20 gifts from Scotland (that are actually cool)

Gifts from Scotland

Looking for some last-minute gifts from Scotland? I’ve got you covered!

If you’re looking for some souvenirs from Scotland then you’ve come to the right place. Whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday, or just because, this selection of gifts from Scotland will have you covered when you’re prezzy hunting for peeps who LOVE Scottish things. If you’re into all things Alba, this post is for you! 

I want to write this list of Scottish gift ideas because some of the Scottish gift guides I come across are very much weighted towards the tweed and the tartan. Hey, that stuff has its place. It goes without saying that these things have a place in our great Scottish culture, along with the whisky, the kilts, the bagpipes, and the predilection for the deep-fried. You can read more on some of my favourite deep-fried Scottish foods right here. However, there are also lots of other amazing ideas for Scottish gifts I want to shine the spotlight on.

There are so many amazing artists, makers and designers in Scotland doing great work, along with contemporary fashion brands, writers, bloggers, musicians, and creatives. OK, so you may see a hint of tartan included here, but I drew the line at see you Jimmy hats and haggis plushies.

So let’s get going with my ideas for gifts from Scotland…

1) Ross Muir art

You may have already seen me banging on about Glasgow-based artist Ross Muir over on this post, but what can I say? I just love his work, and the two prints I have in my flat pay testament to that. He reinterprets classic paintings by some of the most famous artists in history – Picasso, Matisse, and Frieda Kahlo – with a humorous Glasgae twist. Expect Adidas 3-stripes tracksuits, cigarettes in mouth, and bottles of Buckfast. Of course. Just in case you’re not familiar with Buckfast it’s basically Scotland’s alternative national drink – at least where I’m from anyway. If you want to see real Scottish culture, it sums it up nicely.

Yes, not all of the works are obviously ‘Scottish’. With his legendary Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait reworking, however, it’s all there in the title – a Square Gogh. A square gogh means a fight in Scotland, so it’s basically one of the best plays on words ever. There are also some paintings with a more obvious Scottish vibe… check out Skater Boi and Rabbie (above) for that. Oh, and it’s all pretty affordable, too. What’s not to like?  


2) Dook handcrafted salt soap

I came across Dook artisanal soap in the Scottish National Gallery shop site and simply had to include it in my gifts from Scotland list. If you’re looking for a masterclass in great branding then this is it, folks. Minimal and clean, with an excellent choice of typography, it’s both aspirational and effortlessly cool.

All Dook’s products are handcrafted and produced out of their workshop in Edinburgh, so they’re about as local as you can get. So why the name ‘dook’ you might be thinking? Well, to take a dook means take a bath in Scotland. It can also refer to other crazy things that we do in Scotland. Like what? Well, there’s the loony dook for one, when we all plunge ourselves in the sea on New Year’s Day for the fun of it. I’m not even kidding.

But back to the soap. You can choose from a whole array of artisanal products on their site. There are salt soaps, hand cleansers, shampoo and conditioner, and all in a variety of scents. There’s cedar and bitter orange, rosemary and frankincense, mint, rosemary and juniper, and naked, which is unscented. They almost look too pretty to use! Coming in at just under a tenner, they’re not going to break the bank either.

If you want to go the whole hog, Dook also do some rather lovely looking soap dishes. If you love minimal or scandi interiors, as I do, I imagine they’ll also be right up your street.


3) Lola Polooza Scottish music venue prints

Have you ever been to the Barrowlands? It’s one of the most iconic music venues in Glasgow. Built to the east of the city centre, it opened in 1934 and is recognisable due to the distinctive neon sign on its exterior.

Everyone from Biffy Clyro, to U2, to the Foo Fighters has played there over the years and Simple Minds even recorded one of their music videos here. It’s a venue I’ve been to many times; my twenties were pretty much spent travelling to Glasgow seeing bands. Although it all feels like such a distant memory now unfortunately.

That’s why I was so delighted to find these gorgeous greetings cards, prints and mugs which celebrate the Barrowland Ballroom as well as other well-known music venues in Scotland. If you’ve ever been to see a show at King Tuts, the Usher Hall, the Garage or Bannermans then you’ll be sure to like these.

