.Mary's Hill to St.Mary's Bookshop (check opening times). Cafes and restaurants mentioned on the "Eat, drink and Stay Along The Way" page are on St.Mary's Street and St.Mary's Hill.
Disabled access: apart from the usual kerbs and inclines there should be no difficulties for wheelchair users on this route.