YORK has been named as the third best place in the UK for independent shops.

A study found that after Cambridge and Brighton, York had the most independent shops.

The research was carried out by South Western Railway finds the top UK cities and towns for independent shopping.

It calculated the number of independent retailers per 100,000 people. Cambridge secured the top spot with 35, Brighton (and Hove) came second with 24, while York had 22.

Following on York's heels were Norwich, Exeter, Bristol, Cheltenham, Bath, Ipswich and Preston.

Calli Ward, head of marketing at South Western Railway said cycling, literary and food and drink were the strongest independent sectors in the UK.

She added: “Nothing beats getting to know a city through the businesses and people that make it what it is. Being able to give back by supporting small, independent retailers is so important, no matter where you are in the UK.

“Whether you are visiting a new place, or discovering local gems, consider grabbing your next coffee, next gift for a friend, or new bike gear from an indie shop. There are plenty across the UK offering bespoke, independent shopping experiences who would no doubt appreciate your custom.”

York Press: Just opened - York's newest indie trader, Rachel Chambers at the Little Blondie Bakehouse in Walmgate. Photo by Nadia Jefferson-BrownJust opened - York's newest indie trader, Rachel Chambers at the Little Blondie Bakehouse in Walmgate. Photo by Nadia Jefferson-Brown

The Press has been championing local, independent businesses in York since the first lockdown through its Trader of the Week feature, where we shine a spotlight on an indie business. Businesses can be nominated by a customer - or can nominate themselves. It is completely free, and nominations can be sent to our newsroom via this online form: www.yorkpress.co.uk/trader.

Calli said that despite many challenging years for the UK high street and retail landscape, new research shows that Brits’ love for shopping independently has prevailed. Since 2018, Google searches in the UK for terms such as ‘independent bike shops’ and ‘independent bookstores’ have soared 270 per cent and 376 per cent respectively.

READ MORE: From Spark:York to the Michelin Guide - meet our Trader of the Week

Taking the top spot for independent shopping is Cambridge, celebrating 35 independent retailers per 100,000 people.

Calli said: "It's no surprise that a city famed for cycling can boast bicycle shops as its top sector, totalling 19 cycle shops in this area. Google searches in Cambridge for ‘local bike shops near me’ rose 600 per cent between 2018 and 2022."

Brighton and Hove is the second biggest independent capital with 24 independent shops per 100,000 people.

Calli said: "York comes in at number three, with 22 indie shops per 100,00 people. It tells a similar story with 13 cycle shops, six food and drink establishments and five bookstores all independently run. Google searches for ‘independent retailers’ increased 100 per cent in York from 2018-2022, suggesting the city’s residents are keen to support their small businesses."

Find the full research here: www.southwesternrailway.com/where-next/things-to-do/uk-independent-retailers

And to nominate your York independent Trader of the Week visit this link: www.yorkpress.co.uk/trader.