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Most people in the UK do their food shopping in the big supermarkets because they stock everything, are often cheaper than smaller shops and are very convenient. Some may even stay open 24 hours a day.

Major supermarkets

The main supermarkets in the UK are:

  • ALDI
  • ASDA (Walmart)
  • Lidl
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco
  • Waitrose.

Where to shop

Many students living in Bournemouth prefer ASDA, because it is cheap and conveniently located close to Bournemouth train station and the Lansdowne Campus. There’s also and ALDI a little further down the road. For students living in Corfe House in Poole, ALDI is nearest, but Sainsbury’s and ASDA are also within walking distance.

Students living in Student Village on Talbot Campus have the SUBU shop (see below) as well as a convenience store on Gillett Road nearby. ALDI in Wallisdown is a short walk away, or ASDA at Lansdowne is 10-15 minutes on the bus route – get off at the “Travel Interchange.”

Students' Union at BU (SUBU)

The Students' Union shop stocks a limited variety of food and snacks. It is convenient (especially if you live in the Student Village) because it is on the Talbot Campus, but as is the case with most small shops in the UK, it is more expensive than the supermarkets.


Supermarket vegetables are often quite expensive, especially the pre-washed pre-prepared variety. If you have time, you may wish to find a greengrocer close to where you live. Greengrocers often have a good selection of seasonal vegetables for a much cheaper price.


Like many larger towns in the UK, Bournemouth does not really have a big market. There is one in Boscombe on Thursdays and Saturdays, open all year from 9am to 5pm and selling fruit, vegetables, footwear, clothes and other items.

Clothes shopping

Clothes in the UK are quite expensive compared to what you may be used to. There are many clothes shops all over Bournemouth and Poole and charity shops, which sell second-hand (used) goods. Talk to your English flatmates or course mates for advice about which shops are cheapest or which brands they prefer.

Below are some average prices for clothes items you may wish to buy when you are here:

  • Waterproof boots/shoes: from £40
  • Warm coat: from £40
  • Warm jumper (sweatshirt/fleece): from £20
  • Umbrella: from £5

Bournemouth has a good selection of shops in the town centre and an out-of-town shopping centre called Castlepoint which is on the bus route. Poole has a number of budget shops as well as major brands in the Dolphin Shopping Centre. If you want a change of scene, it is very easy to visit Southampton by National Express coach, or by train. Both the coach and train stations drop passengers within easy walking distance of Southampton’s large shopping centre, West Quay.