Ian, We are quite lucky around here as far as actual equipment is concerned as Mifsud are only 20 minutes drive away down at Brixham.
Alas Jessops are the only "darkroom supplier" left near here so I use them for all my chemicals and papers as well as film. I quite often clear Jessops out of their Ilford films but happily they can get what I want in within 2 or 3 days.
I very much agree that unlesss you go in knowing exactly what you want you do tend to be snookered (put politely). For some reason today they seemed to have all sorts of Ilford papers both fibre and RC in stock, plus their own errrm brand, but Agfa paper which I wanted to try was no where to be seen.