Traditional sweet shops are the pinnacle of nostalgia for me. The sweet smell of sugar dusting every surface, the rows of rainbow and pastel shades stacked up from floor to ceiling. It’s probably one of my fondest memories, and with that in mind, it’ll be no surprise when I say I, to this day, have quite the sweet tooth. Chocolate, hard-boiled rhubarb and custards, chewy Haribos – you name it, I love it, so I take great pride in the fact that the oldest sweet shop in the world can be found right here in Yorkshire.
Yep, that’s right. Us Yorkshire folk have been dishing out cavities since way before anyone else, with the shop dating all the way back to 1827.
Officially holding the title in the Guinness World Book of Records, the traditional shop attracts tourists by the bus-load, with many flocking to Pateley Bridge every single year just to buy a bag of sweets. And luckily for them, the sweets aren’t as old as the shop is – so you don’t have to worry about finding any musty sweets rolled in fur while you’re there. In fact, the shop is still thriving – and has just switched hands to a brand new owner, just 23 years old and full of passion to retain the shop’s heritage.
Stocking traditional British favourites such as Bon Bons, Liquorice Allsorts, Cinder Toffee, chocolates and more – the shop carries hundreds of varieties, with confectionary that can’t be found in many other places. It’s pretty much a treasure trove of all things sugary, with something to suit everyone’s preference. And while the shop might be small, you could spend hours picking out different flavours to try, so we’d recommend visiting on a full stomach to save yourself the toothache later.
The Oldest Sweet Shop In England can be found on High Street in the lovely Pateley Bridge, where you’ll also find a number of local butchers, cosy tea rooms and pubs to enjoy while you’re there. If you can’t wait til after lockdown to get your fix, the shop offers a large selection of its sweets online, with delivery available nationwide.