Local gift ideas for Christmas

I am trying to make a really conscious effort to do two things this Christmas; buy less plastic and buy more local.  If you'd like to give it a try too, I've compiled a list of experience gifts which are a bit different, a load of fun and a lot local!

1. Photography gift voucher from Georgina Edwards Photography

And obviously the first one I'm going to start with is ME!  Do you have a friend or a family member who would LOVE a photo session?  Get everyone in the frame next year and buy your loved one a photography gift voucher for a shoot during 2021. Gift vouchers are valid for 12 months (or longer if Covid remains an issue!). 

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2. Rent-a-tree at Bentinck Farm, Pembury

For you, your loved ones or friends, why not rent either a cherry tree, an apple tree or a cobnut tree?  Bentinck Farm in Pembury offers annual tree rental, and you get to harvest all the produce from your very own tree!

In 2021, I will be linking up with the farm to provide some very exciting family photography days during the blossom and fruiting seasons, when renters can take advantage of some extremely special photography days amongst the beautiful blossom of Spring and misty mellow fruitfulness of Autumn!

3. A Spa Day – Ashdown Park

What human, man or woman, wouldn’t adore a relaxing day at a spa?  Ashdown Park in Ashdown Forest is the perfect escape from the day to day rollercoaster of working, parenting and grandparenting!  Just 20 minutes from Tunbridge Wells, an oasis of calm and tranquility awaits....

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4. Go Ape at Bedgebury Pinetum

This might not be for everyone, but if you know someone who likes a bit of adventure and has a head for heights, this is a really fun experience. I was gifted a Go Ape experience for a significant birthday, and I LOVED every second of it.  If you have an adventurous friend or family member, they will love this different and unique experience!

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5. Annual Pass to Bedgebury Pinetum

While we’re on the subject of Bedgebury Pinetum, you really can’t go wrong with an annual pass to this fabulous place.  Covering 320 acres of forest, woodland and parkland, there is a wealth of options to please everyone; from peaceful walks with a friend, to boisterous days out with the family, through to tasty treats in the cafe, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love an annual membership to Bedgebury.

6.  British Wildlife Centre membership

If you have a member of the family who is wild about animals, then membership to the BWC is a wonderful gift.  Great for young and old alike, walk through the red squirrel enclosure (a thoroughly wonderful experience in itself!), get up close to hedgehogs, foxes, weasels and many more.  They also offer photography days for the budding photographer in the family, or you can even adopt an animal.

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7. Chocolate Making Workshops - Temper Temper

On the outskirts of Tunbridge Wells, Temper Temper run perfectly formed 2 hour chocolate making workshops for all ages.   If you think a friend or loved one might fancy a go at making their own chocolate or even truffles (heavenly!), then this gift will go down a storm!

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8. Wine Tasting - Kent Wine School

Do I need to say more?!  Well, maybe!  There are various courses to choose from, starting with a simple 2 hour evening course right through to an 8 week World Of Wine programme.  Or you can purchase a gift voucher and let the recipient decide which course they would like to do.

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9. Bird of Prey experience - Sky Birds of Prey

Great for young and old alike, bird of prey experiences are truly wonderful. From two hour "Introduction to Falconry" experiences, through to a full hands-on day, learn about, handle and fly owls and falcons as an individual or as a family group.     

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10. Gift boxes from Olive & Oak

The lovely trio of ladies at Olive & Oak have hand picked lots of gorgeous, very local products to make up in to beautiful gift boxes for Christmas and all year round.  Choose a food box, a booze box, a scent box or make up your own bespoke box for a loved one. What's not to love?

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This is a very quick, and far from exhaustive, list of ideas to inspire you to stay local to Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area this Christmas and reduce your plastic Christmas gift footprint! 

I'd love to know if you've got any other local experiences you can recommend.


Merry Christmas!


If you'd like some ideas on how to re-use and recycle this Christmas pop over to my blog here.

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