Careful consideration of the perfect pressies to buy our loved ones often gives way to panic purchasing during the Christmas rush.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Amongst the big retail chains and department stores and their predictable wares are a number of hidden gems, often found slightly away from the busier shopping streets.
Here are our top 10 shops in Edinburgh to help you avoid generic gift-giving this Christmas.
Red Door Gallery
42 Victoria Street
The Red Door Gallery has become a reliable hub for affordable art and crafts in Edinburgh over the last 10 years. They sell jewellery, prints and other unique creations from emerging and established local artists, all of which are extremely contemporary and high quality.
51 West Port
Herman Brown is treasure trove of high-end vintage clothes, accessories and shoes began life as a market stall and soon graduated to a proper shop on Edinburgh’s West Port. A great place to find a unique addition to your wardrobe.
76 Rose Street
Goodstead boasts a stylish selection of contemporary streetware for men and women, from the hippest urban designers on the planet such as Surface to Air, Wood Wood, Barbour and Folk. They’ll make sure you look achingly cool without being mistaken for Ali G.
10 Stafford Street
Studio One in Edinburgh’s West End primarily offers a vibrant and colourful selection of gifts for both sexes, as well as quirky household items. It has even spawned several sister shops, including Studio One Furniture in Morningside and the Paper Tiger greeting cards chain.
40-41 South Bridge Street
You could fill a decent sized bat-cave with all the geeky goodies available in Edinburgh’s Forbidden Planet, one of the chain’s many sci-fi stores around the world. The place is brimming with action figures, graphic novels and posters and t-shirts celebrating the likes of Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and of course, Kryten from Red Dwarf.
Victoria Street, Morningside, Stockbridge
If your tastebuds are tantalised by delicious, artisan farmhouse cheese and you appreciate a traditional, old fashioned approach to selling it, Mellis Cheesemongers is not to be sniffed at. What began in 1993 with a “small, damp, cave-like shop” on Victoria Street has spread to a number of locations around Scotland.
55 Bernard Street, Leith
It’s located a little bit outside of Edinburgh’s central shopping zone, but it’s well worth the walk to Leith for Flux’s selection of unique Scottish and British crafts, elegant and affordable jewellery and other interesting ornaments and art.
36 Elm Row
The Cat’s Miaou sells a wide selection of fairtrade and ethically sourced goods, both international and local. They stock silver jewellery, ceramics, greeting cards, colourful children’s clothes and much more, so those looking for a unique gift may well be like the cat that got the cream after their visit.
With decent stock of the best in Scottish music and a good selection of vinyl, Avalanche, one of Edinburgh’s last independent record shops, sits prominently at the foot of the castle in the Grassmarket. The spacious shop is a must for music fans who still like to get their hands on their favourite tunes in physical form.
Lilies & Dreams
28 St Stephen Street, Stockbridge
This pretty little boutique shop offers eco-friendly, locally crafted handbags and other accessories, some of which can be made to order or customised to your unique style. Lilies & Dreams also have an online store.
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Do you have any favourite shops in Edinburgh that should be on the list?