Looking for a gift with a difference? A unique piece of art is something that a loved one can treasure forever.
That's why the art galleries and craft studios of the Scottish Borders are ideal for Christmas gift shopping. Whether you're browsing for glassware, pottery or paintings — or even local artisan jewellery — you will find eye-catching, original presents that don't have to cost the earth.
With this in mind, here are a few terrific gallery shops to visit while holidaying in the Borders...
Flat Cat Gallery, Lauder
This gallery showcases an exciting and changing range of artists, many from the Scottish Borders. Artists work in a variety of media and styles, from traditional fine art to contemporary.
Inside you will find paintings, ceramics, sculpture and jewellery, all showcasing the rich talent of the region. You can also browse for a range of quirky and eclectic gifts that are hard to find on the high street, including whimsical mini aeroplanes, carved wooden clocks and soft toys. After shopping, why not pop into the gallery café for lunch?
The Hirsel Gallery, Coldstream
Based in the grounds of a stunning stately home, this award-winning gallery and studio features over 50 local artists and makers. Inside, you will find an Aladdin's Cave of woodcraft, glassware, textiles, print and jewellery, as well as original art and sculpture. Everything is handmade and original, meaning you can surprise a loved one with a completely unique gift.
So why not treat someone special to a pretty pendant, atmospheric piece of driftwood art or beautiful glass bowl? Or maybe a luxury merino wool scarf for that stylish friend? Whatever you're searching for, you can browse a range of featured creators including Sleepy Thistle Jewellery, Wood Sorrel Weaving and landscape artist John Bray.
Kinsman-Blake Gallery, Smailholm
Based out of a barn studio in a small village near Kelso, this family gallery features ceramics, paintings, jewellery, woodwork, screen prints and sculpture. Each family member has their own speciality, for instance, Linda Kinsman-Blake has been creating art, pottery and tiles since 1979. All of the family's talents are showcased in the gift shop, where you will find everything from Celtic earrings to colourful animal cards.
After your gallery visit you could explore the historic village of Smailholm, including its fascinating peel tower perched on a rocky outcrop.
Scottish Borders Art Glass, Hawick
This glass blowing studio has been working magic with liquid sand since 1963. Visitors can shop for striking sculptures, paperweights, vases, bowls and animals, all of them showcasing impressive craftsmanship. So if you know anyone who would love a conversation piece for their home, pop in here.
You can also spruce up your own living space in time for the festive season with the studio's Christmas range, which includes beautiful tree baubles.
The Gallery Melrose, Melrose
Based in the heart of the Borders, The Gallery Melrose displays original art and quality prints, as well as sculpture, jewellery, woodcraft, glassware and bronzework. Gift choices are wide and there really is something for every taste. Take your pick from glass vases swirling with intricate colours, bronze hares that look ready to bound off into the forest and silver jewellery inspired by the landscapes around Peebles.
Featured artists include Michael Allan, Gregg Anston Race, Susan Bourne, Heather Burton and Connie Rose. And to complete your gift, the gallery also offers a bespoke picture framing service.
Planning a Borders getaway? Explore art galleries and studios by day, then relax in a hot tub by night at an Airhouses luxury lodge.
You might also like:
The Best Christmas Shopping Spots in the Scottish Borders.
Where to Go on an Autumn Shopping Spree in the Scottish Borders.
Six of the Best Restaurants in the Scottish Borders.
5 Self Catering "5 Star" Luxury Lodges each with their own Hot Tub in Scotland, close to Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders offering you peace, tranquillity and a place to escape to in the heart of beautiful Scotland.