Why wait until December for those festive feels? We’ve scoured the country to create a Complete Guide to all the year round Christmas Shops in the UK. What’s more, we’ve visited them all too!
First Published: 23 Sept 2021
The results are in and they are unanimous: Visiting a Christmas Shop makes you happy!
OK, so we don’t have statistical evidence but all 25 of the UK’s year-round Christmas shops agreed. Surely they can’t all be wrong?!
It makes sense too. A little pocket of North Pole magic on an otherwise ordinary High Street. That’s got to raise a smile, as a talking point at the very least! And a few minutes of escapism inside that Winter Wonderland – how could it not raise your spirits?!
Table of Contents
Bringing The Tradition Of Christmas Shops To The UK
It transpires that there’s quite a lot of us who (secretly or otherwise) love a festive fix out-of-season and these independent boutiques dotted around the country have high curb appeal for tourists and locals alike.
A tradition brought across from the USA, the first UK Christmas shop appeared in the Cotswolds in 1985 and others have since followed to answer the growing demand for festive souvenirs as people grow Christmas trees full of ornament memories.
Until now the location of these shops has been down to local knowledge. But no longer!
We have scoured the length and breadth of the country to create the very first complete guide to the United Kingdom’s Year-Round Christmas Shops.
So, should you fancy a dose of December-come-early, check out the map below.
What’s more, we’ve visited every store!
(Yes, it’s a hardship but someone had to do it…)
Click the links to find out more about each shop and discover the story behind the baubles.
Finding The UK’s Christmas Shops: Behind The SceneS
First thing to know is that these shops have amazing taste in location!
From Padstow to York, the Isle of Wight to the Lake District, they have nestled themselves in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. It’s certainly no challenge to head in their direction should you fancy a day out or trip away.
Whilst I had visited a number of the shops over the years anyway, it quickly became apparent that there was no neat list of all the stores around the country which seems bizarre as Jo and I can’t be the only ones who love a mooch amongst the ornaments no matter the time of year! Surely?!
The Mission Was Clear
Create a complete list of all the year-round Christmas Shops in England.
Fast forward many (many!) hours of googling, phone calls, trips and chats across the country and we have searched out these 25 fabulous boutiques for you to explore.
The Criteria For Inclusion?
We want to be clear here – we’re talking year-round Christmas shops. Not seasonal pop-ups, nor online-only, nor departments within a bigger store. These are genuine, unadulterated all-year-long in-person Christmas retail experiences.
To avoid any confusion we created three criteria for inclusion and, for transparency, here they are:
- (Almost!) exclusively focussed on the sale of Christmas products
- Based at a fixed address with a physical shop
- Open at least nine months of the year
What Makes A Year-Round Christmas Shop So Special?
‘Do people visit the shop because they’re in the town, or visit the town because of the shop’, I asked repeatedly.
‘Both!’ came the reply.
Run almost exclusively by passionate independent owners, year-round Christmas shops are first and foremost souvenir stores.
Not there to compete with their seasonal counterparts, these shops offer ornament keepsakes for your Christmas collections, evoking memories of past holidays for years to come.
The owners pride themselves on their quality décor, bespoke baubles and exclusive partnerships with designers, both British and overseas.
True treasure troves, they are filled to the rafters (quite literally in some cases!) with gorgeous festive fare, unashamedly arousing your Christmas senses as you explore the shelves and displays.
Even the Scrooges are heartily embraced, with humbugs on offer at tills and Grinch Benches set up outside.
And the general consensus? As we said above, whatever your thoughts about Christmas, it turns out a trip to a Christmas Shop will cheer you up!
Shop owners, many with a long history in retail, reported time and again that their customers were happier than the average shopper, and even the most Grinch-like of visitors typically leaves with a smile on their face.
What Do Christmas Shop Owners Do For Christmas?
The inevitable question: What do you do for Christmas when you spend your whole year helping others create theirs?
The question was invariably met with a giggle and a sigh.
Whilst a handful are hard core Christmasers with energy aplenty for their own festivities come December, for many the excitement and pleasure comes from filling their shelves and sprinkling magic for others.
