For those scratching their heads about what to get friends and family who seem to have everything, The National Forest may hold the perfect solution for Christmas gifts.
Plant a Tree is truly a gift that grows. Each tree is £25 and in return for supporting the Forest, you (or the person receiving the gift) will receive an invitation to attend a special tree planting event, a choice of tree to plant (normally ash, oak or birch), as well as a personalised certificate commemorating the gift. And you can keep visiting the Forest to see how your little tree within the woodland is growing. Please note that the last date for Christmas purchase is 16th December 2011.
With a daily market, quaint courtyards and gift shops, Ashby de la Zouch is also a lovely setting to pick up a special Christmas gift. The castle is near the town centre, so you can combine a visit here with a leisurely lunch and a touch of shopping. Browse around the wonderful shops at the Ferrers Centre for Arts & Crafts, which is home to craft workshops and the Ferrers Gallery. You can hand-paint a present for Christmas both here and at Crackpotz Ceramic Café in Alrewas. Barton Marina also has beautiful shops along its waterfront promenade including The Butcher, Baker and Ice-cream Maker and the Toys of Yesteryear.
You can pick up pottery and crafts at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum and at Mount St Bernard Abbey, where a unique range of pottery is lovingly handmade by its resident monks. Or how about a gift voucher for one of the fantastic woodland craft and bushcraft courses in The National Forest. Greenwood Days, Woodland Ways, the Survival School and Woodland Survival Crafts all offer gift vouchers that make perfect presents. These can be used for a range of truly memorable workshops, day and weekend courses.