With Christmas fast approaching, why not beat the crowds and visit one or two of these lesser known festive shops?
House of Farnell
(Farnell School, Farnell, Brechin DD9 6UH)
Opened in 2000, the House of Farnell occupies a former school building in Brechin (not far from Dundee) and offers guests a chance to buy Danish and Scandinavian decorations and homeware products.
Despite changing hands from its original owner, the shop is still dedicated to sourcing and selling unique products such as a funny looking ‘nisse’ (Christmas elves).
Perfect as a day out for all things Christmas, House of Farnell is has a quaint cafe that sells homemade soups, Rosetta’s (Danish filled rolls) and a selection of Danish pastries.
The Christmas Dove
(1 Main St W, Inveraray PA32 8TU)
Tucked inside a small cottage in Inveraray, The Christmas Dove brings festive cheer all year round. Opened in 2010, this family run shop sells all things Christmas from decorations to toys and cards.
There’s reduced hours in winter, so best check it’s open before you travel.
Nutcracker Christmas Shop
(Muthill Road, Crieff, Perthshire PF7 4HQ)
Well and truly step into Christmas by visiting this charming, traditional shop in Crieff. As well as stocking wooden German nutcrackers from Steinbach and Ulbricht, there’s also a huge selection of decorations including wooden nativity figures.
Crieff is also home to The Nutcracker Christmas Village, which is themed around an old fashioned German market. At the heart is a huge Christmas tree, around which a selection of stalls sell Christmas gifts.
Loch Leven’s Larder
(Channel Farm, Kinross KY13 9HD)
This award-winning farm shop is situated nearby the beautiful Loch Leven and only a five minute drive from the village of Kinross. The Larder is best known for its spacious cafe, which serves up a selection of homemade dishes from soups to heartier meals, as well as sweet treats.
There’s also a large shop, which sells a variety of Christmas gifts, kids toys and cloths, cards and homewares (their range of of Sia homewares and scented candles is excellent).
Pick up a takeaway scone, or food-related gifts from the deli, which also stocks a selection of craft beers and Scottish spirits.
Next month, Loch Leven’s Larder will host a range of festive events, from late night shopping (on the 20th-22nd December) to a Christmas food market, on the 2-3rd December.
New Hopetoun Gardens
(Newton, Broxburn EH52 6QZ )
Although mainly a garden centre, New Hopetoun Gardens also has a well-stocked gift shop, which comes into its own at Christmas time.
Selling everything from homewears to decorations and cards, the shop is decorated in various seasonal themes to help visitors feel festive. There’s also a lovely Orangery Tearoom to enjoy lunch in after a shopping spree.
The garden centre plays host to a Christmas ‘Tea and Talk’, which takes place on Thursday 7th December this year, from 10am. Owners Dougal and Lesley will demonstrate many suggestions for decorating your home and garden this Christmas. Tickets include a cup of tea or coffee and shortbread.