Sally Ann's: A place of reverence for any retired Depop girlieEden Keily-Thurstain

The time has come. While lesser known than the Grafton charity shops, the cornucopia of second-hand goodness that Mill Road has to offer will be gate-kept by me no more. From the fabled Salvation Army Barn to Arthur Rank, we have ranked and reviewed every single charity shop along Mill Road so you no longer have to ponder about where you will acquire your next H2O-chic-mermaid-core shell necklace. Just please don’t tell anyone.

Salvation Army

Affectionately known as ‘Sally Ann’s’, the hallowed halls of the Salvation Army charity shop is a place of reverence for any retired Depop gentrification girlie (I’m not proud). The Salvation Army consists of a main shop at the front, and ‘The Barn’ at the back, essentially a warehouse full of discounted finds, from furniture to suede coats to ski goggles. On our afternoon of traipsing, The Barn decided to offer up a pair of fake blood-spattered leggings which was rather disturbing. However, nothing beats the satisfaction of digging through the discount bins and finding a vintage top that fits perfectly for 99p. We did feel that the men’s section let it down a little bit, and the opening hours are funky, but I’m incredibly biased towards Sally Ann’s, so I’m artificially inflating the score. This is a dictatorship not a democracy.

Score = 5/5

Arthur Rank

A large range of jewellery at Arthur Rank for any maximalist ambitions you might haveEden Keily-Thurstain

Arthur Rank is also on the small side, but is definitely punching above its weight class. The pricing is a bit steeper than Salvation Army and Romsey Mill, but quite classic for Cambridge. I was a bit harsh on Arthur Rank in the Grafton ranking, much to the angry outcries of several of its most dedicated fans. They will be happy to hear that its Mill Road counterpart is, in my opinion, a different beast and one deserving of a very respectable score. The clothing is generally pretty high quality and they had an excellent mermaid-esque jewellery section. I also once found my dream cowboy boots in here, so I can sleep soundly knowing that I look like every other girl in Cambridge. Thank you, Arthur Rank.

Score = 4.5/5

Romsey Mill

Romsey Mill is *gasp* across the railway bridge, which may seem far away for any central college weakling who can barely manage to make it across Parker’s Piece without getting out of breath. However, for those who do just about make it over the bridge, Romsey Mill will greet you with a very stuffed rack of clothing and endless boxes of trinkets. For those who get easily overwhelmed: beware. The shop is tiny, and the clothing is only organised by size, no pretty colour coding here. But in a masochistic way that is the joy of Romsey Mill, you fight for your second hand finds, and you will feel like you’ve earned them. The prices are fairly reasonable, and I have found some real treasures over the past few years. The lady who works there is also lovely, so bonus points have been given.

Score = 4/5

Children’s Society

Located the furthest down Mill Road from town, Children’s Society can feel somewhat overlooked, but being an underdog is not always a bad thing. In the spirit of 2010 rearing its ugly head, we found another pair of leggings, galaxy this time. Aside from this indiscretion, the shop actually had some great stuff on offer during our afternoon of research, and fashion editor Isabel rudely scored a vintage jumper that I wanted. Children’s Society can sometimes feel a little bit sparse, but the staff are particularly lovely, and there are certainly some treasures to be found. If you can be bothered to walk to it, it’s worth a visit.

A 2010s revival that we perhaps are not quite ready forEden Keily-Thurstain

Score= 3.5/5

Wood Green

Nestled just in front of Mill Road cemetery, Wood Green is the closest to town, so you really have no excuse to not have a browse. For those who like a relaxed, ordered shopping experience, Wood Green has your back. Much of the stock is meticulously organised by colour, and they have quite a respectable men’s section. As someone who prefers shopping in places that look fresh out of an episode of “Hoarders”, Wood Green doesn’t quite fit the bill. The prices were on the higher side and the shop gave the impression it was positioning itself for the middle-aged, middle-class mums of Cambridge. Despite the high concentration of Joules tops, I am still a proponent overall.

Score = 3.5/5

Fashion Editor and resident "king of dad-core" style an unsuspecting Interviews Editor at Wood GreenEden Keily-Thurstain

Will I regret sharing the secret to my charity shop success in Cambridge? Probably. While Mill Road has less charity shops than Grafton, and is a bit of a walk if you’re from a further out college (sorry, Isabel), in my opinion they are of a much higher quality, hence the generous scores on this ranking. They’re worth the trek, I promise.


Mountain View

A definitive ranking of the Grafton charity shops