You’d be forgiven for assuming that shopkeepers Carmen and Chris were total Christmas obsessives given their penchant for Christmas shops.
Having spent 16 years at the helm of Old Rowlands in Cheddar, the pair turned their attention north and opened Christmas on the Lakes in Bowness-on-Windermere at the end of 2018.
Turns out however that the couple fell into the Christmas world rather unintentionally. Under their guardianship, Old Rowlands had traded as a part Christmas, part home & gift shop, following the lead of the owners before them.
But having seen the positive impact that a Christmas shop can make on its customers and local community, and knowing they’d need something a little different to stand out in the tourist heavy Lake District, Carmen and Chris decided to double down on Christmas for their new store.
And they haven’t looked back. Delighted by the support they have received from the local community, Christmas on the Lakes has gone from strength to strength.
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Opening Christmas On The Lakes
The Salvation Army Band played carols outside one weekend and reindeer from local wood farm Cosy Logs visited on another. ‘I felt like all my Christmas wishes had come at once,’ recalls Carmen, ‘When I spent the day picking up reindeer poop!’ The job is clearly more varied than originally anticipated 😉
But it’s all worth it when you see the look of wonder on the children’s faces. ‘It’s contagious,’ says Carmen, ‘When they come into the store and are so excited to tell you about the button they found on Christmas Day, or Santa’s footprints in the snow, you start to almost believe again yourself.’
Top Trends For Christmas
meander through Dickensian British at Christmas
Designing The Store
But for Carmen, the real pleasure comes in creating a shopping experience packed full of Dickensian festive cheer.
The couple were presented with a literal blank canvas and have worked tirelessly to turn it into a winter wonderland.
Now customers can meander from Tiny Tim’s Trinkets to Cratchit’s Collectables and Scrooge and Marley’s as they explore each of the décor themes on offer.
The store is jam-packed full of anything and everything you’ll need to prepare for the big day, including numerous locally produced or bespoke designs.
And if you’d prefer someone else do the decorating for you, Carmen also creates beautiful bespoke swags, garlands and wreaths for customers on request.
Though I have it on good authority that it was their Twerking Santa that took centre stage when Christmas on the Lakes was featured on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch last December!
FIND IT HERE: 59 Quarry Rigg, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3DU
DATE OF VISIT: 4 August 2021
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