It’s never too early to plan your perfect shopping trip so why not find a place where the spirit of Christmas is still very much in evidence and shopping is a real pleasure?
With hundreds of independent retailers, a host of events and some fantastic festive accommodation deals, the Isle of Wight provides a magical backdrop for Christmas shopping.
Festive fun, winter wonderlands and twinkling lights bring Christmas cheer to Island towns and villages adding up to a full and satisfying day out for visitors. Find unusual crafts at bustling Christmas markets and fayres and unique one-off gifts at stylish boutiques and independent shops which pride themselves on offering a personal and friendly service – from free gift wrapping to complimentary mulled wine and mince pies.
Christmas pantomimes provide the perfect excuse to sit back, relax and put your feet up, or stop off at a warm and cosy pub for a pint of refreshment and some friendly chat as you soak up the Christmas cheer around the Island.
Ryde comes into its own at Christmas when the town is filled with the sounds of carols and the sights of strolling performers. Home to Liz Earle’s flagship store which stocks a range of beautifully packaged skincare, this town on the beach has a great range of specialist outlets including jewellers, toy stores, antiques dealers, bookshops and countless fashion boutiques; http://uk.lizearle.com/our-island-store
The Red Funnel Cowes Food Show on 13/14 December brings visitors the very best food, drink and gifts in one place. From stalls selling oak-smoked garlic and delicious dairy ice cream to a vintage Santa’s Grotto, choirs and children’s entertainment, it’s a great excuse to explore Cowes and purchase some truly unique gifts. http://www.redfunnel.co.uk/island-guide/isle-of-wight-events/isle-of-wight-events-july-to-september/cowes-food-show/
Quay Arts located on the River Medina in Newport is great for hand-crafted gifts, from locally made jewellery, ceramics, and textiles as well as cards and children’s toys. Newport also has a popular farmer’s market on a Friday in St Thomas’s Square and the areas around Watchbell Lane and Nodehill are interesting with a range of chabby chic, vintage and clothing shops to explore; http://www.quayarts.org/; http://www.islandfarmersmarket.co.uk/
Three miles south east of Newport and set in beautiful countryside is the traditional working craft village of Arreton Barns where you can enjoy watching local skilled artisans at work in their studios, browse local shops and have lunch in the Dairyman’s Daughter, a real-ale pub which from 1st December will be offering a yummy 3-course Christmas menu, including coffee and home-made fudge for £22 per person; http://www.arretonbarns.co.uk/
Hop on the Wightlink ferry from Lymington to Yarmouth (http://www.wightlink.co.uk/go/isle-of-wight-ferry-routes-destinations/lymington-yarmouth-ferry/) and discover a selection of boutique shops selling local food, fine jewellery, antiques and as you would expect from this historic harbour town, lots of nautically-inspired items. Nearby Chessell Pottery Barns, which is open weekends until 21 December, offers a wide range of unusual gifts and toys, as well as the opportunity to get creative and paint your own pottery. http://www.chessellpotterybarns.co.uk/
Dimbola Museum and Galleries in Freshwater Bay will be hosting another wonderful Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd November from 10am-4pm with a host of quality stalls selling a wide range of beautiful and unique handmade items from jewellery, photography and paintings to driftwood sculptures, pottery and glass. Entry to the museum and fair is free all weekend so why not get away from the high street and then enjoy a well-deserved break in their tea room which will be serving delicious home-made cakes and lunches? http://www.dimbola.co.uk/
If you can’t spare the time to visit, the Island has a huge choice of inspirational gift ideas that you can buy online. From relaxing spa days and boutique hotels to delicious afternoon tea and paragliding flights, there are lots of gift experiences on the Isle of Wight.
An irresistible mixture of gifts can be ordered from Made on the Isle of Wight, including hampers containing the finest Island produce from Island cheeses and chutneys to wines, beers and hand-made chocolates. Their courier service will deliver your hamper – which can be personalised with your own message – to anywhere in the world. http://madeonisleofwight.com/
Alternatively, delight the teen in your life with a customised sweater, hoodie or tee shirt from Rapanui, the award-winning eco-fashion company based on the Island. https://rapanuiclothing.com/
For more information on where to stay and what’s on in the run up to the festive season, go to www.visitisleofwight.co.uk
For further information, please contact: Sue Emmerson, Isle of Wight Press Officer, Tel: 07766 705672, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
The countdown to Christmas….
The Needles Park: Every weekend from 6th December enjoy a Wight Christmas at The Needles Park. Free parking, free children’s rides, free sweet-making and glass-making demonstrations, free elves workshop and free horse and carriage rides, there’s never been a better time to visit; www.theneedles.co.uk
Christmas Fun Day in Ventnor, 13th December: Ventnor is turning into Ventnorville and celebrating all things Dr Seuss. The Grinch will be coming to town, and you really don’t want to miss it! https://isleofwight.com/whats-on/-christmas-fun-day-in-ventnor
‘Twas the Barton before Christmas: On 16th November, take in the grounds of Barton Manor for a special Christmas Fair in aid of two local charities, Challenge & Adventure Isle of Wight and Age UK Isle of Wight. There will be a selection of local produce stalls, festive entertainment from Jazzy Heath and Centre Stage (plus more to be announced), lots of great decorations, fully stocked café with festive treats and a visit from Father Christmas himself. http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/twas-the-barton-before-christmas-p1114241
Cinderella at Medina Theatre: 2pm on Monday 22nd December – Saturday 3rd January (excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day); adults £14, concessions £11;
Aladdin at Shanklin Theatre: 2.45pm (additional performance at 7pm on 28th December)
Monday 22nd December – Friday 2nd January (excluding Christmas Day); tickets £15,
under 16s £11; http://www.shanklintheatre.com/
Sandown Christmas Eve Funday: A fun day for Christmas Eve featuring Street Entertainers, Market Stalls, Live Music and a Raffle. http://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/events/sandown-christmas-eve-funday-p1113561
Visit Isle of Wight Ltd
Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org