Christmas gift ideas from the Lake District and Cumbria

Christmas in the Lake District and Cumbria

You won’t have to look further than the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria for this year’s perfect Christmas present. Specialist, independently-run shops are one of the big features of this corner of England, the stores themselves selling everything from fashion, food and drink to books, homeware, and bath and beauty products. Food and drink producers abound, artists and makers are plentiful and there are scores of gift shops. You’ll be spoilt for choice. So, shop local this Christmas and give the Lake District and Cumbria a present as well.

Cranstons at Carlisle, Brampton, Orton Grange

Cranstons at Carlisle, Brampton, Orton Grange

Check out Cranstons huge range of Christmas food/drink at one of these food halls in and around Carlisle. It includes hog roast garlands, chicken cushions, Christmas chuckling, traditional pork pies, Christmas meat boxes and the Eden Luxury Crate, ‘a Cumbrian food lovers delight’. Image courtesy of Cranstons, subject to copyright.

www.cranstons.net

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

Rheged, near Penrith

Rheged, near Penrith

Take in the two big Christmas films on Rheged’s giant screen (Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) or visit the food hall and other shops for heaps of ideas for Christmas: fashion, body lotions, soaps and hand washes, candles, Christmas puddings, sheepskins from Westmorland’s own family farm, sheepskin slippers, pouffes and hot water bottles and a lot more

www.rheged.com

Eden Valley and the East

Grasmere. Heaton Cooper Studio

Grasmere. Heaton Cooper Studio

Four generations of a renowned family of Lakeland artists - the Heaton Coopers - are represented at this studio, which makes it a great place to come for a choice of original paintings, fine art prints, sculpture, ceramics, greetings cards, books, gifts, and artists’ materials. There’s a delightful café here too - with a Scandi influence - called Mathilde’s.

www.heatoncooper.co.uk

Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston

Lanercost Tea Room, Lanercost, near Brampton

Lanercost Tea Room, Lanercost, near Brampton

If you see one Father Christmas here, you’ll probably see a hundred. Lanercost loves its festive season, and with cards, cushions, decorations, scarves, candles, soaps, woollen throws, lip balms, bags, jewellery, Mosney Mill homeware, and jams and chutneys made by Cumbrian producers, you can see why. Tea room and canine café next door.

www.lanercosttearoom.co.uk

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite Lake

The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite Lake

Needless to say the Christmas spirit abounds at The Lakes Distillery where the extensive range of gifts takes in spirit-filled baubles and crackers, miniature gin/vodka and liqueurs gift packs, mugs, jugs, whisky stones, glasses, The Lakes Single Malt Whiskymaker’s Reserve No. 2 and - for the ultimate present - The Quatrefoil Collection.

www.lakesdistillery.com

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes

Higginsons of Grange

Higginsons of Grange

Heaps of people will be ordering free-range turkeys from this former Best Butchers in Britain where the ‘finest festive food’ includes free range geese and cockerels, speciality pies, three and five bird roasts, pintade farcie, Cumbrian beef, free range pork, whole ducks, festive cheeseboards, and Christmas boxes and hampers. Buy in Grange or online.

www.higginsonsofgrange.co.uk

Kendal and the South

National Trust membership

National Trust membership

Given the number of National Trust properties in the Lake District and the rest of Cumbria - Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, Allan Bank at Grasmere, Hill Top at Near Sawrey (pictured), Wray Castle at Low Wray, Sizergh Castle, Townend at Troutbeck, Acorn Bank near Temple Sowerby plus Gondola on Coniston Water and Aira Force at Ullswater - what about taking out an annual National Trust membership? For those aged 5-17 it’s £10 a year, for young people 18-25 it’s £36, adults are £72, two adults living at the same address are £120 and family is up to £126.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/join-us

Kin Toffee Vodka

Kin Toffee Vodka

Looking for a little stocking filler or a secret Santa present? Search no further than this 50ml bottle of Kin and a branded shot glass. Inspired by the ski slopes of France and created near the fells of Cumbria, the ‘smooth blended vodka with rich caramel tones and a subtle kick’ is the perfect winter warmer. Buy online or at local stockists.

www.kinvodka.co.uk

Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere

'Embellish with Relish' from Hawkshead Relish

'Embellish with Relish' from Hawkshead Relish

Just in time for Christmas and celebrating 20 years since Mark and Maria Whitehead set up this well known business. This is a cook book inspired by the couple’s family, their travel and the range of 120 different relishes, pickles, jams, ketchups and preserves which are produced in the Lake District. Buy online, at the shop in Hawkshead or in many other places.

