Now that the festivities of Halloween and bonfire night are over, it’s time to turn our attention to Christmas gifts.
The weeks leading up to Christmas are the perfect time to try out all of our markets and independent shops for great local produce and unique presents that cannot be bought elsewhere. From the antique and Independent shops across Lewes Town to festive markets across our district, shopping becomes more than just ticking items off a list, but a festive experience for the whole family to enjoy.
Here are some of our top shopping tips for 2017. If you have any local tips you’d like to share with us, tag us on Instagram staylewes #independentxmaslewesd
Keep an eye on this page as we’ll be adding extra events as dates and times are confirmed.
INDEPENDENT SHOPPING IN LEWES TOWN
The Needlemakers is a historic building in the heart of Lewes Town. Once home to a factory that manufactured needles, it now houses an array of Independent traders and a café.
WHEN: Monday – Saturday 9am – 5.30pm, Sundays & 11am – 4pm
WHERE: West Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2NZ
WHAT CAN YOU BUY HERE: Fancy gifts, homewares, vintage clothes & accessories, Thai groceries, jewellery and much more.
LATE NIGHT SHOPPING EVENT: Thursday 14 December 5-8pm
Live music, mulled wine, nibbles in the cafe, face glittering, mini makeovers and shoulder massages.
Parking: Short-term parking for 2 hours is available in the West Street car park directly outside Needlemakers, or longer stay (advisable!) is available in Little East Street & East Street, just around the corner,
FOR SOMETHING ARTY
One of Sussex’s most popular art and craft fairs, the Artists & Makers fair at Lewes town never disappoints. It really showcases the best artistic products being made across our district.
WHEN: Sat 2 December 10am-5pm
WHERE: Lewes Town Hall, 18 High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2QS Lewes, East Sussex (Fisher St. Entrance)
WHAT CAN YOU BUY HERE: Paintings, prints, jewellery, clothes, pottery, photography and much more. Everything here is made by hand or designed by an artist.
SOME SEASONAL SPARKLE
If you want something a little finer than a bottle of plonk for your Christmas table this year, why not visit one of our district’s vineyards for some English wine. Ridgeview produces some fantastic English sparkling wines that are so good, even the queen serves them to visiting dignitaries. Find out how their award-winning wines are produced and pop open a fine vintage on Christmas day.
WHEN: Monday – Sunday 11 am – 4 pm (for tasting and sales)
Visit their website for the dates and times of their vineyard tours HERE
WHERE: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Fragbarrow Lane, Ditchling Common, Sussex BN6 8TP
WHAT CAN YOU BUY HERE?: White and Rose English sparkling wines. Vineyard tours and gift vouchers.
For a list of some more our local vineyards VISIT
POP UP SHOP
Once a gentleman’s outfitters est. in 1923 , Hugh Rae will be transformed into a pop up Christmas shop with the theme ‘Defender of the lost crafts’. Many local arts & crafts producers will be displaying their wares throughout December so keep an eye on their windows for a sneaky peak of what’s to come. Perfect for those gifts made with love and expertise.
WHEN: Every day in December (Excluding 25t & 26) Opening times 10am – 6pm
Open for Lewes late night shopping on 7 December
WHERE: Hugh Rae, 74 High St, Lewes (Opposite the castle)
WHAT CAN I BUY HERE: Sewing machines, haberdashery, fabric, hand sen nightwear, silk scarves, soft furnishings, block prints, books from the Guild of Master Craftsmen, paintings and much more.
follow on Instagram hughraecraftspace
LWB CHRISTMAS EMPORIUM
Don’t be a sprout and miss out! Visit the tLewes Women in Business Christmas Emporium on Sat 9th Dec at Lewes House for a wide selection of handmade gifts and bespoke services, perfect for presents. Support local micro businesses in a friendly, festive setting.
WHEN: Saturday 9 December
WHERE: Lewes House, School Hill, Lewes
WHAT CAN I BUY HERE: Handmade jewellery and accessories, children’s clothes, ceramics, photography, delicious things to eat, Christmas wreaths, vouchers for massage, garden design and lots more.
For further information VISIT
THE VILLAGE MARKET
New for 2017 is the Ditchling Christmas Market. This promises to be a magical evening with lashings of mulled wine, luxury hot chocolate and artisanal food stalls (not forgetting a beer and wine tasting for the adults). There will be plenty of fun for the kids too with festive arts and crafts and a chance to meet Santa himself.
WHEN: Saturday 2 December between 12 noon and 4 pm
WHERE: The Barn on Ditchling Village Green
WHAT CAN YOU BUY HERE: Inside the fairy-lit 18th-century barn will be a range of local makers and designers providing visitors with the chance to buy unique stocking fillers, gifts, Christmas cards and decorations. As well as trinkets to put on and underneath the Christmas tree, you will be able to buy your tree itself on the day and a wreath for your front door.
FRESH FROM THE FARM
Middle Farm West Firle is the perfect spot to pick up all of the those Christmas treats and essentials for the Christmas table. Why not visit to create your own bespoke hamper from their range of delicious treats? They always have a huge pan of mulled cider simmering away, so you can enjoy a lovely winter warmer as you shop.
WHEN: Opening Times (Farm shop & Cider barn) Monday – Friday 9.30am – 5pm Saturday & Sunday – 9.30am-5.30pm
WHERE: Middle Farm, West Firle, Lewes BN8 6LJ
WHAT CAN I BUY HERE: A wide selection of cider, beer, and artisanal spirits, poultry, fruit veg. delicious cheeses and gifts.
This December Santa is making a special journey to Newhaven to finish his Christmas preparations in his special Grotto Workshop.Treat the kids to a magical day where they can make reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve for Rudolph and his friends, decorate gingerbread men and Christmas cards. (included in the Santa Experience). You can also take time to wander around the festive Christmas Market or warm up in the 1940s inspired Fort Teas Tea Room, open from 10 a.m. each day for a warming mince pie and cup of tea.
WHEN: Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 December – 10am – 4pm
WHAT CAN YOU BUY HERE? Crafts, jewellery, pickles, jams, paintings, knitwear handbags and much more. You can indulge in delicious festive food treats including snowman candyfloss and a traditional hog roast.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET IN? Entrance to the fort is free. The Santa Experience is £9.95 per child. Booking is essential. To secure a time slot for a child to meet Santa VISIT
(Please note: the usual for exhibitions will be closed)