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Fun Christmas shopping!

No need to sweat it on the high street buying cookie-cutter gifts this year. Check out these fab Xmas shopping experiences where cool, original presents are the name of the game.

Enchanted Christmas Market Mon 27 Nov to Sat 24 Dec, Gloucester Quays, Gloucester, Glos

Expect street food vendors, a Ferris Wheel, tons of festive stalls, a real ale tent, brass bands and an open-air ice rink. I’ll see you dancing on ice!


Wealth of Wiltshire Christmas Fayre, Trowbridge, Wilts, Thu 30 Nov

A gathering of all the best makers in the county, this fair is one of Wiltshire’s largest and as well as local craft and gift stalls, it also features live music, entertainment and good nosh. It’s also a good excuse to visit the gorgeous market town on the River Biss which is famed for its textile history dating back to the 14th century.


The Malthouse Collective, Salmon Springs, Stroud, Glos, Thu 30 Nov

Stroud’s newest interiors store (see newsflash here) is already something of a treasure trove, but for its Christmas Market, it will become a veritable grotto! From stocking fillers to forever gifts, retro finds to antique collectibles, artisan goodies to original art, they’ve got it covered. You can also expect a bucket load of mulled wine and festive music. And there may even be a visit from man of the moment, Santa.


Made in Chalford Christmas Fair, Victoria Works Studio, London Road, Chalford, near Stroud, Fri 1 to Sun 3 Dec

made in chalford Christmas fair

This annual Christmas fair put on by the Stroud Valleys village that punches well above its weight in creativity is a melting pot of beautiful, handmade goodies made by local craftspeople and artists. There will be over 30 artisans in the lovely old mill that is the Victoria Works Studio, including My Blue Shed whose textiles are to die for, Jill Watton’s ceramics, ditto, Taylored Felt, ditto, Hestia’s candles, ditto – are you getting the picture?. Basically, expect gorgeous handmade stuff, with the makers on hand to chat over a mulled wine and mince pie.


Wild Boar Presents: A Curious Christmas, Wild Boar Gin Lounge, Stroud, Glos, Fri 1 to Sun 3 Dec

Did someone say gin? Always happy to follow that spirit, and on this particular weekend, your G&T will come served up with a smorgasbord of festive gifts, including art, gifts, jewellery, clothes and decorations. There will also be music and festive games. And more gin! I’m in!


Christmas Open Studio, Hilles Studio Collective, Edge, near Stroud, Sat 2 to Sun 3 Dec

Christmas Open Studios at Hilles Studio Collection in association with SVA Stroud Valley Arts

This beautiful space dedicated to the Arts & Crafts movement will be opening its doors this weekend to showcase some of the work of its artists, including Kirsty Stockdale’s sculpture, Allie Litherland’s art projections, Saffron Knight’s fine art canvases and Annet Richards-Binns’ Christmas crafts. Original gifts guaranteed, as well as mulled wine and mistletoe. And on Sunday there is a free family drop-in workshop where you can make 3D geometric marbled Christmas decorations. In association with the equally wonderful Stroud Valley Arts.


Christmas Floating Market, Bradford on Avon, Wilts, Sat 2 to Sun 3 Dec

After the success of last year’s inaugural floating market in Bradford on Avon, the crafty boaters who live on the Kennet and Avon Canal are back again this year even bigger and better. There will be 40 traders spread between 14 boats, stalls on the tow path and a takeover of West Barn in the Tithe Barn Complex. As well as retail therapy, you’ll also be able to watch makers at work, from hand spinning wool to a resident blacksmith who will be turning up with a portable forge. And, there’ll be pizza, courtesy of Wildflower Pizzeria, which prepares pizzas on its boat and then cooks them in a mini wood-fired oven. And if pizza’s not your bag, Wolf Kitchen which serves warming soups and other tasty snacks will be there to keep the wolf from the door.


Winter Gathering and Gift Market, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, near Stroud, Sun 3 Dec

If you’ve got a reluctant male shopper on your hands, this should get him off the sofa and out the door. The focus is on laid-back socialising, storytelling and carol singing around the fire, noshing on hearty food and putting back a few pints (of course), but there will also be lovely beer-related gifts to buy including beer soap, local pickles, hop pillows, one-off art and Stroud Brewery fare.


Late-night Christmas Shopping, Malt House Emporium, Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury, Thu 7 Dec

OK, get ready for this! At 6pm, Gloucestershire’s favourite antiques emporium will open its doors having hidden ten gift vouchers around its massive new premises near Tewkesbury. Cue mad tearing around to find the golden tickets! Of course, there will also be the usual treasure trove of one-off finds to drool over, as well as designer Emma Boyne’s stunning printed cushions, cufflinks made from discharged ammunition (that’s him indoors sorted), Hounam’s covetable collection of curios and a whole load of discounts, not forgetting complimentary mulled wine, festive music and mince pies.


The Guild at Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, Glos, Thu 14 to Sat 23 Dec

Colin Chetwood Monolights

We love, love, love the beautifully crafted pieces produced by the Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen and this special Christmas show at Chapel Arts (one of Muddy’s favourite galleries), will be a visual and sensory treat (does anyone else like stroking wood-turned vessels or is that just me?). The café will be homebaking festive treats and there’ll also be some Christmas carols to belt out.

Christmas is coming to Highgrove, Tetbury, Glos, until Sun 17 December

HRH The Prince of Wales’s gaff is a princely host for a right royal Christmas festive and shopping experience. This year the famous Orchard Room will be once again offering unique gift ideas, decorations and gourmet foods. Bask in the beauty of the place and find those special, one-of-a-kind gifts. No sharp, high street elbows here, instead you can float around, glass of champagne in hand, breaking for lunch and cream tea in the brand new restaurant. Sounds perfecto. 


Salisbury Christmas Market, Salisbury, Wilts, until Fri 22 Dec

This magical Christmas market sees the beautiful medieval cathedral city transformed into a winter wonderland that rivals the best of Germany’s famous Christmas markets. From jewellery and crafted handmade furniture to every flavour of liqueur you could dream of, this one could get jolly! The opening night is always special with loads of street entertainers and a real festive spirit, then on Thu 30 Nov, there’s the annual Christmas Lantern Parade which this year is in association with the Salisbury Arts Centre and is another it-feels-good-to-be-alive event.


Crafted for Christmas, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, until Sun 31 Dec

New Brewery Arts, Cirencester’s go-to creative hot spot, puts on a fantabulous Christmas shopping extravaganza which showcase its regular and guest makers. Expect high-quality, individual gifts and unique homewares that will be very hard to resist.

Additional words and research by Tonicha Luffman

Find more ideas here

Things to doXmas

2 comments on “Fun Christmas shopping!”

  • Anna Newton November 17, 2017

    Great idea to promote the Chapel Arts exhibition of Gloucestershire Guild of Craftsmen, would be worth mentioning that it is large pieces that are normally not in the Guild shop Guild at 51, which is a 2 minutes walk from the Chapel (51 Clarence St, Cheltenham GL50 3JT)- a lot of people don’t know about it.

    • sarahfrank November 23, 2017

      Thanks Anna, that’s worth knowing!


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