When we moved here from London in 1999, I was horrified that the shops and facilities I took for granted weren't here - it took me a long time to get used to it and at the time on-line shopping wasn't an easy option. There are lots of fields with sheep and barley and other crops and the sea and beaches instead of shops - because this is the coast and countryside. It was a culture shock!
We do support our small local shops and art galleries in Warkworth, Alnmouth, Amble, Alnwick and Morpeth and you will find the proprietors extremely helpful and friendly.
There is a Marks and Spencer in Morpeth in the Sanderson Arcade.
However, as a sparsely populated rural area, we don't have many of the big shops and to get a varied consumer choice, we have to travel to the more densely populated areas of Newcastle and Gateshead.
Eldon Gardens at Newcastle offer a very good shopping experience, Kingston Park has a 24 hour Tesco and a variety of large shops. It takes about 35 minutes on the A1 South to drive to Newcastle, do take lots of change for parking.
The Metro Centre at Gateshead is about ten minutes further and offers free parking. Royal Quays is also popular, and Silverlink.
There is a car boot sale at Amble on Saturday mornings weather permitting (it's on the harbour) - and the Alnwick Lions have just started holding one the last Saturday of the month at Homebase at Alnwick. There is a very large afternoon car boot sale at Tranwell airfield in Morpeth on a Sunday, I think you can go in at 1 pm.
The market at Amble on Sunday mornings has a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, household goods, clothing etc.
Further information on shopping can be seen here - an excerpt from the site is shown below. If you are looking for a very special designer outfit I recommend my friend Sue who runs her own business - have a look at www.carre-rouge.co.uk.