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Seasonal Shopping Guide

Image credit: Manchester Craft & Design Centre. Picking the perfect seasonal gift can be tough; hours spent deliberating over which…

Image credit: Manchester Craft & Design Centre.

Picking the perfect seasonal gift can be tough; hours spent deliberating over which present would bring a smile to their face on the big day.

Looking for the ideal gift for the arts and culture lover in your life? This is our guide to some of the best shopping spots in Manchester:

Royal Exchange Theatre Shop


Image credit: Royal Exchange Theatre Shop

Nestled alongside the modern theatre structure inside the Royal Exchange Great Hall, the Royal Exchange Theatre Shop offer includes handmade jewellery, stylish ceramics and glassware, sculptural woodwork, luxurious textiles, and metalwork. They sell contemporary and affordable pieces by talented British makers, artists and craftspeople.

Their next cabinet exhibition is the annual Christmas Jewellery and Craft Fair, which is a selection of work by various makers in a mix of colours chosen from a specific colour palette.  Inspired by 1960’s – from Pop Art to Carnaby Street, the work complements the Christmas show in the theatre, SWEET CHARITY. The production runs from 22 November – 8 January 2017. Also in Gallery Corner, Helaina Sharpley’s fantastic wire wall art is not to be missed, on until 8 January 2017.

The Royal Exchange Theatre Shop is open 7 days a week. Monday – Saturday from 10.00 am until the start of the performance and on Sundays from 11.00am – 5.00pm.

Manchester Craft & Design Centre


Image credit: Manchester Craft & Design Centre

The Manchester Craft & Design Centre promises to be ‘an unforgettable place to experience craft & design’ and it certainly delivers on this promise!

The Craft & Design Centre is a truly unique shopping experience which puts the designer/ maker at its heart. Wander among the artist’s studio shops; see them at work and buy direct from the makers themselves.

The current exhibition, Heated Exchanges celebrates innovative approaches to collaboration in contemporary glass. On until 5 Feburay 2017,  three contemporary glass artists wow with beautiful and unique sculptural pieces, not to be missed!

Lee Page-Hanson in Studio 4 makes beautiful ceramic tiles and vessels, hand decorated with patterned papers, precious metal lustres and floral transfers. Clare Hillerby in 20 Twenty makes exquisite jewellery and collages from old ephemera combined with new handmade elements.

Make sure you pop into Studio 26 upstairs,  Gemma Truman and Michelle Keeling are brand new additions to MCDC. They are glass makers working in an exciting combination of blown and kiln-formed glassware.

The Craft Centre is open 7 days a week, Monday – Saturday: 10.00 am – 5.30pm and Sundays: 11.00am – 5.00pm* (*not all studios are open on a Sunday).

Manchester Art Gallery Shop

You’ll find something for everyone at the Manchester Art Gallery shop, including exclusive ranges that showcase the best of the works in the gallery, handmade jewellery, ceramics and textiles, alongside specialist art books and colourful stocking filler treats.

The gallery shop has re-opened with a dazzling new look after a recent refurbishment. Check out the brand new maker’s area, which is a showcase of Manchester Art Gallery’s picks from the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2016. With all that is exciting in craft at the moment; hot picks from emerging makers along with some firm favourites.

The Manchester Art Gallery shop is open Monday – Sunday: 10.00am – 5.00pm, including bank holiday Mondays. Late night opening on Thursday until 9.00pm

Afflecks Palace

Shop for anything from top hats to tattoos, Afflecks Palace is the place to find the alternative gift for your loved one.

Two shops to seek out here are Fudge Ape and S.W.A.L.K Creative Presents. Fudge Ape is a fantastic shop dedicated to Fudge, every flavour imaginable can be found in this colorful delight of a shop.  SWALK Creative Presents is a collection of affordable artworks from local Manchester artists, including original drawings and ‘on the spot’ portraits!

Afflecks Palace is open Monday – Friday: 10.30am- 6.00pm, Saturday: 10.00am – 6.00pm and Sunday: 11.00am – 5.00pm* (*Ground floor and 1st floor only).

the Whitworth Gallery Shop

From functional and beautiful objects for your home to limited edition prints by artists who have exhbited at the gallery, the Whitworth gallery shop brings together a series of beautiful objects.

A design led craft shop where you can be sure to find some contemporary and cutting edge gifts. The shop compliments everything the gallery has to offer – the collections, the park, the programme and the people.

Many of the products are made exclusively for the Whitworth, which means you won’t find them anywhere else.  All profits go towards the programming at the Whitworth so your purchases are contributing to future exhibitions.

The Whitworth Gallery Shop is open Monday – Wednesday: 10.00am-5.00pm, Thursday: 10.00am-9.00pm, Friday – Sunday: 10.00am-5.00pm.

National Trust Quarry Bank Shop


Image credit: Quarry Bank

A little further out, set in the beautiful Cheshire countryside, National Trust’s Quarry Bank is a relaxing place to spend a day. While you are there you can pick up the perfect special gift for the nature lover in your life.

The Quarry Bank shop offers woven fabrics made specially on heritage looms, celebrating the cotton industry – which helped turn Manchester into the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution. Discover a world of lovely things to buy, from garden supplies to cosy throws.

Or for a truly unique gift why not treat someone to a National Trust membership, so they can enjoy days out all year round at National Trust properties across the country.

The National Trust Quarry Bank Shop is open 10.30am- 5.00pm 7 days a week.

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