Best 40th birthday gift ideas for women that she'll adore for years to come

Our edit of 40th birthday gift ideas for women has ideas for every lady in your life

three of w&h's 40th birthday gift ideas for women on a colored background
(Image credit: Future)

Shop our unique 40th birthday gift ideas for women, from cookery courses to fashionable buys, and fine art to evenings by a fireside with friends—and some incredible experiences for those friends and family members who seem to already have everything. 

Whether you're shopping for a 40th birthday gift for a sister, best friend, or for your wife, we've got you covered with a list of 40th birthday gift ideas that any woman would love to receive—and many of these ideas could also work if you're looking for the best 50th birthday gifts or the best 60th birthday gifts, too.

We've also provided some shopping advice straight from the experts to help you pick out gifts for anyone who's tough to buy for.

Where to buy 40th birthday gifts for women in the UK

Best 40th birthday gift ideas for women

Gift buying advice

What makes a memorable 40th birthday gift?

Francesca Pittaway, curator at Not on the High Street (opens in new tab), knows how hard it can be to find the perfect present. Especially if you want it to be unique.

"Choosing something memorable can feel really daunting, especially if you are time poor!" she says.

"We often want to express to recipients how much they mean to us through a gift and when someone means a great deal to you, you might feel pressure to get it spot on. If someone means a lot to you, keeping them and why you love them front of mind when choosing something means you can’t go wrong."

It might sound cliche, but often the most memorable presents involve making memories! Book a weekend away, go for a fancy dinner or even plan a surprise. You'll both never forget sharing quality time together doing something special.

What do you get someone who doesn't want anything for their birthday?

Finding the perfect gift to mark a milestone birthday is even harder if your recipient is insistent they don't want anything!

However, all is not lost. Julie Deane, expert purveyor of gifts thanks to her company, The Cambridge Satchel Company (opens in new tab), suggests giving them an experience or chance to learn a new skill. Rather than a product.  She suggests, "Plan a wonderful thing for you both to do together. Gifts don’t have to be things. Think instead of experiences like a chocolate-making day or walking an alpaca. Use your imagination but give them time with you, that’s often the most special thing." Take a look at our list of the best hobbies for women for some more ideas. 

An internationally published digital journalist and editor who specialises in SEO strategy and content production, Rachael has worked as a writer and editor for both news and lifestyle websites in the UK and abroad.


Rachael's published work covers a broad spectrum of topics and she has written about everything from the future of sustainable travel, to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the world we live in, to the psychology of colour.

With contributions from