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32 Standout Indie Shops in Scotland’s Cities

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From vintage clothing to craft beer, books, artwork or even bagpipes, this list of standout indie shops will keep you busy in between historic sights.

Explore: Glasgow, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Stirling, InvernessEdinburgh or Dunfermline.

View of the River Clyde featuring the Clyde Arc and Finnieston Crane

Glasgow is recognised as one of the best shopping cities in the UK, but did you know about these offbeat indie shops?

Rubadub Records, Howard Street

Rubadub was established in the early 90s and has become a hub of electronic sounds, specialising not only in music but the latest recording software, studio equipment and DJ kits.

The Hidden Lane and The Hive, Argyle Street

Glasgow’s West End is known for culture, and this little artistic enclave in Finnieston is a fantastic showcase of the area’s independent businesses. The Hidden Lane and the Hive is a community of over 100 studios hidden behind Argyle Street where artists, designers, craftspeople, musicians and other creatives work. There’s a tearoom, an art gallery, a pottery, two hypnotherapists, three hair salons, fur fabric designers, massage therapists and two yoga studios. A wee bit of everything!

Valhalla’s Goat, Great Western Road

Specialising in boutique wines, artisan beers, craft ciders, whiskies and all manner of liquid treasures, Valhalla’s Goat is one of Glasgow’s best artisan bottle shops. Lots of micro brews and hard-to-find treats will make this an exciting trip for the beer and spirit connoisseur in you.

Art Pistol, Cresswell Lane

Based in the West End of Glasgow, Art Pistol feature works from across Scotland and beyond, including emerging new artists from Scotland’s top art schools. The gallery features affordable, original pieces.

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For more information on a trip to Glasgow check out these 8 Quirky Glasgow Streets with Places to Stay and our weekend itinerary.

View across the river to Perth

The ‘Fair City’ of Perth is wonderful to look at, but what will you choose to bring home as a souvenir? Here are some ideas.

Provender Brown, George Street

Known affectionately as PB by local foodies, Provender Brown has a reputation for gourmet food and local, seasonal ingredients. You’ll find Perthshire, Scottish, British and international artisan suppliers as well as mouth-watering foodie gifts and fresh takeaway meals prepared on site.

The Bean Shop, George Street

Drop into the welcoming Bean Shop for a cup for a cup of coffee brewed from hand-roasted speciality beans. Founded by John and Lorna Bruce in 2003, the couple and their team are coffee obsessives, dedicated to ensuring that each cup served has a delicious flavour and distinctive aroma you won’t forget in a hurry. There’s also a tempting selection of teas to enjoy alongside artisanal chocolate, as well as gifts including cups, mugs, candles, and more.

Casella & Polegato

Casella & Polegato is an Italian bakery run by baker-supremo Denis Casella, whose passion for the art of baking was instilled in him by his pizzeria-owning father. His love for good bread and sourcing local ingredients saw him travel around the world before settling in Perth where his nutritious, delicious artisan bread is now the stuff of legend and one of the city’s firm foodie favourites.

Tayberry Gallery, Princes Street

Give yourself plenty of time to look around this attractive independent shop and gallery, which showcases unusual Scottish crafts and design. You’ll find pieces by local creatives including glassware, ceramics, jewellery and textiles, which would all make excellent gifts. Displays at the Tayberry Gallery change on a regular basis, so you never know what you might see!

Quince & Cook, Princes Street

Quince & Cook is a family run independent mini modern-day department store. Full of handpicked homewares, cookware and gifts as well as range cookers from Aga, Everhot, Lacanche plus many more. You will also find regular workshops and events in store, from pasta making to floral arrangements.

Number Five Goldsmiths

Number Five Goldsmiths is home to one of the most extensive selections of contemporary jewellery in Scotland. Browse a covetable array of stylish pieces personally selected by the expert eye of owner, Stuart Bruce. From gleaming stainless steel and titanium to radiant 18ct yellow gold, and of course, sparkling diamonds, you’re bound to find something that makes your heart flutter. If not, the resident goldsmith and designer is ready for you to commission that bespoke piece you’ll treasure forever.

For more information on a trip to Perth, check out these 9 Quirky Perth Streets with Great Places to Stay.

Exterior of the V&A Dundee

The bonnie city of Dundee is home to the V&A Dundee design museum and other showstopping sights, but taking time to explore the local shops is no bad idea either.

Spex Pistols, Johnston’s Lane

If you’re eyeing up some designer eyewear, then Spex Pistols should definitely be on your list of stops in Dundee. Possibly the coolest independent boutique of its kind in Scotland, you’ll find designer, vintage and classic spectacles and sunglasses – it also doubles up as an intimate gig venue.

