Not sure what to get your loved ones for Christmas?

The friendly Visit Colchester elves have come to your rescue with plenty of ideas for experiences and gifts to stop you from panic buying yet another pair of socks!!!

presents under the treeThis is part two in our list of suggestions for great presents to suit all pockets, that also help to support local businesses! This post features local produce for foodies, Colchester themed gifts and handmade items made by local creatives.

Local food & drink - Festive Treats For Foodies!

- Why not treat a friend to a voucher for afternoon tea? TymperleysMilsomsGreyfriars, the Old Siege house, and Wivenhoe House are just a few of our recommendations for a place to enjoy this quintessentially English treat. The newly opened T at the George are doing a special ‘Festive Afternoon Tea' too!

Wilkin & Sons of Tiptree have tea rooms across the area, a visit to one of these would be a real treat for any Jam fan.

Tiptree Jam

- If you’re shopping for something to wrap up for the foodies in your life, look no further than traditional grocers and deli Guntons who amongst other things sell an amazing range of cheeses and also stock local Mersea Island Beer. On your list should also be a visit to the luxurious Fenwick Food hall for artisanal festive foodstuffs and fine wines.

- Fans of a good tipple will enjoy a gift from Two Brews, selling craft beers, spirits and speciality coffee. Staff are on hand to give expert advice to help you find something to suit all tastes. People with a love for a good G&T need to look out for Jumbo GinEssex Citrus Dry or Oystermen Gin.

- Lovers of wine will be over the moon with a bottle or two from a local vineyard. At both Prettyfields Vineyard and Mersea Island Vineyard you can buy wine online or book a future vineyard tour & tasting. Dedham Vale Vineyard also produce local wine, and are currently online only.

Souvenirs & Locally Made Gifts - Something To Pop Under The Tree!

- At Visit Colchester HQ we have souvenirs including mugs, tea towels, notebooks and tote bags. We stock Christmas Cards and 2022 calendars, ideal for people that love Colchester, whether they are local or just have fond memories of visiting. We also stock a range of books about the town for history buffs and a range of Wilkin & Sons ‘Tiptree’ jam and Christmas puddings. We now have an online Click It Local store, where you can browse and purchase items for convenient local home delivery, or collection.

Visit Colchester Souvenirs available from the Visitor Information Centre Gift Shop
Firstsite has a range of prints, art books, toys and more to suit all budgets. They also sell jewellery handmade by local artists, perfect for those people that love to receive something really unique.

- Not just a Museum, Colchester Castle has a lovely gift shop with souvenirs featuring the famous building itself as well as replica fine jewellery inspired by jewellery from the Museum collection.

- Colchester Zoo also has a great Gift Shop for animal lovers. They sell Colchester Zoo Top Trumps, Colchester Zoo Monopoly, stuffed toy versions of your favourite animals alongside animal adoption packages. 

- Head to Cants of Colchester for a unique local gift for the gardener in your life. This rose grower has been in operation since 1765, and they sell varieties in every imaginable colour, with beautiful names. Bare root roses are available for delivery at this time of year, or they have a nursery just outside of the town centre.

- New this year is the Colchester Gift card, organised by InColchester, you can purchase the Colchester Gift Card online and the receiver can spend it in a range of Colchester’s shops and restaurants. 

The Gift Of Art - Colchester’s Creatives Have Plenty To Offer This Christmas!

- The Colchester Arts Society Winter Exhibition is taking place from 4th-24th December, in a pop up gallery in Trinity Square, hosted by We Are the Minories. The exhibition features some fantastic paintings and sculptures by artists from Colchester and the surrounding area. Prices range from £50-£500. 

a christmas display in an art gallery

- The Sentinel Gallery in Wivenhoe are hosting a exhibition called East Coast Absrtacted from 3rd-8th December, and New Horizons, an exhibition of ceramics, painting and printmaking from 17th – 22nd December. Works from both exhibitions will be for sale.

Red Lion Books on Colchester High Street is an independent bookseller but they also sell local handmade gifts by local crafts people, as do Made & Found Café and the Foresters’ Arms Pub. Wivenhoe also has a splendid independent bookseller for the book worm in your life.

-There will be Christmas Markets and craft fairs going on around the borough for those of you that like to find handmade gifts to treasure. Check out the Visit Colchester Events Planner to find out what's going on and when!

If we’ve missed anything off, please let us know in the comments below.

We would also love to hear of any positive shopping experiences you’ve had during 2021, and what items are at the top of your Christmas List!


H. Gunton Tea and Coffee Specialists
H Gunton, Colchester

Delicatessen and fine foods. The widest range of cut cheeses in the area. Morning coffee on the first floor. Many local products. Colchester tea towels and shopping bags. Gift packs and hampers all the year round.

Visit Colchester Gift Shop
Shop – Local
Visit Colchester shop. Colchester Mugs, cards and placemats.

The Visit Colchester Information Centre has a fantastic Gift Shop selling Colchester Souvenirs and locally made gifts.

Made in Colchester Christmas Fair
Christmas Markets
Saturday 4th December - Christmas Market - 10am-4pm - Made In Colchester

Locally Made Christmas Gifts & Goodies



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