Thursday, May 26

‘For Those Lured By A Little Weirdness’: Reader’s Favorite Independent Stores | Shopping trips

Winning Tip: Magic Emporium, Bridport, Dorset

Ink and page is a magical emporium, the brainchild of artist Kim Squirrell and her husband, bookbinder David. Behind the exquisite early Victorian façade, with its delicate Gothic ironwork, is a treasure trove of hand-stitched notebooks and sketchbooks, letter cards, and prints. Alongside the beautiful stationery made in the first floor workshop, there is a selection of work by local artisans, from potters to textile artists. Ink & Page is a celebration of handwritten, handprinted, and handmade – a go-to place for thoughtful gifts and the perfect slow shopping experience.
Karen heaney

Christmas is in the DNA of this store, Cambridge

Podarok Store

Bene’t Street is known for the Eagle Pub, where Crick and Watson announced their breakthrough in DNA research in 1953. The street is also home to Podarok, a lovely gift shop. Small but packed with eye-catching items, the store’s name in Russian means gift, reflecting the original owner’s birthplace. From rainbow-hued bike spoke reflectors to classic book-patterned bags and red squirrel-shaped earrings, there’s a quality gift for a variety of tastes and budgets, particularly for those attracted to a little quirkiness.
Sharon pinner

Remarkable and Upcycled, Corbridge, Northumberland

RE Homeware Store in Corbridge

I love the philosophy as much as the eclectic selection of homeware and gifts sold by RE, in his cavernous shop in Bishops Yard. The spirit focuses on REmarkable, REcycled, REscued and REstored, and their quirky range includes leaf garlands made from salvaged phone books and toasting forks from Northumberland blacksmiths. RE sources stocks from local artisans and around the world – they supply many Fairtrade items, ensuring that products are produced ethically.

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Feat of clay, rye, east sussex

Rye pottery

Rye pottery is a beautiful shop that has produced lovely handcrafted and hand painted ceramics since 1869. From unique kitchen tiles to charming Sussex Pigs, there is so much here to enjoy and appreciate. The handmade “red clay” vases are so elegant and timeless that they would make the perfect gift for any stoneware lover. The shop intertwines the history of Sussex with pottery based on 1066 and the Bayeux tapestry. It also offers personalized gifts so you really find something unique this Christmas.
Rebecca james

Products from Wirral, Merseyside

Concept Corner Store
Concept Corner Store Photography: Ian Chantler

Concept corner is an independent gift shop in New Brighton that sells items handcrafted by local artists. It is a welcoming space that supports and makes local talent grow. From raw crystals, huggable tokens in a box, or vegan soaps, there’s always something new and something I love. Her scarves, candles, paintings, and jewelry make a great gift. Many elements are illustrated with representations of the local area and, as it is located near the River Mersey, the emphasis is on nautical themes. A vegan baker usually resides on weekends, which is perfect for recharging after sailing.
U Watson

Italian sweets, St Albans

Buongiornoitalia St Albans
Photography: Vanessa Wright

good morning italy Deli has been in St Albans for over 40 years and the owner, Tony, knows almost every customer by name. At Christmas, it is stacked from floor to ceiling with Panettone (with fruit) and Pandoro (no fruit) in every flavors imaginable, like a bunch of gifts. The deli counter is stocked with cheeses, cold cuts, and cannoli (crunchy tubes filled with pistachio or chocolate), but at this time of year, six sizes of baskets are lined up on the bench opposite, filled with prosecco, pasta, and panforte. And there are plenty of miniature premixed bottles of Aperol spritz or limoncello if you need an extra Christmas spirit!
Vanessa wright


Suggestions for Readers: Tip for a chance to win a £ 200 voucher for a Sawday stay


Tips for Guardian Travel Readers

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Christmas casts its spell, Ironbridge, Shropshire

the Ironbridge’s Little Christmas Store It’s a great place to head for decorations. Most are reasonably priced, starting at around £ 3. Set in a beautiful location overlooking the world’s oldest great cast iron bridge (opened 1781), the place looks lovely after dark.
Michelle nicholls

The Art of Paignton, Devon

Lollipops and Roses Paignton Devon is an arts and crafts shop filled with the most delicious bits and bobs. You are surrounded by so many beautiful handcrafted crafts that you won’t know where to look first. Pebble art, jewelry, photo frames, recycled gifts, and more, this shop is an Aladdin’s cave for people who love pretty things. Enter: the magical gifts created here will warm your heart.
Nichola legge

Cuckoo Cloud, North Yorkshire

Cuckoo Cloud it’s as attractive on the outside as it is on the inside, and it’s a blatantly feminine place to browse. In addition to home furnishings and hand-painted furnishings, Owner Kimberley offers a curated selection of elegant gifts made by local artisans. They are reasonably priced and include beautiful soy wax melts, cleverly packaged silver bangles for a variety of occasions, and vegan leather “perfect pouches”.

Pagan Heaven, Glastonbury

Goddess Temple Gifts is a quaint and idiosyncratic shop, perfect for gifts you won’t find anywhere else. It is a haven for artists to sell their fabulous goddess creations in countless different shapes and forms. My favorite seasonal gift in 2021 is a 100% natural hand-mixed incense, infused with the sacred intention of bringing the energy of the Lady of Avalon into your home space. It comes in a beautiful glass jar for £ 6.50 for 25g.
Lynne sedgmore

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