Save yourself a wasted shopping trip and steer clear of the generic high street gift voucher or slippers slip-ups, with SoGlos’s fuss-free Gloucestershire Christmas gift guide.
Whether you’re looking for a novel gift for a sports fan, a secret romantic or a thrill seeker, we’ve picked out some of the best gift ideas and experiences available in Gloucestershire – guaranteed to bring a smile to the festive faces of family and friends from far and wide.
Gift idea: From the latest fashion and must-have entertainment to fine fragrance and the fanciest of gadgets – with cards and decorations galore too!
Perfect for: Fashionistas, photographers, gadget fans, little ones and even your gran!
Tell me more: With more than 30 shops to explore at Gloucester’s King’s Walk, ticking off your gift list in one convenient retail destination is a doddle. Head to River Island and Primark to discover the latest ideas for style hunters; shop for toys galore at The Entertainer; splash out on wonderful smellies from The Fragrance Shop and The Perfume Shop; or opt for a racy number from Ann Summers. Jewellery is always a winner from Warren James, while Claire’s is perfect for teenagers, and don’t forget to stock up on special cards at WHSmith and Clinton’s Cards. Plus, head to HMV and CEX for the latest chart-topping films and music, while Jessops has plenty to offer for budding photographers.
SoGlos loves: King’s Walk is packed with a diverse range of stores guaranteed to get those shopping bags brimming with gifts this Christmas, but when you’ve shopped till you need to drop head for Poppins Restaurant or Costa for a well-earned break and bite to eat!
How much: Prices vary
To buy: See King's Walk Shopping Centre, call (01452) 304953, email email@example.com, or visit kingswalk.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: A memorable evening out at Cheltenham’s prestigious theatre, enjoying some of the best touring stage productions in the UK.
Perfect for: Star-struck stage lovers, comedy fans, musical admirers and opera aficionados.
Tell me more: Give the gift of live theatre this Christmas – with highlights from the Everyman’s eclectic, early 2018 programme spanning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, musical Flashdance, family favourite Gangsta Granny, and much more. The Cheltenham theatre plays host to a diverse range of productions that cater for all ages, making the venue perfect for family outings, date nights and cultural evenings with friends.
SoGlos loves: What could be nicer – and more thoughtful – than giving a loved one tickets to a special night at the theatre? And if picking out just one particular performance is too tough, the Everyman Theatre also offer gift vouchers.
How much: Tickets for some performances start from just £12, with gift vouchers available in a range of monetary vouchers.
To buy: See Everyman Theatre, call (01242) 572573, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.
Gift idea: Plants, gardening accessories, tools, pots and much more – designed with the gardener in mind.
Perfect for: Green-fingered enthusiasts of all abilities who love spending time in their gardens.
Tell me more: Trioscape Garden Centre is located near Newent in the Forest of Dean and offers an abundance of plants, flowers, trees and horticultural accessories, making it the perfect place to hunt for festive gifts for garden lovers. Shoppers can pick up terracotta pots that are ideal for adding a splash of colour to outside spaces, or if you’re looking for a practical present, the garden centre also stocks a wide range of essential tools. Other gift ideas include garden ornaments, such at sundials, sculptures and topiary, while keen veg growers will enjoy receiving windowsill kits, pre-packed sets of seeds, or ornamental plant labels. If you’re buying for a gardener who would prefer to choose their own present, there’s also the option to get them gift vouchers to spend at their leisure. And, while you’re at Trioscape, you can also pick up your Christmas trees, festive wreaths, fragrant winter shrubs, and poinsettias – providing the finishing touches for your seasonal home.
SoGlos loves: The Food Hall is brimming with delicious delights, including many from local producers, which would make lovely gifts for foodies, and there will also be plenty of festive-themed goodies to stock up on.
How much: Prices vary
To buy: See Trioscape Garden Centre, call (01452) 790550, email email@example.com or visit trioscape.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: Keep memories alive by treating someone special to a fine art photographic print or a personalised photo gift.
Perfect for: Family members or loved ones who will cherish a personal memento for their home.
