A shop local guide by The Warwickshire Review
The festive season is upon us, but this year is a complete curveball.
Usually, we’d now be queuing in shops looking for special gifts for loved ones. For Christmas 2020, however, many businesses have closed due to the current public health emergency.
On top of this, our favourite festive events have had to cancel. So, shopping for our loved ones over the festive period is proving to be more challenging than ever before.
If we want our communities and the small businesses to survive, we have to support local. We can’t just fall back on the big high street chains or simply head to Amazon.
This year, it is especially important to give back to the independent retailers at a time when they need us most.
Warwickshire offers loads of opportunities for small, independent retailers to thrive, but only with our help.
We asked Sarah from The Warwickshire Review to tell us about the best options to shop local in Warwickshire this Christmas.
Please note that all events are subject to change due to Covid-19 restrictions. All information was correct at time of writing.
Places to shop local in Warwickshire
Coventry’s Fargo Village is an eclectic selection of independent shops in Coventry. It acts as a space to celebrate the creative potential of individuals within the community. With an incredible selection of independently owned stores, food outlets and studios for customers to explore, you’re sure to find something special to gift to a loved one.
Browse record collections at the Just Dropped In Record store. Or make your way over to the Big Comfy Book Shop to grab a coffee and some new reading material. You can even pick up handmade, cruelty free bath products and soya wax candles from Olivia Thomas Handmade to treat someone who deserves a pamper this Christmas.
Sadly, Fargo Village has had to cancel the usual events due to the current lockdown. All is not lost though; they will hold their first online Winter Mini Market on the 21st November. There will also be a few other events at Fargo Village to showcase artists and creatives in the run up to Christmas.
Leamington Spa’s annual festive market usually shuts down all traffic on the parade and opens up stalls for the locals to browse. This year, it has been cancelled, but you can still support local business over Christmas.
You’ll find a lovely selection of independent shops in Leamington, With everything from homeware, to children’s clothing or unique gifts, there’s a lot on offer.
You can also find something equally as creative and thoughtful for the person who has everything. The Jewellery Bench offers workshops to learn basic jewellery making skills and techniques. Or if food’s their thing, indulge someone (or yourself) in some treats from Hill Top Farm in Leamington Spa.
You could even pop into the Dice Board Box Cafe where you can enjoy lunch and a board game.
Warwick’s Winter Food Festival has been scaled back for Christmas 2020. The festival has been reduced to a market and will no longer include entertainment. It will however, showcase up to forty stalls showcasing local and artisan food goodies.
The Warwick Castle Festive Market will also be taking place on the 5th and 6th of December. This event will offer local traders the chance to display their wares. You’ll find ethically made and fair trade brand, Omishka, as well as wellbeing products from Aromahotties,
Hidden away in rural Warwick, you’ll find Hatton Shopping Village. This collection of shops celebrates the festive season in style. There will be a Christmas market held every Saturday and Sunday in December, with a special vintage theme for weekend of the 12th and 13th December.
The weekends will feature live Christmas singing and carols, to give you all of the festive feels, but also unique gifts.
Stratford’s Victorian Xmas Market won’t be running this year, but the Urban Mix Market on Rother Street will continue every Saturday.
Rother Street’s Urban Mix Market offers a wide selection of stalls. You’ll find street food, vintage goods, handmade jewellery and other cool, quirky odds and ends. Perfect for unusual stocking fillers.
Timeless Tales is a beautiful shop for little ones and collectors, and one you can’t miss in Henley Street. From the beloved Hungry Caterpillar through to Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit toys, it’s an Aladdin’s cave!
Kenilworth boasts some interesting boutiques along its main high street. You’ll find Antigo for jewellery, clothing and gifts.
For children’s presents, Abacraft sells a selection of traditional and branded toys, but also offers ready made and bespoke framing.
Mixed in with these shops, Kenilworth boasts some exceptional charity shops within the Warwickshire region. From second hand clothes, toys, books, records and more, you will be sure to find some treasure on your search. Oxfam’s Books and Music store and Age UK are just two charities in Warwickshire that you can support, whilst also looking after your wallet. wide range of stores across Warwickshire, there are hidden gems in each town of our beloved region.
So, regardless of how this pandemic has affected your pocket, you will be able to spoil the ones you love and support your local charities at the same time.
Now, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t talk about food. Tucking in to all those pre-Xmas snacks of cheese, chutneys and treats is what we look forward to most, isn’t it?
If you are looking to stock up for the foodie lovers in your life over the festive period, we highly recommend Cheese On The Green in Rugby. This cheese shop is currently accepting orders online for collection in store. So you can browse their range of quality cheeses and chutneys on their website.
For other great Christmas snacks, Sweet Retreat to buy traditional and retro sweets, and handmade chocolates.
As you can see therefore, there are tonnes of options around, to shop local in Warwickshire this Christmas,