Since souvenirs are tangible memories of a place, it helps to steer away from the status quo. Tone down the tartan tea towels and take home a true dose of Glasgow with the help of our round-up of the best unique souvenir shops in Scotland’s music city. If all else fails, take home a Glasgow Kiss!
Since Glasgow is Scotland’s resplendent music city, it seems only fair to take home a treasure by Glaswegian DJ Gordon ‘Harry’ Miller. This renowned music man is the face (and sound) behind Glasgow street style brand Forty Clothing. The exceedingly trendy signature Forty Monster logo found on all Forty wares is actually the art of his three-year-old son, Bryce. The story goes that this DJ debonair stumbled across this hypnotic monster and after showing it to a graphic design buddy, the brand was born. So, screw the tea towels and remember the music by stocking up on sleek streetwear!
Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art is a stunning art epicentre, with exhibitions including masterpieces from Scottish artists like Ken Currie and John Bellany, to other greats like David Hockney, Andy Warhol and Sebastiao Salgado. The shop is also a beauty in its own right. A prime example of the priceless Glaswegian humour, its contents include Duke of Wellington traffic cone mugs and keyrings, along with hip Tunnock’s Teacake t-shirts and prints. Just think — every time you take a sip of coffee you could be staring at this famous Glaswegian act of banter, traffic cone hat and all. Now that’s a souvenir!
With so much creativity crammed into one space, Glasgow School of Art is one of those legendary artsy places. This highly acclaimed art school is responsible for producing an insane number of Turner prize winners and famous creatives. And the proof is in the gift shop! A torrent of creative burstings, this shop boasts a range of contemporary jewellery, textiles, accessories and homeware, each of which is designed and crafted to perfection by GSA students, graduates and staff. Of course, a sea of Mackintosh-related gifts reign supreme, too. The best part is that all proceeds go back into supporting GSA.
For moments when only tartan will do, think of Tartan Plus as your Scottish fairy giftmother. This epic place sports the whole gift gamut from shortbread and novelty tees to Celtic jewellery, Highland coo memorabilia and all things tartan, all ubiquitous sights in Scotland. They even hold the key to the prettiest tartan tea towels you ever did see, because there’s no such thing as ‘toning it down’ in Scotland!
No visit to Glasgow is complete without venturing to the top of the Lighthouse, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first public commission. This former Glasgow Herald newspaper HQ is now Scotland’s Centre For Design and Architecture. There’s no better way to support Scotland’s creative industries than this gift shop, which is almost as captivating as those signature Lighthouse spiral stairs and breathtaking panoramic views. From arty books to Mackintosh everything, venture here if adamant on receiving the ‘Best Gift-er Of The Year’ award.