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Be Merry this Christmas and Shop in Lanark

Flowers by Lesley Strachan

Local shopper, Kirsty Campbell, in Flowers by Lesley Strachan.

Christmas is just around the corner and the weeks leading up to December 25 can be a stressful time, but there is an easy solution. Avoid endless queues, hours shopping online, missing or delayed parcels, bickering over driving to parties and the headache of sourcing delicacies for Christmas dinner – simply shop in Lanark.

It’s the ideal opportunity to discover the diversity of retail and dining options on your doorstep, leaving more time to relax and enjoy the festivities with loved ones, at the same time supporting local businesses and doing your bit for the environment by cutting down on travel and postage.

Imagine the pleasure of strolling down the street, devoid of jostling crowds, bumping into familiar faces, stopping for a blether, maybe even a coffee or a glass of wine. Consider walking to the shops compared to an arduous jaunt on a jam-packed train and top that off with the feel-good factor from buying locally.

Donald Martin advocates shopping in Lanark High Street and said he finds goods can be cheaper than in national chain stores.

He said: “There is a huge selection, you get a personal service and you can buy small quantities - you don’t need to buy in bulk.”

Gifts

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of Christmas shopping is deciding what to buy. So, if you’re looking for inspiration, take a wander down Lanark High Street and through the closes to generate ideas.

Let yourself be dazzled by the array of jewellery on show for that special someone, inspired by the homeware and gardening gifts for the more practical, delighted at the range of toys and games and relieved to pick up perfect stocking fillers.

Got some difficult customers to buy for - why not gift a voucher for a meal in one of Lanark’s superb restaurants or cafes, a visit to the hairdressers or beauty salon or perhaps a massage or a personal fitness session.

All these options can be found in Lanark and if it doesn’t suit, you’re only a stone’s throw away for an exchange or return.

Deck the halls

Whether you seek traditional or contemporary Christmas décor, you will find a wide range of festive ornaments and accessories in Lanark shops. From wreaths, baubles and calendars to candles, Christmas illuminations and pot pourri (yes, it’s making a come-back) - it can all be sourced right under your nose.

Fresh flowers and festive foliage arrangements from local florists can create a wonderful aroma in any room to add to the merry atmosphere and if you like to immerse yourself in all things Christmas, you can find festive bedding, cushions, crockery and novelty goods to decorate your home.

Kirsty Campbell from Carnwath was impressed with the merchandise in stores while browsing at Late Night Lanark.

She said: “I bought an awful lot more than I thought I would.

“This is the place [Lanark] where I do most of my shopping, but I wouldn’t normally go into the smaller independent shops unless there was something I was specifically going to get in there, but I’ve been quite surprised at all the things that the shops have to offer.”

Out on the town

Christmas is a time for socialising, so get in from the cold and receive a warm welcome at one of Lanark’s restaurants or pubs. Food from a wide range of cultures is on offer including:  Italian, oriental, Indian, traditional pub grub and American burgers. You can opt for fine dining for the more formal occasion or a more casual venue, where you can BYOB and save a few pennies – all within walking distance or a short taxi ride.

Before you head out on the town, be sure to check out Lanark’s clothing stores to update your winter party wardrobe and attract admiring glances as you step out dressed head to toe in locally purchased attire.

Eat, drink and be merry

It doesn’t have to be turkey, but whatever you decide to serve on Christmas day you will find it in town, so with a choice of butchers and food shops, don’t delay ordering the central essentials. When it comes to that last-minute rush for the perishables, all the staples and speciality foods can be procured from your local retailers. With the vegetables, dairy and sauces all sorted you can also lay your hands on napkins, crackers, candles, glasses and crockery - you name it, Lanark’s got it.

Whatever you’re looking for this Christmas, chances are you’ll find it in town, so make the High Street your first port of call and relish a tranquil festive season.

Article submitted by Alison Gilchrist for Discover Lanark

Find out more about Discover Lanark at www.discoverlanark.co.uk