Tis the season and that means one thing is on everybody’s minds... Christmas shopping!
However it doesn’t need to be a scrum down at the local high street, you can explore England and some of its magical towns and cities whilst you prepare for the holiday. Here Danielle Jones rounds up seven of the best Christmas shopping experiences with a difference.
1) Find that special gift at World of Wedgwood, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire
If you’re looking for a present for that extra-special someone, why not treat them to something quintessentially English? The famed makers at Wedgwood are renowned the world over for their elegant pottery designs. At their flagship store you can seek out the perfect items and then stop by their dazzling tearoom for a scrummy afternoon tea all served on Wedgwood crockery. (Open 7 days a week)
2) Hunt for vintage goodies at Dreamland Vintage Market, Margate, Kent
For a retro take on your Christmas shopping, a visit to Dreamland’s Vintage Market is a must. With traders selling quirky items, old-school vinyl and an array of gifts and up-cycled goods, you’re bound to find that unusual gift for that hard-to-buy-for relative. Entrance is £3 on the door. (3 December)
For a shopping experience that is completely different but also heralds back to English tradition, then visit Birmingham’s canals for the RCTA Christmas Floating Market. With roving traders moored up selling everything from hand-crafted candles to leather goods, you’ll be able to pick up some one-of-a-kind goods whilst also supporting independent traders. (10-18 December)
4) Get in the spirit at Winchester Christmas Market, Hampshire
With its German inspired wooden chalets, mulled wine and gifts galore, a trip to Winchester’s Christmas Market will get you feeling super festive.
Not only can you browse for presents, with a selection of handmade, unique gifts but you can indulge in freshly baked mince pies and spin like a snowflake on their very own ice rink. (18 November – 20 December)
5) Keep it local at the Outlaw Christmas Market, Falmouth, Cornwall
This pop-up event in busy Falmouth centre attracted over 10,000 people in its first year and promises to be even bigger and better this festive season. Showcasing 30, carefully-selected, Cornish producers and suppliers you can take your pick from a range of items such as Cornish Blueberry Vodka and handmade Christmas Wreaths. (8-10 December)
6) Shop with your conscience at the Fair Christmas Fayre, Oxford Street, London
The thought of heading to Oxford Street in the run up to Christmas may feel like a foolhardy mission, but there is a secret event that could change your mind. Hidden away in Regent Hall, The Fair Christmas Fayre brings together stallholders selling ethical goods, handmade gifts and a host of yummy treats. (10 December)