You can either pick up individual prints for your wall or choose a colouring book and get creative…


4) Roslyn Leitch jewellery

As far as gifts from Scotland go, jewellery is up there. Original jewellery created by a contemporary Scottish maker is even better. And that’s how we get to jewellery maker and designer Roslyn Leitch

If you like history, industrial materials, and quirky jewellery then let me point you her way. These earrings by Roslyn Leitch tick all the boxes – they pay tribute to Scotland’s industrial past through the material they’re made from: linoleum. I know, right? I never would have thought it at first glance either. But why do I care that they’re made out of linoleum anyway – what’s even the big deal? Well, let me explain…

In case I haven’t mentioned it already I’m originally from a town in Fife called Kirkcaldy. The town is known for two things. The first one is being the birthplace of economist Adam Smith, and the second being for the linoleum factories that used to be such a big part of the town in the late 19th and 20th centuries. In fact, Kirkcaldy was a world producer of linoleum until the 1960s, so it’s a pretty big part of the town’s past.

Roslyn is from another one of the small towns in Fife and, according to her website, she grew up with family who worked in the factories. For me, these pieces of jewellery are a beautiful nod to the history of the local area. Fife for life and all that, right? But even if you don’t have a connection to that history they’re still gorgeous pieces that will add a quirky touch to any outfit. Shop local and support indie makers!


5) Brora cashmere accessories  

I’m a big fan of luxury Scottish cashmere brand Brora. If cosy knits are your thing then I also think you’ll love it. Let’s face it, we are experiencing a lot of freezing cold evenings right now. However, heads up, it is on the expensive side. I initially titled this section ‘Brora cashmere jumper’ and then had to hastily change it to ‘Brora cashmere accessories’ as the price point was a lot higher than I realised. However, I don’t know your budget and you may be happy to splash out on a luxury cashmere garment from Brora.

It goes without saying that it’s all gorgeous. I first came across the brand when I worked at the University of Dundee and one of the textile design students had one of their designs turned into a bespoke Brora jumper. The jumpers are out of my price range to be honest, but the accessories are really cute. You can pick up some gorgeous wrist warmers for around £65 while the beanie hats retail at around £100.


6) Ellis O’Connor art

if you enjoying seeing Scotland in all its untamed, beautiful form then you may like this stunning artwork by artist Ellis O’Connor. She’s another one I came across Ellis’s work when I worked at the University of Dundee’s School of Art & Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. of which she’s a graduate.

Ellis is an artist based on the island on North Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Her work is a celebration of her surroundings. To me, her artwork really capture the wildness of the Scottish landscape. They’re a blur of blues and greens that feel as if it can never quite be pinned down to a specific location. And sorry, that was me diving back into my History of Art degree for a second! If you’re a fan of the Scottish landscape then these may be right up your street. While the originals are on the more expensive side, she has an affordable series of prints. So if you want to enjoy Scotland in all its glory from the comfort of your living room you can!


7) Val McDermid book

Like a crime novel? I had to include Val McDermid on this list because she’s probably one of the most successful exports from Kirkcaldy. I’m happy to celebrate anyone from the motherland! I wasn’t entirely sure how well-known Val McDermid is when I first started writing this post. I know her because my mum likes crime novels and because she sponsors a stand at my local football club, Raith Rovers, in Kirkcaldy.

However, the stats don’t lie. Val is actually a best-selling crime novelist who’s sold over a massive 16 million copies of her books. She’s also had her work turned into a television series, Wire in the Blood. However, if crime isn’t your bag she also has a book called My Scotland. It explores the landscapes where she’s lived and where her characters and stories reside in. Accompanied by some gorgeous photography, it’s a real insider look at Scotland. If you want a festive feel, go for new short story collection Christmas Is Murder.

8) Johanna Basford colouring book

On the subject of colouring books, you may be interested in this gorgeous one by the colouring book queen herself, Johanna Basford. Scottish illustrator Johanna is another graduate of the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. In fact, she actually developed the intricate style she’s now made famous while she was studying there. She’s now sold millions and millions of colouring books all around the world and is famous for her books The Secret Garden and The Enchanted Forest.

