Ho ho ho, Christmas is near! The Christmas markets in Glasgow and Edinburgh are in full swing already, and if you found yourself on one of our shopping streets lately, you’ll know that so is the Christmas shopping in Scotland! Seeing that I live so far away from my friends and family back home in Vienna, and I’m spending Christmas in Scotland this year, I love sending 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!
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!
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 closer or extended circle, and these are some perfect gifts for them:
Get the Outlander Look
Now, you’re probably not going to start wearing kilts around town unless you live in Scotland, but there are plenty of everyday clothes you could gift to an Outlander fan anywhere around the world.
Capes | Claire’s iconic Highland capes are not only great to look at, they’re actually really comfy and useful when it’s cold and stormy outside! You can find great capes on Etsy, but also pretty Scottish brands at Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
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 looks like they could be found at the Outlander set!
Harris Tweed accessories | Clothes are not everything – and can be quite expensive – for a smaller budget you could get useful Scottish accessories, like a hip flask, a nice wallet or a weekend bag for all your adventures! I like the stuff from Harris Tweed, because even though it’s wool (and I’m vegan) it’s produced locally and by hand on the Outer Hebrides.
Design your own Tartan
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!
When you’ve seen Outlander once, you’ll probably want to see it again. Or maybe you’ve seen the show but not read the books it’s based on yet? Here are a few entertainment-based gift ideas for Outlander fans:
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!
all three photos via Starz
You might also like: Going on an Outlander Tour in Scotland
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!
Modern Macramé by MadeHame
Small macramé wall decor from £15
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 – pillow cases, throws, table cloths, wall decoration, mugs, posters, coin purses – you name it! I’ve got a watercolour painting of the Glasgow Botanic Gardens in my flat, but my favourite item is probably this wooden peacock clock*!
Peacock clock for £28
I love having my favourite cities decorating my walls, so I got this green Glasgow print by iLikeMaps (left) for my office and am thinking about getting this Edinburgh watercolour print by DeadGoodArt (right) 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 Dec 2-3 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!
You might also like: In the Studio of Vivian Ross-Smith
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 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 favourite 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:
You might also like: The perfect Waterproof Jacket for Scotland
Scottish Mountain Scratch Map
I’m sure you’ve heard of scratch map 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 clothes 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
Coffee Table Books for Adventurers
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!
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 backcrountry 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:
Friends of Classic Malts Membership
This is the perfect Scottish gift idea for Christmas if you’ve already spent all your money on other presents – the Friends of Classic Malts membership is completely free!
However, it’s great value present, because all members enjoy lifelong free entrance to 12 Scotch whisky distilleries across the country, as well as a well-deserved dram of their single malt whisky! As a member you will receive a distillery pass to download and print out. This pass is your ticket to “heaven” and in each distillery you will get a stamp to mark your progress.
Get the free membership here!
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 book my tour here for £15/hour! 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 Rabbie’s 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 and they never fail to impress – and now they launched their gift vouchers, which make the ideal Christmas present for a solo traveler planning a trip to Scotland!
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:
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 | Macallan is a Speyside whisky and when I first stared getting int whisky drinking, I immediately took to the soft taste of this whisky region. Macallan is indeed my partner’s favourite whisky, but I think it’s also a great present for someone who is at the beginning of their whisky journey.
Arran 14yrs old | I visited the Arran Distillery this summer and was really taken by the smooth, yet rich taste of the 14 yr old single malt. It’s a very small and independent distillery, which means it’s not a whisky you’d find at just every shop – a very special gift!
Oban 14yrs old | Oban is one of my favourite places in Scotland and the whisky from there is very special to me, as it is the one that slowly got me started on smoky and peaty whiskies! For me Oban is a great whisky because it lies somewhere between the smoothness of the Highlands and the “peatiness” of the Islands!
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!
You might also like: An Essential Guide to Trying Scotch Whisky
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 from the Ayrshire coast | Shetland Reel Gin from Unst | Eden Mill from St Andrews
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. This 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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