Christmas ShoppingCarmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
We love the festive season as much as anyone, however the yearly mission to find ever new and exciting present ideas can quickly become an arduous task. In a time where funds might be tight and more of us are increasingly keen to be more conscientious consumers, it might take a little more effort, but Manchester is full of independent retailers, markets, makers and pop ups that are brimming with gift ideas to make Christmas shopping a joyful task.
At a time where supporting individual sellers is more important than ever, why not check out one of the many markets or pop ups. Levenshulme Market is going strong as ever and with their late Friday night openings you can make an evening of it; shopping, eating and drinking, content in the knowledge that your money is going directly into the community. For something more relaxed check out GRUB’s sustainable Christmas market. Over a slow Sunday you can find responsibly sourced art, clothes, craft and cake to mention just a few of the stalls.
Further into the suburbs the Makers Markets are going strong right into December. These hubs of independent stall holders always have a good community feel about them and can be found in locations ranging from Chorlton to Cheadle, Chester and beyond.
A good book is a present that never disappoints. We heartily recommend supporting your local bookshops rather than throwing your money into Jeff Bezos’ empire of doom. You’ll have a much nicer time exploring the shelves of Anywhere Out of This World, especially as they’ve recently opened a tea room in the shop. For children’s books, Chorlton bookshop never disappoints and they’re always happy to order titles in if you can’t find them in the shop.
For home and lifestyle shops there is something for everyone between the two extremes of Moth on Burton Road and Oklahoma in the Northern Quarter. The former prioritises sleek design and minimal aesthetics combined with comfort and homeliness. Whereas Oklahoma is an explosion of colour and imagination that spreads joy through the use of soft furnishings and unusual gifts for all tastes.
Still in need of further inspiration? Check out our guide to independent shops in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds.