As twinkly lights go up across Hertfordshire, many of us will be busy getting things ready for Christmas.

I remember as a kid being excited to see all the new toys, decorations and festive treats in the shops.

And while nowadays online shopping means virtually everything can be yours at a push of a button, it’s not quite the same scrolling through pictures on your phone while sat on your sofa.

So, this year why not have a wander and do part of your shopping locally?

Hatfield is lucky to have a number of distinct shopping areas, each with its own set of independent and local gems, so there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Cllr Larry CroftonCllr Larry Crofton (Image: Cllr Larry Crofton)

In the Town Centre you’ve got Calamity Comics, The Family Jewellers and a variety of specialist food wholesalers and outlets, with more located in the redeveloped Hilltop including Bob's Family Butchers & Deli.

At the Galleria, sitting alongside well-known brands are Peggy Anne's Sweet Emporium, Jaweed Popal’s tailoring and suit shop and Toy Galaxy. And at Stable Yard by Hatfield House, you can find jewelry, gifts for dogs, countryside fashion and fine wines.

Remember you don’t have to buy brand new. Treasures can be found in a wide range of charity shops. Not only is it environmentally friendly to reuse and recycle, but there are a number of worthy causes who would really welcome your contribution.

And if you tend to leave things to the last minute, or have that one special present to get with time running out, Hatfield town centre is hosting a daily Christmas Market between Monday, December 18 until Saturday, December 23.

Hope to see you there.

Hatfield Explorer

If you haven’t already, why not pay a visit to Coronation Gardens on Wellfield?

Following its renovation earlier this year it’s a great spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And this year it is also hosting Hatfield Town Council's Christmas tree.