It happens to all of us: either we leave all of our Christmas shopping to the last minute, or there's that one person who we can't find a good gift for. Luckily, there are plenty of places in the Lake District and Cumbria that have great gift ideas for a bit of last-minute Christmas shopping. Read on for our guide of where to go to get the last of those presents!
Thinking about a last-minute festive getaway? Take a look at our cottages that still have availability over Christmas.
Keswick has an absolute plethora of shops to choose from! If you're shopping for an outdoor enthusiast, especially, there's an amazing choice. Needlesports has all things climbing, while George Fisher stocks anything from Kendal Mint Cake to equipment for the most extreme outdoor activities. For footwear, The Keswick Boot Co. should be your first stop thanks to its selection of hiking boots, casual shoes, wellies, and more. There are also galleries with unique Lake District-themed art, food outlets for a tasty hamper (try Keswick Cheese Deli), and unique & quirky gifts at shops such as Herdy and Cherrydidi. There's even more, so if you're staying at one of our Keswick Cottages, pop into town for a wander and see what you discover!
Kendal, the gateway to the South Lake District, is a characterful town full of shopping centres and yards. You're spoiled for choice with everything from the everyday to the wonderfully quirky. Kirkland in the Cultural Quarter is where could find something truly unique in one of the antique shops, while Elephant Yard hosts the likes of Todds of Kendal selling countrywear. Blackhall Yard, too, is full of local shops with wonderful names such as Bumblebee Gallery, Pandemonium Post and Retro Circus if you're buying for someone who likes their clothes vintage and sustainable. If you're looking for something truly Cumbrian, head to Cable and Blake, who make beautiful fabrics from local Herdwick wool.
For the giftee who has everything, head on over to Cockermouth. With plenty of antique stores tucked around the pretty Gem Town, you can hunt out something that's truly one -of-a-kind! There are plenty of other options, too: Hummingbird House sells beautiful homeware ranging from candleholders to occasional tables, or perhaps something musical is what you need? Billy Bowman's will be your one-stop shop.The New Bookshop, Jacy's Exclusive Lingerie, The Linden Tree Jewellery Store... the list goes on!
Home to the flagship shore of the popular Lakeland luxury cookware shop, Windermere is the place to head if you know someone who loves to bake or whip up tasty treats in the kitchen! Booths would be a great place to put together a hamper of local Cumbrian produce while Gina Ricci stocks a big selection of quality footwear as well as stylish and quirky accessories such as handbags.
Penrith is simply bursting with independent shops alongside big high street brands. Eclectic stocks unique retro items, and there are plenty of gift stores such as The Unicorn and The Lion Gallery. For kids, head to Twinkletoes, or browse to your heart's content through a big range of independent clothing stores stocking everything from high end fashion to fair trade outfits.
5. Pooley Bridge
At the head of Ullswater, Pooley Bridge is a small Lake District village. It may not have the largest choice of shops on our list but, if you're staying in the area, it's well worth visiting for a browse around Chestnut House. Stocking a whopping 400 different gins, as well as other alcohols, local produce and a small selection of Lake District-themed gifts, this is the go-to place in Cumbria for any gin lovers you need to buy for!
Ambleside is a quintessential Lake District town and famous for the iconic Bridge House sitting on top of the river. It also offers excellent shopping: treat someone to a pampering with luxury hand-made products from the Bath House; buy a history buff a dinosaur fossil at The Rock Shop; or get your wines, Champagnes and local beers from the Wine Store.
Known as England's Book Town, Sedbergh should be top of your list if you're Christmas shopping for a book lover. You can buy cheap and cheery easy reads or hunt out rare collectibles that will blow your recipient away. Sedbergh has plenty more choice for your last-minute Christmas shopping too. The Artistan Market may have just the trinket to finish off your shopping, or Green Doors Sweet Shop is a traditional confectioners that is ideal for those with a sweet tooth. The Silver Workshop sells handcrafted jewellery, pick up a handwoven gift from The Weaving Studio, find unique art at Main Street Gallery... we could go on!
If you need to do some serious shopping, then head to Cumbria's capital city, Carlisle. With a pedestrianised main shopping centre and hidden streets that snake off in all directions, you could easily do all of your Christmas shopping here! Big department stores sit next to unique underground book shops, and a couple of shopping centres have a range of outlets. Pick up a bargain at TK Maxx, admire the olde-style stalls in The Market Hall, or wander through the modern Lanes Shopping Centre.
9. Shop Online
You can still shop local when you go online! Lots of independent shops in Cumbria and the Lake District are still delivering up to Christmas. Or maybe a physical present isn't quite what you need, and an adventure may be more up their street. A voucher is a great option for that: Suzanna Swims, Keswick Adventures, Honister Slate Mine... all these fantastic local companies and more sell vouchers that would make a perfect gift. Or you could even get one of our own Sally's Cottages gift voucher for someone who loves to travel.
Good luck with the rest of your shopping and have a happy and safe Christmas, wherever you are!