Being in the military we get to travel all over the world. Living in England has been a dream for me. There is so much culture and rich heritage, food, iconic sites here to discover. While living abroad I like to share the culture and things that I am experiencing with family and friends back home. Sending a British-themed care package back home full of gifts is a perfect way to showcase some of the uniqueness and culture that you are experiencing while living in England. It’s a chance to get to show them the type of things that I’m eating and how different the culture is of where I am.
Plus, I like sending family some souvenirs or memorabilia of the country I am in and you can too. So, if you are looking for the best gifts to buy in England for your peeps back home then you’ve come to the right place.
We Love Care Packages..
It’s custom for military members to receive care packages from the United States because we are sometimes far from home and we miss the products and foods we had. We love getting snacks, chips, really anything American that we can’t get overseas. But I like doing a care package in reverse, sending my family items from abroad. They will receive a care package from me of things that are locally favorited here. I especially like sending the exotic treats, that’s really fun. And staple products that represent that country.
Here I will list some British-themed care packages & souvenir ideas you must buy to send back home to family and friends if you are an expat in England. Or if you are in the military living overseas or a civilian working for the US government. This is also a great idea for expats that like to move around to different countries to send all types of gifts back home from wherever you are.
Additionally, this list of British gifts can also be used for those that are traveling to England or plan on coming here in the future. As well as those that want to know what type of souvenirs to bring back home with you.
If you are not living or visiting England just yet, but are so pumped to get some of these gifts right now, there are several items that you can purchase online too. I have provided some links below that will take you right to the goodies.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in.
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English Treats & Eats
While in England you must buy and EAT some Cadbury Chocolates. Cadbury was founded and manufactured here. These chocolates are very popular here. They have a variety of products that are all scrumptious. A few of my recommendations are the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate bar, Caramel bars, Eclairs. Another all-time fave here is the Curly Wurly, which is a curly swirly caramel ladder coated in milk chocolate.
Also, I’m sure you heard of the famous Cadbury Creme Easter Eggs. Yeah, that was invented here at Cadbury. I especially love the chocolate biscuits. These are not the doughy, flaky warm biscuits that Americans are accustomed to. Biscuits in England are actually cookies. The Cadbury Chocolate Fingers is like my absolute favorite. You can’t go wrong with sending home some Cadbury chocolate.
Where To Buy
You can purchase the Cadbury products anywhere. You could find it at Petrol stations, Grocery stores, Wilko, practically anywhere in England. I like to shop at Sainsbury and Tesco grocery stores, where they have pretty much all the variety of treats there. If you want you could also just purchase a variety pack of mini chocolates so your family can get a taste of many different flavors.
When in England you have to drink a proper cup of English tea. So why not send tea back home in the care package? British tea is probably one of the best things that they are known for. British tea has been a part of the culture since the 18th Century. Some of the most popular brands here are PG Tips (which first opened its business in 1869), Yorkshire Tea, Pukka, and Twinnings just to name a few.
Places To Buy
I bought my family a tin can full of traditional tea as a 2 for 1 gift. For my military fam, I scooped it up at the Souvenir shop on RAF Mildenhall, but you could also get here. The tea can was decorated beautifully in Victorian style, and they can keep reusing that can as storage for more tea bags. Also, you can get tea from any of the supermarkets, convenience stores, and souvenir shops throughout England. Buying it in a collectible tin can will be the icing on the cake. My MIL raved about the English tea that we sent her, (it’s the Fine Breakfast Tea in the tin can above). She absolutely loved it!
Afternoon Tea Time
My daughter and I love to drink all different types of tea. Afternoon tea is a HUGE thing to partake in here. When you go to a cafe that serves afternoon tea, it will come with cute little crustless sandwiches, scones with cream or jam, and tasty cakes served on a 3-tiered cake stand that is pretty dope. I had the most awesome tea experience at the Pump Room on our weekend getaway in Bath. The British like to drink their tea with milk also. I’ve tried it, but I just prefer lemon, honey, or sugar.
While they are sipping on a cuppa tea, they can add some biscuits to the menu. The Digestive biscuits are famous-famous here in the UK. Just like the name, these biscuits were created to help with digestion since it’s made with whole wheat and it’s high in fiber. I know what you’re thinking, “What? wheat and fiber, that doesn’t sound like a biscuit (cookie) to me”. No..no don’t get it twisted. Digestive biscuits are scrumptious, the original has a hint of sweetness, just the right amount to complement with your tea or coffee.
