Ho ho ho, Christmas is near! Now that Halloween is over, the Christmas markets in Glasgow and Edinburgh are ready to open soon, and if take a look at our shopping streets, you’ll notice that they are gearing up for avid Christmas shoppers! Seeing that I live so far away from my friends and family back home in Vienna, I love bringing them unique Christmas gifts from Scotland that make up for the distance between us. If you have Scotland fans among your loved ones, this list of Scottish gift ideas is the only gift guide you’ll need this year!
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Whether you look for presents for your parents or siblings, your bestie or your third cousin, you’ll find that you can get something Scotland-inspired for everyone. This gift guide is split up in rough categories of what kind of person would love these Scottish gifts – but really, they’ll love them whether they are Scotland lovers already or not!
2020 Scotland Photo Calendar
Did you know, that every year, I create my own photo calendar with my favourite shots from around Scotland? My 2020 Scotland Calendar is now available to pre-order (ships in November 2019). After I’ve ordered my first batch, I will have a limited number still available via my webshop and you should be able to pick them up in a few local indie shops around Glasgow.
The calendar costs £15 + shipping and is available on Etsy!
Scottish Banter on a T-Shirt
My friend Gemma designs amazing t-shirts and hoodies with Scottish slogans (banter) and beautiful pictures from all over Scotland. My personal favourite is the “Guid Vibes” t-shirt which outs me as unapologetically Scottish wherever I go.
You can shop the whole collection in their online shop!
All garments are made from organic cotton with low waste printing technology in a wind-powered factory. Shopping with a clear consciousness!
Gifts for Outlander Fans
Outlander is everywhere – it’s a phenomenon that hit the sweet spot of TV audiences all around the world and engulfed them in the intrigues of Scottish history for good. If you’re not an Outlander fan yourself, you definitely have one in your social circle, and these are some perfect gifts for them:
Brooches | Now that you have a shawl or a cape, you need something to pin it with – and I love the look of these intricate brooches that look like they could be found at the Outlander set!
A personal tartan design | There are literally thousands of registered tartans to choose from in Scotland, but did you know that you could even design your very own tartan? Housten Kiltmakers has a tartan design and weaving service, where they help you design and register your own personal tartan and then, of course, weave some tartan clothing for you! Find out more here!
Outlander book series | The book series is great for the long cold winter days ahead – especially when you’ve only seen the TV show and want to know more about the Outlander characters! There is also a new collection of Outlander short stories that you might not know yet!
Outlander Colouring Book | Everybody likes a colouring book to fill a lazy day in the house or a relaxing evening by yourself – did you know you could get an Outlander Colouring Book?
Outlander board game | Finally, nothing is better than the gift of sharing – and with an Outlander board game, your presentee will be able to share their Outlander love with all their friends!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Going on a one-day Outlander tour from Edinburgh [review]
Gifts for Art Lovers
I love collecting pieces of art, prints and posters, or other decorative items from my travels, and I have quite a few pieces from trips around Scotland scattered in my flat. My favourite place to buy Scottish home decor – apart from crafts markets and local independent shops – is Etsy. You won’t believe how many Scottish artists sell their beautiful designs there!
All of these suggestions make for unique gifts for Scotland fans, especially if you think they need a daily reminder of this beautiful land in their home – I actually own artwork by three of these shops!
Decoration from East End Press | Ellie from Glasgow-based East End Press screen prints her beautiful designs onto any material she can get her hands on – pillowcases, throws, tablecloths, wall decoration, mugs, posters, coin purses – you name it! I have got a watercolour painting of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in my flat, but I currently have my eyes on this Scottish Wildlife print! Print for £12.
Scottish City Prints | I love having my favourite cities decorating my walls, so I got a green Glasgow print by iLikeMaps for my office and am thinking about getting this Edinburgh watercolour print by DeadGoodArt for the flat too! Prints from £6.99
If you prefer buying these sort of things in person and get a chance to meet the people who make them, come to the Etsy Made Local market in Glasgow on 30 November and 1 December 2019 at the Briggait!
