It’s never too early to think about Christmas. And it’s never been as important to support our local makers, creators and businesses.
We’ve taken the time to speak to some of our favourite local businesses to find out what’s hot this winter.
Inspired by Lakeland
If you’re looking for something to lighten the mood and pay tribute to one of Cumbria’s most iconic residents, a Herdwicks of the Lake District Tea Towel (£8) is the ideal gift.
Keswick-based publisher David Felton, who founded Inspired by Lakeland, says: “At Inspired by Lakeland we love the Herdwick sheep! So much so that we commissioned Kendal-based artist Evelyn Sinclair to create a series of gently humorous illustrations of our favourite fell-wanderer.”
And a great present for younger ones who don’t get to enjoy the washing up is The Lake District Sticker Book (£6). Again, designed by Evelyn Sinclair, it’s a sticker book devoted to Cumbria and its wildlife, packed with puzzles, games, facts and fold-out Lake District scenes of farm, woodland, lake and fell.
Originally known for their retro cycling prints, Ulverston and Windermere-based The Northern Line has really branched out.
These totally exclusive gifts are highly unique and certainly eye-catching. Among the items expected to be popular this Christmas, these beautiful Lake District Cushions (£32.95), inspired by the wonderful railway illustrations from the 1930s, definitely stand out.
More in keeping with The Northern Line’s cycling roots, the 2021 ‘The Gods Have Spoken’ Calendar (£12.95) celebrates the great quotes by cyclists across all eras, such as Eddy Merckx, Mark Cavendish, Beryl Burton and Marianne Vos. A great gift for those that live life on two wheels – or have an eye for classy design.
Sedbergh Soap Co.
We’re all washing our hands more, aren’t we? Therefore, a gift from Sedbergh Soap Co. would be most welcome, regardless of who you’re buying for.
Founder Dorthe Pratt says: “Our Tangerine Soap Bar (£5.99) is a very affordable yet luxurious gift. It also works a treat as a stocking filler. Why not give the obligatory new socks or handkerchief a year off and instead give someone a nice bar of Sedbergh Soap?”
The company also offers some extremely-desirable gift boxes, ranging from £30 to £50. The Gift Box No 3 (£35) and the Handmade Luxury Gift Box (£30) are best-sellers and offer a selection of lotions and body washes.
Pure Lakes are experts in sensitive skin, and their Lakes-inspired ranges are made from high quality natural ingredients and packaged minimally using environmentally friendly packaging.
The World Heritage Gift Set (£26) is one of their signature products, and includes a Pure Lakes Hand & Body Lotion (250ml) and Hand Wash (250ml) to both cleanse and soften hands.
Gareth McKeever, who took over the company in 2016 with his wife Claire, says: “Our World Heritage gift packs feature a watercolour of Windermere painted by Claire’s late Grandmother, Patricia Naylor. They are available in two blends, Sweet Basil & Orange and Rosewood & Black Pepper.”
The Lakes Distillery
Thanks to the Bassenthwaite-based Lakes Distillery, we can all enjoy a quality tipple at home this Christmas. Whether you’re buying for a whisky-lover or a gin-lover, these stunning gift boxes will definitely be well-received.
The Lakes Gin Gift Box (£50) includes a full-sized 70cl bottle of The Lakes Gin, complemented by two tall, elegant and classic The Lakes Highball glasses.
The One Whisky Gift Box (£60) also has a 70cl bottle of The One Sherry Cask Finished, and two Lakes Tumbler Glasses, and The Lakes Single Malt Whisky Gift Box (£100) includes a bottle of The Lakes Single Malt Whiskymaker’s Editions, a distillery-exclusive Quatrefoil water jug, and also encloses a pair of gift vouchers for two guests to visit the distillery and enjoy The Lakes Whisky Tour.
Adding a touch of class this Christmas, Cumbria Crystal has glassware that will seriously impress. You may have seen these two offerings on the big screen, but now you can bring them into your home.
Do you have a James Bond fan in your life? Featured in Casino Royale, the Grasmere Double Old Fashioned Whiskey Tumbler (£85) is perfect for those who prefer it shaken and not stirred.
Fans of Downton Abbey will be familiar with the official crystal used throughout both the series and film. This Grasmere Martini glass (£135) was a firm favourite of the Crawley family and is the perfect host for a Christmas cocktail.
Mailing worldwide this Christmas, this is the perfect gift for any friends or family members yearning for a taste of the Lakes.
Grasmere Gingerbread’s signature products are expected to be bestsellers this Christmas, such as the 6-Piece Presentation Tin (£6.95) and the 12-Piece Presentation Tin (£9.95), and its ever-popular Cumberland Rum Butter (£3.50/170g).
The company’s Joanne Hunter says: “Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Gingerbread!
“Our Rum Butter is a very traditional Cumbrian product, although it was originally for Christenings – however people love it on mince pies and Christmas pudding.”
And to decorate your tree, you might like a Wooden Gingerbread Dangly Man (£2.95) to add a bit of character.