As the days draw in and become more autumnal inevitably thoughts of Christmas begin to occur. With less than three months to go it will only be a matter of time before mince pies appear in the supermarkets and advertisements on the television start to focus our minds on the festive season –with all its pleasures, and perhaps stresses too. Avoid the latter and shop here in Southwell!

The Southwell Traders are already beginning to plan for their annual Late Night Christmas Shopping event which this year will take place on Thursday 30th November, 5 – 8pm. More details about this great community occasion will appear in next month's Bramley, look out for a unique selection of gifts in our special feature. In the meantime, why not start to plan now and beat the rush?

Southwell is the ideal Christmas shopping destination. With free or inexpensive parking, all the shops being within easy walking distance and plenty of places to stop off for tea, coffee, lunch or snacks there is everything to hand for the perfect shopping day out. Why travel further afield and face queues of traffic and bad-tempered crowds when there are fifty top quality shops to choose from in such pleasant surroundings?

Southwell's retailers are proud to be local, independent purveyors of top quality goods selected specifically with their Southwell customers in mind. Part of the pleasure of owning a small business is being able to get to know customers individually, understand what they want and enjoy, and buy accordingly. Such a personal service will never be found in shopping centres or chain stores. That said, we have sadly lost several long-established businesses this year and as new ones fill their premises they look forward to welcoming you and receiving your custom. Local shops aren't 'just for Christmas' as the famous slogan goes!

Seasonal stock will soon be appearing on shelves and in window displays so that those of us who are organised enough to shop ahead will have plenty to choose from. Whether you've already started your festive purchasing or leave it to the very last minute shop locally in Southwell and have fun doing so!