Shop for your Christmas gifts in Lymington and the New Forest
Let's #shoplocal to support our New Forest businesses this Christmas.
Shopping locally is a good thing on so many counts - click here for 10 good reasons to shop locally!
This time of year, when we tend to spend more than normal, is a great opportunity to boost the income of our local shops as well. In any case who wants to spend ages queuing at city centre carparks and wading through the frenzied crowds, only to find nothing of interest in the so-called 'offers'?
As for online, well for certain things yes - but don't we all spend enough time on our screens? So often the 'normal' prices in our local independent shops are the same or lower anyway - and you'll usually get better service too. We'll be doing as much of our Christmas shopping as we can locally, and hope you will too.
Here is our guide to some of the best Christmas gifts available locally, including a few different 'experience' gifts and vouchers which can be enjoyed later. Keep abreast of all the local craft fairs and Christmas markets too, where many local artisans and New Forest producers display and sell their unique wares. Full details in our article Christmas in the New Forest 2019 (if you're organising a Christmas Fair and it's not yet in our Events Calendar - add it now free of charge! Here's how).
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Find individual gifts, great offers and service with a smile
Throughout the New Forest, we've many great independent businesses on or near our high streets that are crying out for your support at Christmas! Whether you're in Lymington or Beaulieu, Brockenhurst or Lyndhurst, you'll find a wonderful selection of products - all served with a smile! Think out of the box a little - and remember to look out those shops in the back streets too. Here are a few of our favourites:
Starboard Home, Lymington - design-led home furnishing and gifts
Your ideal starting point for Christmas shopping is Starboard Home on the cobbled Quay Hill. A treasure trove of design-led home interiors and furnishings, gorgeous gifts, elegant jewellery and cashmere, you'll find inspiration over three floors of impressive displays. Fragrant candles, pot pourri and seasonal cheer permeate in every corner, take time to browse the many choices of gifts, cards and delightful Christmas decorations. Beautiful jewellery and scarves are interspersed with unusual books and charming men’s gifts. And if you're stuck for ideas, Sarah and Nick will be on hand to guide you. See Inside Starboard Home here.
Buchanan Jewellers, Lymington - jewellery and watches
On Lymington High Street, Buchanans offers a wide range of jewellery from traditional to modern and unusual, with something for all budgets too. Wander in and you'll find a big comfy sofa from which you can view the tempting display cases at your ease and in keeping with that first impression you'll enjoy a really relaxed and friendly ambience with absolutely no hard sell! New this season is the Les Georgettes range by Altesse which combines customisable jewellery with interchangeable colours - they're available in different designs and several widths, which can be made to complement your style with pop up colour.
JoJo Maman Bebe, Lymington - top to toe clothing, accessories and toys for little ones
Across the High Street you'll find JoJo Maman Bebe, the perfect place to kit out the little ones for a magical Christmas - from jumpers, smart trousers and party dresses for the tiny grownups, to sleepsuits and accessories for the tinies! Plus a great selection of toys and games - we particularly love the Wooden Christmas Dinner play set (left)! Gift vouchers for JoJo are the perfect solution if you just can't make up your mind.
A&J Seal, Lymington - all your Christmas meat, poultry and eggs!
Buy your Christmas meat, poultry and eggs from A&J Seal in Angel Courtyard and get into an all year round habit too to choose locally reared top quality products with no excess packaging and served with good humour. Adam is taking orders now...
The New Forest Woodburning Centre - cosy gifts and fire accessories
Remember to pop by the excellent New Forest Woodburning Centre in Ampress Park, Lymington - they have a great range of fire and stove accessories for Christmas and all year round, including log baskets, a gorgeous selection of large soft blankets (cot blankets, fireside throws, recycled wool blankets...), indoor plants, jolly Christmas stockings and 2018 best-sellers: stove fans and stove-top potato cookers.
Priory Wines - great wines and a GINtastic offer!
Also in Ampress Park, near to John Cooper Carpets is Priory Wines. Wine makes an excellent gift; Trevor and the team really know their stuff when it comes to wine - if you need advice about which wines to pair with particular food, they will happily share their expert knowledge. The perfect pitstop for corporate gifts presented in an attractive red box: the Red Wine collection is £54.60 and White Wine case is £56.50 or you can mix up white and red for £55.50! Priory stock spritis too - until 7 December there is 10% off all gin (excluding Mermaids gin) while stocks last!
