Why not combine a late 2015 break to North Wales with a relaxed shopping trip to those last-minute presents to put under the tree? You’d be amazed how the combination of fresh air, a bit of outdoor exercise and total relaxation can inspire great gift ideas.
Best of all, you can find those gifts here in North Wales.
Here are the best places to shop after you’ve enjoyed that bracing beach stroll.
The trick to finding Caernarfon’s best independent shops is to explore around the lovely square and down the many side streets within and just outside the town’s walls. The main high street features a few chain stores but the town mostly features independent shops and food outlets – great if you’re looking for something a little different.
Head to Celtica at Doc Fictoria for a great range of Welsh products including clothes, jewellery, gifts and lovely Welsh produce from its deli store. More traditional Welsh gifts can be found at Gray Thomas just opposite the castle.
It can be tough to tear yourself away from the tumbling River Llugwy or the forested hills around Snowdonia’s most visited village. Yet Betws-y-Coed will likely manage it. It’s an appealing place made all the more pretty with its understated Christmas lights.
Not surprisingly, outdoor gear shops feature heavily here. Joe Brown in the higher part of the village is a well-respected independent store featuring all the kit for winter and summer pursuits. Candles make a popular Christmas gift and you’ll find plenty at Candles Power on the Station row of shops. Treat someone special to a handmade, personally engraved candle.
Beaumaris on Anglesey (just 20 minutes’ drive from Caernarfon) has an array of independent shops and places to eat. The High Street is short but packs in everything from boutique clothes stores such as Cole and Co (which have now extended with a gift shop as well) and leather bag specialists Bagitall.
Pretty Little Things near the castle is a cornucopia of interior designs items such as lamps and soft furnishings as well as gifts.
Make sure you check out the shops in a little courtyard off Church Street and, higher up Church Street heading out of town, discover delicious salsa dips and sauces at Mon Stir.
Other great places to shop include Conwy town, recently highlighted as having one of the highest proportions of independent retailers of any town in the UK. Yesteryears sells traditional toys and games, the perfect antidote to console gaming. Looking for clothes for Him? Head to SmartAssMenswear just off Lancaster Square.
You’ll also find independent stores in villages such as Llanberis, Menai Bridge and further afield in Porthmadoc and Pwllheli. Combine any with a walk by the seaside, a mountain hike or even a ride on a steam train. How’s that for fancy Christmas shopping!
Are you shopping in North Wales this winter? What are you hoping to find?
Thank you for ensuring that the Beatty family reunion went so seamlessly. You were never less than friendly and patient despite all our demands. It was a special weekend for us and our stay in your hotel made it a success. Kind regards from the Beattys.
Very enjoyable stay over the new year, with thanks to people serving meals. They worked hard to get food onto tables quickly!