Sligo is the perfect place to celebrate Christmas this year steeped as it is in music, mythology and magic. Visit Santa's Grotto, go ice-skating, listen to the choir sing and most importantly get your Christmas shopping done in style. Sligo is well-known for its profusion of talented local artists and crafters so you are sure to find the perfect gift for that special someone. To help you get started we've put together some suggestions.
If you want a visual reminder of the beauty of the Irish landscape then a framed photograph by Ciaran McHugh could be the perfect gift.
Ciaran's photography is inspired by the stunning landscapes of Sligo, Galway and the West of Ireland and it's easy to see why. Each sweeping vista is beautifully captured and framed making this a present anyone would thank you for.
The image above, 'Second Beach Rosses Point' has captured our hearts and our imagination. Who doesn't wish they were walking along this stunning beach, gazing out to sea, this is escapism at its best. A print costs €170 framed.
You can now visit Hugh's newly opened gallery at: The Cottages, Cooldrumman, Carney, County Sligo.
Tiffany Budd, Goldsmith
If you are looking for a one-off piece of Irish jewellery then look no further than the tactile designs of Tiffany Budd. She has spent over 15 years perfecting the gold-smithing skills that allow her to create beautiful pieces of wearable art.
We love this pendant in silver with 24ct gold gilt. It is one of a series of five, each very different, pieces inspired by the plant geometry of seed pods. This piece captures the light from ten different gold surfaces within. It has a second hoop on the back for the option of wearing on two chains at once.
Size: Approx. 27mm across and 11mm deep
Chain: Sold on a 16" silver snake chain
You can visit Tiffany's gallery by appointment at: The Roundabout Gallery & Craft Loft, Collooney, County Sligo.
Wayne O'Connor illustration
If illustration is what you are looking for then why not contact Sligo visual artist and illustrator Wayne O'Connor and claim a piece of original artwork for your walls or commission something special. Wayne's work is inspired by mythology and fantasy and is often in pen and ink though he also creates digital images.
We love this fun image of a bar full of rowdy dwarves!
With the launch of the second Hobbit film 'The Desolation of Smaug' on Friday 13 December, this is the perfect gift for that Tolkien fan in your family this Christmas.
Wayne told us, "I had a smile on my face all the time doing this one and it always makes me smile looking at it again. Rendered in Pen and Markers, then scanned in and reworked further on computer."
Prints of "Who let the Dwarves in?" are available in various sizes and start at €25. Wayne also takes private commissions and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave McLoughlin Ceramics
There are few things more tactile than hand-thrown ceramics. Why not purchase a piece from Dave McLoughlin's collection? Pieces range from functional design pieces to his humorous 'smoking angels' - after all as his website says 'even angels need a break from being good'.
Dave also runs pottery classes at the Benbulben Pottery, Rathcormac, Co. Sligo which could be a great gift for the creative person in your life. Start them off with one of Dave's pieces for inspiration then send them off to learn for themselves – perfect!
The pottery is open from 10am until 5.30pm Monday to Saturday.
Cat and Moon
If you prefer to browse a range of crafts then why not head for the Cat & Moon craft boutique? Featuring jewellery, glass, ceramics, textiles and furniture handcrafted in Ireland this little shop is a treasure trove of potential Christmas gifts. The business was started by jewellery designer Martina Gillian in 1989 and has been growing a reputation for quality fine arts and crafts ever since.
After a day's shopping return to the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo and relax at the Benwiskin Bar with a drink and a light meal. Or if you really want to unwind book in for a massage at the Solas Spa & Wellness Centre with dry flotation tank and Thermal Suite.
What's the best artisan Christmas gift you've ever received?