Christmas shopper (Alamy/PA)
Christmas shopper (Alamy/PA)

3 of the best Christmas shopping getaways to make spending money fun

Turn gift buying into an adventure, says Sarah Marshall.

Sarah Marshall
Tuesday 19 October 2021 14:38

News Bath’s Christmas market has been cancelled this year will be disappointing for many people. But there are still plenty of ways to combine gift buying with a day out or weekend away.

Whether you’re looking for an atmospheric yuletide market or high streets decked out in bright lights, here are three great ideas for this winter season…

The staycation day out: Milford Waterfront, Pembrokeshire UK

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With twinkling lights reflected in the water and plenty of cosy cafes to dive into for a warming drink, Milford Waterfront in Pembrokeshire is a surprisingly good spot for gift shopping, thanks to a major redevelopment programme. Stock up on handmade artisan chocolates at Trwffl, or retro sweets to fill stockings at Scott’s Sweet Shop. Head to The Cheeky Sheep for hand-painted glassware and even commissioned pet portraits. Independent clothing store CUB3D specialises in clothes and accessories that are recycled and carbon neutral, while Pebbles stocks a range of jewellery and gifts.

From November 19 to December 31, the Waterfront Gallery – located in the harbour’s former sail loft – will be running an exhibition of works by artists and craftspeople from across West Wales, with pieces to sell. For more information or to book visit

The Christmas market fix: Hauts de France, France

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French markets are always a winner for foodie gifts. As the UK’s closest international self-drive destination and easily accessible by Eurostar the Hauts de France region offers an authentic taste of France on our doorstep.

Held from November 19 to December 30, the Lille Christmas Market features a collection of 90 wooden chalets set below a glittering big wheel. Listen to carol singers perform concerts and sip mulled wine while browsing arts and crafts from as far afield as Russia, Canada and Poland.

Held from December 3 to January 2, Arras Christmas Market is an hour’s drive from Calais. Set amidst Flemish-style architecture, it’s an atmospheric event. Visit on December 6 to witness St Nicolas attempt to abseil down the belfry. For further ideas on activities and accommodation in Hauts de France, visit

The long haul adventure: New York USA

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Confirmation the USA will open its borders to double-vaccinated travellers from the UK and most of Europe from November 8 is causing ripples of excitement – especially ahead of the festive season.

New York is a favourite haunt for Christmas shoppers, showcasing world-class window displays and streets lit up with decorations. Bloomingdale’s, Barneys and Saks are top choices for department stores, while there are several options for outdoor Christmas markets.

Taking a year off for Covid the Urbanspace Union Square Holiday Market returns on November 18 and runs until Christmas Eve. A Winter Village of stalls will also be staged at Bryant Park from October 29 until January 2. Visit

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