A whistle-stop tour of 5 independent UK businesses we just love

Britain, a nation of shopkeepers.
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Britain, a nation of shopkeepers. So what better way to explore Blighty than by checking out a handful of its independent cafes, shops and breweries, teamed with a stay at a nearby independent Best Western Hotel of course… 


When the brains behind this Manchester-based microbrewery left their 9 to 5s to pursue this passion project, the business partners felt as though they were running away from their corporate lifestyle. Today, this sense of sanctuary filters through to all guests visiting the unit under an inconspicuous railway arch, where Runaway hosts brewery tours and sells bottles, cases and mini-kegs of their much-loved creations.


Visit on Saturdays between 2pm and 7:30pm for a chance to enjoy a drink at the on-site tap room and beer garden. The Trafford Hall Hotel, BW Signature Collection is a short drive away.


An independent homeware shop may sound expensive but RE bucks the trend. Set in an old industrial building, the store is divided by screens into room-specific spaces, filled with the latest collection of charming, one-off pieces designed to spruce up your home.

The whole layout can transform from one visit to the next and it’s all part of the RE ethos that customers should have a unique shopping experience based on sights, sounds and scents. They even promise to make a fuss of any furry visitors too.

Check in to the Best Western New Kent Hotel just 30 minutes away.


The area may be famous for its beer production, but we’d recommend a trip near the Trent for a very different kind of brew. The Apple Tree serves award-winning coffees with a view, thanks to its unique location on the Barton Marina. 


Why not sip on the UK’s Best Flat White 2016 while watching narrow boats and local wildlife float by? You can choose from a wide selection of homemade cakes and light bites to ensure you never go hungry.

Best Western Lichfield City Centre The George Hotel is just a 20-minute-drive away.


Forget the diamond encrusted streets of Hatton Garden, Hove is the perfect spot to find a bespoke piece of jewellery, handmade in the UK.

Brass Monkeys, started life as a workshop in a mechanic’s garage before moving to the Brighton Festival Art Trail in an old second-hand furniture shop. The space has been transformed into a delightful gallery with enough space for six resident makers. Choose your next necklace, ring or bracelet from a curated collection of one-off designs, or speak to a silversmith to create a piece tailored to you.

The beautiful Best Western Princes Marine Hotel on the Brighton seafront is just a short walk away.



Originally opened in 1969, Jane Davidson launched her boutique to bring luxury brands to Scotland. Today her daughter carries the fashion baton in an elegant townhouse on Thistle Street. Exceptional customer service is the order of the day here, as each purchase is logged according to client for a bespoke wardrobe consultation. In the winter, visitors can cosy up in front of an open fire and enjoy a hot drink as they peruse the rails for their next statement piece.

Why not book a room at the Best Western Plus Edinburgh City Centre Bruntsfield Hotel, just a 10-minute-drive away?

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