Supporting small and local businesses has never been more important. With high streets and shops closed for extended periods of time this year due to Covid-19 many business owners have lost a huge amount of custom. Luckily the internet has provided a platform for most small businesses to carry on operating throughout these times, but they still need your support!
Whether you live local to our parks, have a favourite shop you always visit on holiday or perhaps just want to give back to our local area so you can visit for years to come, here are some ways you can support our local businesses this year.
Give them a visit
From the 2nd December Hampshire and Dorset areas have been placed in Tier 2. This means non-essential shops have re-opened. If you live locally or just a short drive away head out to some of our local independent shops to get your Christmas gifts and supplies. Here are some of our favourites that are open.
The Cave - Independent Wine Shop & Bar in Milford on Sea - Unique and well thought out gift sets, pop in to see the full range!
Burley Fudge Shop - this quaint fudge shop in Burley has some incredible fudge flavours as well as great gift sets.
T Bartlett & Son - local family butchers in New Milton. Ideal for the Christmas meats.
Rainbow's End - based in Swanage this clothing store stocks interesting fair-trade and ethnic clothing for that unique gift.
Hockey's Farm Shop - local farm shop near Ringwood offers locally sourced meats, vegetables, fruits, pastries and more!
Goodall's Farm - premium Christmas trees in Lymington. As well as hand made holly wreaths.
We've collated all of these lovely local businesses in a handy google maps list.
If you don't want to head out to the shops or live too far away, fear not. Most of our favourite Dorset & Hampshire small businesses are online, so you can order from them today! Don't forget to check the Christmas order cut off for smaller businesses who may take slightly longer to process your order if you want it to arrive before the big day. Here are some businesses you can order online from.
Chocolatebymisswitt - local New Forest based chocolatier with stunning chocolate gift sets and even chocolate making experiences!
Conker Spirit Gin - Dorset based craft Gin Distillery with plenty of delicious options.
Jimmy's Iced Coffee - you may recognise this one, based in Christchurch Jimmy's Iced Coffee has been hugely successful and they love to give back to the community. We love the Christmas stocking full of coffee!
Dorset Hamper - want a selection of local Dorset products but not sure where to look? Dorset Hamper can provide all the best local produce with their themed hampers making an ideal easy present.
Fun and unique experiences are the perfect addition to a UK staycation and would be ideal for when we can safely welcome you back to Dorset and the New Forest. Plus they make great gifts for those that are just a bit tricky to buy for. Here are some awesome experience vouchers you can buy for places local to our parks.
New Forest Activities Voucher - With so many activities on water and land to choose from, anyone would be delighted with this voucher.
New Forest Paddle Sports Company Voucher - Hire a kayak or paddle board or use the voucher towards buying some gear, there's plenty to choose from.
Hurst Castle Experience - Kayak/Paddleboarding - Head for a kayaking/paddle board experience to Hurst Castle. Includes entry to the castle as well as lunch and more!
Moonlight Experience - Get out on the water lit by moonlight with this unique experience.
Lymington Tour - Explore Lymington from the water on this guided tour.
Forest Leisure Cycling Vouchers - Choose to hire electric or traditional bikes to get out and explore the New Forest.
Exbury Gardens Voucher - For anyone that hasn't visited Exbury Gardens an entry voucher would be a delightful gift.
Ringwood Brewery Tour - This small brewery in Ringwood offers tours at a very affordable price.
Virtual Christmas Markets
Usually Christmas markets are hugely popular with local small crafts makers and businesses. This year however, most Christmas markets won't be going ahead due to Covid-19. But instead there's plenty of virtual Christmas markets where you can find some adorable handmade gifts. So grab a hot chocolate, settle in to the sofa and browse these virtual Christmas Markets.
We hope that you'll make the decision to support local this Christmas!