Gifting in Kent 2020

The season for gifting is almost upon us, and boy, do we need it! After quite the year, we're all looking forward to sharing some joy with our friends and family, celebrating the small things, or even just making someone's day with a thoughtful gift that says, "I'm thinking of you!". We know that with the new government restrictions, a wander around the shops in search of that perfect present isn’t on the cards just yet – so we’ve pulled together some of the best gifts from Kent’s independent businesses that you can buy from the comfort of your own home. Whether you’re ahead of the Christmas game and sorting those stocking early, got a last minute November birthday to buy for, or you just want to a treat yourself, there’s something for you in our 2020 gift guide…

© Gusbourne

Winter in the Wine Garden

Did you know vineyards of Kent are staying open throughout November in line with government restrictions? Upgrade your daily stroll around the block for an amble through a sprawling vineyard in The Wine Garden of England! With so many dotted around the county, from Biddenden and Gusbourne to Squerryes and Simpsons, you won’t need to travel too far. The perfect early present – or a chance to pick up a delicious bottle on your way out!

For the animal lovers

Thanks to the many options from Howletts and Port Lympne, give the animal lovers in your life the perfect gift no matter your budget. From splurging on an experience to remember like luxury overnight stays at Port Lympne to adopting an animal in the name of the giftee, or getting them tickets for a day experience next year, our wildlife parks have got you covered.

Little bit of luxury 

Home to luxury items at bargain prices, it’s no surprise that McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Ashford would be one of our first stops on the pre-Christmas gift search. Please note that while all non-essential retail stores are currently closed, you can still surprise a loved one with a McArthur Glen gift voucher with anything from £5 to £500 so they can choose their own gift a future date. Perfect for those people that are always so hard to buy for...

© English Heritage

Gift of the past

Get yourself the gift of the past with an English Heritage membership, allowing you access to over 400 historical sites and houses, like Dover Castle, Rochester Castle and Upnor Castle and supporting an industry in need of a helping hand.  For those stocking filler presents, make sure to check out their online shop which is full of everything from spiced gin to board games and christmas jumpers - with an especially great selection for kids!

Christmas spirits

If wine’s not your thing, get in the Christmas spirit (did you see what we did there?) with Kent’s own Copper Rivet gin distillery. Choose from original, damson or strawberry gin to add that extra 'oompft' to your Christmas tipple. And did your hear the good news? We've been waiting to try their new single malt Whiskey, and it's ready just in time for Christmas...

© Neal Street Productions

Calling in on the Midwives

You’ve seen the show, you’ve laughed, you've cried and now it’s time to see it for yourself! If you know a fan of Nurse Trixie, Sister Julienne and Dr Turner then you can’t get a better gift that the official Call the Midwife location tour at Historic Dockyard Chatham. Marvel at how Neal Street Productions transforms 400 year old dockyard into 1950’s East London. Bookings are available from March 31st 2021.

For the foodie

If you've got a foodie to buy for, we have a feeling they'll already know Macknade pretty well! Their two stores in Faversham and Ashford are full of unique treats to spice up your fridge and pantry, and currently open so you can pop in and see for yourself. But why not let them do the hard work for you? Order a pre-made hamper full of locally sourced Kent goodies right to your gift recipient. All the praise, none of the faff!

For the daredevil

If you know someone who’s tired of taking it slow and craving a little adventure, there couldn’t be a better option than Go Ape! Swing through the trees at Leeds Castle or Bedgebury Pinetum for an adrenaline filled day out perfect for families. With an e-voucher, allow them to choose a day that suits them in future so they can look forward to a great day out.

For finding peace

If you’re looking for adventure at heights that are a little bit more manageable, take to the water with Canoe Wild for a journey down the River Stour. Their Christmas voucher is redeemable for up to 12 months after purchase, and across any of their unique activities, but we recommend the Wildlife Sunset Tour to see the river in a particularly stunning light!

For F1 Fanatics

If you know someone who feels the need, the need for speed, look no further than a giftcard to the heart of British karting at Buckmore Park. Give them the gift of a whizz around the tracks and inspire little Lewis Hamiliton’s in the making! Choose from any amount perfect for a small stocking filler to a real splurge, and you can opt for a physical gift voucher to your recipient has something to open on the big day.

Special and sustainable 

We’re all figuring out how to manage the gifting season in a sustainable and environmentally conscious fashion this year, which is why a gift from The Upcycled Trading Co. couldn’t be more apt! Choose a gift from their shop full of plastic-free living essentials, hand crafted items from independent sellers and artisanal goods. If you’ve got a particularly special gift in mind but not into DIY yourself (we hear you!), then The Upcycled Trading Co. takes upcycling commissions to bring forgotten furniture back to life.

Brands Hatch 

Oh, we all know a petrol head, someone who lives for watching the F1 and dreams of one day owning more than a Fiesta. Well, for them we say it's got to be a driving experience day at Brands Hatch. From rally car fun, to F4 driving experiences, a day at Brands is the ultimate chance to give them that taste of adrenalin, and need for speed on one of the UK's most iconic racing tracks.