If you’re bored with buying the same old mass-produced, available-everywhere Christmas gifts, trimmings and food and drink, you can’t beat shopping in Snowdonia. This lush, mountainous area in the north-west of Wales is as well-known for its talented artists, craftspeople and food producers as it is for its outdoor activities.
Looking for a little last-minute inspiration for Christmas shopping? Look no further – here are ten fantastic places to shop for all your Christmas goodies.
1. Lotti & Wren
In the heart of the medieval walled town of Caernarfon you’ll find Lotti & Wren, who sell some really beautiful gifts, trimmings, clothing and jewellery. This is a particularly good shop if you’re looking for gifts for female friends or relatives – but there are gorgeous things for babies and small children, too, as well as beautiful items for the home.
2. Portmeirion Village
There are several shops at Portmeirion Village, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when you go there for a shopping trip. And in the winter months, entry is free on weekdays and only 2 on weekends (via a downloadable winter entry ticket) so take advantage and shop until you drop! Everything sold by Portmeirion is of the highest quality, from gourmet chocolates to designer bedding – perfect if you’re shopping for someone who deserves pampering!
3. The Joshua Tree
The Joshua Tree is a lovely little gift shop in the middle of Pwllheli, and it’s a real Aladdin’s cave of beautiful and unusual gifts, cards and items for the home. Many of the goods on sale at The Joshua Tree are locally crafted, and there’s a fantastic choice of jewellery too.
4. The Knights Shop
Opposite Conwy Castle is The Knights Shop, a great place to shop for anyone who’s interested in castles, knights, swords and historic warfare. They also stock some interesting food and drink items like locally made mead – and even if you’re not in the mood for buying, it’s still a fascinating place to browse (and it’s one shop that children don’t seem to mind being dragged into!).
5. The Rocking Sheep Company
One of the nicest and most unusual gifts you could buy for a small child is a hand-made sit-on rocking sheep – and The Rocking Sheep Company in Harlech is where to get one. Their rocking sheep and lambs are covered with real fleece, and the company makes foot stools and chairs too. These are heirloom items so the price tags aren’t exactly in the ‘stocking fillers’ category – but what an amazing gift for a toddler if you have the budget for it!
6. Tan yr Hall Gallery
Tan yr Hall Gallery in Bala is a great place to shop for gifts for family members and friends who would appreciate good quality art to add to their collection. With a range of originals and prints, photographs and books, as well as jewellery that’s been made on the premises, you’re bound to find a gift or two at Tan yr Hall.