A Guide to Independent Christmas Shopping in Bristol

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Image © The Clifton Arcade via Facebook

Give small shops some big love this Xmas

Whether you’re doing your big shop or looking for some last-minute stocking fillers, Bristol offers a wonderful selection of independent shops to pick up unique Christmas gifts. Forget the vouchers or last-minute Amazon order and opt instead for a wonderfully festive day out, shopping for your nearest and dearest.

Visit Clifton Village

Soak up some of the best architecture in Bristol with a trip to Clifton Village, where rows of independent shops and fantastic eateries offer a delightful Xmas shopping afternoon. The traditional 19th century Arcade will provide shelter when it inevitably rains and boasts plenty of options for gifts both big and small. You’ll find kooky stocking fillers and ideal Secret Santa gifts in the eclectic Bristol Trading Post, perfect offerings for interior artists at the pretty My English Home and one of a kind antique wares in Nook Deco. Meander around brightly lit streets after dark, enjoying the classy Christmas lights and evening shopping. Pick up quirky lifestyle gifts at Pod or pretty stationary at Papersmiths.

Explore the Christmas Steps

What better time of year to visit Bristol’s famous Christmas Steps than Crimbo itself? The Christmas Steps Arts Quarter can be found in Bristol’s Old City and is made up of eight winding streets filled with shops, art galleries and eateries. It’s one of Bristol’s most artistic areas and is a must-visit spot for a one of kind gifts. You might want to select a locally produced piece of artwork for someone close to you, stopping off to browse ceramics and pottery in Blaze, handmade prints and gifts at the co-operative Makers or perhaps even an investment piece from Clifton Fine Art. Jewellery and fashion lovers will adore anything from I Am Acrylic whilst Bloom & Curll is your place to go for paperbacks galore! Parents with young musical prodigies should take a trip to Opus 13 or Bristol Violin Shop for specialist musical equipment, whilst fans of vintage bikes should drop into the Bike Workshop.

Browse St Nicholas Markets

Bristol’s largest selection of independent retailers can be found here at St Nicks, where the Exchange Hall, Glass Arcade and Covered Market boast a selection of unique stalls and intriguing gifts. Browse exciting Southern African ingredients, beers and produce at the vibrant Kalahari Moon or challenge your daring spice devils with a stocking filler from Hot Sauce Emporium. You’ll find fun DIY gifts at Avon Models, Japanese style art at Japonica and even Mediterranean homewares at Fil Blanc. And naturally, you can’t go wrong with a vintage LP for music lovers: Payback Records and Wanted Records have plenty of records to flick through, and The Rock Shop offers vinyl, CDs and band tees!

Shop Vintage

Whilst Bristol’s mainstream shopping areas might offer plenty of High Street favourites (including the second biggest Primark in the UK!) you can’t beat some vintage shopping. Whilst buying clothes for others might be quite a feat, no snappy dresser would be unhappy with a pair of pre-loved Vintage Levi’s or a retro rucksack. Check out our Culture Calling guide to vintage shopping in Bristol here, or make a beeline for brand new Beyond Retro! Bit strapped for cash this year? Make it a challenge to find a wonderful Xmas present for everyone in one of Gloucester Road’s many charity shops! Your friends and family will appreciate the time and care gone into it and you’ll be parting with your money for a good cause!