North East Christmas Gift Guide | Joanne Wishart

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North East Christmas Gift Guide

Delight your friends and family with unique gifts inspired by our wonderful region, while supporting the local high street at the same time. 

It’s once again that time of year when we come together to celebrate the festive season. The last couple of years have been hard on many, not least small local businesses. This year, make sure your seasonal spending shows support for your favourite local entrepreneurs, and let’s work together to keep this wonderful region strong.

As an artist based in Cullercoats, I am, of course, a big fan of supporting local businesses. Whether you’re planning a Secret Santa among friends or looking for that perfect gift for a North East ex-pat, I’ve got you covered in this North East Christmas Gift Guide.

For tea and/or coffee lovers…

You really can’t go wrong with a mug. Fans of the region and consumers of hot drinks will love my fine bone china mugs. All of my mugs depict original artwork inspired by my favourite places across the North East. From Whitley Bay’s iconic Spanish City to the Farne Islands’ native puffins, there’s a mug for every regional fancy. 


All of my mugs are made with fine bone china and manufactured in the UK by Dunoon Ceramics. You can browse the full collection online or visit my gallery in Cullercoats to see the mugs in person.

For the inspired writers....


Cullercoat notebook

With journaling on the up and many of us returning to traditional pen and paper to-do lists, a notebook is a lovely present for anyone who runs their own business or simply has a hectic life. The right notebook can become indispensable to a busy professional, so choose one that really means something to them.

Many local shops stock small batches of wonderful notebooks, but I’d be remiss not to mention my own collection, which is a brand new addition to the shop this year. The notebooks come in different designs, including Whitley Bay, Cullercoats and the Fish Quay.

All of my notebooks have 90 gsm lined paper with a 300gms card cover.

So, if your loved one is a budding writer or simply needs somewhere to keep notes, a notebook could be the perfect useful gift. These Notebooks are exclusively available in person at the gallery.

For holidaymakers or ex-pats…

The disruptions over the last couple of years have meant that many of us haven’t been able to visit friends and family as much as we’d like. If you’re buying a gift for a North Easterner who lives away from the region, or is even based abroad, then I highly recommend a heartfelt local gift. 

When it comes to buying a gift for someone who lives away, and whom you may not see before the big day, a lot of us opt for the online shopping giants to guarantee swift delivery. However, you’ll find that most local businesses have their own websites or Etsy profiles, where you can order with Royal Mail or courier delivery. For example, all of my limited edition prints are available on my website, and I take care to deliver them in a cardboard tube via Royal Mail. 

Print of St Georges Church, Cullercoats.

A print depicting your loved one’s favourite North East location is the ideal gift for someone who is living away from the region. Gift a slice of home to your family or friends, wherever in the UK they live. So, if you share memories strolling the white sands of Bamburgh beach or huddling around a warm cup of tea at St Mary’s Island in Whitley Bay, a limited edition print is such a wonderful way of letting someone know that you are missing them, and that home is always here when they are able to visit.

To ensure you get your gifts by Christmas, be sure to order on my website before Monday 20th December.

For food fans…

The North East culinary scene has exploded in recent years. Even on my doorstep in North Shields, the fish quay is buzzing with new bars, cafes and restaurants, while Whitley Bay has witnessed a significant revival, transforming what was once a party destination into a family favourite for many. 

When it comes to purchasing a gift for a food fanatic, you can’t go wrong with a voucher to their favourite eatery. Or, if your loved one is a little adventurous, you could try somewhere they’ve never been before. Within walking distance of my Cullercoats gallery, you’ll find Cullercoats Coffee, The Boatyard, SaltHouse and Sea You There. 

And, as I mentioned above, the North Shields Fish Quay has seen a regeneration in recent years, making it home to some very popular spots including Lobo Rojo, Salty Sea Dog, How Do You Do and The Ship’s Cat. Whatever your recipient’s taste in food and drink, there’s a local business to suit them.

For when you’re not sure what they like…

And finally, what about if you simply have no idea whatsoever about what to buy for your loved one? Maybe, you’ve drawn a person you don’t know very well on Secret Santa or your friend or family member seems to already have everything they need, that’s where gift vouchers come in.


Christmas Gift vouchers

Many local business owners, including myself, offer gift vouchers of varying values, so you can show that you've put thought into someone's present while also giving them the freedom to choose what they want. If you’re not sure if a small business sells gift vouchers, check out their website or drop them a message on social media, us independent business owners are always happy to help.

What are you hoping for this Christmas? Let me know if this guide inspired you over on my Facebook or Instagram, and don’t forget to browse the shop or visit us at the Cullercoats gallery to get gift inspiration this festive season. 

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