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7 of the best Scottish Christmas gifts

From your favourite brands’ Black Friday deals to family-run businesses you might not know about yet, here are some of the best present ideas for any Scottish fans you know

1. Go gin-tastic with Edinburgh’s Pickering’s Gin

Until midnight on 2 December, you can make big savings with up to 33% off Edinburgh’s Pickering’s Gins, whether you’re looking for a gift or want to inject some Christmas cheer into your home. Deals include £8 off a litre of the distillery’s best-selling Pickering’s Gin and 1947 Gin and 20% off its popular festively-flavoured Gin Baubles. Plus, if your gift recipient is local, Pickering’s will even arrange for a wrapped gift to be sent straight to their door.

Pickering’s deserves your support this Christmas: during the early stages of the pandemic, it pivoted operations to make hand sanitizer that it distributed to frontline services at cost.

2. Book now, stay later at Thirlestane Castle

Though for many of us, travel to Scotland is out of the question right now, it’s still a good opportunity to support some of your favourite hotels and restaurants and give your special someone a lovely surprise at the same time.

At Thirlestane Castle, a grand 16th-century historic house in the bucolic Scottish Borders, you can choose from a choice of gift experiences, including a private guided tour for two with afternoon tea for just £75, or a luxury two-night stay for two in one of the apartments in the castle’s South Wing, complete with a bottle of fizz and a luxury breakfast hamper (£450). Vouchers are valid for 18 months, giving your loved one plenty of time to redeem them.

3. Give back to the National Trust

With its conservation of coastal walkways, thick woodlands and well-manicured parklands, the National Trust for Scotland has given so much to Scottish residents and domestic travellers this year, so it’s only right we show them our appreciation. Even if you weren’t able to visit Scotland this year, the chances are that on your next trip you’ll visit a stately home, ancient castle or natural landscape that simply wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the tireless work of the charity.

As well as supporting Scotland’s craftspeople and makers, buying one of these National Trust gifts will give vital income to the National Trust, which will enable it to continue its important work. Perhaps the lambswool mittens, berets or scarves from Green Grove Weavers, or sporran bags from Barrhead Leather, will take your fancy?

4. Have a dram of Jura

The isle of Jura’s eponymous distillery is the pride of the 212 or so residents on the tiny west coast island off the coast of Islay, and its expressions are perfectly warming for this time of year.

Its latest whisky, the Winter Edition, explores the world of the rich sherry cask finish and is a full-bodied and indulgent single malt, ideal for a dram by the fireside. You can buy a cask for £45.

There are also gift sets available of both the Jura 12-year-old (£41) and our editor’s personal favourite, the Jura 10-year-old (£45), both of which come with a pair of exclusive Jura glasses.

5. Sample something soft

If you don’t drink alcohol but would still like to celebrate the festive season with a special drink in hand, then try Feragaia, a complex distilled alcohol-free spirit that brings together 14 land and sea botanicals.

Using age-old distilling techniques in the far reaches of the Scottish Lowlands and with a name meaning ‘Wild Earth’ in Latin and Greek, it’s a drink inspired by windswept coastlines, open country and creative minds.

To make the drink, natural flavours are extracted and captured through multiple distillation runs over two months. The distillates are then hand-blended and cut with pure Scottish water. The resulting drink is low in sugar, gluten-free, vegan and low in calories.

6. Subscribe to Scotland magazine

What could make a better Christmas gift than sending your friends or family a subscription to their favourite magazine? Our Black Friday deal offers a year’s subscription to Scotland magazine for just £17.95 (a saving of 40% off the cover price) for UK-based subscribers and £24.95 for US-based readers. There’s also a gift option too, so you can cut out the middleman.

Just think, the next issue, packed with inspiring features on everything from stately homes to historic routes to the best cultural experiences in modern Scotland, could arrive on their doormat in time for them to start planning their 2021 trip.

7. Bee natural

The Scottish Bee Company’s signature gift pack (£19.95) contains a ‘Trio of Scottish honeys’ from the Edinburgh-based family-run business. The three 227g jars of honey, include the award-winning Scottish Heather Honey (the first food ever to receive the new British Standards Institution (BSI) Kitemark™ for Food Assurance), the Signature Blend Honey and the Scottish Blossom Honey. They ship within the UK and to the US.

And, if you’re looking for a feel-good factor, since launching the Scottish Bee Company in 2017, owners Iain and Suzie Millar have increased bee numbers in the world by around 23 million and started Scotland’s first bee farming apprenticeship, which will ensure these vital skills are passed on to future generations.

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Published six times a year, every issue of Scotland showcases its stunning landscapes and natural  beauty, and delves deep into Scottish history. From mysterious clans and famous Scots (both past and present), to the hidden histories of the country’s greatest castles and houses, Scotland‘s pages brim with the soul and secrets of the country.
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