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Souvenirs in Britain

I traveling from London to Edinburgh with stops in Windsor, Stratford on Avon and York. Are there any souvenirs that you found unique that are good to look for? I am all about sight seeing but will need to pick up some stuff for those left behind and a few for myself.

What were your favorites from this area?

Posted by
3428 posts

There are great markets in London(Covent Garden, St. Martin's in the Field, St. John's on Picadilly, Camden, etc.) where you can find unique things. I love the looking!!! I like to watch for craftsmen who do carvings, make neat household items, etc. Artwork is great too if it is small. Jewellery is always a favorite of mine too. I have brought back bookmarks,Christmas ornaments(or things that can be used as ornaments), and lots of similar items. Scarves, etc are good too.

Posted by
57 posts

Last month my sisters & I made all but 1 of the stops you'll be making (Stratford on Avon being that 1). I second the Christmas ornament suggestion. Something we also found most everywhere were linen towels w/pictures, verses, etc. printed on them. We picked-up several in Scotland -- w/wildflowers (for mom), the lyrics of Amazing Grace (which carry much sentimental value for my sisters & I), even the Royal Air Force (my cousin & her hubby are in the US Air Force & really appreciated the gift). The towels don't take up much room either. Wool scarves were something else we picked-up in Edinburgh (these were a huge hit). You can find them everywhere there, as well.

Posted by
28 posts

I found some cool Big Ben and other lapel pins that were a hit with the girls I work with back home. I also collected some shot glasses from Edinburgh, Wales, York, London that were quite cheap and look great on a shelf. They also work quite well with the Scotch that I acquired a taste for while in the Highlands. If it looks interesting, buy it or you may be wishing you did when you get back home. Have a GREAT time!!

Posted by
3551 posts

I was last there in Nov 2006. I like the tea towels, a nice memento, souvenir ceramic mugs or espec shot glasses can be used as bud vases. Refrig. magnets of course and tea cosies for the ladies perhaps.I also like packages of british biscuit /cookies to give away.So much better than our sweet hi calorie cookies.

Posted by
12040 posts

From Britain in general, I always load up on Cadbury chocolates. The company sells a whole line of delicious products not available in the US. Even the stuff sold here is manufactured under license by Hershey. I conducted a blind taste-test on myself once, and the British chocolates won easily.

Posted by
588 posts

Jewelry --- I bought several pins/brooch/broach when I was in the UK. I always wear a pin on my jackets and receive compliments regarding their uniqueness.
There is a great souvenir shop in London called The Big Red Bus across near the London Eye. It has a great variety of all things English/London. Cadburys chocolate and little tins of tea are great sovenirs. Enjoy!

Posted by
1455 posts

I have to agree with scarfs. In England I bought a fabulous wool scarf, and in my trip to Spain, I got a colorful Spanish one. Both still being used here.

When bringing home extras for souvenirs, I stuffed the scarfs in ziplock bags and sucked the air out. The best part of the scarf is it takes up very little space and its light weight!

Posted by
22 posts

York has a wealth of shopping options. The top sights, the Minster and other museums all have some nice gift shops. However there are several shops along "The Shambles" that sells small art prints of various york scenes. The Shambles and High and Low Petergate have some great shopping. If you want to do the "thrift option" Go down High Petergate and turn on to Go Goodramgate. There is 6 or 7 charity shops that sell all sorts of stuff, and sometimes some very cool local York things! The Newgate Market also has some interesting stuff, but most of it is typical for markets. For antiques I would try the Red House on Museum Street. Some favorites stores of my friends, is Sacred Earth. The City's Tourism department maintains, and it has listings of some speciaility shops and such, it gives you an idea of what is around. But it is not a complete list by any means, York has some fun shops and the city center is good for wandering.

Posted by
196 posts

Any of the National Trust shops have great gifts; some items can be found in almost all of the shops and others are more local. Paper Chase has shops at the larger rail stations/airports---they have fun, vibrant note cards/journals/address books. I agree w/ other posters about linen tea towels and scarves. The Shambles in York is a primo shopping area; lots of variety and in a fairly condensed area so you can go into lots of shops easily.

Posted by
15 posts

Wow! thanks for all the good ideas. Every area has it's hot items and I just wanted to know in advance what to look for. You gave me some great things to think about.

Posted by
505 posts

In Edinburgh, there are plenty of places to get cashmere items, not to mention anything tartan :o)

There's a great store down on Canongate just before Holyrood Palace called Made in Scotland or something like that, which sells all sorts of Scottish handicrafts. Definately not the usual tartan tat, and lots of fun items from tea towels to jewelry to pottery to handknit items.

Also, there's always shortbread, and if you are here on a Saturday, you can often get handmade soaps, chocolates, jams, tablet, candles, hard cheeses, hand knit items etc. at the farmer's market on Castle Terrace. Unfortunately you can't take anything with meat, soft cheese or honey to the US, but there are lots of other options.

Also, many stores sell nice, but inexpensive re-usable cloth or waterproofed clothe shopping bags - a unique and fun kind of gift for the shopper back home. Several farmer's market vendors sell them, and Jenners & Marks & Spencers have nice bags.

Have fun

Posted by
25 posts

I get charms for a charm bracelet. I know it sounds dorky but it has been nice years later to of back through and have all your memories in one place. I keep my on a shadow box hanging on the wall.

Posted by
196 posts

Thanks, Kate, for the reminder about the vinyl shopping bags. They usually last me about 4-5 yrs and I use them all the time at the grocery store and summer farmers' markets. Grocery store clerks are always amazed at how much one will hold; do check and get ones that have a flat, distinct bottom rather than just being a single seam along the bottom.