Yes, her work doesn’t necessarily scream ‘Scotland’ but when it’s this lovely, who cares? Johanna has sold over 20 million colouring books worldwide and her clients have included everyone from Nike to Starbucks to the Tate Modern. I just love the fact that she developed her world-famous style in her final year at university in, a studio in Dundee just across the road from my flat, and now she’s one of Scotland’s most successful exports.

If you’re looking for gifts from Scotland then this could be the perfect present.


9) Louise Kirby artwork

Ah, I seem to be on a roll with Dundee artists and designers.There’s just so much talent it’s hard not to include them all! Plus, as someone who currently lives in Dundee and is always shouting about how cool and oft overlooked it is, I’m more than happy to bang that drum.

So what can you expect from Louise Kirby’s work then? Well, it’s super cool, for a start. She has a unique and colourful illustrative style that offers a fresh take on the usual roster of landscape prints. Personally, I love the visual nods to iconic Dundee products such as the humble Dundee cake and Dundee marmalade. She also has wonderful prints that very much puts the lens on the Dundee cityscape. There are prints celebrating well-known landmarks such as the Magdalen Green bandstand, Dundee city and Broughty Ferry castle.

In a space where you often see artwork solely dedicated to landmarks in bigger cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, I love the fact that Louise is shining the spotlight on Dundee. If you’re looking for prints, cards, tea towels, magnets and notepads then head over to her Etsy shop for a browse.


10) Gerry Cinnamon vinyl

You might think that Lewis Capaldi is the biggest musical export out of Scotland recently. However, there’s another contender to the throne, and that’s Gerry Cinnamon. He’s one of the biggest independent artists in the UK and came up purely through word of mouth. He sold out two dates at the Barrowlands in Glasgow before he even had a record deal! I first heard about him when my twin sister went on a trip up north and came back raving this song called Belter that kept getting played in the local pub. That still makes me smile.

So what is his music like? Well, it’s folky, toe-tapping, indie rock with a little bit of harmonica thrown in. The lyrics are honest, introspective, and sung with a thick Glaswegian accent, and his songs tell stories in a way that makes you want to hear every word. If you want to hear how people in Scotland actually talk then listen to Gerry. And if you haven’t heard Belter than add it to your Spotify playlist right now. I guarantee it will be stuck in your head afterwards. Sun Queen, Canter, and Dark Days are also all favourites of mine.


11) Tunnock’s teacake cushion

I love homeware, and I especially love it when it’s round, cute, and shaped like a Tunnock’s teacake. In case you don’t know what a Tunnock’s tea cake is, it’s an iconic Scottish biscuit that originated out of the small town of Uddingston in the south east of Glasgow in the 1950s. It’s been a favourite in Scotland ever since. Combining mallow, chocolate and a biscuit base, it’s a winning combination and a regular in my biscuit cupboard at home. Want to find out more? Read my blog post on Scottish foods right here.

Anyway, Scottish designer Gillian Kyle has transformed the humble teacake into this cute-as-a-button cushion which will look gorgeous in any living room. There’s plenty of other Tunnock’s products on her website, based on the equally delicious Caramel Logs and Caramel Wafers. She also has collections based around Irn Bru, Scotland, and Scottish wildlife, Scottish thistles, and Scottish dogs. There are SO many amazing designs! I think this is one of those gifts from Scotland people will genuinely love to have in their home.


12) Dreaming of Scotland candle

One of my favourite Scottish travel bloggers is The Chaotic Scot. She’s been EVERYWHERE in Scotland and is a constant source of inspiration to me when I’m thinking about where to explore next. Her speciality is the Scottish islands and has visited 39 so far, which is incredible to me. Kay, as she’s also known, recently launched a range of candles in collaboration with Sandwick Bay Candles, which tie into her love of Scottish islands. How? Well, Sandwick Bay Candles are based on the Isle of Lewis on the Outer Hebrides.

There are nods to Kay’s favourite destinations in Scotland in the range, such as Autumn in Perthshire, Winter in the Highlands and Springtime in Edinburgh. After such a long year, however, my favourite is the festive orange and cranberry candle, called Coorie In. Coorie in means to ‘cosy in’ in Scotland and this candle is the perfect way to set the scene: make yourself a hot drink, curl up, and enjoy an evening on the sofa. The perfect cosy evening and another one that falls under the category of fail-safe gifts from Scotland.


