Eight of the best Edinburgh shops for quality gifts and souvenirs

Kash Bhattacharya
05 March 2013

Step away from the Highland cow keyrings and drop that itchy tartan scarf. Blogger and former Edinburgh resident Kash Bhattacharya tracks down the best shops to pick up quality Scottish souvenirs

1. Fudge Kitchen
For those looking for locally made fudge (traditionally known as tablet) this is heaven. Situated on Royal Mile, you can purchase an excellent range of flavours — classic chocolate, banoffee bonanza or even rum'n'raisin — from these fudge makers, who use fresh whipping cream in their traditional recipe for a more decadent taste. Shoppers can observe demonstrations of the fudge making process in the shop on two giant marble tables.
30 High St, Old Town (+44(0)130 386 4400;

2. Geoffrey tailor, kiltmaker and weaver
Geoffrey on the Royal Mile is one of the last and only traditional tartan producers in Scotland. Geoffrey Nicholsby and his wife Lorna use traditional tartan cloth for their kilts and can even custom weave bespoke tartans for their customers. For those curious about the trade, they also run the Tartan Weaving Mill and Exhibition next to Edinburgh Castle.
The Edinburgh Old Town Weaving Co, 555 Castlehill (+44 (0)131 557 0256;

3. Shortbread House of Edinburgh
Shortbread is a wonderful and uniquely Scottish gift. It has a crumbly texture and melts in your mouth thanks to its very rich butter content. Family run bakery Shortbread House is an Edinburgh institution, supplying shortbread to department stores like Fortnum & Mason, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols. They've gone exotic with additions from macadamia nuts to ginger, but the original recipe is a real taste of Edinburgh.
25 Tennant Street (+44 (0)131 555 5212;

4. Gift Shop at the Scotch Whisky Experience
Whisky (or uisge beatha in Scots Gaelic) translates into the 'water of life' and is the national drink of Scotland. The country's world-renowned distilleries attract millions of visitors every year. The interactive gift shop at the Scotch Whisky Experience gives enthusiasts the opportunity to discover over 330 Scotch whiskies and liqueurs and many other gifts.
354 Castlehill, Royal Mile (+44 (0)131 220 0441;

5. Ness Scotland
On the hunt for some stylish knitwear? Look no further than Ness on the Royal Mile. Owner Vanessa has two shops filled with woollen goods, skirts, T-shirts and whimsical accessories, scoured from areas around the country from the Orkney Islands to the Borders. You'll find hand-loomed cardigans and Harris Tweed amid much more. Kitsch tartan prints play a big part in Ness' collection, adorning earmuffs, toys and purses.
336-340 Lawnmarket (+44 (0)131 225 8155;

6. Marchbrae Traditional Highlandwear
If you have Scottish roots then a clan crest is a unique local memento. Situated in the centre of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Marchbrae is the perfect place to get a plaque of your clan crest or coat of arms. They also stock a wonderful range of tartan and tweed throws and rugs as well as luxurious cashmere. If you're not splashing out on traditional garb, their gift range of Pringle socks and Celtic jewellery is worth a look.
375 High St, Old Town (+44 (0)131 225 8023;

7. Clarksons
If you're looking for local, handcrafted jewellery, drop into Clarksons on 87 Bow Street within the Grassmarket. The shop specialises in contemporary designs but also creates traditional Celtic styles for its collections. 95% of the jewellery they sell is made in their own workshop above the store. Michael Clarkson, a graduate from Glasgow School of Art, leads the small team of craftsmen, most of whom have been trained in-house.
87 West Bow Street, Old Town (+44 (0)131 225 8141);

8. Peckham's deli
Haggis is Scotland's national dish and the centrepiece of the Burns Night supper (the celebration of Scotland's national poet Robert Burns's birthday), where it is consumed with great gusto and ceremony. Macsween Haggis Co, 'guardian of Scotland's national dish' since 1953, is a good place to start. You can pick up a Macsween haggis and other quality local Scottish produce at family owned Scottish deli Peckham's. Make a beeline for its gift boxes for a good selection.
49 South Clerk Street (+44 (0)131 668 3737;