As restrictions start to ease throughout the UK and we start to see warmer days ahead, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to ask our wider Rohan family to share with us some of their favourite store and UK spots from when life was ‘normal’.
So, if you’re planning some days outs in the future when restrictions allow, why not let us inspire you with some of our favourites to add to your list.
I’d like to share with you one of my favourite cities, which is Chichester.
I’m lucky enough to live in Devon and on route to Chichester, I wave to our Lymington store as I pass through the New forest.
As a Roman City, Noviomagus Reginorum aka Chichester is a magnificent city to drive into, with Roman walls, a 900-year-old cathedral and numerous medieval buildings, it is magical.
Visiting Chichester always reminds me of my childhood caravan holidays and pitching up at Goodwood racecourse, which always included a visit to the Weald and Downland Museum. As I park in Chichester Festival car park, it always reminds me of the time I went to the Festival Theatre, to see Kathleen Turner as Tallulah Bankhead, the American film star (1997 Chichester Festival World Premier). When in the city I often choose Spires Bakery in Crane Street for lunch, which makes delicious homemade cakes, sandwiches and coffees.
The past 12 months have been strange, however, when I think of Chichester, it brings back a wonderful memory of us sitting in Priory Park on a beautiful sunny day behind our store, enjoying a well-deserved break after remerchandising our store ready to re-open after the first lockdown.
I was asked to write about my favourite store and location. My region starts in south Wales and goes to the north-west of England and across to Sheffield. As you can imagine the scenery along the way can be quite the contrast, from the Welsh slate mountains of Gwynedd, through the ever-changing landscape of modern Manchester and on to the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales National park, where you will find the original Rohan store in Long Preston.
When you visit so many different stores, in so many great locations, it’s hard to pick a favourite journey, a town to stay in or a place to eat. However, I’d like to share with you my thoughts on Manchester and why it’s a great city to visit.
There is a temptation to park my car in the Arndale shopping centre, however, there’s no fun in that, there is no sense of adventure in doing that, after all, we make the best outdoor and travel clothing you can buy, so shouldn’t I have an adventure?
So, you’ll find me parking in a hotel car park or pay and display some distance away, to allow me the opportunity to absorb the city, to take in the fantastic architecture. It’s stunning to see the journey from Victorian Neo-Gothic architecture, as demonstrated by the wonderful town hall below, through the ages resulting in the equally impressive and very modern Imperial War Museum and the Urbis.
Before I go into the store and depending on the time of day, I will pay a visit to Pot Kettle Black, a very quaint café that serves amazing food and equally tremendous coffee.
I’m set for the day and ready to visit our store colleagues, the store incidentally is just off St Anne’s square, which has been pedestrianised for quite some time and makes the shopping experience all the more enjoyable.
I’ve been asked which is my favourite store to visit in my area. Now that’s a difficult question to answer as we have stores in some of the most beautiful places in the UK. My area covers as far north as the splendid city of Newcastle and as far south as the chocolate box town Woodbridge, and I have to say that it’s a pleasure to visit all of the places my stores are located, but If I have to choose my favourite place, then it has to be the amazing city of York.
York, River Ouse in flood: first image (left to right)
When visiting York, I use Park and Ride and then cycle to the store on my Brompton (fits in the boot of the cat and under the desk when in-store, perfect!) and I’ve always got my camera on me!
When visiting York, I park at Grimston Bar and cycle straight into the city down the Hull Road. You know your somewhere special when you get to Walmgate Bar, passing through the Bar is like going back in time. It has not changed for hundreds of years. I continue down to the Foss Bridge and always pop into a cracking little independent coffee shop called the Coffee Spring and then head up towards the Minster via the shambles. It’s almost impossible to ride a bike up the Shambles due to the old cobblestones, never mind one with 16-inch wheels! Time to walk for a while.
I always make a point of taking a moment to look at the Minster, the way the building changes with the change in light is amazing. Picture taken, coffee now drank, it’s time to turn to the south towards Stone Gate (one of the oldest streets in the UK) and just 100 yards from the Minster is the recently refurbished Rohan York Store! Time to start my day.
When asked what my favourite store & location to visit was, I knew instantly that this had to be Lymington! After a long drive down from the midlands, I always feel excited when I see the beautiful coastline on the horizon. Parking right in the Town Quay, I’ve usually arrived early and this allows me a chance to have a little stroll beforehand, just to stretch my legs and take in the scenery along the paths, watching the yachts and ferry’s go by.
Then the walk to the shop takes me up the quaint little cobbled streets, filled with cute little gift shops which I just can’t resist having a little look in! Being the Visual Merchandiser of the business, whilst walking up the steep high-street I do like to have a little browse in other shops, checking out the competition.
Usually, I’ll stop for a coffee and some well-earned breakfast (does a cream tea count as breakfast!?) in Lounges of Lymington which is a great little small business café, before heading up to the shop to start my day.
Well, we hope we have given you some inspiration for when restrictions are lifted, and I know our friendly staff in our stores are very much looking for you to pop in for a chat and share your stories.
Why not share your favourite store and locations and tell us why, as we’d love to hear what you’re looking forward too.