Art by Scottish Artists | But Scotland’s creativity doesn’t stop on Etsy! The country is filled with artists who draw their inspiration from the lands that surround them. If you’re interested in buying Scottish art by local artists – and honestly, what could make a more unique Scottish Christmas gift – check out these wonderful artists:
Libby Walker (illustration) / Vivian Ross-Smith (painting) / Cath Waters (prints) / Ellis O’Connor (sketch) / Julie Galante (painting) / Julie Arbuckle (painting) / Joanna Craig (painting) / Livin The Dream (painting) / Jane Birrell (painting) / BeeStruthers (prints) / Victoria McQueen (painting) / Penny Sharp (illustration) / Clare McCroy (heraldry, calligraphy) / Jenny Proudfoot (illustration) / Art Savova (watercolour) / Michelle Campbell (painting) / Lesley Banks (painting) / Natasha Phoenix (sculpture) / Jane McDonough (painting) / Moy Mackay (painting) / Linda Irving (felt art) / LolaPolooza Designs (illustration) / Marion Boddy-Evans (painting) / Nikki Monaghan (prints) / Sarah Kay (painting) / Studio CN (prints) / diedododa (prints) / Trudi Breen (painting)
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all Scottish artists that deserve your attention – that would be impossible! But I hope you like the selection I made!
Jewellery from Scotland
Jewellery is a classic Christmas present for a special person in your life, and you will find loads of local jewellery makers in Scotland! Here are two of my favourites from Shetland and Glasgow:
Red Houss Shetland | Mike Finnie from Red Houss Shetland is a Shetland-based architect, painter and jewellery maker. When I visited Shetland I did a jewellery workshop with him and fell in love with his designs which he makes from silver, pottery he finds on the local beaches and Fair Isle designs! Available online, various jewellery from £55
Bonnie Bling | Bonnie Bling is a Glasgow-based jewellery label by graphic designer Mhairi Mackenzie. Mhairi uses typical Scottish and Glaswegians words – such as BONNIE, which means beautiful – and turns them into jewellery with her 3D laser printer! My favourites are the necklaces, but her Nasty Woman pins are pretty awesome too! Available online, necklaces from £15
Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers
Adopt an Acre | This is a gift for Scotland fans who love the wild places of Scotland – you can actually Adopt an Acre on one of four Scottish mountains and make sure that these wild mountain landscapes will be protected for the future!
You can adopt an acre on Ben Nevis, Schiehallion, Blà Bheinn on Skye, or Ladhar Bheinn in Knoydart. Your gift includes an adoption certificate, an information leaflet about your mountain and a letter of adoption. If you adopt more than one acre, you also get a print or an enamel badge of “your” mountain! Adopt an acre for £25
The right equipment for adventures | Being an outdoor lover in Scotland has taught me more than anything that equipment can make or break your trip – you better be prepared for everything if you want to experience the great Scottish outdoors! Here are some suggestions for essential outdoor equipment in Scotland that also make great Christmas gifts:
Outdoor Clothes: Waterproof jacket & trousers / Fleece-lined hat & gloves
Scottish Mountain Scratch Map | I’m sure you’ve heard of scratch maps for travellers before, but did you know you can get a scratch map with all the Scottish Munros (mountains above 3,000ft) as well? Available online for £15.99
For more useful Christmas gifts for travellers check out this list of gift ideas.
A Trakke bag | Apart from outdoor clothing and equipment, a prepared adventurer also needs a good backpack to fit everything they need out in the wild. Trakke is a Glasgow-based design label specialising in backpacks for adventurers. The materials used for the backpacks are long-lasting and enduring in the rough Scottish climate, the designs are functional, but stylish and cool – I think that’s the perfect combination for a bag you can use in the hills and the city! Available online, backpacks from £95
Adventure books from Scotland | What’s the point of a coffee table book, if it doesn’t inspire you for your next adventure? These three adventure books (all recent releases) are not only aesthetically pleasing but also full of ideas for how to plan a great micro-adventure in Scotland!
Scottish Island Bagging | A book about island-hopping around the Scottish isles.
Wild Guide Scotland | Winner of travel guidebook of the year 2015, on & off the beaten track adventure suggestions!
The Bothy Bible | This first-ever complete guide to the Scottish bothies and a great source of inspiration for backcountry getaways!