And with their tree on display all year around, Christmas marks the beginning of a few weeks’ of precious downtime.
Much like Santa himself!
Where Are The UK’s Year Round Christmas Shops?
Use our interactive map to find your local year round Christmas Shop! Click ‘more’ for shop contact details and the stories from our visits.
Complete List of Year-Round Christmas Shops In The UK
Christmas Shops In England
1. Tidings, Padstow
Perfect For: Mooching in a seaside treasure trove for baubles with a story.
2. Old Rowlands Gift & Christmas Shop, Cheddar Gorge
Perfect For: Beautifully presented festive displays nestled in stunning surroundings with a seasonal sleepover available upstairs!
3. Jingle Bells Christmas Shop, Shanklin
Perfect For: Snagging a seaside memento (and maybe a chat with Santa!) before afternoon tea at Pencil Cottage.
4. Russell Ince’s Christmas Imaginarium, Ryde
Perfect For: Something rather magical and the chance to meet Santa’s Official Biographer!
5. It’s Christmas, By British Design, Windsor
Perfect For: Tucked away festive beauties, a stone’s throw from Royalty.
6. Cotswold Christmas Shop, Lechlade
Perfect For: Celebrating a piece of history in the home of the UK Year-Round Christmas shop!
7. The Victorian Christmas Shop, Bourton-On-The-Water
Perfect For: Traditional festive feels in a picture perfect location.
8. The Nutcracker Christmas Shop, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Perfect For: Festive browsing in a Christmas movie set location. To splurge or not to splurge, that is the question!
9. The Little Christmas Shop of Ironbridge
Perfect For: Log cabin-esque festive gorgeousness within view of a World Heritage Site.
10. Miracle on King Street, Ludlow
Perfect For: Cosy Christmas browsing in a wonderfully traditional setting.
11. Christmas Perks, Shrewsbury
Perfect For: Quirky decorations! You’ll find them here in abundance, along with a lot of festive fun!
12. A Piece of Christmas, Halifax
Perfect For: Delightful festive browsing, set within a piece of history.
13. The Nutcracker Christmas Shop, York
Perfect For: Soaking up The Shambles & snagging a memento of historic York.
14. Käthe Wohlfahrt, York
Perfect For: Having your mind blown with Christmas beauty!
15. Christmas & More, Kendal
Perfect For: Festive shopping that extends well beyond the baubles!
16. Christmas On The Lakes, Bowness on Windermere
Perfect For: A lakeside mooch amongst beautifully styled Christmas collections.
Christmas Shops In Scotland
17. Once Upon A Christmas, Dunoon
Perfect For: A very warm welcome at a hidden gem of festive treasures.
18. The Olde Christmas Shoppe, Helensburgh
Perfect For: Thoughtful selection of Christmas treats in a waterside location.
19. The Nutcracker Christmas Shop, Edinburgh
Perfect For: A regal festive selection worthy of its Royal Mile location.
20. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe, Edinburgh
Perfect For: Great selection of historic icons immortalised on ornaments in an equally historic location.
21. Tinsel & Tartan, Stirling
Perfect For: Festive tartan aplenty (and much more!) a stone’s throw from the castle.
22. The Nutcracker Christmas Shop, Callander
Perfect For: Traditional festive feels at the foot of National Park mountains.
23. The Nutcracker Christmas Shop, St Andrews
Perfect For: Festive fragrance guaranteed to transport you to Christmas as you browse.
24. The Nutcracker Christmas Village, Crieff
Perfect For: Whisking you away to a starry night in a Christmas market square.
25. The Christmas Emporium, Pitlochry
Perfect For: A moment of mindfulness with mesmerising trees before a festive mooch!
With a huge thank you to all the fabulous Year Round Christmas Shops for their help and support in preparing this guide. And what a privilege to meet such a lovely set of passionate friendly shopkeepers.
Know of any other British All Year Christmas Shops?
Do get in contact to let us know – as small independent businesses, they can be a little tricky to find but deserve to be celebrated and shared!
Been to visit one of the shops recently?
Share your experiences in the comments below.
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