How to support local businesses this Christmas

Bettys Tea Rooms Christmas window at night

In these strange and difficult times, it’s important we look out for one another. And what better way to support our local restaurants, hotels, shops and various businesses than by stocking up on Christmas gifts and presents for friends and family? From artisan Oxford vodka to action-packed days out in the Lake District, here’s a round-up of our favourite Christmas gift ideas and experiences from businesses up and down the country.  

Treat them to food and drink

While we all love a tin of Christmas biscuits, why not switch up your food gift with a lovingly handmade hamper or a bottle of their favourite tipple?

  •  From teatime tins to chocolate-filled goody bags, Betty’s hand-picked hampers and Christmas gift boxes are ideal for the sweet-toothed people in your life 
  • Get your hands on the only cheddar made in Cheddar, the perfect gift for cheese lovers 
  • Give the gift of craft gin this Christmas with White Peak Distillery, based in the Peak District
  • Gift a loved one a hamper chock-a-block with Yorkshire produce, from plum bread to ginger biscuits, courtesy of Botham’s of Whitby
  • From cheese hampers to crackers and homemade jams, Hartington Cheese Shop is famous for its wide range of quality cheeses, chutneys and biscuits
  • Based in the Derby area? Put in your order for some proper ale from Dancing Duck Brewery, available in mini kegs, bottles and even in a box
  • Looking for presents for friends? Stock up on some top-quality chocolate from Pump Street Bakery
  • Whether its strawberry and black pepper or aromas inspired by the Norfolk coastline, Norwich-based Bullards Spirits have just the right flavour for your gin-loving friends
  • Treat someone to a bottle or two of some Brighton-made liquor, delivered nationwide 
  • Surprise a faraway friend with a festive-themed afternoon tea box, full of sweet and savoury treats
  •  Give a budding sommelier a bottle or two of English vino from Kent’s own Chapel Down vineyard
  •  Nab award-winning vodkas and book fascinating distillery tour experiences at The Oxford Artisan Distillery 
  • Indulge your nearest in dearest in fair-trade, environmentally friendly, hand-roasted coffee from Lost Sheep Coffee, based in Whitstable
  •  Wine and dine your better half with a meal voucher for East Yorkshire’s Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass
  • Browse boxes collections of all-butter shortbreads, white chocolate flapjacks and traditional cakes at Lancashire’s Williams Handbaked 
  • Bring a taste of the coast home this December with FishWorks' Oyster Box, which includes a shucking knife and an assortment of condiments. 
  • Get your hands on some whisky marmalade, strawberry and clotted cream biscuits and lots more souvenirs at the Blenheim Palace Online Shop 
  • Dive into an emporium of West Sussex's finest food and drink gifts, available from businesses across the country. 
  • Celebrate Christmas with a bottle of two of award-winning Gusbourne Fine English Wines, or treat someone to a guided tour of their vineyard in Kent. 
  • Treat someone to award-winning macarons or the chance to try exclusive recipes at Norwich-based Macarons & More's cookery school. 

Treat them to theatre, arts and culture

We’ve all missed out on theatre trips, our favourite artists’ gigs and visits to galleries and museums this year, so make someone’s Christmas with a voucher for a show or day out to use in 2021.

  • Surprise the theatre-goers in your life with a gift voucher to Manchester’s Royal Exchange, which can be redeemed on shows, workshops, tours and in the theatre’s shop and restaurant
  •  Give the gift of live music this Christmas with a concert voucher redeemable at Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon
  •  From operatic spectacles to foot-tapping showstoppers, Yorkshire’s theatres and art centres offer a range of gift vouchers perfect for music lovers and drama enthusiasts 
  • Treat your football-mad friends to a visit to Manchester’s National Football Museum 
  • Step back in time at London's defining landmark, Tower Bridge, with vouchers for entry or a guided tour. 
  • Give a true crime lover the chance to explore the dark world of mafias, murders and much more at Hastings' True Crime Museum 

Treat them to a weekend away

If lockdown 2.0 has ruined chances of a short break, why not treat a loved one to a voucher for a spa retreat or boutique hotel getaway that they can use when the time’s right.

  • Help someone unwind and rejuvenate with a spa break voucher to use at St Albans’ Sopwell House and Cottonmill Spa 
  • Gift a dinner for two, an overnight stay and even a champagne afternoon tea at the regal Grantley Hall in the Yorkshire Dales
  • Book an unforgettable glamping holiday for 2021 at the spectacular off-grid Camp Katur in North Yorkshire
  • From luxury overnight stays to full-day golf lessons, spoil a loved one with a trip to Hertfordshire’s The Grove Hotel 
  • Buy them a much-needed escape to Lancashire’s grand Stirk House hotel 
  • Delight someone you love with a luxury stay at the opulent Stanley House Hotel & Spa
  • Splash out on a stay at the timeless and atmospheric Mermaid Inn in the picturesque village of Rye. 

Treat them to unforgettable experiences

Whether they’re into hands-on cookery classes or have been banging on about a hot air balloon ride, businesses across the country have heaps of memorable gift experiences that are sure to impress.

Treat them to a very special offer 

Even bigger brands need a little push after a tough year, so make sure to check out their deals, gift vouchers and annual memberships - they could make someone's year!

  • Treat someone to a fabulous seaside, city or country getaway with lastminute.com's hotel gift vouchers, which can be used on an array of abodes across the UK. 
  • Nab a whole year’s worth of rollercoasters, shark encounters and spooky dungeons with the Merlin Annual Pass 
  • Treat someone to a year of unlimited access to England’s incredible historic sites with an English Heritage Membership
  • Give a gift that keeps on giving with a National Trust Membership, which allows members free entry to an array of gardens, historic houses and much more. 
  • Surprise the family with a new year break to some of the UK’s most beautiful forests 
  • Spoil someone special with a gift voucher to some much-needed down time at a Warner Leisure Hotel
  •  Dazzle a fellow nature lover with an RSPB membership
  • Book in a 2021 family break to Butlins during their Black Friday event and save some cash to spend while you’re away!
  •  Plan an Easter escape to the seaside with Haven holiday parks
  • Splash out on a soul-soothing experience or overnight stay at a luxurious Champneys spa
  • Gift the perfect getaway this Christmas with gift vouchers that can be used on a range of fine country hotels
  • Wow your better half with a voucher for a luxurious stay, award-winning dining and indulgent spa treatments at a Macdonald Hotel & Resort
  • Find the perfect treat for someone who has everything with a Canopy & Stars gift card, which can be used to book a stay at hundreds of amazing treehouses, cabins and glamping experiences across the country
  • Give a loved one something to look forward to with a Center Parcs gift card, which can be used to put towards a break or to pay for spa treatments and activities while they're away. 
  • Choose from a variety of gift vouchers and packages - from romantic weekends away to afternoon teas - to use at English Lakes Hotels
  • Tickle some tastebuds with Fudge Kitchen's moreish fudge selection, or surprise someone with a hands-on fudge-making experience! 
  • Surprise someone with a gift card to some of the country's most epic immersive adventures - Escape Hunt
  • Indulge a budding sommelier with a journey into the world of English winemaking with SmoothRed's fabulous English wine tours

For more ideas on things to do from your sofa, check out our list of 50+ ways to escape the everyday at home

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