High Weald gift guide: shop local this Christmas!

As the festive season continues, here are some ideas for locally-sourced Christmas presents from across the High Weald.

From expert books by local authors, artisan candles and delicious cheeses to the sustainable Sussex trug, the product of a traditional woodland craft in the High Weald – there’s something for everyone.

This is just a small selection to whet your appetite – check out the interactive map on our Buy Local page for more producers, farms shops and farmers markets.

Happy shopping!


the front cover of a book called Meadow by Iain Partinson

“Meadow: The intimate bond between people, place and plants” by Iain Parkinson

A fascinating collection of personal and evocative accounts shared by notable meadow experts from the world of science, conservation and the arts – including our own colleague Gerry Sherwin! The complex story of a hay meadow is told by the people whose lives are entangled within its intricate web, and in Meadow we hear over 30 first-person accounts touching on everything from wildflower and grassland restoration, basket-making and weaving, pollinators and birdlife, water and soil, to hedgelaying, grazing, and archaeology – each illustrated with a beautiful colour photo.
Buy a copy >>

“ASH”  by Archie Miles

Home to an extraordinary variety of life and part of our cultural heritage, the ash tree is the unsung hero of many of our finest landscapes, including the High Weald. Yet it faces an unprecedented threat from ash dieback. Discover our beloved, native ash tree, its folklore, history, botany and uses in this celebratory book by renowned tree writer Archie Miles.  Beautifully illustrated and with a heartfelt foreword by tree-lover, Dame Judi Dench.
Buy a copy >>

Front cover of a book called Day Walks on the High Weald by Deirdre Huston

“Day Walks on the High Weald” by Deirdre Huston

This pocket-size paperback by local author Deirdre Huston features 20 circular routes across the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty showcasing the High Weald’s rich history and varied landscape. Walk down old coach roads. Clamber through deserted woodland and along riverbanks. March past castles and skirt battlefields. Linger in meadows and leap across Wealden streams. See the countryside that inspired A.A. Milne and Rudyard Kipling. Each route features O.S. 1:25,000 maps, easy-to-follow directions, details of distance and refreshment stops.
Buy a copy >>

Front cover of a book called Wild Flowers of the High Weald “Wild Flowers of the High Weald” by Chris Clennett

This attractive paperback from Kew Publishing by botanist and horticulturalist, Chris Clennett, is full of stunning photographs. From gardens to lowland heath, meadows, wetlands, the coast and woodland, a huge number and diversity of wild flowers grow in the varied landscape of the High Weald which covers parts of West Sussex, East Sussex, Kent and Surrey. This book will help locals and visitors alike discover key wild flowers of the distinctive High Weald habitats.
Buy a copy >>

“The Sussex Trug: Form, Function and Craft” by Sarah Page

a photo of a book lying on a tableThe first ever book about the iconic Sussex Trug – a celebration of the traditional basket that began as a locally-produced agricultural tool. A beautiful book that takes an in-depth look into the history of the craft linked to the landscape of the Weald, from the harvesting of local raw materials through to the traditional techniques which give the trug its distinctive form. A bestseller in local independent bookshops, which won a British Book Design and Production Award in November 2018. A must for lovers of countryside crafts and Sussex history.
Buy a copy >>

Crafts and Homeware

Traditional Sussex trugs

A traditional sussex trug with some kindling and logs inside itSussex trugs make beautiful, sustainable presents – we think they’re rather special! These unique baskets come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be put to many uses in the home and garden. A well-looked after trug will last for many years, and could even become a family heirloom. Trugs have been made in Sussex for at least 200 years, becoming world renowned for strength and durability.

Traditionally made using sustainable materials; coppiced sweet chestnut sourced from High Weald woods, as well as cricket-bat willow. Sussex trugs were originally used on farms as measures for grain, feed or even liquid. Today traditional trugs are only made by a handful of skilled craftspeople.

Available from various Sussex trugmakers, including The Truggery.

The Sussex Guild Shop, Lewes

The designer makers of The Sussex Guild have a permanent shop and gallery in the town of Lewes, just to the south west of the High Weald.  Browse fine artwork, ceramics, jewellery, textiles, woodwork and leather and metalwork created with care by skilled artists and craftspeople from across Sussex.

Shop location and more details >>

Four candles on a dark wooden table

Feather & Field

A fledgling family business launched from a kitchen table in Lamberhurst, Feather & Field produces candles,  diffusers, room sprays, handwashes and lotions using environmentally-friendly materials and scents.

Order until 23rd December >>

Green Planet Living

Luxury hand-poured soy wax candles, made in Ticehurst.

Visit website >>

Food & Drink

The High Weald is home to countless high quality food and drink producers, meaning you can find delicious festive treats with low food miles! From organic juices and wines to meats, cheeses and chutneys, check out our Buy Local page and find a producer or farm shop near you:

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