This year, more than ever, we want to shop local. Our Events Calendar is brimming with festive markets selling vintage treasures and lovingly handmade crafts. Our galleries and museums, like Hastings Museum & Gallery, have some wonderful Christmas shop displays and are the perfect place to buy for the art lover in your life. Then we have our independent shops just waiting to give you a warm welcome. Here are just a few of them: 

Ethel Loves Me, High Street, Rye
It really is the most wonderful time of the year as Ethel Loves Me have just teamed up with Vegan accessories brand Watson & Wolfe for their first ever collaboration – Ethel Loves Watson & Wolfe. Presenting work by local artists, craftspeople and makers, you can expect handmade gifts to suit all tastes and pockets, from original art pieces and limited edition prints to hand-painted lampshades, jewellery, ceramics and stocking fillers including Eden fragrances, glass Christmas tree decorations and scented candles.

Ethel Loves Me is open every day until 5pm and you can view selected products online. Visit Rye on 11th-12th December and you'll catch the Window Wanderland too!

Two ceramics pots from blackShed Gallery

blackShed Gallery, Russet Farm, Robertsbridge
Award winning blackShed Gallery are celebrating one year since the opening of their gallery shop, offering a unique collection of art and gifts, all sourced from talented local artists. These include a beautiful collection of ceramics, handmade inks and charcoal, and affordable original artworks and prints, plus books and much more — ideal if you're looking for something special.

blackShed gallery in Robertsbridge is open every day (except Sundays) right up until Christmas, you can also support your local artists by buying online. Image shows ceramics by Judith Rowe.

three photographs of Only Coco Christmas flavour chocolate bars
Only Coco, George Street, Hastings & Rye Chocolates, High Street, Rye
Mmmm…. Single-origin, artisan, handmade Chocolate from East Sussex. Rye and Hastings based chocolatiers have produced a festive treat, with flavours ranging from Minced pie to Gingerbread to get your Christmas tastebuds tingling.

Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December is Hastings Old Town's Christmas Weekend, so expect street traders, live music and, of course, Father Christmas.

Interior shot of Greenfinch shop in Ticehurst
Greenfinch, Church Street, Ticehurst 
Greenfinch is set in the heart of the beautiful village of Ticehurst, just over the road from The Bell. quirky mix of artwork, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, garden items, homeware, cards, books, natural candles and bath & body products, clothing and accessories. All from artists, makers and small independent companies based in Sussex and Kent.

Greenfinch is open late on the Saturday 4th December for shopping and fizz. Ticehurst's Christmas light switch on is at 6pm.

Rye Pottery, The Old Brewery, Wish Ward, Rye
Makers of fine English ceramics, the iconic Rye Pottery studio have been as busy as ever this year. What started as a few baubles for a window display has quickly escalated. We love these fun one-offs that are hand-painted and individually decorated. Whilst you're there, pop by RyeBank Gallery for ceramics, paintings and books, and the whimsical winter prints of Polly Horner. 

BRITISH Design BRITISH Made, High Street, Battle
Passionate about British made, this shop on Battle’s bustling high street carefully select their stock from a broad portfolio of designers manufacturing beautiful, useful, affordable, quality products in the British Isles. The shop reuses and recycles and uses 90% of their supplier packaging and runs completely off renewable energy.

What’s not to love? Especially with the beautiful Christmas lights cascading down the high street and Battle Abbey outlined in fairly lights!

Starlings Gift Shop, 13 Sackville Road, Bexhill-on-Sea
Give back to our community of local artists with Starlings. Starlings Gift Shop is an art and craft collective based in Bexhill, selling handmade jewellery, Christmas crafts, fused and stained glass, prints, greetings cards and more. They are now open 7 days a week in the run up to the big day, so there's no chance of missing out on picking up those extra stocking fillers.

Header image showing products from Ethel Loves Me.



Ethel Loves Me
Shopfront lit up with fairy lights.

We started as a small bricks and mortar shop based in the wonderful town of Rye in East Sussex, with the aim of showcasing and promoting some of the abundant talent in this unique part of the world. As we grew in terms of artists, makers and support, we moved to larger premises on the High Street and we are now also proud to present and sell the work of a cross-section of creatives on our new website as the next step in Ethel’s stealth plan to slowly and creatively take over the world!

Eggs to Apples Farm Shop
interior of farm shop with beams on ceiling and fresh salad leaves in foreground.

An award winning farm shop showcasing the best of local produce. With a delicatessen, cheese counter, cellar, and cafe serving great coffee, cake and delicious seasonal food all day.

The blackShed Gallery
Curator Kenton Lowe at the BlackShed Gallery in Robertsbridge, East Sussex

The blackShed Gallery can be found but a stone's throw from the A21 in a delightful rural setting on a working farm just outside the historical and pretty village of Robertsbridge.

Only Coco Chocolates
shelves of colourfully packaged chocolate bars

Only Coco Chocolates - an independent Chocolate producer, based on beautiful George Street in Hastings’s historic old town. Pop in to Only Coco to grab a custom made hot chocolate or milkshake with your choice/percentage of cocoa . While you’re there, browse Only Coco’s large selection of handmade & single origin chocolate bars & local produce. All chocolate bars are made in small batches locally.

Rye Chocolates
Speciality Shop
Shelving showing Only Coco chocolates from Rye Chocolates and close up of chocolate bar.

Single-origin, artisan, handmade Chocolate from East Sussex... how did we get here? We first started our little chocolate business in 2016 with a small broken chocolate machine (fondly known as Lilly) from the Welsh valleys. We got to work, curating the best recipes and designs for our chocolate bars, sourcing only the best chocolate from around the world. All we needed was huge enthusiasm, truck loads of creativity and most importantly, a focus to bring quality handmade chocolate to the market.

Rye Pottery Ltd
shelf with a mixture of ceramics on as well as a wooden box. There are white ceramic  vases and striped bowls stacked up in the  background and in the

A small contemporary design-led studio and shop, with a big history.

British Design British Made shop window in Battle, East Sussex

Find BRITISH design BRITISH made on Battle High Street and online. They're passionate about sustainability and supporting British manufacturing.