Christmas gift shopping season is upon us, are you looking for something quirky, distinctive and completely different to anything else you will find under the Christmas tree? York has you covered with independent shops offering many unique items from world’s best gin to magical potions and Viking jewellery… Check out the below 12 gift ideas for that unforgettable present.

1. For the… Person who has everything:

We all have that one person on our Christmas list who is notoriously difficult to buy for. This year, gift them something truly unique with a trip to the York Ghost Merchants on Shambles. The shop sells just one thing: handcrafted ghosts each of which is unique, made on the premises, and comes in its own travelling box.

2. For the… Gin Connoisseur:

If you are trying to find something special for the gin lover in your life, the York Gin shop is the perfect place to start. Hand-made in the city, these award-winning gins are available in a range of flavours – from London Dry to Roman Fruit. You can also purchase the ‘York Gin Outlaw’, a Navy Strength 57% gin, winner of a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2019 which makes it officially one of the world’s best gins.

3. For the… Kids:

Take a trip to Stonegate Teddy Bears for the finest teddy bear gifts. From traditional bears, lovingly hand-made and one of a kind, to old favourites such as Paddington and Winnie the Pooh – there is something to suit all teddy bear lovers tastes. The shop is set within a beautiful atmospheric medieval building – with a tearoom upstairs if you need to refuel on your shopping trip.

4. For the… History Lover:

York is well known for its Viking heritage and for something a bit different this year, visit Asgard – an independent shop which specialises in accurate replicas of Viking and Anglo-Saxon jewellery and armour. From earrings, pendants, brooches and bracelets to a unique Viking themed t-shirt or drinking horn, any Viking lover would be impressed with the attention to detail of these gifts.

5. For the… Wizard in Training:

The Potions Cauldron located at 9¾ Shambles is a magical drinks emporium serving the ancient potions of French Witch Agnes de Molay. Head to the shop to try the drinkable potions and visit the secret wizard sanctuary – all whilst hunting for the perfect Christmas gift for the magicians in your life. From potions gift boxes containing ‘Unicorn Essence’ and ‘Basilisk Blood’ to special bath potions, the shop is full of unique gift ideas.

6. For the… Cheese Lover:

What better gift for a cheese addict than a kit to make the fine stuff at home? Love Cheese is the place to go for the cheesiest gifts (they also have a café so you can stop for a bite to eat during your shopping spree.) With a range of cheeses and kits on offer, opt for the Mediterranean Kit which gives you the choice of Mozzarella, Ricotta, Marscapone, Halloumi and Feta, and produces 20 batches in total!

7. For the… Vintage Clothes Fan:

Dog & Bone Vintage is a one stop shop for all your vintage and retro fashion needs. With branded and classic items from the 50s through to the 90s & early 00s, if you are looking to find a unique piece of clothing for the fashion lover in your life, this is the place for you.

8. For the… Cat Lover:

The Cat Gallery is an emporium of all the best cat collectables and gifts for those who love their feline friends. Owners Peter and Alison Hanson have done all the hard work for you, scouring the country to ensure their shop is filled with only the finest cat-themed products – from clothing to homeware and stationary, you’ll be sure to find the ‘purrfect’ gift for the cat lover in your life.

9. For the… Plant Enthusiast:

Botanic York is the go-to place for unusual and exotic house plants for a gift that is really unique. With a range of beautiful house and indoor plants including tropical foliage plants, cacti and succulents available there is a huge amount of choice. Plus there is always expert advice on hand from the friendly staff to help you pick out the best gift.

10. For the… Budding Chef:

If you are shopping for someone who loves to cook, Rafi’s Spicebox specialises in hand mixing spices for easy to use at home curry hamper kits. Created by Indian cookery author and teacher Rafi Fernandez, their unique mixes bring years of cooking experience straight to your home. The kits include an array of spice blends, sides and accompaniments for that perfect curry experience at home.

11. For the… Craft Lover:

Give the gift of a hands-on craft experience this year with a pottery class from Bish Bash Pot. With a range of different options, you can buy a pottery painting session or a lesson to make your own pot on the wheel with the guidance of a pottery teacher. Something totally unique, the options vary from a two hour session to a nine week course.

12. For the… Craft Beer Expert:

York is home to Brew York, a craft brewery which celebrates the very best in local ales. Visit the onsite shop for a wide array of locally brewed beers, guest ales and even Brew York branded t-shirts and hats. The perfect York treat for the beer lover in your life. (And time for a well-deserved drink in the tap room after all that shopping!)

To book your #YorkChristmas hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation, visit our Sleep page where you can book rooms straight through our website.
Share your festive adventures with us, using hashtag #YorkChristmas on Twitter and Instagram, and don’t forget to tag us in your image @visityork. You might end up being featured on official page.

Visit York Blog Written By Ana Ignatova