Shropshire Star

Challenge Dan: Christmas shopping in Newport on a £40 budget

The festive season is upon us, and if you haven’t already started, it’s time to kick that Christmas shopping into gear.

Dan Morris hits the shops in Newport

With many of us watching the pennies this year, this may feel like a more daunting task than usual, so I set out out to see how far £40 could get us, hunting for presents in one of the region’s lovely market towns.

Home to a number of independent businesses, Newport offers a fun retail experience that I hoped may be the key to unlocking a bit of special Christmas joy.

A Shropshire gem just on the other side of the Staffordshire border, this personality-packed town is easily accessible from most of the West Midlands, and can be a great destination for those looking to shop local and enjoy doing so.

With a spring in my step, and a mission to tick the box of three gifts in hand, my challenge was gleefully accepted.

The game, once again, was on...

Something for the little ‘uns

The Jellycat Naughty Penguin

When it comes to Christmas shopping, for most of us the kids are the number one priority, so finding something sweet for the little ‘un seemed like the best place to start. Newport’s broad High Street is very easily navigable, with a treasure trove of businesses ripe with gift-worthy goods. In searching for something for the nipper, Number 45 stood straight out.

An independent shop specialising in homeware, jewellery and generally packing gifts galore, Number 45’s festive window display enticed me straight through the door.

This beautiful business also has a section of its shop floor devoted to Jellycat children’s toys – a cuddly toy brand known for producing safe teddy treats for newborns and young babies.

Dropping on a cute Jellycat ‘Naughty Penguin’ for £14, the search for baby’s gift was over, and I was off the starting grid.

Number 45 also offers a gift-wrapping service for those wanting to get this sorted right there and then. Happy days for dads all over!

Treating the lady in your life

The scarves at Daisy Chain

Whether it’s mum, grandma or a partner, finding that perfect present for the most important lady in your life is a crucial part of your Christmas shop.

Happily, Newport offers plenty of businesses that may hold this Holy Grail, as Daisy Chain did for me.

This ladies’ boutique specialising in clothing, footwear and accessories seemed like the perfect place to start this particular search, and, low and behold, it delivered.

With a gorgeous variety of goods on offer, Daisy Chain stocks a pretty range of ladies’ scarves priced at £10 – a bargain that ticked the box and also kept me well within budget. Spot on!

Looking after the chaps

Gifts for the chaps at The Little Card And Gift Company

With the two most important presents secured, it was now time to focus on the fellas.

Finding something for dad, grandad or ‘uncle whoever’ can often be a bit of a chore, but luckily Newport is home to a gift emporium that holds a treasure trove of more masculine gifts as part of its offering.

The Little Card and Gift Company is another independent business on Newport’s High Street that specialises in exactly what it says on the tin.

In approaching this charming shop, I was chuffed to spot a number of choice items for the boys right there in the window – from posh shaving soap to hip flasks, bottle openers and more.

Staff were incredibly helpful, and when I told them of my available budget, directed me to a couple of lovely options.

The film buff in me found it impossible to resist a fun set of novelty clapperboard cufflinks, priced at a perfect £12.95. Job’s a good ‘un!

Santa Claus is coming to town

So, to round-up, my spot of retail therapy in Newport was a fantastic festive success, with three presents bought and bagged for the grand total of £36.95.

Not only were three lovely gifts purchased, but three of our region’s independent businesses were also supported, and my Christmas shopping was kicked off economically with a nice bit of shopping local.

Still looking to find those all-important stocking fillers? Newport could be the way to go.