RNLI Shop - help save lives at sea
At the Lymington Lifeboat station in Bath Road carpark you'll find the RNLI shop which is run by a super enthusiastic team of volunteers and is open Tuesday-Sunday from 12-4pm. The shop stocks all manner of great items for all ages, including lifeboat-related gifts such as toys, clothing, greetings cards and Christmas cards. All profits raised go towards funding the RNLI Crews and Lifeboats, helping to save lives at sea.
Vinegar Hill Pottery - beautiful tableware
In Milford on Sea visit Vinegar Hill Pottery for a unique range of tableware - handmade on the potter’s wheel by Master Potter Dave Rogers. All pots are oven proof, dishwasherproof and microwavable, and since the items are highfired stoneware they are very hard wearing. Dave is happy to take commissions. Take a look at the range available online.
Beaulieu Motor Museum - 'petrol head' gifts
Beaulieu is a special family outing during the festive season, Palace House looks stunning for a Victorian Christmas - and the Beaulieu Kitchen Shop and Gift Shop have lots of different items that make great gifts. Find gifts for motoring enthusiasts in the larger (free to enter) gift shop in Visitor Reception for a wide range of models cars, books and motoring gifts (even motoring themed marmalade!) A day out at Beaulieu would make a lovely Christmas gift too!
Fairweather's Garden Centre, Beaulieu - plants, trees, home and garden gifts
Beaulieu's independent garden centre has UK-sourced Christmas trees on sale now! Fairweather's also stocks a wonderful range of traditional and contemporary Christmas decorations and delightful gifts for all your family and friends, including gift vouchers - as well as plants of course, perfect for Christmas gifts! The Fairweather's food hall contains tasty pickles, jams and treats, mostly locally sourced and which can be combined to make into a hamper. This is one of our favourite places to Christmas shop - go for a wander and enjoy home made delights in Steph's Kitchen afterwards! There is currently £5 off Christmas items in store until 30 November (details here!)
OSCAR - treats for your four legged friends at Christmas!
Local OSCAR supplier Clare will deliver to your door. As well as food for dogs, cats and other pets, OSCAR stocks toys and training items, treats and accessories for your pets, including leads, harnesses, collars and grooming items.
In the Frame, Highcliffe - frame your memories
Karen at In the Frame will help you create an original gift in a frame, a truly thoughtful gift based on photographs and/or other memorabilia. Canvas prints are another great gift idea and definitely one to remember AFTER Christmas – Karen from will guide your frame choice to complement the lovely new print or photo you’ve been given - and her framing service is legendary.
The perfect local gifts for body and mind...
The Natural Health Hub, Lymington - natural products and gift vouchers
The Natural Health Hub has pressies you're unlikely to find anywhere else! From natural organic beauty products (including Neals Yard and Weleda)…. to energising crystal water bottles… to non-toxic nail polishes… to groovy bamboo socks… to scented candles... pop along and take a look at the great range on offer. Alternatively book a Christmas present course or therapy for your loved ones at this central Lymington sanctuary. The Natural Health Hub's Christmas has an Open Evening 6-8pm on Friday 6 December where you'll have the opportunity to browse and meet The Hub team with a glass of fizz!
New Forest Aromatics near Lymington - nationally renowned, locally made, natural aromatic products
Visit New Forest Aromatics at their lovely base at Setley Ridge and breathe in the wonderful aroma of New Forest made candles, balms, gels, lotions and potions plus more. New Forest Aromatics also sell gift vouchers which can be spent on any appointment or products in salon. Look out for the new WiSP Balm from New Forest Aromatics which supports Help For Heroes.
SenSpa, Brockenhurst - spa breaks, gorgeous products and gift vouchers too
The gift of luxurious relaxation. SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel has a really wide range of treatments, Spa breaks, Spa days and half days (including the sumptuous Evening Indulgence which includes a Thai meal at the excellent Zen Garden restaurant). If you cannot decide, choose a gift voucher either for a particular Spa treatment/Spa day or for a monetary amount. In addition, remember SenSpa's own range of award-winning spa products!
