Frantic for ideas on what to get your true love for Christmas? Worry no more! Visit Bristol’s elves have searched high and low to sniff out the top Bristol-themed gifts that’ll have your nearest and dearest dancing a Christmas jig for joy. Fact. 

#MerryBristmas

1. All I want for Christmas is bluue

The city used to be one of the most important glass-making centres in Europe, known for its distinctive blue glass which dates back some 300 years. With a Studio Shop in Arnos Vale and a retail outlet next to St Nicholas Market (itself a treasure trove of potential gifts), Bristol Blue Glass continues to make beautiful glassware in the traditional way and offers a collection of classy, glassy gifts - from jewellery and wine glasses to perfume bottles, beads, baubles and bowls. Visit the studio and you can see them being made, or learn to blow one yourself!

Bristol Blue Glass Winter wonderland

Image - Bristol Blue Glass Winter Wonderland

2. Have yourself a perry little Christmas

For the best cider and perry in the South West, head for the Bristol Cider Shop at Wapping Wharf. Bristol Cider Shop has recently created the world’s only Cider Tasting Kit which is both vegan and gluten free. The kit costs £39.50 and contains 10 award-winning ciders plus a miniature of Somerset Cider Brandy, a special tasting glass and a Cider Tasting Guide with background information about each of the ciders – a scrump-tious pressie sure to tickle every cider-lover’s taste buds. Other cider-y treasures include hampers, gift sets and cider tasting gift vouchers.

Cider tasting kit

Image - Cider Tasting Kit, Bristol Cider Shop

3. Christmas chill out

Treat someone to a day of pampering and indulgence at The Lido. Gift vouchers are available for all sorts of blissful offerings including a ‘Spa and Dine’ package which allows a one-hour spa treatment, access to the steam room, sauna, open air pool and outdoor hot tub plus a delectable 2-courses at the poolside restaurant. You can also get your hands on their range of spa gifts here.

Bristol Lido

Image - Bristol Lido at Christmas

4. It's beginning to look a lot like Chocolate

‘Tis the season for indulging in one-too-many chocolatey treats and Bristol is the perfect place to get your choccie from – after all, this is where the very first chocolate bar was made! The city’s oldest remaining chocolatier, Guilberts, have been making luxury hand-dipped chocolates and confectionery using traditional techniques since 1910. Best-sellers include fruity Crystallised Fondants, Peppermint Creams or gift boxes of Violet Creams. Visit the shop in the Old City, or find them in the Bristol Tourist Information Centre on the Harbourside (where you’ll find even more yummy locally-produced chocolate).

Guilberts chocolates

Image - Guilbert's Chocolates

5. O come all ye fur-ful

We can’t guarantee you Rudolph the reindeer, but there’s certainly a Gerry Giraffe…Make an animal-lover’s Christmas with an extraordinary ‘hands-on’ experience where they can go behind the scenes, hang out with the animals and learn what’s involved in caring for them at a Wildlife Park. Wild Place Project have several animal experiences to choose from including ‘Secret Congo’, ‘Feed the lemurs’ and ‘Meet the Meerkats’. Sister company, Bristol Zoo Gardens also offers ‘Keeper Experiences’ and animal ‘meet and greets’. Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm also has a variety of ‘Keeper Experiences’ that range from bear encounters to big cat experiences.

Bristol Zoo christmas

Image - Santa feeding ring-tailed lemurs at Bristol Zoo Gardens

6. Gin-gle bells gin-gle bells

Boost someone’s Christmas spirit…collection with a bottle of 6 O’Clock Gin – hand-made and bottled by Bramley & Gage just outside Bristol. Opt for their special ‘Brunel Edition’, along with its soulmate, the ‘Distillers tonic’ in a stunning ‘copa’ balloon glass and you’ve got the ingredients for the ultimate G&T. Gift boxes, fruit gins and fruit liqueurs are also available. Treat gin enthusiasts further, by booking a distillery tour which includes a tutored tasting.

Bramley & Gage 6 o clock gin

Image - Bramley & Gage 6 O'Clock Gin

7. Ding dong Moor-ily on high

Bristol is home to a globally celebrated brewery, Moor Beer, which produces over 20 different beers ranging in style from Best Bitter and Pale Ale to Barrel Aged Old Ale and Dunkleweisse. Treat your beloved beer lover to a ‘hoppy’ Christmas with a mixed can gift pack – customised to their preferred tastes. Visit Moor Beer’s Tap Room and brewery on Days Road, St Philip’s, to select the goodies.

Bristol Beer Factory also stock their own bottled beer, gift packs, t-shirts and other merchandise in their shop. Or treat a devoted beer aficionado to Beer Club membership which includes a brewery tour, a mixed case of beers, t-shirt plus special discounts and events throughout the year.

Moor Beer

Image - Moor Beer gift pack

8. Just the ticket

Bristol’s attractions are fantastic for families come rain or shine and annual membership offers unlimited child-entertaining options at great value. Brunel’s SS Great Britain  costs £37 for a family pass (2 adults and 2-3 children) and includes unlimited visits for one year.  We The Curious annual family membership offers unlimited entry to the fascinating hands-on exhibits, discounted shows in the UK’s first 3D Planetarium and lots more (£124 for a family of 4). For sea life-lovers, try annual family membership of Bristol Aquarium (£132.30 for a family of 4) which includes discounts in the gift shop. Animal-fanatics will adore Wild Place and Bristol Zoo Gardens who offer annual membership for their individual attractions as well as unlimited dual entry for both. A family of 4 can visit Aerospace Bristol for £39 and tickets are valid for a year. Slimbridge Wetland Centre family membership starts at £66 and offers entry to nine wetland centres across Britain. Westonbirt The National Arboretum offers joint membership at £74 and children under 18 go free when with a parent or grandparent member. For a way to see Bristol from a different angle, Bristol Insight Bus Tours offer gift vouchers which are £44 for a family.

