Perfect presents: 5 of the best independent gift shops in Kent

Girl About Kent Rising Star Tenterden

Whether you’re searching for a Mother’s Day gift, an Easter present, something quirky for a birthday or just a treat for yourself, Kent has a lot to offer when it comes to great gift shops. And, while heading to TK Maxx is great (I can honestly say I spend about half my time and money in there), now’s the time to get behind the independents and buy buy buy.

I love nothing more than mooching around gift shops and gleefully eyeing up all the things I want, while pretending I’m actually buying for other people. And it’s nice knowing you’re supporting local independents too  – god knows they need it at the moment in these turbulent times!

Below I’ve named a selection of my favourite shops to pick up gifts in Kent, but I’d love to keep growing this list, so let me know of any others you’d suggest around the county.

(It’s also worth noting that a lot of these shops have online stores too, so if you’re not based locally but still love what they do, try checking out their websites to see if you can have their items shipped a little closer to home.)

1. Rising Star, Tenterden

This gem on Tenterden’s High Street is a treasure trove of amazing goodies, from trinkets to antiques and everything in-between. Owner Tara has a real eye for gorgeous finds, and if I’m honest, this is the shop I wish I owned. As well as some beautiful interior items Rising Star also stocks some unique clothes – last summer I picked up a pair of metallic brogues in the sale which I loved at first sight and have worn to death.

Check out Rising Star’s Instagram here

2. Le Petit Jardin, Tunbridge Wells

Found in Chapel Place, between the High Street and The Pantiles, this shop is a home-maker’s dream and every time I visit I spend far too long mentally re-designing my entire house and garden to accommodate all the gorgeous finds they have inside. Whether you’re looking for a garden gift for the green-fingered person in your life, or a cosy interior piece, this shop has everything you need to create stylish indoor and outdoor spaces.

Find Le Petit Jardin’s website here

3. R&R, Folkestone

If you’re looking for some really unusual jewellery, then this is the place to find it. Created with a laser-cutter, their acylic jewellery and handmade cards are definitely alternative, and from necklaces showing seagulls stealing chips (yes, really!) to cats, tea and biscuits and Harry Potter, there’s a piece for everyone.

Find R&R’s Etsy shop here

4. Pink Flamingo, Whitstable

You can’t miss Pink Flamingo in Whitstable because…it’s bright pink. Also you shouldn’t miss it because it’s full of quirky clothes, cute accessories and loads of gift inspiration. I don’t visit Whitstable as much as I’d like because I’m quite far away, but whenever I’m there I make a trip to Pink Flamingo and then have to try and resist temptation as best I can…

See Pink Flamingo’s Instagram here

5.  Made in Ashford, Ashford

You guessed it…everything in this lovely Ashford shop is made in Ashford. Find crafts, clothing, groceries and gifts all under one roof – plus you can take part in workshops too. This shop is a real gem and a credit to the local talent around. Have a browse and you’ll be lost for hours.

Find out more here


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