No11 The Salon, Lymington - professional haircare products
Pop in to No 11 The Salon opposite Waitrose for a great range of professional, affordable haircare products and accessories, including products from KMS, Paul Mitchell and Goldwell and styling products from GHD, Invisi Bobbles, Tangle Teezer and Kent Brushes. The team also have gift vouchers - and until 30th November you'll receive 25% free when you purchase gift vouchers (valid from 1 January 2020).
Bath House Spa, Brockenhurst - treatments, spa days and membership
The spa at the family-friendly New Park Manor Hotel offers a calm oasis and exceptional views over the New Forest (especially from the outdoor hottub!) An array of gift vouchers are available for treatments, spa days and spa and/or treatment membership.
Saltus Spa, Brockenhurst - relax and unwind with a treatment or spa day
Herb House Spa, Lyndhurst - relaxing spa days and membership
Herb House Spa at Lime Wood is dedicated to natural well-being, inspired by its forest surroundings. Consider giving your nearest and dearest a Spa Day at this seriously calm and serene retreat. Designed over three levels, Herb House has excellent spa and fitness facilities - consider membership and check out regular events, such as the workshops with Amelia Freer, Lime Wood's wellbeing expert (in January there is a 'Simply Good for You' cookery demo, for example)
Chewton Glen, New Milton - give a little 'spa'kle this Christmas
The Spa at Chewton Glen is a glorious haven of peace and tranquility. The gift of a day at The Spa will certainly put a smile on the face of your loved one, replenishing mind and body, with hydrotherapy pool, aromatherapy saunas, crystal steam rooms, nail studio and treatment and holistic therapy rooms.
Elmers Court Health and Leisure Membership
The Elmers Court Health Club and Fitness Centre offers a range of membership options, from the standard 12 monthly direct debit to a new flexible "no contract" membership. With a state-of-the-art gymnastium, regular classes, personal training, indoor and outdoor pools, plus spa with beauty treatments, membership makes a fabulous gift to last all year-round.
Shape Up Fitness - the fun and friendly way to feeling fitter and healthier
Based at the Passford House Hotel near Lymington, the team at Shape Up Fitness offer a range of fitness classes in a fun and friendly environment. The great thing is no membership fee! Just purchase class passes online and arrive in time to start - a batch of class passes, a personal training session or a 30 day challenge make a brilliant Christmas gift.
Push Studios - dance yourself fit whilst having a giggle
Professionally trained dancer Kevin Thatcher brought Push Studios to the New Forest this year. Offering Dance Fit classes along with Ballet Fit and Adult Ballet, you will have the time of your life! Friday classes at Lymington Community Centre are available to buy as a bundle - a very different gift for someone who would like to raise their fitness levels whilst having a real giggle!
Try something new! The gift of experience...
Vinegar Hill Pottery - pottery courses and original pieces
Vinegar Hill Pottery is a working pottery run by Master Potter Dave Rogers. Give the gift of a pottery course this Christmas! Dave runs regular 1 day and 3 day pottery courses, perfect for beginners and hobby potters and a fun way to relax trying something new.
Countryside Education Trust - courses and membership
Based in Beaulieu, the Countryside Education Trust’s mission is to connect people with the countryside. They offer a number of different courses during the year, including courses on keeping poultry and on beekeeping, which would make fantastic alternative gifts. It is also possible become a Friend of the Countryside Education Trust, another great gift.
St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery - courses and membership
Treat art lovers and families to membership of Lymington's local museum and art gallery. Becoming a Friend of St Barbe gives you free entry every time you visit, plus you'll join a community of people who enjoy a lively programme of social and cultural events and, most importantly, support the museum to care for, build and display its unique collection, and stage highly regarded art exhibitions.
New Forest Activities, Beaulieu - gift vouchers for healthy and fun family activites on and off the water
The ultimate place to find fun in the forest! Beaulieu based New Forest Activities run land and water activities all year round and their gift vouchers make perfect presents for outdoor enthusiasts - children, childlike, or properly grown up! Current courses include Winter Archery, Canoeing, Kayaking, Bushcraft and of course Battlefield Live!