Tell me more: The Darkroom is an independent photographic printing business based in Cheltenham that specialises in both digital and film-based printing. The business’ range of photo gifts offer the chance to have your favourite picture bonded onto a range of objects, including placemats, coasters, aprons, magnets, keyrings, jigsaw puzzles, mouse mats, chopping boards, mugs and more, while there are also a variety of sizes of ready-to-hang wall panels and canvas wraps to choose from. If you can’t decide on a favourite image, opt to get a collage-style print, while the one-page calendar is a lovely year-round present for grandparents. The Darkroom also specialises in fine art printing and can scan original works of art, with a choice of finishes and a range of sizes available. And, if you want to fill a photo album with memories from a holiday, wedding, birthday or family party, you can also order small prints to be developed.
SoGlos loves: The Darkroom is skilled at print restoration and can give old, faded or damaged prints a new lease of life, with the new photographs making a lovely surprise Christmas gift for someone special.
How much: Prices vary
To buy: See The Darkroom, call (01242) 239031, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the-darkroom.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: Vouchers for afternoon tea, overnight stays or dinner at Hatherley Manor
Perfect for: Friends and family who are tricky to buy for.
Tell me more: Situated on the outskirts of Gloucester, Hatherley Manor is an elegant 17th century manor house set in 37 acres of rolling countryside. If you’re looking for inspiration for foodies, vouchers for afternoon tea or dinner in the hotel’s intimate restaurant would no doubt be well received gifts, with vouchers available for two, four or six people. For an extra special treat and perfect for banishing any January blues, spoil someone with vouchers for a relaxing one-night stay at the hotel, with either a Short Break Getaway or a Lazy Luxury Break to choose from. The hotel also offers flexible monetary vouchers which can be redeemed against accommodation, food or drink, offering the perfect solution if you’re struggling for present ideas.
SoGlos loves: This December, Hatherley Manor is also offering a Christmas Festive Afternoon Tea, including a glass of mulled wine, mini fish and chips, warm turkey and cranberry tartlets, cakes and fancies, and tea and coffee, with vouchers able to purchase.
How much: Prices vary
To buy: See Hatherley Manor, call 0300 303 8302, email email@example.com or visit hatherleymanor.com directly.
Gift idea: Spa vouchers for treatments at Cheltenham’s Chapel Spa
Perfect for: Spoiling someone with a relaxing, indulgent and pampering treatment.
Tell me more: Located in a beautiful 19th century chapel in the centre of Cheltenham, Chapel Spa is decked out Mediterranean-style décor and offers a relaxing oasis to escape from the stresses of everyday life, with facilities including seven treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy pool with candle-lit relaxation area, steam room and Arabian Rasul. Chapel Spa has a range of gifts, with the choice of giving someone a voucher for a treatment or purchasing them a monetary voucher, with all budgets covered. Treatments span everything from Elemis facials and massages to reflexology and luxury Jessica manicures, while there are also dedicated treatments for mums-to-be. Chapel Spa's Christmas offers feature a range of pamper packages spanning Christmas Time-out, which includes a face or hair mask and a glass of fizz; the Heavenly Half Day, featuring a 30-minute treatment; and All I Want For Christmas, with an aromatherapy massage and mini facial included; and the Christmas Spa & Arabian Rasul for two – with all packages encompassing three hours’ use of the spa facilities.
SoGlos loves: If you want to enjoy a festive gathering with friends, combine a spa day with Chapel Spa’s Christmas Style Afternoon Tea. Savour a range of cakes and sandwiches form Well Walk Tea Room, along with tea, coffee or a glass of mulled wine.
How much: The Christmas Time-out package is £35, the Heavenly Half Day is £55 from Monday to Friday and £60 at weekends, the All I Want For Christmas is £75, Christmas Spa & Arabian Rasul is £110 for two people, and Christmas Style Afternoon Tea is £12, with prices varying for other treatments.
To book: See Chapel Spa, call (01242) 386666, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit chapelspa.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: Tickets to see the mighty Cherry and Whites battle it out at Gloucester Rugby’s famous Kingsholm Stadium against a host of visiting teams.
