Christmas 2020 is going to be different and we are asking you to #LoveGlasgowThisChristmas. Whether you know what you are getting loved ones or browsing for ideas, Glasgow's amazing online shopping scene will be sure to have that perfect something! Non-essential retailers are currently closed under Level Four of the Scottish Government's guidelines. So check out our Glasgow Christmas Gift Guide for virtual shopping to find unique gifts from independents and high street brands for placing under the Christmas tree this year.
The city centre's shopping centres with their big brands, flagship Scottish stores and specialist independents have closed all stores apart from those that are essential. Whilst we may be unable to visit these stores in person just now, the majority of them have an online presence.
Sitting proudly at the top of Buchanan Street, Buchanan Galleries is home to over 80 big brand names including one of the most Christmassy shops of all, John Lewis! It is also home to flagship stores, such as LEGO Store and Victoria's Secret; specialist retailers, which offer great gift and stocking filler options, such as Smiggle, Typo and Flying Tiger.
Scottish Design Exchange
Also housed within Buchanan Galleries is the Scottish Design Exchange, where local artists sell their products and receive 100% of the profits. Check out their online shop where buying Christmas presents for friends and loved ones means not only giving original, expertly crafted gifts which are made in Scotland, but at the same time you will be supporting their social mission. From a Glasgow Taxi board game to a David Bowie cross-stitch, there really is an amazing choice of quirky and high-quality products on offer.
St. Enoch Centre
St. Enoch Centre is known for its great family-friendly shopping experience, being home to Scotland's flagship Hamleys and the Disney Store, ideal for getting the newest and best treats for the kids, and specialist retailers, such as Swarovski.
Known for its luxury fashion stores and designer brands, Princes Square houses Radley, COS, Vivienne Westwood and Kate Spade New York, within an architectural gem of a building. Two brand new stores that have opened in the past month are menswear brand and lifestyle store, Ryan James Studio and high-end furniture and interiors company, Timothy Oulton (check out their early Black Friday offer of 40% off during November).
In the year of changes, a knock-out gift of a watch, necklace or maybe even a diamond ring may be just the right statement to bring joy to the end of 2020 for that someone special in your life. The Argyll Arcade is home to specialist jewellers, such as Rox, Laings and Fraser Hart.
We've all missed out on many experiences in 2020. Look ahead and buy the gift of an experience that can be shared and enjoyed sometime soon.
Being a tourist in your own city is a trend that is set to continue for the time being. A gift voucher for the Red Bus Bistro is ideal for someone who is enjoying rediscovering the city whilst travel restrictions are in play. See the sights of the city from the comfort of a vintage routemaster bus, whilst enjoying a scrummy afternoon tea for two. Purchase a voucher from Red Bus Bistro website and maybe you’ll be lucky as the gift-giver and be invited along for the journey too!
Mackintosh at the Willow also have their popular afternoon tea for two vouchers available as a Christmas gift. The top cultural attraction has just launched a brand new online store where you can buy vouchers and beautiful Glasgow-only gifts, such as Willow Pattern Burleigh China, which is a replica of the one used in the original tearooms in 1903.
And after all these lovely afternoon teas, the gift of an outdoor exercise activity will be a welcome one to combat the excesses of the Christmas season. 2021 seems like a good time to try something new and adventurous, so visit Pinkston Watersports website and choose from white water rafting, stand up paddleboarding, outdoor swimming and more at this fabulous facility in the north of the city.
For your music-obsessed friends and family who are missing their gigs and live music, head to the Glasgow City Music Tours website to take advantage of their special offer on a voucher for two people to attend one of their tours next year. Meanwhile, Celtic Connections is going completely online. The largest winter festival in Europe will present concerts from across the globe every night from January 15 to February 2. They will soon be launching the line-up and a festival pass - so watch this space.
Fans of the arts and dance will be delighted to receive a ballet-inspired gift from Scottish Ballet. It might not be a live experience, but every penny spent on a purchase from their online gift range, which includes calendars, cards, baubles and nutcracker dolls, will go directly towards supporting their work on stage. Another excellent Glasgow-based organisation whose work you can support through gift-giving this season is the Glasgow Women's Library. Buy their 'gift of friendship' or some of their bold feminist products, both available from their website www.glasgowwomenslibrary.org.uk (please note that their final posting date is December 9).
Glasgow's food and drink sector have faced a difficult year with many adapting to the Covid restrictions as and when they change. Treat a loved one to a foodie or drinks treat this Christmas and help support the hospitality sector at the same time.
