Acorn’s Independent Gift Guide to Christmas

December 10, 2021

With Christmas very much on the horizon, you might be thinking about those all-important gifts, or for the organised ones, you may have completed your Christmas shopping! Gift or no gift, there is no doubt that our shopping habits have changed over the last 18 months, with YouGov reporting that 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

So, what better time to continue supporting local businesses than during the festive season? Read on to discover some of our favourite independent retailers to visit this Christmas, located in and around our developments in the South West, South Wales and London.

Frome, Somerset 

Home to our sustainable development, The Old Printworks, the market town of Frome is famous for its independent shops along beautiful, cobbled streets. Part of the town for centuries, the renowned St Catherine’s Artisan Quarter is a great spot to visit brimming with designer makers, vintage specialists, craft suppliers, cafés and more. One for the Instagrammers, here you will find Pilea, an independent houseplant shop with a beautiful collection of plants and accessories to choose from. Or if you’re looking for an experience, Pilea run plant-themed creative workshops in and around the Frome and Bath area, so don’t forget to enquire!

If you know someone who loves their crafts, Millie Moon haberdashery is the place to visit. Offering a wonderful selection of fabrics, craft kits, books and workshops, here you will find the perfect gift for someone looking to get stuck into something creative. One for our beloved four-legged friends, Winston James Woof is a haven for dog gifts with an amazing selection of toys, treats and accessories to keep your pooch entertained this Christmas. Oh, and did we mention, there is also a home and gift section for us humans too!

Bristol

Renowned for its fiercely independent spirit, Bristol is a great city for Christmas shopping. Located just a 15-minute walk from our Brooks Dye Works scheme in St Werburghs, Stokes Croft is the ideal destination for unique and quirky gifts. For lovers of art, head to Here Gallery to browse the beautiful range of contemporary prints and illustrations or Neon Tiger just across the road. If you’re on the lookout for some Bristol souvenirs, Stokes Croft China provides an array of fine English bone China including a wonderful array of painted mugs – the perfect stocking filler! Brewed in Bristol, Wiper and True is the perfect place to visit if you know someone who loves sipping on craft beer. Located in St Werburghs itself, this independent brewery and shop provides an array of sustainable beers, and you can even build your own box.

Exeter

Home to St Leonards Quarter, our new homes coming soon, the historic city of Exeter is a wonderful place to be during the festive period. Featuring the backdrop of Exeter Cathedral, Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market is a labyrinth of more than 90 chalets bursting with homeware, local crafts, garden items, jewellery, decorations and not to mention a delicious selection of food and drink choices. Once you’ve satisfied your mulled wine fix, head across to the hidden gem that is Gandy Street – one of the city’s most interesting areas for independent shops, restaurants and bars just off the main high street. Renowned for its cobbles, Gandy Street allegedly provided JK Rowling, who went to university in Exeter, inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre, venture down to Exeter Quayside, a brilliant spot for independent shops and cellars from local craftspeople. With an array of great restaurants and pubs in the area too, you can stop for a bite to eat while enjoying peaceful views of the River Exe.

Cornwall

Bringing a splash of sunshine to Christmas, Cornwall makes a wonderful destination for shopping. Home to our Treglos development in Constantine Bay, Constantine Bay Stores is a great shop for food gifts with a wide selection of locally sourced produce, fine wine and beer on offer. Just 4 miles from Treglos, you will find our new development of coastal homes, The Padstow Collection. Located in central Padstow, this charming harbour town is the ideal spot for Christmas shopping with an endless selection of independent shops. Quite the face of Padstow, why not take a trip to celebrity chef Rick Stein’s Stein’s Gift Shop to admire the wonderful selection of food and wine, hampers, homeware, and skincare gifts. For those with a sweet tooth, head over to Buttermilk Artisan Confectionery, Padstow’s original fudge shop which stocks over 50 flavours of fudge, honeycomb, brittles, biscuits, sweets and Cornish gifts.

Over in south Cornwall The Courtyard at Duporth, our exclusive collection of coastal homes, is located less than a mile from the UNESCO World Heritage village of Charlestown. Here you will find Atishoo Gallery, a Cornish gallery full to the brim with coastal inspired homewares, original art, prints, cards, jewellery, pottery and glassware with a bespoke on-site framing service. For surf and skate enthusiasts, visit Surfbox Cornwall, a new family run business providing high quality sport attire and products inspired by the great outdoors.

Charlestown, Cornwall
Cowbridge, South Wales

Located just a short drive from our rural homes at Cottrell Gardens in Bonvilston, you will find the market town of Cowbridge, one of the Vale of Glamorgan’s best destinations for independent shopping. A town rich in coffee culture, restaurants, bars and pubs, here you will have everything on hand for a great day of retail therapy. Located on the popular high street, Stwff-Stuff houses a beautiful range of ever-changing gifts and homewares including many Welsh products. If it’s not possible to visit physically, head to their online store which boasts five-star Google reviews. Another gem is No 39 Cowbridge, a wonderful homewares store full of thoughtful gifts and currently a festive-themed courtyard!

If food gifts are what you’re seeking, head to Forage Farm Shop & Kitchen – a haven for seasonal produce from talented local suppliers. Running from 25th November – 23rd December 2021, don’t forget to book tickets for the shop’s ‘Christmas Experience’ event – ideal for children aged 2 to 11 and those young at heart!

SE1, London

If you’re heading to the capital to seek out that festive feeling, SE1 is the place to be. Adjacent to our Newham’s Yard development on Tower Bridge Road lies the atmospheric Bermondsey Street, one of London’s oldest streets and a top destination for delicious food venues – perfect for recharging while shopping. Just a three-minute walk from Bermondsey Street, you will find the popular Flea London on St Thomas Street. Take in incredible views of The Shard while browsing the eclectic mix of fashion, antiques, vinyl, jewellery, furniture and more. Plus, don’t miss the Christmas edition of the market held on the 11th and 12th December!

For those looking to embrace the cityscape of London, head to Christmas By The River – the capital’s most scenic market along the banks of the River Thames. Featuring stunning views of Tower Bridge, here you can browse 50 twinkling wooden stalls of boutique vendors and mouth-watering food and drink.

Christmas By The River, SE1
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