Just let them know to have some fun and dunk it in their beverage of choice. I prefer to eat my biscuits with coffee. When you go to purchase some biscuits, make sure you include them brand McVities. The McVities is the most popular brand that’s bought and consumed here. And, McVities makes a variety of other products too such as, Gingernuts, HobNobs, that’s worth a try.
Colman’s English Mustard
Colman’s Original English Mustard is a staple condiment that’s been in British homes for over 200 years. It’s not your typical yellow mustard that’s sold in markets in the U.S. because English mustard is shockingly hot. It may be similar to Dijon mustard, only spicier. It doesn’t take that much to taste the immense flavor of this mustard, so don’t add too much just a smidge will do.
So, just have a laugh and don’t even tell the person you send it to that it’s hot. LOL… Your peeps will be surprised when they add this mustard to their sandwich and get that extra PUNCH of flavor.
If your family has a sweet tooth, then they would love to receive some English Fudge. I’ve seen fudge stands and shops practically everywhere I’ve been in England. So we ended up trying some Clotted Cream Fudge that’s handmade in Cornwall. If you’ve read my post on our 3-Day Road trip to Cornwall, you would’ve seen how prevalent clotted cream is especially when used in their Cornish ice cream or when smothering on scones. Yummy.
We just so happen to come across this cute confectionary shop, Toffee Nose, filled with unique items from all around England. They sell some of the best cornish fudge. Now, I’ve never been a huge fan of fudge, but he let us try a sample and it was so creamy, like it melt in your mouth. So I’m sure anyone that you send this to will appreciate this indulgent treat.
There are a variety of flavors that are available like Cookies and Cream, Vanilla, Rum, and Raisen, and my favorite was the Clotted Cream. To try several flavors you can buy an assortment of mini fudge that comes already pre-packaged.
I love me some crumpets. Crumpets will kind of remind you of an English Muffin but it’s still different. So one side of the outside of the crumpet is flat and hard and the other side is soft. Crumpets are typically eaten for breakfast. Just pop one or two in the toaster and spread some butter and jelly on top of the crumpet. You could also top it with honey, or syrup. The tiny holes on the soft side of the crumpet allow the toppings to sink in it to make the entire bread deliciously moist. It’s kind of like a sponge type of texture. It’ll be great to send back home. Grab a pack of 6 in the bread aisle of the grocery store. Your family won’t be disappointed to receive this in the mail.
“Love it or hate it” is the slogan. Marmite is a nutritional yeast spread that is typically used at breakfast on toast with butter, bagels, or crumpets. It has a savoury taste that it pairs with cheese, eggs, and avocados quite well. It has an acquired taste so some people love it, while others cannot stand it. For what it’s worth, it is packed with nutrients like B Vitamins and folic acid. I don’t think Americans ever had anything like this, especially for breakfast. It will be worth it to see what side of the spectrum your friends and family end up on. Will they fall in love with or just hate it? Let them decide.
Confectionary is AKA Candy Candy CANDY!! The Brits are serious about their sweets, as you can see that’s almost all I’ve been talking about so far. So, pick up a few bags of Maltesers. Maltesers are similar to the Whoppers that are made in the US. It’s pretty much mini malt balls covered in chocolate. They will definitely love that.
Another confectionery to grab is traditional English Toffee. If you want to purchase the toffee that comes inside a tin can decorated with famous sites of the UK. Another cute gift option could be the toffee that comes inside a Victorian-style jar. Other candies are some Maoam sweet and soft fruit chews. As well as hard-boiled traditional sweets like Cartwright & Butler Rhubarb and Custard are very popular candy in England. Any flavors of Haribo sweets, Drumstick Squashies, and the list goes on. Terry’s Milk Chocolate Orange is something else to throw in the care package as well.