www.hawksheadrelish.com

Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston

Simon Rogan hampers, Cartmel

Simon Rogan hampers, Cartmel

You may not be able to cook like Michelin starred chef Simon Rogan but the ingredients in ‘The Chef’s Hamper’ (£75) ‘will help you produce delicious meals’. L’Enclume coal oil, elderflower vinegar, pumpkin and horseradish salt and Anvil beer are four ingredients of this hamper (one of three for Christmas), sold online or at the Rogan shop in Cartmel.

www.simonrogan.co.uk/shop

Kendal and the South

Peter Hall & Son, Windermere

Peter Hall & Son, Windermere

They may be best known as bespoke furniture designers and makers but head to this boutique and interior design studio in Windermere and you’ll discover a whole range of other quality presents for Christmas. It includes lamps, ceramics, blankets, throw, cushions, clocks, prints and decorations. Furniture is here too, as it is in their Staveley showroom.

www.peter-hall.co.uk

Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere

English Lakes Ice Cream

English Lakes Ice Cream

What better accompaniment to mince pies and Christmas puddings than English Lakes Ice Cream? The Kendal-based makers of this ‘luxurious Cumbrian ice cream’ won three Great Taste Awards this year for their Thunder and Lightning, Raspberry Pavlova, and Double Jersey ice creams, the latter awarded two stars. Fruit sorbets are produced too.

www.lakesicecream.com

Kendal and the South

Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall, Penrith

Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall, Penrith

There’s all sorts of wonderful festive fare at Cranstons flagship food hall: Christmas pies and meat boxes, free range geese, three bird roasts, hog roast garlands, Christmas cushions, wild venison and the Eden Luxury Crate, a 'Cumbrian food lovers delight’ in a chunky wooden crate. And a lot more. Image courtesy of Cranstons, subject to copyright.

www.cranstons.net

Eden Valley and the East

Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton near Cartmel

Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton near Cartmel

If you’re looking for something a bit different for Christmas, head to this huge 19th century, Westmorland barn and check out the range of architectural antiques, ceramics, jewellery, books, decorations, cards, bath and body care products, artwork, lighting, ironmongery, stained glass and much more. Have a break at Harry’s Café Bar before starting again.

www.yewtreebarn.co.uk

Kendal and the South

Hampers from J&J Graham, Penrith

Hampers from J&J Graham, Penrith

Savour the flavour of artisan foods with a scrumptious hamper from one of Cumbria’s best known delis. Choose between the Ullswater, Cumberland, Christmas, Derwentwater, Skiddaw or Thirlmere hampers (and more) and give your friends and family a great taste of local produce. Buy online or at the shop in Penrith.

www.jjgraham.co.uk

Eden Valley and the East

Casanova Menswear, Carlisle

Casanova Menswear, Carlisle

Check out this long standing and very well known Carlisle independent for suits, jackets, trousers, shirts, pullovers, shoes, scarves and other accessories. Brands include Gant, Lacoste, Paul & Shark, Olymp, Brax, Roy Robson, Myer, Van Gils, Finch Hatton and Giordano plus Barker and Lacuzzo shoes.

www.casanova-menswear.com

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread

Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread

Add some spice to Christmas with this famous Lake District food whose ‘unique intoxicating flavour tastes like nothing else on earth’. Check out the range of Christmas hampers (most of the produce is Cumbrian) and don’t forget Cumberland Rum Butter, delicious on Christmas puddings or warm mince pies. Buy online or at the shop in Grasmere.

www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk

Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston

Fyne Fish, Cockermouth

Fyne Fish, Cockermouth

Christmas and smoked salmon go pretty well together, so head to this family owned fishmonger and seafood deli in Cockermouth or its outlet at Cranstons Food Hall in Penrith to buy award winning smoked salmon from Grants Smokehouse. Fyne Fish was Fishmonger of the Yearat the Farmshop and Deli Awards in both 2018 and 2019.

www.fynefish.net

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes

Tebay Services, Farmshop and Kitchen

Tebay Services, Farmshop and Kitchen

Snuggle up with a sheepskin rug from Westmorland's own family farm, and check out the sheepskin slippers, pouffes and hot water bottle covers as well. Try the range of own-brand skincare and candles or Westmorland’s Christmas puddings, made to a traditional recipe. Shop at M6 Tebay Services and Rheged, near Penrith.

