The Essential Shopping Guide to Inverness, Scotland

Tartan | © Phil Richards/Flickr
Tartan | © Phil Richards/Flickr
Photo of Alexander Crow
13 March 2017

Inverness is only a small city, with fewer than 60,000 residents, but as it is central to a much wider geographical area there are far more shops than you might expect. Add to this the fact it draws in visitors from across the globe, and the options for shopping are surprisingly good, with something for everyone, all within a short walking distance.

The Victorian Market

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Victorian Market Entrance
Victorian Market Entrance | © Tom Bastin/Flickr
Built in 1890, this indoor market is not only an attractive piece of Victorian architecture, it is also full of unique and individual small shops. The main entrance is through three stone arches on Academy Street, but you can access the market on each side. This is definitely worth a visit, even if you are not intent on shopping, and especially if it is raining! Look out for the coats of arms above the original Victorian clock and the ornate iron and wooden domed roof.

Eastgate Shopping Centre

The main mall in Inverness, Eastgate is centrally located and full of options for shopping. There are over 50 different shops and 13 different places to eat, all under one roof. For those who are driving, there are also two large carparks.

Eastgate Shopping Centre, Inverness +44 1463 226457

Inverness High Street

This is a pedestrianised street, which links many of the other shopping areas of Inverness, including the Eastgate Centre. Here you can find international or national chain stores, but there are also a healthy number of Scottish shops and small independent businesses. The High Street is a good place to start exploring the shops of Inverness, with several other shopping streets leading off it.

High Street, Inverness

Inverness in the snow was wonderful. Frigid as hell, sure. But still very enjoyable.

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Duncan Chisholm and Sons

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Kilts and Sporrans
Kilts and Sporrans | © Stuart Grout/Flickr
If you are looking for traditional Highland wear, whether tartan, tweed, kilts, sporrans or dirks, this is an excellent place to visit. A traditional, Inverness-based, bespoke kiltmaker, this shop also offers kilt hire, should you be visiting the city for a wedding, or just fancy wearing Highland dress during your visit!

Judith Glue

Shop, Store
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This is a great place to pick up Orkney knitwear, handmade clothing, bags, prints, and jewellery from across the Highlands and Islands. There is an excellent range to choose from, with Scottish food products also on offer, along with free food tastings. Originally solely an Orkney shop, this store was opened in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength.

Piggy in the Middle

Shop, Store
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Red Coat, Piggy in the Middle
Red Coat, Piggy in the Middle | © Piggy In The Middle/Facebook
A boutique children’s shop with a wonderful consignment ethos. This is the place to visit if you are looking for a wide range of affordable goods, from clothing to toys and baby equipment. The idea of being able to resell top quality items in a retail shop environment is excellent, and helps with recycling and reusing things that otherwise would just take up space in a cupboard. Definitely worth a visit if you have children, or want to buy gifts for someone who does.

Castle Gallery

This is a beautiful gallery, spread over two floors, with varied art available at different price points. The original and unique art displayed here is regularly refreshed and updated, with items including paintings, screen prints, sculpture, hand-crafted jewellery and more. This is an ideal location to purchase a gift or to find a work of art that you can take home as a memento as your visit, and something different from the usual souvenirs available.

Castle Gallery, Castle Street, Inverness, +44 1463 729512

Food Shopping

The different foods available in Inverness can surprise the visitor, and even a few locals, who may be more used to doing their weekly grocery shop in one of the larger supermarkets. If you are after gluten free food, then locally produced and award-winning Angelic Gluten Free products are sold at Holland and Barrett in the Eastgate Centre. In the Victorian market, visitors can buy foods from across Asia at Saffron Oriental Food, or walk a little further up Church Street to Victory Global Food where, as the name suggests, you can buy a surprisingly large range of speciality foods from around the world. With many traditional butchers, bakers, fishmongers, grocers and more, there really isn’t room in this guide to include all the delicious treats you can buy in the city, from Arbroath Smokies to haggis, or tablet to Scotch pies.

Haggis, Chieftain o’ the Pudding Race | © Chris Brown/Flickr

Leakey’s Second Hand Bookshop

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Leakey's Bookshop
Leakey's Bookshop | © Nick/Flickr
No guide to shopping in Inverness would be complete without mentioning Leakey’s. This is an Inverness legend, and the second largest secondhand bookshop in Scotland. Located in an old church, and heated by a large wood-burning stove, Leakey’s contains thousands and thousands of different books. No matter what your interests, there will be something to appeal here and, for the bibliophile, it is likely you may spend hours perusing the shelves. Just remember to arrive in the city with extra luggage space!

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