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Cardiff’s Quirky Hybrid: The Bargain Shop Church

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If you are inquisitive enough to wander into a boarded up church, you may just find a local store crammed with wonders.

Albany Road is situated in Roath, far enough away from the city centre that the high street has formed its own sense of community. A mix between national chains, small independent businesses and a wealth of charity shops makes Albany road the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping.

However, half way down Albany Road, on the corner where it meets Wellfield Road, you will find something particularly peculiar. It is easy to walk past the former Methodist Church, questioning the green chipped boards up against its windows. However, once you step inside this deceptive building, a world of things you never knew you needed appear at your fingertips, in Cardiff’s cheapest local bargain shop.

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Rainbow Bargains houses approximately everything that you could ever want to buy, at a discounted price. But you should be aware that purchasing items in this shop is no ordinary experience. For you cannot shake the odd vibe given out by the fusion of religious architecture with office-style fittings and furnishings.

The original archways, windows and flooring of the church are still visible – indeed even the pulpit can be found close to the entrance. But multiple partition walls have been placed to make storage cupboards or offices and the roof has been covered with temporary low-level ceiling. Fluorescent tube lights artificially brighten the dark space.

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The bargain shop still retains the churches original tiled flooring.

Racks of shelves are crammed into every space and hold huge numbers of items, ranging from cards to cables. There seems to be an overall order to the huge amount of disorder, making you wonder how stocking the store even began.

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Rainbow Bargains is a must visit to experience the oddest, yet somehow quite special local shop in Cardiff. Its unique and original quality may make it strange, but equally it is interesting and characterful. Besides, unlike most other local shops in Cardiff, it’s even open on a Sunday.

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