Still searching for that perfect Christmas gift? Then take a look at these gift ideas that are all hand made in Argyll by people who are passionate about their products. Across the region this vibrant community of makers and crafters is producing everything from chocolates to jewellery, candles to small batch gin. This Christmas avoid the crowds and find something unique in Argyll. Most of the Argyll makers featured in the map also sell their products online. And you still have time to order them before Christmas!
The Oban Chocolate Company shop on Oban’s Esplanade is a chocaholic’s dream. Step into a chocolatey world to view (and try!) a range of delicious chocolates all completely handmade in a little factory in Oban. There are some great seasonal chocolates to choose from including chocolate baubles for your Christmas tree and chocolate-filled crackers. You could also try Tobermory Chocolates, Caramiche Chocolaterie and CocoaMo.
Carry Farm Textiles
Fiona McPhail at Carry Farm produces knitted textiles using yarn from her Hebridean sheep. She creates a variety of beautiful objects from cushions and tea cosies to foot stools, bags and even a knitted bucket! Her sister Karen makes fabulous, functional pottery too. Carry Farm is a stunning location on Argyll’s Secret Coast. You can take a walk on the beach and meet the Hebridean flock of sheep.
Kintyre Gin is made by the at Beinn an Tuirc Distillery, based in a former piggery building on Torrisdale Castle Estate in Kintyre. It’s here that the Macalister Hall family make Kintyre Gin. Their copper still is powered by a hydro-electric generator, fed by spring water from the hill. The gin is made with 12 botanicals, which are all sustainably sourced. There are lots of other small batch gins made in Argyll including Bruichladdich’s The Botanist, Colonsay Gin, Wild Island Gin, Lussa Gin, Tyree Gin and Whitetail Gin.
Each piece of Persabus Pottery has an original design and is painted, glazed and fired at Persabus Farm on the beautiful island of Islay. The designs capture the essence of island living. Ranges include Saligo, which is inspired by the Atlantic coastline and wild beaches of Islay, and Purple Heather, which evokes Islay’s heather clad hills. There’s a great café at the pottery where you can enjoy lovely baking and views of the Paps of Jura and the Sound of Islay.
Fyne Ales Brewery sits in Glen Fyne at the head of Loch Fyne on the Cowal peninsula. The team produce a range of modern British beers, including Avalanche and Highlander, as well as Origins Brewing beers, which are small-batch, experimental brews showcasing mixed fermentation, oak-aging and locally-foraged ingredients. The Fyne Ales Brewery is a great place to visit. There's a shop where you can buy the full range of bottled ales and mini casks.
Lucy Jane Walsh
Lucy produces handmade silver jewellery inspired by the intricate natural forms and ancient ritual marks found on the beautiful Craignish Peninsula in Argyll. She is forever foraging in the woods and coastline to find the perfect piece of seaweed or driftwood to work with.
Candles make the perfect Christmas gift. Visit the Zing Organics workshop in Tarbert, Loch Fyne to discover eco perfumes, candles and room mists made entirely with organic and natural materials. You might also like Bute Candles.
Chrystal’s Shortbread is a small independent bakery based near Loch Lomond in Argyll. Run by husband and wife Chrystal and Rory Mackinlay, they make the most delicious, buttery shortbread. The recipe was passed down through generations Chrystal’s family and remains the same today.
For a unique gift, you can’t beat Isle of Colonsay Wildflower Honey. Colonsay is one of the last places in Europe where the Native Black Bee can be found; it is now protected with reserve status by the Scottish Government to prevent cross-breeding. The honey itself has a wonderful aroma with a unique flavour, reflecting the island’s flora.
The Luss Smokehouse and Shop sits at the heart of the village of Luss. Here the team kiln smokes and sells delicious salmon and trout, as well as a range of other local goodies. They also make up Christmas hampers, which you can order online. The Luss Smokehouse Christmas Gift Box range offers a selection of beech smoked produce, paired with a tasty array of other Scottish preserves and oatcakes.
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