Where To Find England Sweets
While exploring London for the Best Instagrammable Dessert Spots, we came across so many sweet locations. There are many different kinds of confectionery to send, so you can’t go wrong with any of these. You can purchase some of these candies in the supermarkets. But if you want to venture out a little bit, try visiting one of the local confectionery shops instead. Below I’ve listed a few to start with:
- Mr. Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe; Address: 15 Butter Market, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1DB
- Oh So Sweet; Address: 3 White Lion St, Norwich NR2 1QA
- Kingdom of Sweets; Address: 7-14 Coventry St, West End, London W1D 7DH
If you’re looking for something salty to go with all of those sweets, then pick up a pack or 2 of Walkers Crisps. Crisps are the British term for chips. You could choose from several different flavors such as Salt & Vinegar, Roast Chicken, BBQ Pulled Pork, Prawn Cocktail, etc. Or you could just buy the variety pack to include in the care package. The crisps are made with 100% Great British potatoes. It’s always fun to see how some of these exotic flavors taste and how my family likes or dislikes them. It’s fun to try different countries’ delectable. And a lot of the time it’s much better than you would have thought.
Now that I’ve made all of you guys hungry, I want to move into the British souvenirs to get for family and friends.
Harry Potter Merch
To be honest I don’t know a lot about Harry Potter. I know I know…the agony. But Harry Potter is so big here in England and rightfully so since it is based here. Harry Potter’s books, films, plays, etc are such a big hit that it’s worth over $25 Billion. So I know that Harry Potter has a huge following and it is part of the English culture here.
I actually got a chance to visit Gloucester Cathedral, one of the places that Harry Potter was filmed. I had no idea either until we were given some history of the church by the guide. How cool is that?
Anyway, to find some awesome gifts, you could go to Warner Bros Studio Tour in London and visit The Studio Shop and purchase some collectible items, wands, and replicas for those Harry Potter enthusiasts. There are also the Forbidden Forest Shop, and the Railway Shop with themed souvenirs, gifts, clothing, etc at the WB Studio. You won’t be short on selections of items to send home, honestly you might have trouble trying to not buy everything.
Other Places to Buy
But if you don’t go to the studio, you could pretty much find Harry Potter items at any of the Souvenir Shops in London. Even department stores, bookstores like Waterstones, airport lounges would have some products to purchase. Pretty much several places all over the United Kingdom would have Harry Potter-themed products. Just keep a lookout for them when you go shopping anywhere. Here are a few places to go for Harry Potter Merch.
- Warner Bros Studio Tour; Address: Studio Tour Dr, Leavesden, Watford WD25 7LR
- Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 Kings Cross; Address: Kings Cross Station, Kings Cross, London N1 9AP
- The Department of Magical Gifts; Address: 17 Rose Cres, Cambridge CB2 3LL
- The Harry Potter Shop; Address: Heathrow Airport T5, Level 3, Departure Lounge, London TW6 1EW
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English Lavender Anything
When I visited the Cotswolds there was Lavender plants and products everywhere. This one boutique I visited in Bibury had Lavender everything including these cute little satchels with lavender seeds in them. You could pick up some Lavender Soaps, Lotions, Moisturizer, Linen Spray, essential oils, you name it they make it. Pick those up and just put them in the care package to have the entire box smelling glorious.
Incredibly, the Lavender around England is mostly organic and is so amazing. I fell in love with Lavender plants, seeds, and products since living in the UK. It smells so incredible. These products are made from the lavender farms and it’s perfect to send these organic items back home.
Oh, if you haven’t heard or visited the Cotswolds, it is located one hour north of the City of Bath by car. And The Cotswolds is about a 2 ½ hour drive from Cambridge. If you ever get a chance to visit, the City of Bath is a picturesque romantic destination where you could also find awesome souvenirs and good food. The Cotswolds is famous for the beautiful British Cottages, especially the historic Arlington Row cottages of Bibury, Gloucestershire.
There are several farms growing lavender around England. I’m geeked on when I can visit some of the lavender fields this spring, hopefully. What makes it so great is that you could purchase lavender plants, seeds, and products straight from the farms online here.
So, there are many Lavender Farms in England to explore and below I’ve named just a few. If you ever get the chance you should visit to experience walking through the captivating array of Lavender fields.