Perfect for: Rugby fans of all ages – not to mention supporters who’ve never experienced the thrill of a live professional match before.
Tell me more: Gloucester Rugby has grown to be one of the best rugby clubs in the UK, with up to 16,500 spectators flocking to Kingsholm Stadium on match days to experience the thrills and spills of Aviva Premiership, LV= Cup and European matches – not to mention international fixtures. From families looking for a great day out with the kids, to groups of friends hoping for a few hours of fun, book a pair of tickets for your nearest and dearest, and they’ll get to take in an amazing sporting spectacular and remember the experience forever. Treat someone to a bit of post-Christmas sporting action by booking tickets for Gloucester Rugby vs Sale Sharks, which is taking place on Friday 29, Saturday 30 or Sunday 31 December 2017, with the exact date still to be confirmed.
SoGlos loves: There are also a host of gift ideas at Gloucester Rugby’s online store, including official kit, leisurewear, rugby balls, car accessories, baby accessories, stationery and much more.
How much: Tickets start from £20 for adults and £12 for juniors.
To buy: See Gloucester Rugby, call the box office on 0871 871 8781, email email@example.com or visit gloucesterrugby.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: Handpicked hampers, tasty treats or gift vouchers
Perfect for: Discerning foodies who will enjoying adding delicious products to their store cupboards.
Tell me more: Severn & Wye Smokery is a family-run business located on the edge of the Forest of Dean, with its new Barn offering the perfect place to shop for local food and drink presents. The Barn’s Chef’s Larder deli and gift shop are brimming with gastronomic delights, spanning handmade chocolate, biscuits, jams, chutneys, crackers, and condiments, along with a host of wines, spirits, ales and ciders, which can be made into bespoke hampers. Shoppers can also expect to find a range of homeware and cookware gift ideas, including printed tea towels and aprons, and fine bone china mugs. And, if you can’t decide what to buy that special someone, then you can purchase also gift vouchers. During a visit to Severn & Wye Smokery make sure you stock up on some of its award-winning smoked fish, which makes the ideal addition to Christmas celebrations, whether you’re planning a festive gathering or are hosting a New Year’s Eve party.
SoGlos loves: Combine a shopping trip to Severn & Wye Smokery with spot of breakfast or coffee and cake in its café, or book to enjoy a pre-Christmas lunch in its relaxed restaurant, which serves a delicious selection of fish dishes, alongside meat and vegetarian courses.
How much: Prices vary
To book: See Severn & Wye Smokery, call (01452) 760191, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit severnandwye.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: Paintings, prints, glass, ceramics, bronze and jewellery – all unique and hand made by UK artists and makers.
Perfect for: Family and friends who like something different
Tell me more: The contemporary new art gallery is located in the Montpellier area of Cheltenham and offers the chance to buy a diverse range of artwork that spans original paintings and limited edition prints, along with handmade glass, ceramics, bronze pieces, decorative items, and jewellery. Park Gallery’s owners Steve and Claire work closely with a selection of handpicked artists and makers, with the gallery the perfect place to find a unique and thoughtful Christmas gift. Park Gallery is accredited by the English Arts Council to offer the ‘Own Art’ scheme, which invites you to spread the cost of buying art of 10 months with an interest-free loan. Shoppers can expect a lovely festive atmosphere at the independent gallery, which will be serving mulled wine and playing Christmas songs during the season of goodwill.
SoGlos loves: The Park Gallery Advent Calendar launches on Friday 1 December 2017 and will showcase a ‘gift of the day’ on its Facebook page throughout the month, providing even more inspiration for finding the perfect present.
How much: Prices range from £25 to £3,500.
To book: See Park Gallery, call (01242) 228325, email email@example.com, or visit parkgallery.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: A print or painting by Cotswold-based artist George Irvine.
Perfect for: Art enthusiasts who would love to add impressive pieces to their collection.
