10 Hertfordshire villages to visit for Christmas shopping
PUBLISHED: 15:39 11 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:53 13 December 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
With their charming buildings, calm ambience and unique offerings, forget the town and head to our villages for Christmas shopping. Louise McEvoy picks 10 of the best independents to head to
From a wide range of Christmas trees to beautiful decorations and stunning gifts, The Magic of Christmas in Walkern is an enchanting place where you will be spoilt for choice. At Old Rectory Farm, the seasonal retail outlet has been established for more than 15 years and sources unique decorations at affordable prices.
While you’re here: Make sure the children have their Christmas lists at the ready for a visit to Santa’s grotto, where they will receive a personalised letter and small gift from Father Christmas.
Founded by sisters Erin and Cara McGinley in 2012, Elle Belle Attire in Radlett is for women who love fashion, and it is a great place to seek out a statement piece of contemporary clothing to give as a gift this Christmas. The boutique stocks a selection of well-known quality brands, supports up-and-coming designers from around the world and sources limited pieces, while maintaining reasonable prices.
While you’re here: Why not take in an exhibition or festive show at The Radlett Centre? It’s an arts centre with a modern auditorium.
The rural shopping village of Battlers Green Farm, which started as a single farm shop, is now home to more than a dozen distinctive independent businesses offering a unique experience for shoppers, and is a treasure trove for Christmas gifts. Looking for stylish yet affordable accessories? Then head to Lily Blu, where you will be spoilt for choice with its range of handbags, scarves and jewellery.
While you’re here: Have lunch at The Bull Pen. The restaurant in a converted barn offers a traditional tearoom ambiance and rustic charm.
Ashwell Jewellery offers handmade bespoke pieces for that special someone in your life. In the heart of the picturesque village of Ashwell, the studio displays a Nordic range among its hand-crafted jewellery. It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but appointments can be made outside these times. Make someone’s Christmas sparkle with a unique piece of jewellery they will treasure forever.
When it comes to planning Christmas dinner, award-winning butchers, Trussell of Knebworth, has an army of satisfied customers. The long-standing family shop’s meat is sourced from farmers who rear their animals at a slower rate, which gives a better flavour and is more succulent. There is also a delicatessen with a wide range of cheeses and cooked meats, so stock up for a festive feast.
While you’re here: Get creative at Potstop. It’s a paint-your-own pottery studio where you and the family can design your own decorations for the Christmas tree.
Head to Bushwood Antiques in Redbourn for something a little different this Christmas. With more than 8,500 pieces of English and continental antique furniture from the Georgian, Regency, Victorian and Edwardian periods, it’s one of the largest antique dealers in the country. Set in rolling Herts countryside, around an idyllic Georgian stable yard, it turns a shopping trip into a memorable day out.
Let scrumptious We R Cakes in Datchworth satisfy your sweet tooth with a Christmas-inspired celebration cake, which can be made to order and can accommodate all manner of dietary requirements. You can also enjoy home baked cake creations and tempting afternoon tea in the vintage tearoom, which opened last year and has received rave reviews ever since.
While you’re here: If you have already indulged at We R Cakes, pay a visit to The Tilbury. The award-winning pub and dining rooms has an elegant yet homely feel and an exciting menu.
Victoria’s Vintage in Little Hadham is an emporium which is home to vintage and craft traders who rent space to display and sell their wares, which means it’s an Aladdin’s cave of presents for Christmas. Offering an eclectic mix of one-off items all under one roof, Victoria’s Vintage is well-placed for providing a perfect solution for even the most hard-to-buy-for people.
While you’re here: Visit St Cecilia church, where there is a memorial stone to dashing Baron Arthur Capel of Hadham Hall and Watford’s Cassiobury House. An English politician on the Royalist side in the civil war, he was executed for treason and hanged in 1649 on the orders of parliament.
With a wide selection of gifts as well as plants and flowers, Over The Moon in Abbotts Langley could go some way to ticking off your presents list. From quirky trinkets for someone who has everything to beautiful floral arrangements, you’ll be spoilt for choice, and a well-stocked range for children ensures little ones are also not forgotten. Friendly staff and a free gift-wrapping service add that special little touch.
While you’re here: Get away from all the shopping with a stroll in lovely Leavesden Country Park. There’s plenty of space – it covers 27 hectares.
Box of Delights in Welwyn is a one-stop shop for unusual gifts, cards and wrapping paper. Opened in 2012, it’s packed floor to ceiling with stock which is constantly changing according to the seasons and annual celebrations, so expect festive cheer when you walk through the door. Make someone smile this Christmas with an organic skincare gift, pretty trinket box or shabby chic ornament from this lovely boutique gift shop.
While you’re here: Pop into The Wellington and enjoy a drink or good food in a setting where medieval architecture is fused with contemporary design.