13) The Highland Chocolatier chocolates

What can I say, we Scots love our sweet treats. I first came across the Highland Chocolatier when visiting Pitlochry earlier this year. We were staying in a cosy Airbnb a little bit outside of Pitlochry, just a short walk from where the shop is located in the small village of Grandtully. I remember walking past it after we’d been white water rafting and really wanting to go inside. But I was just too cold, soggy and desperate for a shower. We promised to go back soon and it’s very much on the must-visit list next time I visit Pitlochry.

Since then, I’ve spent more than one occasion marvelling at all the delicious offerings on the Highland Chocolatier website. Peppermint florentines, velvet truffles, candied orange bars, dipped honeycomb… if that’s how good they all sound imagine how good they taste? I’m actually lucky enough to know after my work sent me a mini box of Highland Chocolatier chocolates from Christmas! How did they know?!

The man behind the brand, Iain Burnett, is a master chocolatier who has over 40 awards to his name. He also taps into that Scottish heritage by matching the Sao Tome cocoa beans with an unblended cream from a particular herd of cows in Perthshire.

I would really love to pop in and try the deluxe hot chocolate on offer in the on-site Highland Chocolatier cafe next time I’m in Pitlochry. Until then, the yummy-looking box of artisan chocolates will do me fine. If you’re looking for crowd-pleasing gifts from Scotland then a box of chocolates from here is surely it!


14) Glaswegin

Well, I’m surprised I managed to get this far through the list without including a bottle of alcohol. However, you can’t put together a list of gifts from Scotland without including a least a bottle or two, right?

Let’s talk about Scottish gin and specifically, Glasgow-produced gin. Well, the prize for best named product has to go to… Glaswegin. In case it’s not immediately obvious to those reading who aren’t from Scotland, people who hail from the Scottish city of Glasgow are known as Glaswegians. And that’s what makes Glaswegin another impressive play on words. But that’s not the only thing that’s impressive. Balancing eight globally sourced botanicals including angelica, orange flower and pink peppercorn, it’s the winner of numerous awards and it comes in a beautiful monochrome bottle that wins all the aesthetics points.

You can buy a 70cl bottle for around £39.00, but if you just want to try a sample before you commit then there are a ton of smaller versions too. I love the cute cracker version. My favourite gifts from Scotland have longevity however, so if you do splash out on the full size one then I would definitely be keeping it and using it as a stylish candle holder afterwards. Who says it needs to be a Hendricks bottle, eh?

If you’re after Scottish gifts from Glasgow this works a treat!


15) Edinburgh Gin

And continuing on the alcohol theme…

In terms of alcohol-related gifts from Scotland, Edinburgh Gin is one of the big hitters. Distilled in the capital since 2010, it’s award-winning, innovative, and will look great on any living room drinks trolley.

Discovering your perfect pour is all part of the fun. I’m a big fan of the Edinburgh gin liqueurs, which are less strong than the classic varieties, and come in array of delicious flavours. My go-to flavour is usually the elderflower or the rhubarb and ginger liqueur, but there are so many you’ll be spoiled for choice. There’s mandarin and orange blossom, pomegranate and rose, strawberry and pink peppercorn, and so many other tempting varieties. What can I say, Edinburgh gin is a regular fixture on my nights out with friends… even though that all feels like such a long time ago. I can barely remember what a night out is like!

Mix your Edinburgh gin liqueur with tonic, soda or lemonade, or, if you want to be really wild, prosecco. Just make sure you don’t have anything important to do the next day! Speaking from experience on that one…


16) Scottish gift box

Not quite sure what sort of gifts from Scotland you’re looking for? Don’t know the intended recipient that well? Hesitant to put all your eggs in one basket? Then maybe you should get a basket – or a box – instead. I came across these gorgeous gifts boxes on the Tartan Blanket Co and I’ve just fallen in love with them.

I know, I know, I did say at the beginning that I wasn’t a big fan of too much tweed or tartan. However, I do have a weak spot for a tartan scarf. I have three or four and on rotation in my winter wardrobe. The scarves on the Tartan Blanket Co are beautiful! You can choose full-on tartan if you wish, but they also have an array of other shades, including a taupe, olive, dusky pink and mustard. A scarf for every day of the week.