Tell me more: Combine a visit to The Compton Gallery with a spot of Christmas shopping, with its George Irvine exhibition providing plenty of gift inspiration for art lovers. From Saturday 2 to Sunday 17 December 2017, the newly opened boutique arts space, located in a stunning countryside setting near Cheltenham, is hosting an exclusive exhibition of the Cotswold-based artist’s latest collection. Known for fusing vibrant colours and glorious landscapes, Irvine’s pieces will be displayed in the converted barn space, offering the chance to peruse his work, which include limited edition prints and original oil paintings, before buying.
SoGlos loves: The contemporary artist’s pieces make a colourful addition to any home, and offer a timeless investment that can be enjoyed for years to come.
How much: Prices start in the hundreds for limited edition prints, with large original oil paintings £1,000 and over.
To book: See The Compton Gallery, call (01242) 890733, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit thecomptongallery.com directly.
Gift idea: A driving experience at Land Rover Eastnor
Perfect for: Motor enthusiasts who love to test out their driving skills.
Tell me more: Comprising more than 5,000 acres across the Malvern Hills, Land Rover Experience Eastnor offers a range of driving packages that take in the stunning Herefordshire landscape. If you're buying for a beginner, opt for the one-hour Taster Experience which perfect for getting to grips with the basics of off-road driving and covers steep inclines, deep water, roller beds, rock crawls and more. While the Half Day and Full Day Experiences are ideal if you are searching for a gift for someone who really wants to learn how to navigate various off-road elements and gain a greater understanding of vehicle control. If you know some who'd be up for a challenge, then the seven-hour Eastnor Explorer will be right up their street, with the experience designed to test the vehicles to the absolute limits. Retro motor enthusiasts will enjoy the Classic Drive Experience, which combines driving off-road in modern Land Rovers with the chance to get behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar, while fans of the Defender can test out the iconic vehicle on the Advanced Day Experience.
SoGlos loves: If you can’t decide which package to go for, treat someone special to gift vouchers which can be redeemed against all the off-road driving experiences, with prices from £125.
How much: The Taster Experience is £125 per vehicle; the Half Day Experience is £275 per person; the Full Day Experience is £375 per person; the Eastnor Explorer is £325 per driver or £650 for sole occupancy; the Classic Drive Experience is £475 per driver; and the Advanced Day Experience is £425 per driver or £850 for sole occupancy.
To book: See Land Rover Experience, call 0333 733 3003, email email@example.com, or visit eastnor.landroverexperience.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: Customised mementos or vouchers for a baby scan package.
Perfect for: Couples about to welcome a new addition to the family.
Tell me more: Cheltenham’s Early Life Ultrasound Centre enables parents to have access to ultrasound services throughout their pregnancy without need for referral. The sessions, which are designed to fit around routine NHS scans, are led by a team of professionally qualified sonographers who have years of experience in the industry. The centre offers a host of different packages, which can all be purchased as gift vouchers, starting from the Basic 3D/4D Package that includes a 4D moving scan and three 3D prints. If you want to give someone a gift they’ll treasure forever, opt for the Gold Luxury Package, which encompasses a DVD of the entire scan of 4D moving images, a USB stick with at least 20 still 3D images, estimated foetal weight and growth check, 10 printed 3D pictures of your choice, a pregnancy progress report and free HD Live, a new more realistic imaging system.
SoGlos loves: Early Life also has a selection of customised mementos, including handmade picture frames where you can display your precious scan photos; heartbeat bears; key rings; fridge magnets; and Christmas decorations, along with gender reveal confetti balloons and scratch cards.
How much: Prices vary from £69 for the Basic 4D Package Voucher to £131 for the Gold Luxury Gift Voucher with Gift Box.
To book: Call (01242) 300810, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit earlylife.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: One of Ross & Ross’s foodie hampers or curing kits.
Perfect for: Gastronomes, keen cooks and meat lovers looking to add to their culinary store cupboard collection.
