7 of the best sweet shops in the UK – and where to stay nearby

Food and Drink

Posted by Courtney on 18th September 2023

7 tasty sweet shops in the UK

We all know that taking a staycation means that you can really enjoy time to unwind and soak up nature, but it’s also about a little self-care, and taking a moment to indulge with friends and family. For some, a big part of this can be eating your favourite things – whether that’s enjoying old favourites or trying new dishes.

And with a recent poll by holidaycottages.co.uk revealing that over half of us visit old-fashioned sweet shops when on holiday, it’s clear that there’s something special about going down memory lane and rediscovering that nostalgic joy of picking out some choice confectionery.

In fact, 65% of people in the poll (2,008 polled) said they like to buy sweets that bring back nostalgia from their childhood while on staycation, while over 75% said they visit a sweet shop to try something locally made, such as fudge, toffee or a box of chocolates. What’s more, whether it’s a stick of rock or a regional sweet delicacy, 70% of us will buy a souvenir for a loved one while on holiday in the UK, and 64% bring back confectionery as a memento.  

Browse our sweet cottages

A map of seven of the best sweet shops in the UK

7 of the best British sweet shops to visit

Walking into traditional sweet shops is every candy lover’s dream. With jar upon jar filled with everything from sherbert lemons to fruit bonbons and liquorice allsorts, visiting one can bring joy to all.  So, what better way to cure your sugar cravings than by reading our list of the seven best sweet shops to visit in the UK – as well as some of the best properties to stay at nearby?

Bags of sweets hanging up in a shop

The Oldest Sweet Shop in the World, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire

While this North Yorkshire stalwart may not be the world’s oldest sweet shop – that title belongs to Ichimonjiya Wasuke in Japan – it certainly is England’s oldest. Established in 1827, you’ll be transported back to your youth thanks to the antique measuring scales, vintage-style cash register and oil lamps that adorn the vintage wooden counter.

Attracting sweet aficionados from near and far, visitors to The Oldest Sweet Shop in the World rave about the Pontefract cakes – a black, coin-shaped liquorice sweet named after the Yorkshire town that was once a centre for liquorice growing.

Useful information

Address: 39 High Street, Pateley Bridge, HG3 5JZ

Opening hours: 10am–5pm

Stay nearby: Explore our cottages in Pateley Bridge

Fruit pastilles arranged neatly

BellyBoos, Norwich, Norfolk

Opened in 2013, this sweet shop-come-dessert parlour in the city of Norwich sells an abundance of traditional English sweets, from milk bottles to mint imperials. There’s also a superb selection of American candy to be found at BellyBoos, including Jolly Ranchers and Mike and Ike. If you’re looking for something more indulgent, try the Kinder Pancake Stack or Muffin Madness – an ice cream shake topped with a muffin.

With 455 Google reviews and an impressive 4.6-star rating, all those people can’t be wrong, right?

Useful information

Address: Unit 306, Chantry Place Shopping Centre, Norwich, NR2 1SU

Opening hours: 10am–6pm

Stay nearby: Treat yourself to a stay in a Norfolk cottage

A huge gummy bear surrounded by smaller gummies

The Sweet Hut, Isle of Sheppey, Kent

A treasure trove of traditional treats, The Sweet Hut is the perfect accompaniment to your seaside trip. Shelves crammed with colourful sweets (including rhubarb and custard, and clove rock) will bring childhood memories flooding back as you soak up the views of Minster Leas Beach. You can even enjoy a hot drink and a cake as part of your visit – it’s no wonder why one visitor branded it a ‘little gem’ on Google reviews.

Useful information:

Address: Minster Leas Promenade, Isle of Sheppey, Kent, ME12 2NL

Opening hours: 11am–4pm (Friday to Sunday)

Stay nearby: Explore cottages in and across Kent

Lots of fudge varieties in a shop

Gordon & Durward, Crieff, Perth and Kinross

Nestled in a traditional market town amidst Perthshire’s stunning scenery, Gordon & Durward has been serving sweet-toothed locals for almost a century. Here, you’ll find shelves filled with traditional Scottish confectionery, including Edinburgh rock, Scottish macaroons, and butter tablet – a crumbly, buttery fudge. Glass displays showcase a bounty of handcrafted chocolates, including novelty-shaped unicorns, tigers, and bears (oh my)!

Useful information:

Address: 14 West High Street, Crieff, PH7 4DL

Opening hours: 9am–5pm

Stay nearby: Find a cottage in Crieff

Exquisite chocolates lined up together

Farrah’s Olde Sweet Shop, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Formerly known as ‘The Fine Chocolate Shop’, which catered for chocolate connoisseurs from 1916 to 2004, Farrah’s Olde Sweet Shop claims to have ‘one of the largest selections of traditional sweets in the country’. Home to more than 200 lines of old-fashioned sweets, a 16-foot-long purpose-built counter containing almost 100 different types of English and Continental chocolates can also be found. Add to that 12 varieties of butter fudge and you’ll certainly be spoiled for choice.

