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Christmas – a time for family, friends, celebrating, and exchanging gifts. And local or not, if you’re in Norwich, you’re in the right place to find some fantastic gifts. From unique, one-of-a-kind jewellery handmade by master jewellers, to stylish, reworked vintage clothing that’s been saved from otherwise going to waste, we’ve got something anyone you’re buying for will love. Read on for our top stops to shop in the City of Stories this Christmas!
And if you need a hand getting into the city, you’ve got plenty of great options to choose from. Our train station is just a 15-minute walk from the city centre, so travelling by London, Essex, Cambridge, and Suffolk with Greater Anglia has never been easier! See more destinations by rail plus bus routes (the bus station is located in the heart of the city).
And if you are driving, we recommend using one of the 5 Park and Ride sites (use Thickthorn if you’re arriving via the A11) which provides quick bus services to the city centre. Parking is free, the bus costs £3 return (£1 extra when using Park & Ride with another person).
Jarrolds is Norwich’s flagship independent department store – and one of the first places you should be heading to shop at Christmas in Norwich. This family-run business has it all, from fashion to furniture, toys to beauty products. If you need a great Christmas gift for anyone, the chances are you’ll find it here in Jarrolds. Of course, the store is decorated from top to bottom throughout the festive season too, so it’s absolutely gorgeous, and really gets that feel-good Christmas spirit going while you shop for your loved ones.
Whether you’re buying for someone who loves learning more about other cultures, or just looking for that unique gift with a bit of wow factor, Country & Eastern is where you need to be looking. It’s a serious hidden gem here in the City of Stories, so it doesn’t get much more unique than from here!
Country & Eastern is the shopping side of The South Asia Collection, a fascinating museum with an absolutely massive assembly of items from the area across the years. Inside this shop, it truly feels like you’re buying museum items yourself. There are kimonos, bedsheets, and even hand blocks that you can paint over and make a special stamping from! We can’t recommend it enough, especially if you’re on the hunt for stocking fillers. And it’s a win-win, since you get to look around a beautiful museum while shopping!
Not only is Christmas a joyous time for giving, but it can be sustainable too! And at Slayyy Vintage, you can get some gorgeous vintage items that feel brand new at a great price. Some have even been reworked, like their denim tote bags, which are made using old pairs of jeans! Plus, you can feel good about your gift, knowing it avoided going to waste to look fantastic for years to come.
And, if you know someone who would love to grab some vintage pieces, but you don’t know exactly what to get them, you can purchase a Slayyy Vintage Gift Card at a value of your choosing! Then, you can sit back and relax, knowing you gave your loved one and the Earth a wonderful gift this Christmas.
If you’re looking for that really special present, look no further than Dipples. This prestigious jeweller is the second-oldest family-run business in Norwich (only being beaten by Jarrolds), and know what it means to find that piece that takes your breath away. That’s why their entire service is based on helping you find exactly that – whatever your budget.
It’s a lovely place to visit, and a must when shopping in the Norwich Lanes during the festive season. From Rolexes to diamond rings, whatever you’re looking to give this Christmas, Dipples has it.
Speaking of special jewellery, Sonkai in the Royal Arcade is another must-visit while you’re doing your Christmas shopping. The twist is everything at Sonkai is made by them in the very store you stand in. Everything! Talk about a unique way to give someone that special something.
So, have a look around, and see what catches your eye. And, if nothing screams out to you, why not commission your very own one-of-a-kind piece? That’s right, you can place your order here and get something made just how you want it for a Christmas gift you and that someone will never, ever forget.
The epitome of Christmas in Norwich, The Bear Shop, can be found on Elm Hill, our iconic street. Inside this gorgeous store, you’ll find one of the largest collections of classic teddy bears you’ll ever see. Choose between Steiff, Teddy Hermann, Clemens, Paddington, and many more, it’s very hard to leave without one, and they make for the perfect gift for lovers of a teddy bear – no matter how old!
Once you’ve brought your newest member of the family, why not take a stroll around the rest of Elm Hill and see what other beautiful discoveries you can marvel over? These cobbled streets have more history than you can imagine. And it’s particularly picturesque at Christmastime!
Another must-see in the Norwich Lanes is Elm. Found on Lower Goat Lane, this quaint shop is paradise for everything to do with trendy homeware. Glowing plants, aromatic candles, and vibrant glassware are just a tiny portion of what you’ll find. They also sell wrapping paper and cards for any occasion – it’s your one-stop shop for everything festive this year.
One of Norwich’s most beautiful landmarks, and a fantastic place to shop, The Royal Arcade houses some of the City of Stories’ best and most unique independents. Here, you can find Gyre & Gimble, a local business that handmakes their gins and sells many other tasty drinks, and Yalm, one of the city’s best foodhalls, which serves cuisine from North Africa, Italy, Japan, and many more!
Talk a walk through Royal Arcade and see their stunning Christmas decorations, then feel free to pop into any shop that takes your eye – we can’t promise you won’t be leaving without a handful (or bag full!) of shopping.
An institute for Christmas shopping in Norwich, Chantry Place is home to over 90 shops, cafés, and restaurants, including Apple, Zara, H&M, Hotel Chocolat, Urban Outfitters, Frasers, and many more. It’s ideal for shopping, with every shop under one roof and just minutes away from each other.
It’s also home to local brands, like Lisa Angel, which sells fantastic Christmas-themed gifts and decorations, homeware, jewellery, and accessories, so you can be sure you’re supporting independents on your visit! It’s a fantastic place to shop, and you can even park in their 1000 space car park starting at just £1.65 for up to an hour.
Located right in the heart of the City of Stories, you can’t miss Castle Quarter. And with stores like The Entertainer, Flying Tiger, TK Maxx, and Boots, you wouldn’t want to! There’s always a reason to visit, and their Christmas decorations (including a huge ten-metre-tall tree) and brand-new Snowman Trail are the perfect accompaniment while you shop away in this season of giving.
And who says you have to buy physical gifts? Castle Quarter have got plenty of incredible experiences you can buy for a loved one – including Vector VR, Escape Hunt UK, Putt Putt Noodle, Retro Replay, Superbowl UK, Si5 Spy Missions, Boom Battle Bar, and Vue.
Whatever you’re looking for this Christmas, chances are you’ll find it in John Lewis. Across their four floors, you’ll find everything from linen to the latest technology, fashion to furniture, and, most importantly, that perfect gift for Christmas. And it’s all under one roof!
Plus, if all that shopping has got you hungry, you can find ‘The CAFE by Benugo’ on level 1 and ‘The Place to Eat’ on level 2. From hot meals, light snacks, cakes, and refreshing drinks, they’re the perfect place to head to take a load off and come out refreshed for even more festive shopping!
There you have it! Ten of the finest places to shop in our very own City of Stories. We hope you visit them all and love them just as much as us, they’re truly great places to buy any kind of gift this Christmas. Of course, if you’re looking for even more recommendations, you can find them across our ‘Shopping’ page. And if you’re looking to make the most of your festive time here in Norwich, why not check out our ‘Things to do this Christmas’ and ‘Christmas nights out’ blogs?