The season for gifting is almost upon us and aren’t we 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!". Let’s get a head start this Christmas and wander around the shops in search of that perfect present. We’ve pulled together some of the best gifts from Kent’s independent businesses that you must see! Whether you’re sorting those stockings, or you just want a pick-me-up treat for yourself, there’s something for you in our 2021 gift guide…
If vineyards and wineries are your thing then what better place for an amble through a sprawling vineyard than in The Wine Garden of England! With so many dotted around the county, from Biddenden and Gusbourne to Hush Heath 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!
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.
Home to luxury items at outlet prices, it’s no surprise that Ashford Designer Outlet would be one of our first stops on the pre-Christmas gift search. You can surprise a loved one with a McArthur Glen gift voucher with anything from £5 to £500 so they can choose their own gift at a future date. Perfect for those people that are always so hard to buy for...Or if you think you’ve found the ideal gift, the outlet now offers a gift-wrapping station to make life a little easier.
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!
Get in the Christmas spirit (did you see what we did there?) with Kent’s own Copper Rivet gin distillery. Offering a variety of gins and gifts sets on their online shop, you’re sure to find the right flavour for that gin lover. You might be wanting to add a little spice and class to your gift this year, if so buy a Tours and Restaurant Experience gift card which offers the chance to experience the entire distillation process ending your tour at The Pumproom Bar with a tasting of their crafted spirits.
You’ve watched 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 than the official Call the Midwife location tour at Historic Dockyard Chatham. Marvel at how Neal Street Productions transforms the 400 year old dockyard into 1950’s East London. Bookings are available from March 1st 2022.
If you've got a foodie to buy for, we have a feeling they'll already know Macknade pretty well! Their three stores in Faversham, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford are full of unique treats to spice up your fridge and pantry. Order a gift card on their online shop or 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!
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. Buy an online gift voucher or gift card where you choose the amount and they choose the adventure!
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!
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 Hamilitons 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 so your recipient has something to open on the big day.
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.
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.
For those who just can’t get enough of exploring magnificent medieval Canterbury, we have just the gift for you! A gift card from MyCanterbury allows you to give the gift of supporting local businesses, for your loved one to spend on anything they choose – a delicious meal, a haul in trendy boutiques, theatre tickets… the list goes on, and with over 100 businesses involved, they’ll be spoilt for choice.
A gift to brighten the eyes and tingle the taste buds of all the beer lovers out there! Book a tour at The Dairy Brewery to see where the magic happens or browse their online shop and surprise someone with beer available in a cask, bottles, can or keg. Why not go for something a little different and try the Chocolate and Coconut Brown Ale…Just the treat to go alongside your Christmas pudding!
It wouldn’t be the lead up to Christmas without enjoying a few festive tipples - in fact, we’ve collated our favourites for you right here - but Maidstone Distillery can cover everything from the >£10 Secret Santa present (opt for their Single Gin and Tonic gift set) to a very special treat (their Kent Garden Mojito Gift set, complete with hammered copper mojito glasses for the ultimate instagrammable night in.)Or it may be an experience to remember you are on the hunt for…in which case book one of their many unforgettable experiences, including, the Distillery Tour and Guided Gin Making Experience.
Providing a variety of gift selections, Gusbourne really does offer the ultimate gifts for those wine lovers this Christmas. Choose from 6 different gifting options all containing at least two of their finest wines, the perfect gift to celebrate Christmas this year. If you’re thinking your gift recipient would prefer a more hands on experience then take a look at the gift vouchers for tours and tastings that Gusbourne has to offer or maybe you’re looking for a gift for that wine connoisseur to enjoy all year! If so, gift that special someone a club membership.
If you’re wondering what’s on the Christmas list of your animal loving recipient then wonder no more because we have found what you’re looking for. Kent Life Heritage Farm Park is hoping you’ll turn to them this Christmas and treat your loved one to a furry friend by adopting one of the many Kent Life farmyard animals. Or maybe you’re looking for a gift to treat the whole family in which case why not go for the Kent Life Annual Family Membership?
Have you ever made a Christmas Wreath? No? Me neither but doesn’t it sound fun! If so then book the Master Ropemakers Christmas Wreath Workshop and explore your creative side. Have your wreath hanging proudly in your home ready for the Christmas festivities and magical moment to be made this Christmas.
We all know someone who loves food! Whether it’s eating it or cooking it they are sure to enjoy a fun and memorable experience at Kent Cookery School. Your food fanatic friend or family member will get to choose from over 50 courses from barbequing to bread making, Thai street food to tapas, so there’s sure to be a cuisine to catch the eye of the food loving recipient.
Margate’s putting the F in fun this Christmas with the exciting escape rooms, offering gift vouchers to give you and your clan a thrilling, must do experience. Bringing people together, whether it’s family or friends, team up in groups of 2-8 people and solve the puzzles and clues to escape the room!...you’ve got 90 minutes to succeed! But time flies when you’re having fun…can you put your brains to the test this Christmas?
If you know an animal lover and are on the lookout for the ultimate gift, then Kent Wildlife Trust’s adoption packs might just be the thing you’re looking for. Or maybe it’s more of an experience you’re after, in which case Kent Wildlife Trust safaris can open you up to a world of nature as you discover the importance of our local wildlife.
Goats. How can you not LOVE them! Well if you know someone who does then The Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats is giving you the opportunity to adopt a goat of your choice. Each having their own unique personalities, they love to be fussed and can’t wait for visits from their adoptees!
Hever Castle is blessing you with a wonderfully unique selection of gifts this year all available to shop online. You can also find their gift vouchers on their online shop too for those hard to buy for. Keep a look out for the new gifts that have been added to the Hever Castle Christmas list this year, including the Hever Castle gin and The Boleyns of Hever Castle book.
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