Our shopping scene prizes the personal over the pre-packaged and the hand-made over the mass-produced. Of course, you’ll fi nd the usual high street names, but they are just a small part of our unique retail landscape.
Our key selling point is a huge stock of friendly, independent businesses offering one-of-a-kind items created in and inspired by our spectacular surroundings. Here are just a few reasons why you should bring your shopping bag.
We’re a creative bunch. Local artists and artisans flourish throughout the area, their workshops, studios and shops bursting with one-off gifts and mementoes. At Parc Glynllifon near Caernarfon, the craft collective Iard (pronounced ‘yard’) has recently been joined by some new arrivals. Historic workshops have been renovated and are now home to independent craft businesses, including jewellers, sculptors, ceramic artists and potters. There’s more at Corris Craft Centre, a miniature village made up entirely of workshops and boutiques. It’s a popular spot and winner of a ‘Best Days Out’ Tourism Award from Visit Wales in 2015.
Shopping is always a pleasure in the friendly, family-run stores populating high streets in places like Bala, Caernarfon, Dolgellau, Llanrwst and Pwllheli. Our shops are vital parts of their communities. Warm welcomes come as standard, whether you’re local or a visitor.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better. Kerfoots department store in Porthmadog may be a minnow compared to Harrods or John Lewis, but every inch of it is packed with the best in homeware, clothing and luxury items. It’s a big-city shopping experience wrapped up in a small town package. Another Porthmadog store that punches above its weight is the historic Cob Records. It’s known worldwide for its Aladdin’s cave of rare vinyl and knowledgeable staff – you don’t get that with Amazon. For a mix of crafts and cakes go to Pethau Melys on the harbour, a delightful little café and craft shop that’s linked to Glosters Pottery in town, a shop full of hand-made gifts and goodies. The top-rated Big Rock Café is another popular spot (take a look at its impressive TripAdvisor ratings).
To find out what’s happening on our creative scene visit www.creativegwynedd.com for all the up-to-date arts news, plus a comprehensive directory of artists, art associations and art centres. For a closer look at art studios and workshops, check out the Helfa Gelf Arts Trail at www.helfagelf.co.uk.