- Norfolk Lavender Farm; Address: Norfolk Lavender, Caley Mill, Lynn Rd, Heacham PE31 7JE
- Cotswold Lavender; Address: Hill Barn Farm Cottage, Snowshill WR12 7JY
- Hitchin Lavender; Address: Cadwell farm, Arlesey Rd, Ickleford, Hitchin SG5 3UA
Coffee Mugs & Tea Cups
My family is big coffee drinkers, so what better way to make use out of a gift than to send them an English coffee mug or teacups? There are so many different varieties of Mugs with the Union Jack Flag decorated on it. Or with the iconic landmarks of London and the funny his and hers lordship. There are Mugs to purchase that comes with a spoon included for stirring sugar or other condiments in it. I like the big mugs that come with a coaster sitting on top of it. It’s nice for keeping your biscuits on there. Also having the coaster set is great for taking to work and covering it up so that dust, bugs, or people talking over your cup of goodness.
Traditional English Teacups
Next, you can find beautifully hand-crafted teacups all around England too. This fine china is delicate, so you will have to be careful when shipping this off ensuring that it’s package so that it won’t break. Of course, drinking tea is very prevalent here, so sending a beautiful tea set to your family is another great idea. The beautiful sets will make them feel like royalty. It’s nothing wrong with being a little bougie for a moment…LOL. Also, tea sets are great tablescapes. They could have the tea sets out for a beautifully decorated dining room table. Bring out that fine China when having guests over.
I can’t tell you how many Oyster Cards I have floating around the house. But the Oyster Card is what you need to take the Bus, Tube, and National Rail to travel around England. Particularly the Underground around London is one of the best ways to get around. Sending this card to family back home will emphasize how you and the Brits get around as well as give them a glimpse of London transportation. I used the heck out of my Oyster Card when I was traveling back and forth to London from the Swindon. You can purchase an Oyster Card at any train station in England, it only costs £5.
Money, Money, Money, Money, MONEY!
There’s nothing like having currency as a souvenir. While living in England, of course, we have to buy things with British Pounds. Yes, the exchange rate for the American dollar is crazy. The British Pound or Sterling is expensive. However, send the paper British pounds so that your family can see the different colors and the Queen’s face on it. Then include some coins like the £1 and 2 pounds. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, because we all know it can start adding up, just enough to give them an idea of British culture. Collecting coins is a big habit for some people. I always try to keep at least a few types of coins or dollars from every country I’ve visited.
Wallet & Coin Purse
Next, send your mom, dad, friends, and loved ones a coin purse or wallet with a British them printed on it. This can be something to show the famous landmarks of the big city of London and England. And it’s a useful gift that they can carry around them daily while out shopping at the market. To make the gift a little better, throw in the British pounds in the coin purse when you send the care package. So they will have a nice surprise. In other words, put money in it. You have to put a little something, something in the purse to put in the atmosphere that the coin purse will always have money in it.
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Authentic British Umbrella
Having an umbrella in the UK is a must while visiting or living here. Because it rains throughout much of the year. So an umbrella will represent England and it’s not so friendly weather.
This will be something they could use and represent England at the same time. You can stop into any souvenir shop in London or around England to buy an umbrella. One of the types of umbrellas to purchase could be one with the Union Jack Flag on it. It’s the nation’s flag and is of course a symbol of England. We found one at a little souvenir shop in London, and it was pretty cheap. However, if you want to order now, you can get it through Amazon right now just click on the picture above.
But if you really want an umbrella that is very authentic and cultural, then take a trip to James Smith & Sons Umbrella Shop in London. It is a world-famous shop that you must purchase an umbrella from. As the name implies they specialize in traditional handmade umbrellas and walking sticks. Your loved ones will fall in love with a custom-made umbrella just for them.
Notebooks & Pens
A notebook with an awesome picture of England landmarks and some culture on it is an excellent gift to give someone. Notebooks are perfect for writing your innermost thoughts in. And it could be used to just jot down your grocery list before going to the store. I like to take cute notebooks to work with me to take down notes when I have a meeting. That’s another good use for them, keeping one at your job on the desk. Having a London-themed notebook would be a conversation starter for sure. This would be an awesome yet inexpensive gift to include in a care package. Choose from notebooks with illustrations of London landmarks printed along the front. Pick up an Alice Tait hand-drawn notebooks from Waterstones Bookstore.