Who doesn't like hamper? Wine bar Marchtown has launched eight themed gift hampers, including 'What a Year!', 'Delicious Decadence' and 'Not Going Anywhere', which can be ordered direct from their website and delivered anywhere within the UK. Each of the hampers include locally-made products from the likes of Boden Pale IPA, Illicit Gin, ArtChocolat, as well as a selection of fine wines. And if looking for the cheese to go with the wine, then check out George Mewes Cheese who have hampers available to order from their online shop for delivery or click and collect.
Glasgow's oldest restaurant Rogano has not yet reopened its doors to the public but you can still support this Glasgow institution by purchasing an exclusive Joseph Perrier Rogano Champagne gift set, which includes Joseph Perrier Rogano Champagne, glassware and the Rogano 75th anniversary hardback book filled to the brim with history and recipes from the archives. If you've walked by Rogano recently you'll have spotted a mural on display, which is the first in a series telling stories from Rogano over the past 75 years. Purchase a print of Ida Henrich's dinner party mural here.
Glasgow's distilling and brewing businesses, working from tenement basements all the way to prime tourist attractions, have many creative gift options. Drygate Brewery has launched a Four Seasons 16 can mixed pack, with an enticing winter brew of Hoppipolla & Peanut Butter Chocolate - have a look at their packs and vouchers on their website here.
If you've got a friend that is just crackers about gin or whisky, then Glaswegin and Glasgow Distillery's gift sets of miniatures in bespoke crackers will bring a smile to their face. Browse and buy from the Glaswegin online store and Glasgow Distillery online store. Gift sets are available from Ellis Gin also, a small-batch gin distilled in Glasgow which shimmers and changes colour when mixer is added - visit Ellis Gin's online shop to order.
Coffee lovers will enjoy some Glasgow-themed blends from Dear Green Coffee. The local roasters have created some seasonal roasts, such as their Ballroom blend, named after the legendary Barrowland Ballroom, that will make the perfect stocking filler. For speciality coffee, gifts and subscriptions visit Dear Green Coffee's website.
Writer and foodie expert Paul Trainer and The Herald newspaper have teamed up to create The Best of Glasgow City Guide and Cook Book, which includes reflections from well-known Glaswegians, neighbourhood guides and some recipes from chefs from top city establishments. Order The Best of Glasgow here.
The city's independent stores are stocked to the brim with unique gifts, many of which are made in Glasgow or Scotland. So not only are you supporting the local business owner but also local artists and creators! Here are just some of the independents that have an online store to shop from.
The west of the city is home to many boutique shops down cobbled streets where collectives of creators sell their wares, from the likes of the Hidden Lane, Ashton Lane and Cresswell Lane. Janet and John in De Courcey's Arcade is one such shop that stocks Scottish goods from tea towels to tote bags, calendars to coasters. Order from John and Janet's online store here.
In the south of the city, gift shops are abundant. Many artists own their own studio shops, whilst places like Sunshine No:1 on Cathcart Road stock an array of local artists, including Cubby Salve skincare, jewellery from Silver Sky Creations and cards from Claire Barclay Draws. Check out Sunshine No:1's new online store.
The city centre may be best known for high street and big brands, but there is no shortage of independents to be found around the Style Mile and surrounding streets. On Bath Street is the award-winning Maia Gifts, which stocks a great range of quirky and cute gifts - check out their online collection on their website.
The east of the city is one of the most creative neighbourhoods and it's here that Braw Wee Emporium is based. Check out their amazing range of products, including greeting cards, gifts and homeware, many of which have a witty Glasgow slant, on the Braw Wee Emporium online shop. As well as some fab new gift boxes, they also sell the must-have Iron Brew candle from Glasgow Soap Company in collaboration with Shearer Candles. Braw Wee also run a range of online classes, which make an ideal gift from creative chums.
In the north of the city, there is an excellent community hub and heritage centre Maryhill Burgh Halls. Visit Maryhill Burgh Hall's online store to choose from a great range of black and white prints from their 'The Way We Were' exhibition, depicting Glasgow from years gone by.
Supermarket Virtual 2020
Having run successful creative market events across the city since 2017, Super Market Events have made sure we can still support the city’s amazing independent makers and creators through this year’s virtual market. With over 150 Scottish brands participating, there are a range of product ‘rooms’ to browse and buy, from ‘kids, family and pets’ to ‘fashion’ and ‘Eco and skincare’. Head to the Supermarket Events website to begin your virtual market experience which is running until December 13.
Bungo Online Christmas Market
The Strathbungo Society in Glasgow’s south neighbourhood, is committed to championing community spirit and this year will host an online Bungo Christmas Market devoted to showcasing products from local businesses. The virtual market will take place from 10am-8pm on December 5 & 6. Keep an eye on their website for updates.
For ideas and inspiration on how to enjoy and experience the city at the moment, check out our Glasgow Now section.
Article last updated November 2020