New Forest Paddle Sport Company, Milford - shop and vouchers for paddle sessions
Everybody who's anybody stand up paddles on the sea all year round, right? It's even more fun in winter, we're told... Vouchers for paddle sessions (SUP and kayak) make perfect presents from award winning The New Forest Paddle Sport Co, whose shop in Milford on Sea also stocks a range of kit, including stand up paddle boards, kayaks, watersports clothing and accessories.
Escape Yachting, Lymington - amazing value lunch & dinner cruises
Sailing trips with lunch or dinner on the Solent with Escape Yachting - Special offer only £99 per person when you quote Lymington.com on booking. Vouchers make great Christmas presents and are valid until 31 August 2020.
Flexisail membership - a shared boat ownership experience
Lymington based Flexisail provides the opportunity for you to own a share of a boat without the capital or time investment to manage and maintain it. You get an 'ownership experience' through membership using a boat that very few other members have access to across the year; where you develop a pride of ownership; and where you can be proud to sail. You would be sailing in a supportive structured environment where you can build skills and experience in a confidence building way with support and assistance from us whenever you need it. Your membership commitment is just for 12 months.
The Kitchen at Chewton Glen - learn new cookery skills!
The Kitchen Cookery School at Chewton Glen provides a brilliant selection of cookery days, half days and evenings all year round, where you can perfect your culinary skills in the luxurious state-of-the-art kitchen. There are cookery courses with James Martin and guest chefs, courses on a particular theme - such as Seafood, Italian cooking and Desserts. And there are regular cookery session for children and teens too...
Lime Wood, Lyndhurst - relaxed cookery days and festival tickets
HH&Co Backstage at Lime Wood offers a unique, fun and informal way of learning how to cook delicious food! Suitable for everyone from complete beginners to budding masterchefs, the hands-on, relaxed style aims to improve your culinary skills and give you bags of inspiration to go home and get cooking. Find more about cookery course vouchers here.
In the summer months, Lime Wood provides the elegant backdrop to one of the area's finest festivals: Smoked & Uncut. Book your tickets now for this laid back day of chilling to live music.
New Forest Academy of Dance - ballet, tap, modern theatre for children of all ages
New Forest Academy of Dance teach ballet, modern theatre and tap to children from as young as two years old, plus ballet and tap for adults too. Based at Lymington Community Centre and also in Pennington, dance classes make a wonderful gift
Forest Forge Theatre Company, Ringwood - classes for all ages and regular productions
Forest Forge Theatre Company in Ringwood specialises in creating professional performances, running participation groups and workshops for all. The gift of theatre classes will be very different and delight - or keep an eye on our Events Calendar for Forest Forge's productions in Ringwood and touring venues in the local area, tickets for Little Red Riding Hood, on tour from 30 November until 18 January, would make a lovely family outing.
Consider the gift of giving...
If you're really stuck on a present for someone, consider the gift of giving. As a coastal area, many of us benefit from the incredible dedication and efforts of our local RNLI Lifeboat crew. Give someone membership of the RNLI and you'll be helping to provide the brave RNLI crews and lifeguards with the training, boats, equipment and support they need to save lives.
Alternatively support a local charity. Força - Strength Against Cancer provide support to local people living with cancer. One of their projects is Nourish...by força, where patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Lymington New Forest Hospital are provided with a nourishing meal to take home and enjoy with their family. A friendly and helpful gesture ensuring they eat healthily and can rest after treatment, not having to worry about shopping for or cooking a meal for their family. Support Força - Strength Against Cancer with a donation this Christmas.
Our high streets have many charity shops, all raising funds for excellent causes - be sure to take a look inside and you'll be amazed at the original gifts you'll find this Christmas. And remember to take along anything you can donate for them to sell if you're having a clear out before Christmas, too!
In particular, Oakhaven Hospice has a number of shops across the area and we'd recommend a regular browse in the Children's Shop where you're bound to find toys, books and clothes that look as good as new - perfect to wrap up as gifts. Save money, recycle and support a great local cause at the same time.
When you are out shopping at Christmas, spare a thought for those who have less. Waitrose in Lymington has a Basics Bank collection by the tills and it doesn't take much to provide something - and get more involved if you can to help others in the local community.
So, think out of the box this Christmas and support your local independent businesses, local organisations and local charities. Locally sourced gifts are more unique and more meaningful... and good value too.
The Lymington.com Team, November 2019