There is something very magical about being in the coutryside during the Autumn and Winter months as the skies change and the gardens gain a magical layer of twinkling frost each morning. Christmas time in Pembrokeshire is more exceptional in its never ending beauty.
I always feel that Christmas in and around Penally is much more traditional, special and quite an understated, festive affair compared to the big cities and towns. For me, traditions are very important to the festivities, with mulled wine in the crypt at Manorbier Castle and carols in the cowshed on Christmas Eve at a neighbouring farm to name a few personal ones.
Pembrokeshire has a fantastic amount of wonderful independent businesses which make Christmas shopping both a complete joy and unbelievably easy!
Shopping Guide to Pembrokeshire
This blog will be your guide to gifts for every member of the family and where to buy them, a round up of the best Christmas markets (no need to travel to the bigger cities for fantastic Christmas markets!) and the best spot for a pit stop whilst shopping.
My first port of call each year, and the chosen town for this Christmas blog, is of course the wonderfully festive, beautiful little town of Narberth.
This bustling little town, packed full of fantastic independent boutiques and shops really comes into it's own on the run up to Christmas. Wisebuys and Ultracomida fill all the senses with their endless selections of delicious cheeses, meats and chocolate. The Golden Sheaf and House by Betty are perfect for a gift for even the most awkward of relatives. Most importantly, the entire experience is enjoyable and sure to make anyone feel festive. Forget the crowds and long queues in large high street shops, Narberth is quaint and tastefull in the run up to Christmas.
Golden Sheaf Gallery
..for every gift, for anyone.
From the moment you approach this beautiful shop, Christmas has truly arrived. Its magical window display is simply a taste of what is to come inside. You would be hard pressed to find another shop in Pembrokeshire that covers every base more beautifully than the Golden Sheaf gallery.
As you enter there is a incredible central table laden with gorgeous smelling soaps, hand creams and everything in between. There is also a corner which is THE go to place to find something for 'difficult to buy for' dads, brothers and uncles!
As you move through the shop there is a wonderland of fun for children with the most perfect stocking fillers and towards the back is everything you could possibly need to beautifully package your gifts...and more.
Upstairs you will find local art work, hand crafted bowls, mugs and dishes, delicious smelling candles, carefully chosen Christmas decorations, womenswear and an array of Welsh blankets.
The perfect gift shop
Calling the Golden Sheaf the 'perfect gift shop', does not do it justice it is so much more than that. It is an experience for all the senses and one you will keep on returning to every year, especially when they start serving mulled wine in December!
Address: 25 High Street, Narberth, SA67 7AR
Opening times in Decemeber: Monday - Saturday - 10am-5pm
House by Betty
...for beautiful candles, homeware, prints - great for gifts for men too!
House by Betty is a wonderful home and garden shop in Narberth which sells practical products with an emphasis on timeless design.
This is such a wonderful shop for Christmas gift buying as everything sold here has been carefully chosen for its aesthetic. Whether it is a beautifully packaged ball of string, a gorgeous dish brush or a handmade mug, this shop is for gifts for those who appreicate beauty and thoughtful design.
Address: 34 High Street Narberth, SA67 7AS
Opening times in December: Monday - Saturday - 10.30am - 5pm
Pretty Lovely Lingerie
...for a gift to make any woman feel extra special at Christmas.
At the bottom of the high street sits the ever so lovely, Pretty Lovely lingerie shop. Katie will scoop you up and whether you're there to find a special festive gift for yourself or something particularly special for a loved one, she'll sort you out. You will not find a more knowledgable lady in charge of lingerie shop, fact.
At Christmas, she is fully stocked, ready and has a beautiful selection of carefully chosen lingerie to make anyone feel special, not just at Christmas, but all year round. Expect beautiful bags and your purchases wrapped in pretty tissue paper and so the stress of wrapping disappears.
Address: 27 High Street Narberth, Sa67 7AS
Opening Times in December: Monday - Saturday - 10am -5pm
...for a Christmas outfit, fabulous shoes and sparkling jewels!
