Bedford indies Christmas shopping guide 2023


Halloween’s over, the nights are drawing in and Mariah is warming up her vocal cords which can onlyl mean one thing. Yes, it’s time to start planning Christmas.

With its wealth of independent shops, Bedford is the perfect place to find that unique gift for even the hardest-to-buy-for person.

Once again, the Bedford Independent has made Christmas shopping even easier, with our guide featuring the best of Bedford’s independent shops and online businesse, each stocking unique gifts and vouchers, offering exceptional customer service and giving out guaranteed festive cheer.

To help you find the best of Bedford’s independent retailers, we’ve teamed up with The Arc and illustrator Katie Allen to bring you this handy town centre map. You can pick up a copy from the Arc on Howard Street or any of the featured businesses.

Merry Christmas!

The Arc

Beneath the Octopus, Muriel, on Lurke Street car park, you will find The Arc – an emporium of loveliness that has something for everyone. 

Artwork, gifts, jewellery, homeware, candles, kids’ stuff, cards and more. They have lots of Christmas decorations, including fantastic vintage ones to take you back in time – you can see them all on their big pink (yes pink!) Christmas tree.

You can also enjoy coffee and baked treats from our You for Coffee.

The Arc, 7 Howard Street, MK40 3HS

Tabitha Mary

Tabitha Mary has captured many Bedford landmarks in the style of the old railway posters.

Online she has 400+ locations from all around the world and more than just prints; tote bags, tea towels, cards, coasters and mugs!

Make a cuppa and browse her website now for some brilliant gift ideas (for you or a friend!)

Studio Seven

Discover a vibrant range of joyful interiors, homeware, and conscious lifestyle pieces at Studio Seven.

Curated with predominantly handmade and select vintage pieces, the eclectic studio shop is full of treasures ideal for the gift-giving season! You will find fair trade and eco-friendly products made by artisans from East Africa / Ukraine / and right here in Bedford!

22a Newnham Street, Bedford, MK40 3JR

GCH Fishmongers

GCH Fishmongers is a family-owned business with over 80 years experience in the seafood industry, sourcing fresh and frozen seafood daily from all over the globe.

Along with their Newnham Street retail shop they also have a processing unit where they hand fillet and prepare the fantastic fresh fish that theyt sell in the shop and online!

2 Newnham Street, Bedford, MK40 3JR

The Flying Cork

The Flying Cork is an independent, family-run wine and spirit merchant which has been serving the people of Bedford for over 15 years and has over 25 years experience in the wine trade.

The St Cuthbert’s Street shop carries a large range of wine and spirits from smaller producers that you won’t find on any supermaket shelves but with prices to compete.

They also supply to local businesses including, restaurants, pubs and bars as well as hosting wine tasting events.

43 St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford, MK40 3JG

John Medhurst Jewellers

A family business owned by Sarah, who works alongside her father John Medhurst, with a combined experience of over 70 years.

This father and daughter team take pride in providing an expert, friendly service offering a range of quality jewellery, watches and gifts.

Repairs, commissions and valuations are also undertaken.

10 Mill Street, Bedford, MK40 3HD

The Store

Bedford’s first and only zero-waste refill shop continues to trade both in-store and online for a click-and-collect service.

The Store focuses on selling food loose without packaging: nuts, seeds, cereals, coffee, pasta, spices and chocolates to refillable cleaning products, beauty products and candles.

Find us on St Cuthbert’s St for eco-friendly gift-wrapping as well as ethically made gifts!

26 St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford, MK40 3JG

Magic Garden Florist

Plants bring joy, serenity and health to our lives – and it’s Magic Garden’s mission to help you achieve these things by bringing more greenery into your home.

Magic Garden is an independent local shop with a wide variety of unusual house plants and beautiful wreaths. They can help you to choose the best plant and give helpful advice on how to care for it. 

Find the shop in the heart of Bedford in The Edwardian Arcade just off the High Street.

2 The Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1NS


Welcome to épanoui, a working shop + studio on Mill Street.

Pop in to discover épanoui’s signature jewellery or explore their curated gifts and artisan homeware. Thoughtful jewellery collections are made by hand in their Bedfordshire studio and their lifestyle pieces are always specially chosen to bring you moments of joy.

Visit épanoui to uncover a hidden gem and find the perfect gift this Christmas.

44 Mill Street, Bedford, MK40 3HD and Instagram

Nelly Mosa

Nelly Mosa – A houseplant and lifestyle shop on Castle Road. 

Pop into the festive jungle this Christmas and explore their range of easy-care houseplants and sustainable planters. 

Find the perfect present from their unique selection of homeware products, choose from locally made ceramics, hand-poured candles, luxury soap, and more…

Gift all things green this Christmas

103 Castle Road, Bedford, MK40 3QP



Beerfly is a craft beer shop and bar in the indie hub of St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford. They offer more than 150 different craft beers, six draft beers (which are ever-changing), as well as ciders, snacks and soft drinks. 