Now with a notebook, it’ll be nice to include a pen for them to write with. My daughter loves to collect pens from wherever we travel. Some people like to collect snow globes, she prefers collecting themed pens from that country. She’s a girly girl so the pens she chooses are usually really pretty, feminine pens with sparkles, glitters. There are so many different types to choose from.
Grab the family some pens that have the England sites printed on them. Or grab a few with Union Jack designs with Guardsman Head. We have a few ballpoint pins with charms of London sites dangling from the top of it. The cutest one of all, so far, that she’s gotten was a Windsor Castle-themed pen with a gold crown on the top of it.
Now you know that you can’t say you visited England without procuring a teapot. I’m just teasing. But it is one of the most cultural traditions they have in the UK. This is another awesome gift to send back home for tea drinkers. To be honest, even if they don’t drink tea, this will be a souvenir that could be put on the kitchen counter and would be pretty to look at. You could go shopping for a cool miniature Red Telephone Teapot, or one with the Union Jack and Big Ben printed on it. Or if your family would like more authentic and elegant, those types of teapots are available too. It really just depends on one’s taste.
Where To Find
Teapots are available practically everywhere around England, one fabulous souvenir shop to check out their teapots is Cool Britannia located in London, Liverpool, or Edinburgh. For the fancier, designer collections head over to the department stores Harrods and Fortnum & Mason, just to name a few excellent choices.
- Cool Britannia; Address: 35 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2BX
- Harrods; Address: 87-135 Brompton Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7XL
- Fortnum & Mason; Address: 181 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1A 1ER
Keychains are a foolproof gift. Don’t just get the plain ole keychains tho. Try to get some quality keychains that signify English heritage and major sites of London. Buying a keychain is a very inexpensive gift to give. The perks are that you can give this to anyone. Getting a keychain for someone is usually the go-to gift if you cannot figure out what to give someone. Pick up a good manufactured keychain of the iconic red telephone booth, Big Ben, or Buckingham Palace Guards, etc. These keychains are also available on Amazon, click on the picture above.
Oh, a quick tidbit, there are some keychains that have the shape of a British Pound on it, that will be good to give someone. I keep one of those trolley tokens on my keychain to use to shop at the supermarket since most of the shopping carts you have to put in a pound to use. But once you’re finished you will get that pound back. So you could pick up that kind of keychain for yourself while living here because it comes in handy.
Now, since you’re going to buy English tea and a teapot, then it’s only right to compliment it with a British Tea towel to have a proper afternoon tea experience.
Next, include in the care package a few other kitchen items will be nice also. For instance, acquire things such as an oven mitt (glove), spoon rest, an apron, etc. All of these items could be purchased with the landscape and iconic landmarks of England.
Plus, there are so many kinds of prints to purchase, for instance, a tea towel of the Royal Family or oven mitts of the Big Ben, Royal Guardsman, and Double Decker London Bus. A spoon rest would be wonderful too especially for those that like to cook. Grab one that has the sights of London decorated on them or even her majesty Queen Elizabeth. You gotta send some items with the Queen and the Royal family on them. My dad visited, and he loved picking up those items with the Queen, but especially of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Of course, because she’s an American that married a Prince and she’s half black too. So yeah that’s definitely a Big Deal.
More Places To Find Gifts
All in all, most of the food items I’ve mentioned can be purchased at any of the local grocery stores, convenience stores, and cafes, etc. There are so many souvenir shops practically on every corner around London. Especially near the big tourist sites. As I’ve said before as you explore England you can pick up goodies everywhere you go.
Anything that is authentic and made in England are good souvenirs that family and friends could enjoy. I mean, most of those things they have never even heard of or seen. Even items that are not from England, but get imported here like from Spain, France, and Australia are nice gifts as well, and trust me we love to use a lot of those products and food.
So, here I’ve named just a few supermarkets, stores, and souvenir shops to visit:
- Tesco Supermarket
- Sainsbury Supermarket
- Waterstone’s Bookstore
- TK Maxx
- We Built This City
- Liberty London
- The Royal Mews Shop
- Cool Britannia
- Harrods London
- Buckingham Palace Shop
- Tower of London Shop
That’s all I have. Thanks for checking out my post. I hope you find this post on gifts to Buy in England to send in a care package helpful. I would love to hear your feedback. Let me know in the comments below.
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