Halo, Broughty Ferry

Halo is a lifestyle store situated in the beautiful town of Broughty Ferry, a seaside suburb of Dundee. Here you’ll find a carefully chosen selection of jewellery, handbags, scarves, gifts and cards. Meticulous sourcing and an emphasis on quality and individual style mean you’re sure to find a unique gift here for somebody special – or yourself!

Assai Records, Union Street 

Visit Assai Records for all your vinyl and music needs! It’s not only great music you’ll find here, but everything from T-shirts to turntables.

EA Studios, Broughty Ferry

Situated in the gorgeous Broughty Ferry, the Eduardo Alessandro Studios is housed in a former rustic cottage, which is now a restored art gallery. It showcases amazing local talent, emerging artists and a fabulous selection of Dundee scenes and comic art.

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For more information on a trip to Dundee check out these 7 Quirky Dundee Streets with Great Places to Stay.

Aerial shot of Aberdeen city and harbour

Aberdeen is a friendly coastal city positively brimming with history and culture, but even the biggest history-buffs should have time for a spot of retail therapy.

Rosemary Planet, Holburn Street

We’re all trying to be a little greener these days, and Rosemary Planet is the perfect place to show-off your green credentials! This ‘refillery’ in the West End of Aberdeen lets you buy great organic produce without the packaging. Bring your containers and stock up on eco-friendly, sustainable and organic products like nuts, oats, grains, pastas, pulses, rice, muesli, granolas, teas, coffees, herbs, spices and oils.

Almondine, Thistle Street

For those of you with a sweet tooth, we have just the place. Almondine specialises in French delicacies with a focus on macarons. Fresh coffee is also on the menu, and if you’re looking to gift someone the macaron experience, you can buy gift vouchers too!

The Long Dog Boutique, Claremont Street

It just wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t include a shop for your wee doggie! The Long Dog Boutique is a lovely pet shop attached to a cafe. You’ll find a wide range of foods, treats, toys and natural boredom busters.

Tolquhon Gallery, Ellon

Since 1997, this gallery has celebrated the best Scottish fine art from the picturesque town of Ellon, Aberdeenshire. Have a look at the incredible list of artists, with classic paintings, eclectic prints and sculptures for sale.

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For more information on a trip to Aberdeen check out these 7 Quirky Aberdeen Streets with Great Places to Stay.

View of Stirling castle and surrounding buidlings

Stirling is home to spectacular monuments and the surrounding landscapes will fill you with wonder. Visit these fun shops to round off your day.

Contempo, King Street

Contempo stocks unique, handcrafted gifts and homeware designed by Scottish artists and artisans. Their best-selling product? Haggis Spice Chocolate! Yummy.

House of Henderson, Friars Street

Since you’re in Stirling, Scotland’s ancient capital, perhaps it’s time to splash out on some traditional Highland dress? House of Henderson is one of Scotland’s longest established kiltmakers, and you can be assured that your Highland-wear will be crafted with care, attention to detail and to the highest quality standards. All kilts are fully hand stitched from start to finish. Worldwide shipping is provided to international customers.

Stirling Bagpipes, Broad Street

And since you’ve bought a kilt, why not top it off with a set of bagpipes? Stirling Bagpipes combines a manufacturing workshop and a retail outlet. They specialise in making hand-crafted Highland bagpipes as well as smallpipes and borderpipes. This is a great place for a browse, even if you don’t think you’ll be taking up a new musical hobby!

For more information on a trip to Stirling check out these 9 Quirky Stirling Streets with Great Places to Stay.

Interior of a bookshop with rows of books and old maps on the wall

 

There are lots of options when it comes to shopping in Inverness, including the Victorian Market and Eastgate Shopping Centre, but you won’t want to miss these indie standouts.

Leakey’s Bookshop, Church Street

An Inverness legend, Leakey’s Bookshop is the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland. Located in an old church, and heated by a gigantic wood-burning stove, Leakey’s looks like something straight out of Harry Potter. With thousands of books to choose from, your inner bibliophile will be very happy here.

Castle Gallery, Castle Street

Art and castle lovers will enjoy this one. The Castle Gallery is situated in the lee of Inverness Castle. Expect a fine selection of works from both established artists and emerging talent. You can buy paintings, handmade prints, designer jewellery, original crafts and more.

Judith Glue, Bridge Street

Visit Judith Glue in Inverness for original Orkney knitwear and other ethical clothing brands and products. Small Scottish crafters and makers are well represented here, with items from all over the Highlands and islands including Harris Tweed, Scottish soaps and Sheila Fleet jewellery.

