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Guide

The best independent shops in Manchester for last-minute gifts

2 months ago

It’s 4pm on Christmas Eve and you’ve still got five people to buy for. Rather than bulk-buying Boots toiletry sets (everyone needs to wash, don’t they?) or resorting to a catch-all Amazon gift card, check our list of independent shops in Manchester.

These places sell thoughtful, cool and unusual gifts. The kind that will be properly appreciated rather than dumped on a charity shop step come 2 January. From vinyl to books to art to toys, they’re our go-to shops for gift-buying in Manchester.

Explore our Shopping section for more.

 

 

  • Chorlton

    Barbakan Deli

    Groceries

    The folks at Barbakan have been nose to the grindstone for over 50 years – they were here long before Chorlton became a hip coffee culture destination.

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  • Tables in Chapter One, a bookshop and cafe in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Northern Quarter

    Chapter One

    Bookshops

    Chapter One is an independent bookshop and café with a huge selection of fancy drinks, vegan-friendly cakes and a well-curated selection of literature.

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  • A hamper from The Cheese Hamlet, a cheesemonger in Didsbury
    Didsbury

    The Cheese Hamlet

    Cheesemongers

    The Cheese Hamlet is a family-run independent business that sells all sorts of delicious food and drink, as well as cheese.

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  • Sale

    Emporium M33

    Markets

    Emporium M33 is a treasure trove of small businesses, start-ups and indie makers and producers right in the centre of Sale.

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  • The Epicurean, a beer shop in Chorlton
    Chorlton

    The Epicurean Chorlton

    Bottle Shop

    The Epicurean Chorlton is a friendly little beer shop. It may be smaller than its sister site in West Didsbury but the fridges are rammed with colourful cans in every hue from independent craft producers all over the UK and further afield.

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  • Fred Aldous, an art and craft shop in the Northern Quarter
    Northern Quarter

    Fred Aldous

    Art, Crafts and Stationery

    Fred Aldous is the shop you need, whatever you’re making. If you’re getting artsy or craftsy, or know someone who is, there’s no more comprehensive store than Fred Aldous with three floors of loveliness, from oil paints and wool to everything you need to make your own lampshade, set of earrings or candle. And looking at the neatly ordered full spectrum of coloured pencils is always a soothing experience.

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  • Exterior of House of Books and Friends, a bookshop in Manchester
    Manchester

    House of Books and Friends

    Bookshops

    House of Books and Friends is a bookshop with a difference. As well as knowledgeable, friendly staff, a great selection of books and a café with some very nice cake, this place is a bookshop on a mission.

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  • Manchester City Centre

    INTRO Clothing

    Clothing

    This Manchester-born independent has been selling designer menswear in the city since 1990. It’s seen a lot of trends come and go in that time, and has always been there at the forefront of them. If you’re looking for young, confident clothing from high-end labels, this is your go-to.

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  • Window display at McQueen Independent, a boutique clothing store in Chorlton
    Chorlton

    McQueen Independent

    Clothing

    McQueen Independent on Chorlton’s buzzing Beech Road is a fantastic clothes shop for cool brands you don’t find on the high street. It’s predominantly geared towards women but there is a menswear section too as well as socks, shoes and some covetable bags.

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  • Manchester Art Gallery in Manchester city centre
    Manchester City Centre

    Manchester Art Gallery

    Art Galleries

    Mosey down Mosley Street between Piccadilly Gardens and St Peter’s Square, and you can’t miss the Greek columns that flank the front of Manchester Art Gallery. It’s one of Manchester’s most visited cultural attractions thanks to its central location and extensive collection of historical and contemporary art.

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  • Tarts from The Lambing Shed Farm Shop and Kitchen
    Knutsford

    The Lambing Shed Farm Shop and Kitchen

    Farm Shop

    Moseley Hall Farm is home to 250 cattle, over 2,500 sheep, and in the barn once used for newborn lambs and their ewes, The Lambing Shed Farm and Cafe.

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  • Manchester Museum
    Oxford Road

    Manchester Museum

    Museums

    Manchester Museum reopened in February 2023 following a £15m transformation to make it more inclusive and more imaginative in how it tells its stories.

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  • Nordic Muse with Christmas wreath in shop window
    Northern Quarter

    Nordic Muse

    Lifestyle

    Nordic Muse is the opposite of fast-fashion or Amazon. This beautifully-curated Tib Street store is full of Scandi inspiration and artisan finds, prioritising craftsmanship, simplicity and timeless design.

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  • Piccadilly Records in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    Northern Quarter

    Piccadilly Records

    Record Shops

    When it comes to music in Manchester this place is the absolute business. Piccadilly Records is the coolest square footage of retail space in the Northern Quarter (and possibly the world).

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  • The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester
    Castlefield

    Science and Industry Museum

    Museums

    Much like the once mighty industrial power of the North, Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum has shrunk noticeably over the years. But it’s still well worth a visit.

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  • Book Now Manchester City Centre

    Tipples of Manchester

    Bottle Shop

    Tipples of Manchester is a gin specialist store, with 100 bottles and counting – but, as they say themselves, “you can’t have a spirits shop with only gin now can you?”, so the floor-to-ceiling shelves are also creaking under the weight of 700 spirits, liqueurs, bitters, syrups and more.

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  • The Whitworth is one of Manchester's leading art galleries
    Oxford Road

    The Whitworth

    Art Galleries

    Any art lover’s trip to Manchester would not be complete without a morning or afternoon spent gazing at the walls (and wallpaper collections) of The Whitworth.

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