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.
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.
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.