Useful information:

Address: 29 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate, HG1 2TG

Opening hours: 9am–5.30pm

Stay nearby: Discover our cottages in Harrogate

Classic sweets in jars and bags

Truly Scrumptious, Poole, Dorset

Boasting nearly 100 miles of coastline, no one can deny that Dorset is truly something special. But aside from the golden, sandy beaches, you’ll also find Truly Scrumptious in the vibrant town of Poole. Visitors can stock up on dolly mixtures, foam bananas, fizzy cola bottles and more, before exploring the unspoilt countryside and coastal walks around Europe’s largest natural harbour.

Useful information

Address: 5 High Street, Poole, BH15 1AB

Opening hours: 10am–6pm

Stay nearby: Uncover our glorious Dorset cottages

Chocolates, sweets, jellies and bon bons seen from above

Grandad Jim’s, Leyland, Lancashire

Bringing a touch of nostalgia, this old-school, family-run confectioner will take you on a trip down memory lane with its colourful array of sweets presented in Victorian-style sweet jars. Family favourites at Grandad Jim’s include banana and caramel bulbs, strawberry bonbons, and jelly babies – all weighed out in quarter pounds, just like the good old days. The Leyland store is the brand’s flagship, with its outposts based in Chorley, Horwich and Wigan.

Useful information

Address: 37 Chapel Brown, Leyland, PR25 3NH

Opening hours: 10am–5.30pm

Stay nearby: Search through our cottages in Lancashire

The sweetest of stays

Can we tempt you further? Why not check out some of these deliciously sweet properties to stay in?

The Chocolate Box, Exbridge, Devon

The Chocolate Box, Exbridge, Devon (sleeps 2)

This cute-as-candy property is a short drive from the pretty chocolate-box town of Bampton and is the ideal location for a romantic getaway. After a day out enjoying scenic walks, cycling and popular water sports at Wimbelball Lake, it’s the ideal place to relax and enjoy some stunning gardens.

Book The Chocolate Box

The Old Sweet Shop, Portesham, Dorset

The Old Sweet Shop, Portesham, Dorset (sleeps 5 + 1 dog)

Located in the picturesque village of Portesham, this cottage is in an ideal spot just 4 miles from the sea and has plenty to see and do right on its doorstep! Formerly a village sweet shop and general store, this beautiful 19th-century property provides light and cosy accommodation for families looking to enjoy the stunning Dorset coast and countryside. This includes the Dorset Ridgeway, the Jurassic Coast and the Isle of Portland.

Book The Old Sweet Shop

The Old Sweet Shop, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk

The Old Sweet Shop, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk (sleeps 4)

This former sweet shop has been renovated to provide gorgeous cottage accommodation. Tucked away in a central location within Wells-next-the-Sea, it’s close to shops and eateries and features a wood burner for cosy nights in, and a charming courtyard garden for summer dining. Even better, the beach is just 1.5 miles away.

Book The Old Sweet Shop

The Old Sweet Shop, Whitstable, Kent

The Old Sweet Shop, Whitstable, Kent (sleeps 6)

Take a trip to the heart of Whitstable for a seaside break in what was once the town’s sweet shop. This quaint terrace cottage can accommodate up to six people – and two furry friends – making it the perfect base for a relaxing family escape. The working harbour, complete with a fish market and takeaway stalls, is just a stone’s throw away, while further afield, you’ll find The Sweet Hut to enjoy as part of a fun-filled day trip to the Isle of Sheppey.

Book The Old Sweet Shop

The Snuff Box, Stoborough, Dorset

The Snuff Box, Stoborough, Dorset (sleeps 4)

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life with a peaceful, self-catering stay set in an idyllic rural location just a short stroll from the riverside quay of the historic town of Wareham, this charming barn conversion is ideal for groups of four and can accommodate up to two pup pals. A quick 20-minute drive will take you to Poole, home of Truly Scrumptious.

Book The Snuff Box

Sweet and adorable cottages

For a whole host of other sweet stays, why not consider one of these chocolate-box-style cottages in our portfolio? Or for even more inspiration, discover our bespoke stays near the UK’s 10 best chocolatiers. There are over 15,000 properties to choose from, so there’s something for every style and taste!

For even more sweet staycation inspiration, take a look at our full collection of cottages in the UK by tapping the button below.

Self-catering cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.