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HLN explores… Yarm

There’s lots of Christmas charm to be found in Yarm!

Written by Rachael Nichol
Published 10.12.2021

Nothing beats a break away from the hustle, bustle and big queues of the city when doing your Christmas shopping.

That’s why we decided a trip to the gorgeous Georgian market town of Yarm was on the cards. Now we’ve been ourselves, we can guarantee that you’ll find unique presents from indie boutique stores, interior havens and artisan spirit houses that your loved ones will adore, should you make the trip too.

Named one of the most scenic market towns in North Yorkshire with the River Tees flowing right through it, there’s just something so festive about visiting a town so full of history and beautiful landmarks. Not to mention the multitude of hidden gems to be found in the form of pubs, cafés and restaurants.

Sadly, we’ve all seen the closure of many local high street stores up and down the country during lockdown. But not in Yarm – this thriving town has seen more and more independent businesses popping up at every turn. There’s a real sense of buzz in the town, and it’s not hard to see why.

Fancy a jaunt down to Yarm yourself? Here’s everything you need to know…

PARK

Park on Yarm High Street, which is free for three hours (maximum stay). Or, if you want to stay longer, park at Castle Dyke Wynd (TS15 9DE), The Old Market (TS15 9BX) and Yarm Wharf (TS15 9AH) car parks, which are all only £1.50 all day.

 

SHOP

Not sure what to get your loved ones this Christmas? Pop into Cloud Cuckoo in the heart of Yarm, where you’ll find a wide range of beautifully hand-crafted gifts and furniture all under one roof, so you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s taste. The best part? All this is in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere that makes your Christmas shopping experience enjoyable.

There’s nothing like stepping inside a family business to give you those festive feels. Known as Strickies to locals, Strickland and Holt have been part of the market town for over a century. Bringing us unusual and well-designed gifts, toys and fashion to the North East, you’re bound to come across a unique gift here that you won’t find anywhere else.

While you are at Strickies, why not pop upstairs to Cinnamon Bay Interiors? Whether you want to update your home for the big day or gift a special piece to your relatives, here you’ll find all the lighting, wall art, clocks and soft furnishings that you need. Or pop by Bauer at Home, recently opened on the High Street, to find stunning home furnishings, accessories, bespoke cushions, curtains and upholstery to jazz up your home.

Who could forget our furry four-legged friends? Certainly not us! They’re part of our family, just the same as anyone else, and so they deserve a gift under the tree as well. From raw treats and comfy bedding to a wide range of toys, visit The Pet Quarter to make sure your pet has a Merry Christmas, too!

Christmas isn’t complete without a cheeky tipple, right? Using only the highest quality ingredients, Revelry Spirits create their handcrafted premium spirits with united flavours in store within their in-house urban distillery. Whether you need something for a celebration, a special gift, or you have a love for gin and vodka yourself, here you’ll find spirits that are perfect for every occasion.

Are you and your loved one more wine lovers? Don’t sweat it – Fourteen Drops is perfect for you. Serving up exceptional wines from small artisan wineries who respect the grapes and the land, you should only expect the finest, top-quality wines here. Oh, and while you’re there, why not join in on their wine tasting events? A perfect excuse to try a new glass of wine (or two) and learn more about how they’re made.

With all your festivities drawing closer, why not treat yourself to a new outfit?  Independent fashion boutique Attitudes Womenswear have a stylish collection for your celebrations. They’re more than just a clothes shop; there’s a wide variety of shoes, jewellery and accessories to choose from here. From sequin midi dresses (perfect for Christmas Day), to cosy scarves and hats to keep warm on those winter nights, you’ll find your perfect winter wardrobe all under one roof.

While you’re at it, why not pamper yourself at Lucy Clydesdale Beauty Studio? Whether you’re after a set of semi-permanent lashes, a brow tidy up, or makeup done by a professional before your festive night out, this beauty studio is the place for you.

LUNCH

All this shopping had worked up our appetites. And, with the cold weather outside, what better way to warm up than with some food and drink with some Mediterranean flare at Café Nossa? This Portuguese deli provides you with all the foodie faves you need so that you can fill up on everything from fine wines and cheese to tasty pastries and meat from the Portugal and Iberian area.

If you’re craving some Italian freshness, pop into Mockingbird Deli, which serves delicious Italian meats, cheeses and olives platters. That’s before we’ve even mentioned their scones, cakes and Italian pastries, too. And while you’re there, treat yourself to a cup of mulled wine to get you into the festive spirit.

Talking of Italian’s… there’s a new opening in Yarm that we’re very excited about.

Finzi brings gorgeous gourmet pizza to the town that’ll honestly melt in your mouth. Nothing can get more authentic than food made from Atalanta families, who bring traditional recipes to life and make everything using only the highest quality ingredients.

After a spot of lunch, we’re sure you’ll need your caffeine fix to refuel for the rest of your day – and we know just the place: Hobo Coffee. Whether you’re after an americano, cappuccino or you’re in more of a ginger spice frappe mood, they’ve got all your favourite freshly-brewed beverages on their menu.

WALK

While we were there, many lovely locals mentioned the True Lovers’ Walk. The riverside path is named after a tomb in the nearby St. Mary Magdalene church, which dates back to the 15th century. Its original occupants – a man and a woman whose origins remains a mystery to this day – are known as the True Lovers.

The path will take you on a scenic walk along the River Tees and to the town’s iconic bridge. A perfect break from your busy shopping day!

DINE

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ picky tea? Well, these tasty tapas bars are the next best thing, if not better. Serving some of the finest contemporary tapas and premium cocktails, Luna Blu is the perfect spot to end your day of Christmas shopping. Home to a stunning floral living wall, luxury VIP booths and DJs and live music at the weekends, why not dance the night away here after you dine?

If tapas have tickled your fancy, Marshall’s serves small plates too, but with cuisines from all around the world. From Asia to the Mediterranean (and even some local delicacies), take a trip to Marshall’s and you’ll feel like you’ve travelled around the world. Oh, make sure you try their festive parmo – complete with pigs and blankets, stuffing and cranberry sauce!

There’s nothing like a juicy steak and crispy-cut chips to warm us up during winter. And hidden gem Lost Property are here to serve us all our meaty cravings in style. Specialising in Yorkshire beef, locally sourced seafood, craft ales and cocktails, there’s plenty of choice on this menu, so we can guarantee you’ll enjoy your evening here.

There’s not a day that goes by where we aren’t tempted by our cheese and carb cravings. But it’s Christmas, so it’s officially time to treat ourselves! Whether you fancy wholesome homemade lasagne or want to spice things up with a chicken and chorizo pizza, Yarm’s premier modern Italian restaurant Cena is the foodie paradise for you, (at least, it was for us!).

 

STAY

After a day full of shopping, wining and dining, you must be feeling tired – so why not stay the night in this marvellous market town?

The Old Mill Rooms is a stunning staycation spot. A converted Old Mill filled with history dating back 250 years, here you can enjoy the gorgeous grounds in a beautifully peaceful location. Oh, and did we mention there are rooms available with hot tubs? A perfect end to a perfect day!

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