But I’m getting distracted by tartan scarves. What you essentially do on here is build your own customised gift box. Add a scarf or blanket, add a book, a candle, a hot drink, and a gift card if you wish. The point is you can make it as personalised as you want. You don’t have to include any of these items and you can choose what kind of box you want. A care package, a hamper, a gift for a new baby – there are so many options and all the choices just look lovely! The presentation is also on point – another big fat tick for me!

I was also pleasantly impressed by the price – I popped all of the above items in my basket, or box I should say, and it came in at £51. For all those items, I think that’s pretty good value. If you’re looking for a special Scottish gift this could just be it.


17) Fair Isle knitwear

Fair Isle knits are really ‘in’ at the moment. I read a great article about them on the Guardian recently which took a deep dive into Fair Isle knits – apparently ‘cottagecore’ is an actual thing. I also keep seeing Fair Isle knits on all my usual internet shopping haunts (due to the fact the majority of Fair Isle knits are not actually made on the island). But in terms of stylish and on-trend gifts from Scotland, they’re up there!

If you don’t know about Fair Isle then here are a few need-to-know facts about it. The name fair isle means ‘the island of peace.’ It’s located in between Shetland and Orkney and is the most geographically remote island in the UK, with only 60 residents on the island. I actually remember watching a TV show about local residents not too long ago. The thing that stuck with me is that there isn’t a high school on the island, and so kids actually have to move away from home to go to school from when they’re 11 or 12, which seems wild!

Anyway, there are tons of beautiful fair isle knits out there – Etsy has hundreds! But if you want to keep it super authentic and buy some fair isle knits created by makers ON the island, take a look here.

18) Eilidh Muldoon colouring book of Scotland

We’re already established that I rather like a colouring book. These colouring books by illustrator and Edinburgh College of Art alumna Eilidh Muldoon are perfect for anyone who likes Scotland and enjoys getting a bit crafty and creative in their spare time.

There’s a whole variety of colouring books to choose from. The Scottish Coastal Colouring Book, the Hebridean Colouring Book, the Colouring Book of Edinburgh, the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Colouring Book… I could go on. There are also beautiful illustrations of various Scottish landscapes and cityscapes on her Esty shop, from North Berwick harbour to the Grassmarket in Edinburgh to St Andrews to Glasgow’s Ashton Lane. If you’ve visited Scotland then definitely see if there’s a print to match up to your memories!


19) LindabeeDrawsDundee

I had to include a maker in my gifts from Scotland list whose work focuses solely on Dundee, right? However, that’s not the only reason I wanted to include LindabeeDraws Dundee. Her illustrations are charming, magical, and elegant, and do an incredible job of celebrating the city I’ve called home for the past 10 years.

I actually came across her work in Dock Street Studios in Dundee, which is this amazing artsy space that combines homewares and accessories along with cards and prints by various independent and local makers. LindabeeDrawsDundee was one of the makers on display, and her work just jumped out at me straight away. I immediately recognised some of the familiar sights I see near enough every day… but reimagined in a really enchanting way. The view of the V&A design museum from Union Street in town, the Magdalen Green bandstand surrounded by fallen leaves on a crisp, autumnal day, it’s all there. I just love it.

One thing I noticed, there’s definitely more of her work available than is for sale on her Etsy shop. The amazing Portrait of Dundee 2020 calendar being just one example! If you like her work or are looking for something in particular I would recommend dropping her a line.


20) Steph Liddle staple necklace

This final Scottish gift idea is another that doesn’t necessarily scream Scotland in the usual bagpipes, haggis and whiskey kind of way. However, Steph Liddle’s work is too good not to include in my list of gifts from Scotland. She’s a ceramics designer and maker based in Dundee and she creates everything from statement jewellery pieces to reusable coffee cups to decorative pots, dishes and vases.

Everything is held together by her signature style – bold, graphic designs that are contemporary and super cool. I could buy it all, honestly! Her work is stocked in various independent shops around the city of Dundee and any a time when I’ve been out running I’ve had to stop just to admire it in the window.

If you’re looking for stylish home furnishings, unique handmade jewellery, or Scottish gifts for her, you know where to go!


So that’s my list of Scottish souvenirs and gift ideas – hopefully one of them works for you!

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