But the key to a happy and fulfilling Christmas shopping experience is combining it with a weekend away and it has to be said, Cumbria, the Lake District is a great location for both aspects.
Step just outside of the busy southern Lake District areas of Ambleside, Windermere and Coniston and the areas to the west of the county, Grange over Sands and Cartmel are pure and unadulterated Christmas gift shopping and weekend break heaven.
The town of Grange over Sands and the village of nearby Cartmel have gift shops galore as well as stunning artisan food producers and markets with goods available all year round. As December is within touching distance and Christmas Day gets scarily close, more and more markets are held and weekend special craft, gift and food events.
Taking place every 3rd Friday in the month, 10am – 4pm is the Cartmel Food Market. The December instalment on Friday 15th December is the biggest and best of the calendar naturally. In the picturesque setting by the Priory and opposite Unsworth Yard, the food market bring together all the very best of Cumbria and Lancashire produce and suppliers. Cartmel Village Shop – home of the original sticky toffee pudding will be there of course but also Choc-Lori, The Chilli Man, Cumberland Pig, David Knipe Poultry, Deer n Dexter and Furness Fish and Game to name just a few.
On top on these then Unsworth’s Yard is full of foodie goodness thanks to the Unsworth’s Yard Brewery and Wine Marchant, Cartmel Cheeses and an artisan baker.
Grange over Sands is a wash with food outlets too including the award winning Higginson’s Butcher. They do meat hampers, award winning pies and other fresh goods, a one stop shop for Christmas. So where to stay? Grange over Sands is both handy and affordable but a sprinkling o luxury too. The Bay Villa Bed & Breakfast on Main Street is just the ticket for a pre Christmas getaway. Late deal rooms from just £122.50 per room per night including breakfast. Visit http://www.bayvilla.net for more details and to book.