From cobbled streets to the best independent shops, Canterbury is the place to go for a festive shopping experience like no other.
I remember my first Christmas shopping experience in Canterbury. Puddles on the cobbled streets were reflecting the twinkling lights and there was a hum of busy shoppers all looking for the perfect Christmas gifts. I shopped in bookshops for a limited edition Rupert the Bear annual and found exotic smelling candles in an independent homewares shop. This was 1999 and every year I have the same excited feeling when I do my Christmas shopping. I always set aside one afternoon / evening to get all the gifts bought and then spend an evening wrapping (with a glass of wine and a mince pie).
So now, in 2019, is Canterbury still the same charming City? I’m delighted to say it is, and what’s more, the selection of shops is the perfect balance of high street staples and independent artisans. From the art and jewellers on the Kings Mile, Hygge sheek on Orange Street, fashion and pottery in the Cathedral Quarter, and the quirky independent gems on St Margaret’s Street, you really can find something for everyone! We have worked really hard to ensure our Medieval Gift Shop has popular items such as personalised coats of arms, mead and local ales aswell as famous brands such as Harry Potter and Game of Thrones – were not just for tourists!
If you’re looking for something really unique, head on round to the Whitefriar’s Christmas market (you can find us there too). Every year the market gets bigger and better and you won’t find a friendlier bunch of traders, all keen to tell their products’ unique story.
And of course, after checking your step counter, you’ll need somewhere to rest those weary feet and my personal recommendation (which I should really keep secret) is the Micro Roastery on St Margaret’s Street. Not only can you relax with a delicious home-roasted blend, you can purchase any quantity of one of their specially selected and home-roasted blends to take home – two birds, one stone!
Historic, wonderful, beautiful Canterbury is such a treat to shop. I’m fortunate to call it my hometown and I hope everyone who works, visits and shops here also has that same festive feeling throughout the Christmas season.
Author: Lyndsay Ridley, General Manager, The Canterbury Tales