Scotland’s capital is well known for its warm hospitality and fairytale architecture, but luxury shopping in Edinburgh is also to be revered. One reason is Scotland’s reputation for quality products, from loom-woven tweed to traditional fudge and whiskies distilled over decades. But this city is also physically a delight to shop, with secret-feeling passages and arcades branching off cobbled, sloping streets.
Of course, any modern European city now has the chain boutiques and typical designer labels you’ll find everywhere. This means, for a quality Edinburgh gift or souvenir you have to know where to go. Whether you’re after quality scarfs and sweaters or a local delicacy to give to friends, visit these seven fabulous shopping spots before you leave.
For travel inspiration: Scotland destination guide
Johnstons of Elgin, Multrees Walk
Multrees Walk is Edinburgh’s luxury boutique enclave, where the cashmere and fabrics specialist Johnstons of Elgin nestles alongside Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Max Mara. The textiles company has had a store in Hawick, Scotland since 1797 and created its first tweed in 1846; this ultra-modern two-floor boutique sells menswear, womenswear and accessories, all made in Scotland. From buttery soft cashmere scarves (perfect for the flight home) to Fairisle knitted sweaters and timeless plaid coats, Johnstons has all of the cozy garb you’re craving.
Strathberry, Multrees Walk
A leader in handcrafted leather goods, Scottish label Strathberry is the place to snap up a smart tote bag or sophisticated leather wallet. An staple of luxury shopping in Edinburgh, it was founded in 2013 by husband and wife duo Leeanne and Guy Hundleby. The brand is Edinburgh born and raised but inspired by leather artisans in southern Spain, where the couple once lived. Each item is handcrafted in Spain but rooted in the Scottish luxury scene; head to the company’s glossy Multrees Walk boutique to peruse the softly illuminated displays of bags in pine-needle greens, toffee browns and oxblood reds. There are also three branches in London.
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Hamilton & Inches, George Street
Iconic jeweler Hamilton & Inches has had a headquarters in Edinburgh since 1866, with a history as watchmakers to the British royal family as well as high-end jewelry design and expert stone setting. This company’s showroom, all marble pillars and ornate ceiling mouldings is set across five storeys of a Georgian townhouse, looking more like a luxury bank than a jewerly store. This is where the city’s great and good come to get their engagement rings and milestone-marking watches.
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TBCO (The Tartan Blanket Co), Great Junction Street
Situated in the delightful waterfront suburb of Leith, this fabulous woolen goods specialist sells snuggly sofa throws, cushion covers, pajamas, picnic blankets and even Christmas stockings. Its modern collections and fresh colourways are a great example of how Scottish artisan brands can adapt to a modern interiors landscape: many collections are curated with tablescaping or Instagram-worthy picnics in mind, while gift boxes of monogrammed scarves, socks and scrunchies packed with mugs and candles are thoughtfully curated. TBCO is also big on sustainability: look out for the recycled wool blankets for an earth-friendly choice.
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The Fudge House, Canongate
Luxury shopping in Edinburgh isn’t just have to be about wearable goods. For an edible souvenir, you can’t beat fudge – also known as “tablet” in Scotland. This crumbly snack made with milk, butter and condensed milk is mentioned in Scottish records as early as the 17th century, and the most decadent place to shop for it is this third-generation family business dating back to 1949. Based on the iconic Royal Mile, the Fudge House’s team hand-makes small batches of the brown stuff in flavours as diverse as spiced ginger, maple walnut and lemon meringue pie. But purists will want to snap up boxes of the classic Highland Cream style.
Walker Slater, Victoria Street
For elegant menswear that harks back to the past, visit this tailoring and tweed specialist on Victoria Street. The Walker Slater brand originated in the Highlands before opening shops in Glasgow and Edinburgh. At this flagship store, a highlight of luxury shopping in Edinburgh, signature jackets and waistcoats come in flattering cashmere, tweed and lambswool styles. Alongside you will also find more casual cable knits and cotton herringbone shirts. A made-to-measure service ensures you get the perfect fit; and there’s a Walker Slater womenswear boutique at number 46 on the same street.
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Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop, Canongate
Tucked into Edinburgh’s labyrinthine old town you will find Scotland’s oldest independent bottler, Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop. This store may look modest in size, but it’s known for a personalized service style that luxury shoppers will love. What the team behind this emerald-green facade doesn’t know about whisky isn’t worth knowing; kindly attendants can help you select rare bottles or give you tasters to try. There’s an olde-worlde charm to the boutique, decorated with dusty bottles, portions of whisky barrel and handwritten labels; be sure to check out the mysterious “cage” of rare and small-batch whiskies.