The Best 100 Places in Scotland | 100 extraordinary places that capture what Scotland is all about – the great outdoors!
Great Mountain Days in Scotland | A collection of 50 great hillwalking challenges all over Scotland!
Gifts for Friends with Scotland Trips Already Planned
Do you know someone who’s planning a trip to Scotland soon, or do you want to give them a friendly push in the right direction? In a way all of the above gift ideas will work too, but here are a few more to fit the occasion:
A Glasgow Tour with a Local | Most people only visit Edinburgh and leave Glasgow off their itinerary – with this gift you’re encouraging them to go off the beaten trail and explore the beautiful town I call my home – with me! That’s right! I offer local Glasgow tours that I tailor to your interests and needs. I’m happy to go sightseeing with you, show you the coolest street art spots, nice bars and pubs or simply my personal favourites that make Glasgow so special for me.
You can find out more about my tour here! I don’t have a voucher system in place, but if you want to surprise a friend with a tour, we’ll sort something out!
A Tour Gift Voucher | While there are of course many ways to see Scotland at your own pace, guided day tours are a great way to escape the stress of having to plan everything yourself! I’ve tried several tours with Rabbie’s, Timberbush Tours and Highland Explorer Tours and they never failed to impress! Why not surprise your loved ones with a tour?
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Which are the best Guided Tours of Scotland?
Gifts for Connoisseurs
When in doubt about the perfect Christmas present for a neighbour or an acquaintance, a bottle of something deliciously nice is always a good idea! Luckily, Scottish people are experts in making deliciously nice drinks, and you’re definitely spoilt for choice! Here are some of my favourites for a boozy Christmas treat:
Scottish Whisky | You can buy most Scottish whiskies online, even though every distillery will have special ranges and limited editions that may only be available directly at the distilleries (those make for great Scottish souvenirs too). That said, here are some of my favourite Scottish whiskies that you should be able to find online without a problem: Macallan, Arran (14 yrs old) and Jura Journey. Did you know you can buy lots of Scottish whisky on Amazon (at least in the UK)?
If a bottle doesn’t cut it, because you’re loved one is such a huge whisky fan, they’ve had it all, then a membership with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society might be perfect for them! Members not only receive a welcome pack with a selection of whisky tasters, they also have access to limited whisky editions each month, get a whisky magazine delivered to their door four times a year and enjoy special discounts at SMWS partner locations around the UK!
Whisky Chilling Rocks | Of course, you know that asking for whisky with ice is a no-go in any Scottish pub – but if you like your whisky chilled rather than room temperature, consider these stylish reusable whisky chilling rocks! Available here for £7.
Hipflask | Every Scotland fan needs a hip flask to always carry a dram of whisky on them. I bring mine on hikes and weddings, but also like having that wee bit of backup in times of “need”. I like this hipflask with a thistle on it for £20.
Scottish Gin | Scottish gin is becoming almost as popular as whisky these days, with more and more distilleries popping up around the country. If you thought picking a Scotch whisky was hard, try deciding on a bottle of Scottish gin – to help, here are three of my favourites: Hendricks, Shetland Reel Gin, Harris Gin and Ginerosity, which is a social enterprise that supports disadvantaged young adults worldwide.
Did you know you can buy lots of Scottish gin on Amazon if you order from the UK?
Gifts for Bookworms
The Outlander series is not the only great example of books that whisk you away to Scotland! Scottish literature has been gifted with incredible talent over the centuries and bookworms could spend the rest of their lives reading stories from here. These are some of my favourite Scottish page-turners:
Lanark by Alasdair Grey | an absolutely iconic novel set in a dark skit of Glasgow
Red Dust Road by Jackie Kay | an autobiography by a black Scottish woman who sets out to meet her Nigerian birth father
An Old Pub Near the Angel by James Kelman | a collection of short stories set in 1960s Glasgow
Book collection by Ann Cleeves | the crime novels that were the basis for BBC’s Shetland series
Harry Potter Scots | the latest translation of Harry Potter Scotland has been waiting for.
As you see there are Christmas gifts from Scotland for everyone, and now is the perfect time to get your Christmas shopping done to ensure on-time delivery! Which one would you like to put underneath the Christmas tree?
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Planning a trip to Scotland?