Whether you’re looking to buy a tweed blazer, locally sourced sea salt, handmade soap, cold pressed rapeseed oil, or simply a pair of cheap trainers from the high street, you will be able to buy them in Scotland. There are many places to shop in Scotland from the biggest cities to the smallest Highland villages.
The high end and the high street
If you are hoping to stock your wardrobe for the new season, Scotland’s cities are your best bet. Glasgow is arguably the best destination for affordable fashion. The central Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street are all lined with famous brand name stores.
In Edinburgh, the equivalent is Princes Street, on which you can while away the hours. For pricier brands, hit nearby George Street that features names like Joules, Reiss and Karen Millen.
For a compact shopping experience with most retail outlets grouped together under one roof, you may wish to visit Thistle Shopping Centre in Stirling. The bright and airy mall features well known brands, including H&M, Primark, Debenhams and Zara.
You could also head to Aberdeen or Dundee.
Scotland’s charity shops are full of treasures, provided you’re willing to dig around a bit. Cities and towns of all shapes and sizes will feature at least one charity shop.
St Andrews is well known for its charity shops. Since the local population is quite wealthy, it’s not unusual to come across discarded designer items on sale for very low prices. Affluent towns in East Lothian are similar.
In Edinburgh, your best bets are the charity shops in the Stockbridge and Newington areas, while in Glasgow you should spend a few hours at the Byres Road outlets.
For authentic Scottish goods such as tweed, Arran wool jumpers, tartan and whiskey, the best places to head to are the settlements from which they originate. Take a tour around the Highlands and Islands where you’ll find factory shops and specialist retailers with big selections.
If you don’t have the chance to head up north, all towns and cities boast souvenir shops, such as the Edinburgh Woolen Mill, but be prepared to have to pay more for your goods.
It’s very common to come across farmers’ markets in Scotland, particularly during weekends. One is held in most parts of the country at least once a month, most often held at the largest town in the area. The big cities hold markets more regularly. For example, in Edinburgh visit the Farmers’ Market on Castle Terrace every Saturday, and Stockbridge Market every Sunday.
Here you can buy exquisite seasonal produce and goods from local producers. Scottish specialities include jams and pickles, flavoured rapeseed oils, smoked fish, oatcakes, game, and fresh fruit and veg.