Christmas Shopping in St Ives

St Ives is the ultimate fairytale setting for a Christmas shopping spree, the perfect antidote to the jam-packed shopping mall, or soulless online transaction. Under pretty Christmas illuminations, wander down the town’s picturesque cobbled streets and narrow lanes to find unique, one-off gifts from a variety of small, independent galleries and boutiques.

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Image Captured by Neal Baker

Peruse the extensive collection of handwoven woollen throws in a bespoke clothing shop, Academy & Co on Lifeboat Hill, or its sister shop Port Of Call around the corner. Buy a “Norwegian” Christmas sweater you’ll actually want to wear from The Common Wander on Fore Street, from their range of designer winter clothes and camping accessories.

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In St Ives there are a variety of small independent bookshops and old curiosity shops selling arts and crafts. Beautiful and original homeware gifts are available at Hudson, including decorative hot air balloons, ceramics, scented candles and cuddly toy miniature matchbox mice. For a town known for its art heritage, there are no shortage of galleries selling original artworks and lithograph prints of notable artists past and present.

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A stroll down the Didgey to take in their distinctive glass Christmas tree window displays should also get you in the festive mood. Laff on Fore Street has an excellent selection of children’s clothes and if you are after retro toys, like puzzles, wooden robots and toy seagulls, The Raar Emporium in The Drill Hall is worth a look.

If you need warming up, sniff out a glass of hot mulled wine (or cider) from restaurants including Porthmeor Cafe, Hub and The Balcony along the harbour front. The ideal spot to view the Christmas illuminations twinkling across Smeaton’s Pier.

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