Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland

Today's post has been shared by Hayley (images also credited to Hayley except where stated). Over to Hayley...... 

I don’t know about you but every year the thought of going Christmas shopping for presents for my kids and nieces and nephews fills me with dread..

Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland - Mr Wolf Hexham
Credit : North East Family Fun

I’m not being a bah-humbug but the crowds of people, the jostling over the last “must-have” toy on the shelf and the fact that it feels like it’s an endurance race for tired parents rather than an enjoyable shopping experience, are enough to make me pull the duvet further over my head.

For the past few years and particularly since Covid I have been joining the thousands of other people who have turned to their local retailer to discover what is available locally.

Northumberland has some amazing independent shops catering for kids from toy shops to books shops with magical children’s sections.

For every £1 spent locally 50-70p goes back into the local economy so shopping local also helps to support your community and jobs.

You’ll get that personal touch, amazing customer service and you might even be able to pick something you wouldn’t get anywhere else. 

Northumberland County Council launched a Shop Local, Shop Northumberland campaign earlier this year to encourage residents and visitors to support local retailers throughout the pandemic and beyond. Find out more at 

To help you we’ve got a Top 5 shopping guide for children’s shops in Northumberland.

Mr Wolf, 2 Market Street, Hexham, NE46 3NU 

Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland - Mr Wolf Toy Shop Hexham
Credit : Discover our Land 

Stepping inside Mr Wolf in the market town of Hexham is like stepping into a magical toy emporium. Starting with the beautiful window display, which is like something out of The Magic Faraway Tree, the shop is full to the brim with interesting, inspiring and fabulous gifts for all ages.

Owned by Austin and Lindsey Birney (known locally as Mr and Mrs Wolf) you’ll find a range of over 70 brands and more than 2,000 products, with a focus on products that aren’t as readily available in the larger toy shops. Brands sold include Green Toys; Le Toy Van and Maileg. 

Kids are encouraged to spend a bit of time looking and enjoying the displays and the couple and their team are always on hand to recommend the best product for your needs rather than the most expensive. 

Forum Books, The Chapel, Market Place, Corbridge, NE45 5AW 

Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland - Forum Books Corbridge

As a family we love whiling away the time choosing our next must-read book in the stunning surroundings of Forum Books.  Books are still a top gift for any child at Christmas and with two bookworms in my family I’ll definitely be spending some time in their kids' section picking out the perfect page turner.

Set in a beautiful, listed former chapel, in the heart of Corbridge, Forum Books’ motto is “There’s nothing like a real book and nothing like a real bookshop!” and that’s certainly what they have created, an inspiring space for you to enjoy choosing a book.

For the kids there’s a former chapel pew with comfy cushions where they can flick through the pages before making their choice. And if you’re not sure what to choose the staff and help you choose the best book for your loved ones. On one visit, owner Helen Stanton read an entire book to me with such enthusiasm that I couldn’t resist  buying it and it’s now a firm favourite at bedtime! 

Playtime, 122 Marygate, Berwick, TD15 1BH 

Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland - Playtime Berwick

This lovely little shop on Berwick’s main shopping street is fab for the children in your family, selling all of the latest brands and toys including Playmobil; Jellycat and Lego, as well as Pokemon and board games.

Don’t worry if they haven’t got what you’re looking for in store staff will go above and beyond to make sure you get the right gift. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for their latest offers and deals.   

J R Soulsby, Front Street, Rothbury, NE65 7SU 

Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland - J R Soulsby Rothbury

Set in the chocolate-box village of Rothbury, J R Soulsby is a real gem. Stocked from floor to ceiling, across three rooms, with all kinds of toys to tempt both children and adults! They have an excellent range of pocket-money toys ranging from 30p-£2 so children can enjoy buying their own gifts.

It’s like a treasure trove and kids will be mesmerised by the choices, and while they browse adults can relax on a comfy seat in store! If you’re looking for stocking fillers they have a huge range to choose from. With wrapping paper and cards to go with your present it’s a one-stop shop for all of your gifting needs.

T & G Allan, 24 Newgate Street, Morpeth, NE61 1BA 

Top 5 Independent Kids Shops in Northumberland - T & G Allan Morpeth

T&G Allan in the centre of Morpeth has been serving the community for more than 160 years. As well as gifts, cards and stationery it also has a great toy shop. On the second floor of the store, my kids always take in a gasp of delight as they come to the top of the stairs and see what is on offer.

Stocking all of their favourites from Thomas the Tank Engine to Barbie they also have a fantastic range of Schleich model animals, as well as Sylvanian Families, Playmobil and Orchard Toys. 

There’s also a great range of pocket money toys and at this time of year fab stocking filler ideas. In the run up to Christmas children can also post their letters to Santa in the special North Pole post box.


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