Beerfly’s mission is to offer the best beers you won’t find anywhere else, and they are constantly on the hunt for new stuff – from securing one-off lines by the biggest names in brewing to seeking out the start-ups breaking new ground.

It’s all available for takeaway or home delivery from draft beer in flagons, gifts and vouchers and merchandise from the shop or online

45 St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford, MK40 3JG

Otter and Moose

Otter and Moose are passionate about supporting local makers and specialise in creating beautiful gift boxes full of products sourced from Bedfordshire and the surrounding counties.

They can post gifts to anywhere in the UK complete with your choice of message, and are also very happy to make doorstop deliveries in the Bedford and surrounding area. Delivery is free in the Bedford area – just use code LOCAL at checkout.

Rollback World

Welcome to RollBack World, where every wheel lover’s dreams come true!

Whether you’re a pro or just getting started, this wheels haven is brimming with all things rolling. From awesome skateboards, to daring stunt scooters and let’s not forget about roller skates for those nostalgic roller disco nights as well as those bikes for unforgettable two-wheeled adventures!

7 Church Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1LQ

Eagle Gallery

The Eagle Gallery is a unique, artist-led gallery, run by a co-operative of local artists. 

This year’s Christmas exhibition starts on 28 November, featuring glass, ceramics, photography, paintings, prints and not to forget hand-made greeting cards.

As in previous years the gallery is selling hand-made Christmas decorations in aid of the Bedford foodbank.

20 St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2NN and on Instagram

Boutique Planet

Unique, sustainable, stylish.

Planet is located in the beautiful Edwardian Arcade and stocks a carefully curated collection of women’s clothing, footwear, accessories and homeware, with a focus on quality and sustainability.

If you’re looking for a special gift this Christmas or need to update your wardrobe, the Planet team is always happy to help you find the perfect pieces – and they’ll even gift wrap them for you.

8 The Arcade, Bedford, MK40 1NS

Boyds of Bedford

Boyds of Bedford is an apparel business, specialising in high-quality, hand-printed t-shirts, jeans and timelessly styled casual workwear for both men and women.

The inspiration for Boyds comes from classic cars and motorcycles and they ship products from their workshop in Thurleigh across the globe. You can find Boyds online or at their concession in Beerfly on St Cuthbert’s Street.

Close Encounters

Close Encounters is Bedford’s premier supplier of genre fiction and merchandise, supplying Manga, comics, novels, trading cards and action figures.

A one-stop-shop for fans of everything from My Hero Academia to The Umbrella Academy, where you can get everything from the latest manga volume to political non-fiction – something for everyone.

20 Allhallows, Bedford, MK40 1LJ

Eagle Bookshop

Visit Bedfordshire’s biggest book emporium!

The St Peter’s Street shop is both a vast repository of reading and a cavern of curious collectables, with prices that even the internet can’t beat. From rare treasures to eclectic bargains, there’s a little something for everyone on their shelves plus a busy events calendar too.

16 St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2NN

Baker Bros

Baker Brothers have been at the heart of Bedford since 1839.

The family-run boutique is known for its craftsmanship, expertise and service. As renowned diamond specialists, they do not compromise on quality, handpicking every gemstone they use, and ensuring the best price for the highest quality.

11-13 St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2PN


Blueglass is not just a wine bar where you can expect a warm welcome and enjoy a delicious glass of wine. They also have a shop with an extensive and unique range of wines from around the world to suit all budgets, that can be purchased to take away.

The perfect place to pick up a gift for someone or for your own party needs.

29 St Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2PN and on Instagram

Bedford Cheese Company

Bedford Cheese Company has opened an artisan cheese deli, cafe and farmshop at The Barn in Cardington.

They have everything you need for a luxurious Christmas from gift hampers to Christmas cheese stacks and you can find a fabulous festive lunch in their cafe or order your meat from their local butcher.

Open Wednesday – Sunday.

4 Summerhil Farm, Cople Road, Cardington, MK44 3SH

Rosehip Bespoke

Zannah Allen and Hannah Hurd run their floristry business, Rosehip Bespoke, from Cardington.

Using solely British seasonal flowers and foliage, they can create anything from gift bouquets, wedding flowers, sustainable funeral floral tributes, vase arrangements, floral installations, subscription flowers to Christmas wreaths.  They also run workshops throughout the year.

They offer a personal, bespoke service including bouquet deliveries.

1 Summerhil Farm, Cople Road, Cardington, MK44 3SH

IMPAKT interiors

Relaunched this September, IMPAKT Interiors is a destination home interiors and gifts boutique with a difference. With every purchase, you’re not just getting a beautiful item – you’re helping IMPAKT housing and support make a difference for people in need. 

Your purchases help to fund IMPAKT’s housing for the homeless, put food into the community larder, and fund their domestic abuse resettlement teams.

Buy a gift with a difference, a gift that makes an IMPAKT in your local community in Bedford.

14-16 The Arcade, Bedford MK40 1NS

Paid partnership with each of the participating independent retailers

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