Tell me more: In addition to its award-winning wedding catering business, Ross & Ross makes an array of handmade British food gifts, with emphasis on supporting local Cotswold producers to create its range of hampers and curing kits. Choose from The Man Box filled with craft beer, Cotswold salami, smoked apple chutney, and triple cooked crackling; while those with a taste for heat will love The Man Box Spicy which comes with Cotswold chorizo and jalapeño cracking. For a more substantial option, The Man Box XL includes both salamis, two beers (one of their own, The Cotswold Pig) and an additional chutney. For a gift with a difference, Ross & Ross's Homemade Curing Kits are ideal, giving chefs the ingredients to cure your own original, sweet or smoky bacon at home, with brand new cures launching in November 2017, while The Ultimate Bacon Sandwich Kit also includes beetroot ketchup and hot barbecue sauce for a delicious Christmas morning treat. The salmon curing kits contains your own gin, smoky or beetroot cures, with the option of adding a bottle of Cotswolds Gin for the perfect pairing.
SoGlos loves: If you’re looking for a gift, then opt for Ross & Ross’s Brand New Christmas Roast Dinner Box packed with a pigs in blankets dust, roast potato oil, brussel sprout dust and a turkey rub.
How much: The Man Boxes are £22; The Man Box Spicy is £22; The Man Box XL is £40; The Homemade Curing Kits are £21; The Ultimate Bacon Sandwich Kit is £32; The Salmon and Cotswolds Gin Hamper is £65; and The Christmas Roast Dinner Box is £17.50.
To buy: Call Ross & Ross Food on (01608) 645503, email email@example.com or visit rossandrossfood.co.uk directly.
Gift idea: A Discovery Pass that can be used at The Forestry Commission’s Forest of Dean.
Perfect for: Families and couples who enjoy soaking up the great outdoors.
Tell me more: Looked after by The Forestry Commission, the Forest of Dean offers an enchanting natural playground that spans more than 110 square kilometres of ancient woodland. The Forest encompasses four main visitor sites, Symonds Yat Rock, Cannop Cycle Centre, Beechenhurst Lodge and Mallards Pike Lake, which offer plenty to entertain visitors of all ages. Its annual Discovery Pass, which offers free parking and discounts on a range of attractions and shops, including 15 per cent off Go Ape, 15 per cent of Cotswold Outdoor, Snow and Rock, and 15 per cent off Muddy Puddles, makes the perfect festive gift for nature lovers, and includes free parking.
SoGlos loves: During your visit, make sure you take in the magical Sculpture Trail, a picturesque walk that’s interspersed with a variety of sculptures, mostly constructed from natural material from the Forest. A Sculpture Trail leaflet, contacting all the details, can be purchased for £1 from Beechenhurst Café.
How much: The Discovery Pass is £30
To book: Call 0300 067 4800, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit forestry.gov.uk/forestofdean directly.
Gift idea: Tickets for the 2018 Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford
Perfect for: Families and aviation enthusiasts who will enjoy a memorable day out.
Tell me more: The Royal International Air Tattoo is a highlight on the Gloucestershire events calendar, attracting spectators from far and wide who flock to see stunning flying displays featuring aerobatic teams along with fast jets and historic aircraft. Tickets are now on sale for the spectacular summer showcase, which takes place from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 July 2018, and make a unique and entertaining gift idea for the whole family, particularly as under 18s are free. The 2018 aviation extravaganza marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force, with a host of special events taking place for RAF100, including special flypasts and a Royal Review of Aircraft on the Friday.
SoGlos loves: There’s plenty to entertain all ages at the Royal International Air Tattoo and not only the thrilling flying action. On the ground the Techno Zone showcases innovative exhibits; the Autodrome is heaven for petrol heads; the Activity Zone offers a great variety of family entertainment; and the Vintage Village takes you back in time to a bygone era, while there are plenty of shopping opportunities from the many exhibitors showcasing at the event.
How much: Full priced tickets are £55, while Super Earlybird tickets, priced at £45, and Earlybird tickets, priced at £50, are now on sale and available until they have all sold out.
To book: Call The Royal International Air Tattoo on 0800 107 1940 or visit airtattoo.com directly.
Tuesday 07 November 2017
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