At the top of the high street is White Boutique with its twinkling little window enticing you in to this beautiful little boutique. A running trend in Narberth shops is the helpful, genuine staff and this place is of no exception. Selling carefully selected womenswear and jewellery picked by Sally White, the fabulous, knowledgable, friendly owner. This boutique has a fantastic selection of designers at a range of prices meaning there is something for everyone.
Sally has also had delicious smelling candles made for the boutique which are the perfect stocking filler or for that awkward 'secret santa' at work! Beautiful bags and beautiful packaging mean wrapping is sorted too!
Address: 3 High Street, Narberth
Opening times in December: Mon-Fri -10am-5pm, Saturday -10am-5.30pm
...for vintage gifts, beautiful antiques and something a little bit special.
The Bazaar is where I would always head to find something special for my dad, a man who has a love for antiques and appreciates things which have plenty of history.
Remember to wear your coat as it can get a bit chilly and enjoy exploring this wonderful, big vintage and antiques warehouse just off the main high street. Filled with tables, chairs, fantastic books, antique jewellery, beautiful old maps, chest of draws, wool blankets and so much more...the list is endless!
Address: Old Hat Bazaar, The Old Brewery, Spring Gardens, Narberth, SA67 7BN
Opening times in December: Mon- Sat 10am-5pm, Sunday - 10am-4pm
...for delicous Spanish cheese, cured meat, wine, chocolate and so much more.
A trip to Narberth isn't complete without nipping into Ultracomida. This Spanish deli supplies the lucky people of Pembrokeshire with the delights of Spain in the form of cheese, wine and everything in between.
Foodie gifts are always a winner...and if not food, then wine always will be. During the Christmas run up there are always tastings around the deli from sherry to cured meats, enough to make you purchase plenty for yourself - you have been warned! If the Christmas shopping is taking it's toll then their restaurant at the back is the perfect pit stop to cure any festive fatigue. With homemade paella, thick Spanish drinking chocolate and crispy squid with alioli to name a few of my favourites.
Address: 7 High Street, Narberth
Opening hours in December: Mon - Sat - 10am - 6pm
Christmas Markets in Pembrokeshire
Pembroke Castle Christmas Market
Friday 24th - Sunday 26th November
This fantastic Christmas market is in the most magical setting and seems to get better every year. On entering the castle you are greeted with a flurry of snow and the smell of mulled wine in the air...enough to make even the biggest Scrooge feel festive!
Packed with fantastic local artisans and stalls from jewellery to Pembrokeshire rum, it truly is a wonderful experience for all the family.
Entry: Free entry
Opening times: Fri & Sat - 10am-8pm, Sunday - 10am-4pm
Haverdfordwest Christmas Farmer's Market
Head to the riverside in the centre of town where everything you could need for your festive feasting is available every Friday in December! Local artisans set up in force ready to spread Christmas cheer in the form of delicious breads, meat, chocolates, cheese and homemade conserves.
Dates: Friday 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd December
Opening times: 9am - 2pm
Saundersfoot Christmas Festival
Friday 1st - Sunday 3rd December
On the first weekend of December, Saundersfoot harbour is transformed into a festive wonderland with a weekend full of live music, local artisans, gift stalls, cooking demonstrations, Christmas carols, lantern parades and of course, a Santa's grotto.
Opening times: Friday - 2pm - 7pm, Saturday - 10am - 7pm, Sunday - 10am - 5pm
Christmas at Penally Abbey Hotel
Of course we are biased but Penally Abbey is the ultimate setting for the festivities.
Whether it's afternoon tea complete with the homemade mince pies by the log fire, or a nights stay looking out to sea across the frost covered sand dunes, it truly is magical at Christmas.
Gift a Penally Abbey moment this Christmas...
Sometimes shopping for Christmas gifts can be tough as time can be limited, especially on the run up to Christmas. Our beautiful gift vouchers can help you save time whilst still providing the lucky reciever with a thoughtful gift that can be used at any time of year.
Simply give our lovely receptionists a call and they'll personalise it for you and pop it in the post to you or your loved one!
P.s This Black Friday we'll be giving 10% off all our gift vouchers!
So call us between 9am and 9pm on Friday 24th November and you'll get 10% off any voucher, for any amount.
Happy Shopping Everyone!
Photos: All photograhs were taken by Jacques Boissevain