Don’t miss these specialist shops on your visit to Scotland’s capital
Shopping with help from true experts in their field is certainly one of life’s luxuries, so our luxury city guide wouldn’t be complete without a list of our favourite specialist shops in Edinburgh. Whether strolling down wide New Town boulevards or exploring Old Town closes, don’t miss these iconic specialist stores.
Hamilton & Inches Jewellers
If you’re the sort of jewellery buyer that wants something totally unique, and (to be frank) your budget meets your aspirations, Hamilton & Inches is the New Town jewellery store of your dreams. Stocking a wide range of table and drink ware as well as jewellery and gifts over three floors of its magnificent Edwardian store, Hamilton & Inches also has its own workshop on site. The handcrafted silver on show is a true wonder to behold, and Her Majesty obviously agrees – the jewellers holds a Royal warrant for its silversmith work. Specialist shops in Edinburgh don’t come with a more impressive pedigree than this.
Website: Hamilton & Inches
The Scotch Whisky Shop at The Scotch Whisky Experience
Our list of specialist shops in Edinburgh wouldn’t have been complete without at least one whisky shop, and this is one of the best. At the top of the Royal Mile stands The Scotch Whisky Experience, which is often (unfairly as we found out), dismissed as a tourist trap. Owned by the Scotch Whisky industry, the attraction features a large shop on two levels, boasting nearly 500 different bottlings of Scotland’s national drink. The team here are ‘immersed’ in Scotch whisky from the minute they start on the job, so if you can’t find your perfect Scotch here, you’ll struggle to find it anywhere in Edinburgh.
Website: The Scotch Whisky Experience Shop
Ian Mellis Cheesemongers
I J Mellis Cheesemongers is a shop that can be smelled before it can be seen – in the very best way. Setting out to provide consumers and trade customers with high quality cheese back in 1993, Ian Mellis set up the small cave-like shop halfway up Victoria Street in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Success, and several other stores in Edinburgh and elsewhere followed, but the Victoria Street store is undoubtedly the most picturesque, and is a magnet for cheese lovers.
Website: I J Mellis Cheesemongers
21st Century Kilts
A variety of specialist shops in Edinburgh can kit you out in Highland regalia, but on Edinburgh’s Thistle Street lies the studio of the man (Howie Nicholsby) who has kilted Robbie Williams, Vin Diesel, Lenny Kravitz, and Richard Branson. 21st Century Kilts aim to make the kilt ‘a realistic alternative to trousers’. Whether this is achievable is up for debate but they will certainly turn out a bespoke cutting-edge kilt that will make you look seriously cool, and their creations are for the girls as well as the guys.
Website: 21st Century Kilts
Cranachan & Crowdie Scottish Food Specialists
Fiona and Beth at Cranachan and Crowdie stock a bewildering range of all those quintessentially Scottish food and drink items you need to stock up on when you come to Scotland. Aside from the aforementioned Cranachan (a delicious oaty dessert confection) and Crowdie (cheese rolled in pepper and pinhead oats), there are award winning chocolates, traditional and whisky tablet (like a crumbly fudge) and even Scottish dog treats.
Website: Cranachan and Crowdie
Established in 1957, McNaughtan’s is the oldest second-hand bookshop in Scotland. Buying and selling rare, collectable, and second-hand books of all kinds, it also has a gallery space hosting regular exhibitions by artists from the local area. As the only open shop in Edinburgh to be a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, the oldest trade body in the antiquarian book world, this is the right place to seek that elusive antique volume, and if it isn’t here, they probably have a good idea where to find it.
Website: Mcnaughton’s Bookshop