This season you can shop safely, by staying local and being dependent on the independent shops and markets around you. Swap your online shop with big multi nationals to support small local craftspeople, makers and businesses. Weekend markets are a great place to pick up unusual, quirky and handmade items that you won't find in the big online stores. Be sure to head over when these markets come to a town near you. Your local farmshop might just have the items you need and can often deliver straight to your door. 

In and around West Cheshire

Chester and surrounds

If you live locally to Chester, you know Chester has some brilliant boutiques for shopping, but how about some other place to shop such as the Chester Zoo gift shop (you dont need to go into the zoo), Grosvenor Garden Centre gift shop, Chester Cathedral gift shop, who stock locally and ethically sourced goods. Including their very own honey, harvested from Bees in hives on the Cathedral Estate and the Grosvenor Museum gift shop. 

Blakemere Village has a selection of independent shops and activities in the courtyard where you can shop as well as keeping the kids entertained and dont forget to have a look at the Vintage and Antiques sectons to pick up something quirky for the hard to buy for person in your life! At the Define and Saffi boutiques you can pick up ladies clothes, shoes and beauty gifts. 

Northwich Artisan Market is one of the highlights on the town’s calendar and takes place on the 2nd Saturday every month right in the heart of town running down the centre of the main shopping avenue, Witton Street. The next markets are Saturday 14th November,  Saturday 12th December. 10am – 4 pm 

Whilst in Northwich you can buy into the WICHCARD Northwich loyalty card that gives you discounts at lots of local shops. Set up during lockdown, the card is to help encourage people to shop locally and rely on small independent shops rather then the big multi nationals.

Willowgreen in Davenham near Northwich is a little locals best kept secret, with lovely cards, gifts and homewares.

The Hollies Farm Shops (At Little Budworth and Lower Stretton) have large gift section, and have an award winning selection of cards, christmas items and homeware to choose from. They are also doing contactless deliveries within a 15 mile radius of their little budworth shop. 

Hit up the amazing high street in Tarporley where you will find some boutiques selling tasteful home furnishings, jewellery, clothing and unexpected gift ideas. Amongst others are Willow Tree, Bottega, Follies, Nino and Baile Home. 

Nearby is the horticultural sanctuary of Okells Garden Centre. Alongside their garden shop lies their home store, stocking a range of wares sourced locally and internationally and is all ready for Christmas so you can start your shopping now to avoid the Christmas rush. 

In and around East Cheshire

The Makers Market is a monthly showcase of food, drink, art and craft and is a great opportunity to find out the origins of your food, meet the maker and feast your eyes on some goodies and fill your shopping bags. 

You can find out what COVID measures they have put in place here: (

The Artisan Market have a lot of their stall holders products for sale online, so you can still support small businesses even if you cant get to the Market or don't live locally.    

Congleton Makers Market in the Town Centre:  Last Saturday of the month: Saturday 31st October, Saturday 28th November, Saturday 19th December Bridge Street 10am – 4pm

Rode Hall Farmers Market is set in the beautiful grounds of Rode Hall Gardens, in Scholar Green, south of Congleton. Held on the first Saturday of every month they feature local produce and crafts from over 50 stallholders from accross cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.  (except January). Forthcoming market dates are saturday 7th November and Saturday 5th December.  With a selection of food and arts and crafts, you should be able to find a little something for everyone here.   

Sandbach:Makers Market second Saturday of the month, takes place in Sandbach's historic cobbles market square, with music and performance to enjoy while you shop. Saturday 14th November 10am - 3pm

Saturday 12th December

Knutsford: Makers Market first Sunday of the month. Sunday 1st November 11am - 4pm.

Knutsford high street is a great place to find a selection of independent boutiques amongst the chain shops, you can find a list of the shops here. In particular, don't miss the amazing Cheshire Quality store, selling beautiful artisan products that have been lovingly created by a selection of talented artists and producers of exquisite handmade goods and delicious Cheshire food produce. They also have the option to buy these handpicked items on their online shop where you can also order from their luxury gift hamper service. 

Local gift idea: Local writer and illustrators have come together and written a book for children called Leo's Ladder. (for sale in Cheshire Quality and Hal Whittakers toy shop, the book features well known places from around Knutsford to spot).

Time your trip to knutsford with a visit to Tatton Park and you'll be able to pick up gifts in the Gift shop and foodie treats in the Housekeepers Store. There's also a pop up Christmas mini- market with stalls selling homeware and christmas gifts in the Stableyard from the 4th - 13th December. 11am - 4pm. A one way system and hand sanitiser stations will be in place. £7 vehicle entry applies to all. (Visits to the Gardens and Farm must be pre-booked here

If you live nearby to attractions such as Jodrell Bank, they have a fantastic selection of space-themed gifts in ther shop, which you can also access online here. Likewise Lion Salt Works and Anderton boat lift have very nicely curated gift shops with a lovely selection of gifts for all ages

Cheshire Life magazine are running a 'Keep Life Local' awards for 2020, to help support the many and varied wonderful independent businesses we have here in Cheshire. The awards are open to independent businesses in the Cheshire Life circulation area, they want to know who is the cream of the crop in our county. Whether you are a consumer, business owner or employee, you can have your say and nominate the businesses that you believe deserve this recognition here




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