Bristol Aerospace

Image - Aerospace Bristol

9. Ship shapes and zoovenirs

The city’s attractions also have excellent gift shops, filled with unique Bristol-inspired gifts! Brunel's SS Great Britain stocks a boat-load of ship-shape souvenirs as well as maritime prints by local artists, Isambear Kingdom Brunel teddy bears and the unique Brunel Duck. Pop into Bristol Museum and Art Gallery for books on Banksy, work by local artists, jewellery, kid’s toys and souvenirs inspired by current exhibitions. Similarly, M Shed sells Stokes Croft China, Wallace & Gromit-inspired gifts, children’s toys and books about Bristol.  There’s a treasure trove of quirky scientific curiosities at We The Curious while Bristol Aquarium‘s under-the sea-inspired gifts will delight all ocean-lovers. Arnolfini’s specialist bookshop is a great place for tomes on contemporary art, design and culture.  Gift shops at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project are a trove of weird and wonderful creature-tastic zoovenirs.

Brunel duck

Image - The SS Great Britain's Brunel Duck

10. Cracking contraptions

Bristol Children’s Hospital charity Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal and Aardman have just revealed that Gromit will be returning in 2018 for their highly anticipated third sculpture trail in the city, alongside pal Wallace and arch nemesis Feathers McGraw. The love for these animated characters is as strong as ever – pick them up as gifts in a variety of shapes and sizes at the Grand Appeal’s The Gromit Unleashed Shop at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway. All profits from sales help support sick children and babies from Bristol and beyond.

Wallace & Gromit

Image - Wallace, Gromit and Feathers McGraw

11. Hot Air Balloon Flight

Planning something super special? Give someone the unforgettable experience of soaring high above over the city in a hot air balloon. Bristol Balloons, Bailey Balloons and Elite Air (UK) Ltd offer flights. Book a private trip, a champagne flight or buy gift vouchers. Read what it’s like to fly in a hot air balloon over Bristol here. Tempted?

Balloon over bristol

Image - Balloon flight over Bristol, credit Paul Box

12. Christmas Pies

The next best thing to Santa whooshing down your chimney with a stocking full of presents has got to be Pieminister turning up at your door with a box of delicious pies. Hand-pick the perfect selection (either 6 or 12 pies) for friends and family through their pie-themed online shop.  There are also gift ideas for pie-fanatic family and friends – pick up pie chutney, tea-towels, mugs, aprons, a pie cookbook, oven gloves or a pie-making kit. All are British and ethically made, just like the pies! Or if you’re out and about in the city, fuel up at one of its shops (Stokes Croft, Broad Quay or St Nick’s Market) and munch on Christmas-flavoured pies.

Pieminister Christmas Pie Range

Image - Pieminister Christmas Pie range

13. Let it spray, Let it spray, Let it spray - Graft gift vouchers

If you're looking for a unique gift for a budding Banksy, how about a personalised voucher for a street art workshop and tour? Graft offer vouchers for private as well as public workshops. The latter take place every two months (the next one is 10 Dec) at Hamilton House in Bristol's 'graffiti quarter', Stokes Croft.

Graft graffit

Image - Graft introduction to graffiti workshop

14. Foodie lovers feast

Source Food Hall, based in St Nick’s Market in the Old City is a one stop shop for quality food – free range meat, fresh fish, artisan cheese, fruit, veggies and cakes. Treat someone to a foodie feast with their bespoke hamper service (pop in for a chat or give them a call to tailor it to your intended’s tastes) and they’ll also wrap it for you. Or you can simply order a Bristol Gift Hamper from them online. They also offer gift vouchers for the shop and their courses (which include basic charcuterie, basic butchery and fish filleting).

Cakes Source

Image - Cakes from Source

15. Wine Wonderland

Make someone’s Christmas extra merry and rustle up a Christmas hamper from Avery’s Wine Merchants. Basket goodies include seasonal festive treats and wine of course!

Averys wine merchants

Image - Averys Wine Merchants

16. Bristol Pounds

For those relatives and friends that are too difficult to shop for, give them Bristol Pounds! - the UK’s first city-wide local currency. One of the best things about our special Bristol cash, is that using it is always an adventure - Bristol Pounds can only be spent with local, independent businesses in the city which means that if you have these beautifully decorated notes in your pocket, you’ll find your way to a whole host of incredible Bristol indies. Notes can be bought from Bristol Tourist Information Centre on the Harbourside or a number of other retail points around the city (check their website for details or see the Bristol Pound Gloucester Road Map).

Bristol Pound

Image - Bristol Pounds

17. Rockin' around the Christmas prints

To celebrate the end of Colston Hall’s 150th anniversary year, a limited edition range of iconic gig posters have been released in collaboration with world-renowned Bristol design and screen-printing company Jacknife Prints. Each design has been produced in a limited edition run of 375 posters that have been hand screen-printed and numbered. The A2 posters will go on sale on 1 December on the Colston Hall website and the Made in Bristol Gift Fairs on 2 December, 9 December and 16 December - snap 'em up and make someone's Christmas rock!

Colston hall poster

Image - Colston Hall Limited Edition Posters - Iggy Pop

For more festive gift inspiration check out Bristol’s Christmas Markets and fantastic shopping areas.

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