www.tebayservices.com

Eden Valley and the East

Christmas produce from Lakeland Artisan, Windermere

Christmas produce from Lakeland Artisan, Windermere

Boozy baubles, mulled fruit gin, spiced fruit rum liqueur and Lakeland hampers. Four Christmas treats from Lakeland Artisan, winners of nine Great Taste Awards in 2019 and two ‘highly recommendeds’ at October’s Great British Food Awards (damson gin liqueur and damson extra jam). Buy online or at the shop in Windermere.

www.lakelandartisan.co.uk

Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere

Claire’s Handmade

Claire’s Handmade

Celebratory Christmas chutney, figgy pudding chutney with Armagnac, cranberry and orange sauce, Christmas marmalade with whisky and Christmas conserve with ruby port. Five festive treats from this well known winner of numerous Great Taste Awards whose condiments have graced Fortnum and Mason hampers. Buy online or in many other places.

www.claireshandmade.com

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

Fred’s Ambleside Bookshop

Fred’s Ambleside Bookshop

For anyone keen on local books or Lake District guides and maps - and that includes stories by Arthur Ransome sold in hard back, with their original dust jackets - head to Cumbria’s best known independent bookshop, opened in 1956. Thousands of titles (adult fiction and children’s books amongst them) are spread across two floors.

www.fredsamblesidebookshop.co.uk

Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere

Festive Sticky Figgy Pudding, Cartmel Village Shop

Festive Sticky Figgy Pudding, Cartmel Village Shop

'Oh bring us a figgy pudding,' goes the famous Christmas song. You won’t have to look far for one because the makers of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding have produced a Festive Sticky Figgy Pudding, packed with moist figs, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, citrus, chocolate and hints of Christmas spices. Buy online, at the Cartmel shop and in many other places.

www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk

Kendal and the South

Winter warmers from Laura’s Loom, Sedbergh

Winter warmers from Laura’s Loom, Sedbergh

Not so much a stocking filler as lovely woollen socks. Keep warm this winter with something soft, sumptuous and sustainable from Laura Rosenzweig’s own-designed range of scarves, socks, throws and comforting blankets, all inspired by the natural tapestry of Cumbria’s Howgill Fells. The socks are sold online and at Farfield Mill near Sedbergh.

www.laurasloom.co.uk

Eden Valley and the East

The Toffee Shop, Penrith

The Toffee Shop, Penrith

Join the musicians, film stars, royalty and politicians who’ve all beaten a path to this shop over the years and come away with one of its trademark boxes (white, with gold edging and black lettering), packed with butter, chocolate or mint fudge, or two flavours of toffee. A great present for Christmas. Buy online or at the shop in Penrith.

www.thetoffeeshop.co.uk

Eden Valley and the East

Castlegate House Gallery, Cockermouth

Castlegate House Gallery, Cockermouth

Make someone a gift of original art this Christmas by paying a visit to Cumbria’s best known commercial art gallery. 20th century and contemporary British painting and ceramics are the major themes here, with work by Frank Auerbach, Winifred Nicholson, Grayson Perry and Norman Cornish (pic) all being shown in the last year or so.

www.castlegatehouse.co.uk

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes

The Wool Clip, Caldbeck

The Wool Clip, Caldbeck

There’s no better time to wear wool than in winter and no better place to find ‘all things wool’ than at this co-operative in the northern fells. Scarves, hats, jumpers, socks, wool kits and patterns, yarns and materials, rag rugs, knitted rugs, books, bags, bangles, cards, cushions, tea cosies, felted pictures and tufted wall hangings are amongst the many items for sale.

www.woolclip.com

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes

MJ Cabinetmakers, Braithwaite, near Keswick

MJ Cabinetmakers, Braithwaite, near Keswick

You can come away from Matthew Jardine’s workshop and showroom with a beautiful piece of hardwood furniture - a dining table, a dresser, a chest of drawers, a writing table or a side table, for instance. But you can also buy smaller items such as coasters, clocks, bowls, cabinets and wooden boxes which are perfect for gifts.

www.mjcabinetmakers.co.uk

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes

Sizergh near Kendal. Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop

Sizergh near Kendal. Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop

Food and drink is the major theme here with every corner of a huge Westmorland barn filled with cheese, chutneys, breads, cakes, pies, vegetables, biscuits, mustards, flours, beers and ciders. But head upstairs towards the café or downstairs to the shippon for ceramics, fashion, artwork, books, garden items and more.

www.lowsizerghbarn.co.uk

Kendal and the South

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