For more information on a trip to Inverness, check out these 7 Quirky Inverness Streets with Great Places to Stay.

Image of Edinburgh looking down Princes Street at sunset

There’s nothing quite like wandering the cobbled streets of Edinburgh, where history awaits around every corner. What souvenirs will you take home?

Armchair Books, West Port

Book lovers will enjoy a trip to the West Port, just up from the Grassmarket, where there are several second-hand bookshops. Lose yourself in Armchair Books, a fascinating treasure trove of literary finds. With shelves that rise all the way up to the tall ceiling and overflowing boxes on the floor, this place has a great atmosphere.

Armstrong’s Vintage, Old Town

Armstrong & Son is one of the UK’s oldest and most loved vintage clothing stores. Whether you want a fancy coat or an 80s tracksuit, you’ll find some weird and wonderful pieces on display. With three locations in Edinburgh’s Old Town, you’ll surely find the threads you were after.

The Cat’s Miaou, Elm Row 

The Cat’s Miaou is an independent gift shop with something for everyone. Choose a Scottish gift that you won’t find on the high street, including contemporary silver jewellery, cute baby clothes, tiny ceramic animals, bamboo clothing, scarves, mugs, tote bags and so much more.

Lighthouse, West Nicolson Street

Located in Edinburgh’s city centre and long a favourite with students, Lighthouse is a radical bookshop dedicated to making the world a better place. This is a particularly good shop to pick up books about politics, environmentalism and LGBT+ issues, but you’ll find fiction, cookery books and children’s titles here as well.

Golden Hare Books, Stockbridge

Voted Independent Bookshop of the year at the British Book Awards 2019, you’ll find Golden Hare Books in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh. Find the latest fiction releases as well as old favourites.

For more information on a trip to Edinburgh, check out these 11 Quirky Edinburgh Streets with Great Places to Stay.

The unicorn beside the Abbot House, Dunfermline's oldest building which boasts a new gift shop selling local artisan products.

Dunfermline has become Scotland’s 8th city. It was awarded city status as part of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Discover this compact city and Scotland’s former ancient capital while unearthing some unique treasures along the way.

Little Shop of Heroes, The Maygate

Leave reality at the door and step into the world of this enchanting family-run comic book store located in the city’s medieval quarter. Say hello to husband-and-wife team, Alby and Louis Grainger, and delve into their fantastic offering. Whether your interest lies in comics, graphic novels or manga, a visit to the Little Shop of Heroes is sure to spark your imagination.

Art Room 59, Townhill Rd

Drop into Art Room 59 to browse a covetable selection of locally-made gift items and home accessories. From jewellery and striking artworks to ceramics, soft furnishings and more, this small gallery is an impressive showcase of Scottish craft-making and design.

Buttons and Blethers, Dickson St

Buttons and Blethers is no ordinary haberdashery. In addition to its extensive range of yarns and fabrics, this award-winning shop also provides a community where nimble-fingered people can get creative together, offering sewing classes and crafting workshops, bespoke events and tea parties.

Clarabella Christie, The Maygate

Sustainability is at the heart of Clarabella Christie’s homeware, accessories and clothing collections. In addition to utilising natural fibres, vintage fabrics and adopting a zero-waste approach, owner Claire also draws inspiration from Dunfermline’s unique architecture when designing  her graphic prints in her studio located in Dunfermline’s oldest building, Abbots House. The studio is open by appointment.

Abbot House Gift Shop, The Maygate

Dunfermline’s oldest building recently underwent a renovation and is now home to a coffee shop (due to open in July), an Escape Room, a Walled Garden and a fantastic gift shop. Here you’ll find a beautiful array of artisan products, sourced locally and across wider Scotland. Take your pick from gorgeous ceramics and home fragrances including candles and diffusers alongside wall art, clothing, toiletries, handmade chocolates and more.

Kin Apiary & Honey

Everyone knows that honey is deliciously sweet. But did you also know it’s an organic anti-oxidant rich superfood which supports the healthy functioning or our ecosystem through beekeeping? Buy a pot of honey or one of the beautiful beeswax products from the Kin Apiary Shop, and you’ll help support Scotland’s precious bee population which plays an vital role in pollination. Browse the online shop – pick-up locations are available for local customers.

Find out more on Dunfermline

It’s time to put on your explorer’s hat and go walkabout in a Scottish city. Don’t have an explorer’s hat? Maybe you can pick one up in an independent shop along the way! Find out more about city breaks in Scotland

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