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The Outdoor Depot

We have moved!
After many years of patiently waiting, a bigger premises has come available in Church Stretton and we have moved the shop to our new home at 29 Sandford Avenue, just 100 yards up the road.

A warm welcome from us, James and Emily.

The Outdoor Depot has been our home from home since 2010. We are backed up in the shop by our superb staff members Danni, Frances and John who all have a love of the outdoors:

Frances is not one to sit still and enjoys yoga, pilates running and walking. She is a regular volunteer at Corndon check point on the Longmynd Hike, and has worked for a local walking holiday company so is familiar with local routes for the best walks, she can also recommend a local cafe if asked!
Johnhas plenty of experience under his belt including 7 years in the Brecon Beacon's (Bannau Brycheiniog) Mountain Rescue team, and has a Mountain Leader qualification. After many years abroad John is now settled in Church Stretton and leads walks from the Mayfair on a Tuesday.
Graeme is our newest recruit, living locally he enjoys walking his dog, Pogo, around the Shropshire Hills as well as adventures further afield. Graeme has a wealth of knowledge as a self confessed outdoor kit fan, and can give you honest reviews of a wide range of kit.

I'm James, a keen mountain biker, ex Ski instructor and para-glider pilot (having your own business does nothing for your flying hours) and I have also been known to do a spot of climbing, all in my home county of Shropshire. Emily is a more recent convert to the world of the outdoors but took up running in 2013 and in 2014 completed her first Half Marathon raising money for CLAPA and Birmingham Children's Hospital, charities that both offered us help and support following the birth of our second child in 2012. In 2018, she took on the legendary Long Mynd Hike, a 50 mile overnight event taking in the Shropshire Hills, and achieved it in a brilliant 18 hours 14 mins. After swearing "never again" she went on to do it again in 2019 and may well do it again . . . one day! Emily tends to head up the office side of our team but she ventures out on buying trips and you may catch a glimpse of her in store doing some merchandising. She is a woman of many talents and also heads up our other project - the family - bringing up our two boys, a full time job by any one's standards.

When we met we were both gainfully employed by multi national companies and both enjoyed the pressures our respective roles offered us. I was in the electronics industry working as a Business Development Manager for the likes of Hewlett Packard, Ricoh and Samsung. Emily was part of the management team at the large Laura Ashley store in Telford. In 2010, with the arrival of our first child imminent, I decided that I wanted to be closer to home, to the family we were beginning to build, and to the community in which we lived but that I so rarely felt a part of. And so we took on The Outdoor Depot, an outdoor lifestyle shop that we felt had slightly lost it's way, and set about breathing new life into it. It now boasts a range of the best outdoor brands, technical clothing, accessories, camping essentials and - my favourite area - our Custom Boot Fitting area.

This is the area I am most proud of , and that has seen the greatest change since we took over. My approach to boot fitting is not mainstream but it does work and the results and reviews have been great. For more information check out our Custom Boot Fitting page.

I am very lucky, I love where we live, I am able to watch as my family grows and I am proud of the business we have built so far. This website is the next extension of our shop and I am hugely excited to see where it takes us next. I am constantly learning, and as the outdoor industry evolves you can be sure I will continue to do so.