The season of goodwill is finally upon us – and Christmas shoppers can spread some extra festive love in the run-up to the big day by supporting local high streets and independent businesses in the Cotswolds.
Whether you're a last-minute gift buyer or your Christmas shopping is well underway, SoGlos shares nine of the best Cotswold towns and villages for independent shopping this festive season.
Independent Christmas shopping in Cirencester
As well as supporting local traders at its weekly markets, Cirencester is home to a plethora of independent stores and boutiques.
So chic it was featured in Vogue, independent makers and designer's emporium, M.A.D.E, has everything from art prints, vases and one-of-a-kind homewares; to kimono-style robes and quirky slogan tees; while bookworms can browse for the latest reads in Octavia's Bookshop, which specialises in children's literature for babies through to young adults.
Plus, stroll through the pretty Market Place and stop by The Corn Hall to pick up cheese and charcuterie from the Corn Hall Deli and a bottle from the Corn Hall Cellars, before making your way to New Brewery Arts to browse the very best of British craft – with its A Crafted Christmas shopping events running up to Christmas Eve.
Independent Christmas shopping in Stow-on-the-Wold
With all kinds of unique stores situated around its historic Market Square, from country clothing to old-fashioned sweet shops, Stow-on-the-Wold is a hotspot for independent shopping.
Led by design, The Curated Store in Talbot Court is a pop-up shop that hosts a monthly rotation of small independent businesses, selling fashion and lifestyle items, gifts and more in a stylish boutique setting.
Run by avid readers who are eager to help customers hunt for the perfect read, The Borzoi Bookshop also stocks greeting cards and gift wrap, making it a one-stop-shop for gift hunters; while there's a wide range of toys, games and collectibles for curious kids at Ella's Toy Shop, with treasures you might not find at major retailers.
Independent Christmas shopping in Tetbury
A homeware lovers haven, Tetbury is home to a number of interiors boutiques, including Willow Munro Interiors, selling everything from scented candles and soft furnishings to large pieces of furniture; and a Domestic Science store, which has a curated collection of Christmas gifts, including mulling spice kits, Christmas tree toppers and decorations, and offers a gift wrapping service.
For foodies, there's deli and bottle shop Martin and Malthouse, which features fine wine, local produce and the owners' own family olive oil from Greece; and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop has shelves and shelves of books, from classic literature to new releases.
Don't miss a visit to the Highgrove shop too, where you can pick up luxury bath and beauty products inspired by the aromas of His Majesty the King's very own Gloucestershire garden.
Independent Christmas shopping in Moreton-in-Marsh
It's only a stone's throw from the ever-popular Daylesford Organic Farm Shop, but Moreton-in-Marsh is a thriving independent shopping destination in its own right, lined with quaint antique stores, jewellers and boutique-style shops.
Check out Cotswold Grey for luxury interiors and lifestyle products; The Cotswold Snug for quirky gifts, including handmade items and presents for pets; and Moreton Wine Merchants for quality bottles, hand-selected from independent vineyards.
Moreton is also home to The Cotswold Cheese Company's very first outpost, where you can pick out a hamper's worth of artisan and farmhouse cheeses for a delicious present.
Independent Christmas shopping in Lechlade
Surrounded by lakes and sitting on the River Thames itself, Lechlade is not only a gem for water sports enthusiasts, but a gorgeous little town with a handful of independent shops to discover.
For beautiful blooms, put your trust in Chelsea Flower Show finalist All About Flowers, which creates special arrangements and bouquets; and visit Tollhouse Gifts and Gallery for original artworks.
Only selling jewellery that's been hand-crafted in her Lechlade studio, Lilia Nash Jewellery uses recycled precious metals, fair-trade gemstones and conflict-free diamonds in its pieces – which are all totally unique, making for an extra-special, gorgeous gift.
Independent Christmas shopping in Chipping Campden
Shoppers will find a diverse collection of independent shops in Chipping Campden, spanning everything from antiquarian bookshops to artisan producers.
Promising friendly service with 'a touch of Cotswold chic', Dove Country Lifestyle stocks a range of homeware, trinkets and accessories – and independent emporium Frankie Doodle is great for finding unique gifts, too.
Pick up culinary giftware, Christmas hampers and artisan food and drink from Cotswold producers at Fillet and Bone; while Ye Olde Sweet Shope does what it says on the tin, with over 500 old-school pick 'n' mix sweets to choose from, as well as a whole kilogram of sweets for £10 – a great stocking filler for a little one or sweet-toothed friend.
Independent Christmas shopping in Bourton-on-the-Water
The Venice of the Cotswolds is brimming with one-of-a-kind stores – including the famous Victorian Christmas Shop – where shoppers can find gifts, collectables and locally-made products and produce.
Cedars Bourton is the largest gift shop in the village, specialising in finely-crafted teddy bears for gifting children something super special; and you can tug at someone's heartstrings by gifting them a memory locket from So ScentiMentle Boutique, with a wide range to choose from to commemorate lost loved ones.
Plus, pay a visit to the Cotswolds Distillery shop to pick up bottles of its exceptional gin and whisky, where distillery experiences and tours are available, too.
Independent Christmas shopping in Fairford
Fairford shoppers can browse for art materials and gifts at The Coln Gallery, before making their way to the Wayside Farm Shop on the outskirts of town – where there's pre-made hampers packed with locally-sourced cheeses, or the option to pull one together yourself, for a great gift.
Be sure to visit on Wednesday to mooch around the outdoor market in the town's Market Place, which plays host to a whole range of stores, selling everything from clothes and jewellery to fresh flowers and artisan food.
Independent Christmas shopping in Northleach
The shopping scene is smaller, but there's a handful of hidden gems in Northleach, where wine lovers can hunt for the best bottle at The Curious Wine Cellar, which is a wine merchant - as well as a great spot for a drink.
And if you're searching for a traditional gift for the children in your life, The Dolls House is a treasure trove of curiosities, selling traditional dolls' houses, all kinds of miniature furniture pieces and accessories to kit them out, and handmade dolls.