The big ho ho ho ho is nearly upon us & that means just one thing in Edinburgh … the Christmas Markets … hurrah. To say Edinburgh goes ga ga for a Christmas Markets is a complete understatement. I’m not talking about any random Christmas Market, I’m talking full on creative and inspiring markets that are packed with artists, designers, photographers, textile designers, sculptors, ceramic artists, mixed media artist, fashion designers, jewellers, and makers of all shapes & sizes. This is the ultimate in indie shopping.
The Christmas markets celebrate all things creativity and are the PERFECT place to grab that unexpected one of a kind gift. The gift that is like no other. The gift that is called “best gift ever” and the gift that every wants to steal. Oh yeah, it’s that good. It’s also a FAB source of inspiration.
So what’s on & when, I’m so glad you asked …
Abbeymount Studios part of Out of the Blue
Thurs 28 Nov 5-8pm … Private View Fri 29 Nov 5-8pm … Sat 30 Nov 11am-5pm
Why: A center for making, creating, and designing set in an old Victorian school. Abbeymount is home to 50 creators studios including ceramics, jewellery, screen printing and textile designers.
Where: Abbeymount Studios at 2 Easter Rd.
Don’t Miss: Late night shopping with Montrose St on Thurs 28 Nov. ; screen printer Blessed Unrest Kimono Kick cushion; colour & pattern loving Lucy Engels must have pouches, bags and quilts; Imogen Kotsoglo dramatic Iceland photo series; Olmu scandi inspired ceramic mugs, vases and plates in nude and black.
Coburg House Open Studios
Fri 29 Nov 6-9pm … Sat 30 Nov 10am-5pm … Sun 1 Dec 10am-5pm
Why: Artists will be opening their studios for a “behind a scenes” look at where the creative magic happens. Set in an old granary building in Leith, over 50 artists studios from fine art to abstract art, with ceramics and sculptors, to jewellers with a sustainability focus. There’s a cafe too.
Where: Coburg House on 15 Coburg Street
Cost: free entry
Don’t Miss: Opening night is usually a festive party. Pop in to see Christina Hirst Grain Jewellery line; KAZrobertson colourful resin jewellery; Beth Lamont contemporary ceramic necklaces; Carla Edwards terrazzo inspired speckle earrings; illustrator and designer Tea Lautala Graham vase floral illustration; and scientific illustrator Jennifer Colquhoun Neep Risoprint and Tits Up card.
Custom Lane’s Trading Post x Rogue Village
Sun 1 Dec 11am-5pm
Why: A focus on contemporary design with a bit of fashion and food thrown in. Custom Lane is one of my fave spots in town, it just oozes cool and is along the bustling waterfront in Leith. Festive food pop-up. Bonus: Scandi lifestyle shop Lifestory pop-up and luxe Kestin Hare men’s concept shop.
Where: Custom Lane at 1 Custom Wharf
Cost: £2 (under 16s go free)
Don’t Miss: Book yourself into one of the activity workshops from Lit-Fix with Golden Hare; DIY aromatherapy gifts workshop with 20A; Making with Manifesto ceramic workshop; Immersive open fire cooking workshop with Trading Post; Kids floral drop-ins or the Gratitude mini yoga retreat by Lane Yoga.
Jupiter Artland Christmas Fair
Sat 30 Nov and Sun 1 Dec 11am-4pm
Why: Perfect for families. Jupiter Artland is a gorgeous sculpture park set over 100 acres. You can find boutique craft and artisan stalls, live music, street food and delicious homemade mulled wine.
Where: Jupiter Artland, Bonnington House Steadings EH27 8BY
Cost: £9 (kids under 3 go free)
Don’t Miss: Stuff to keep the kids happy, like Santa’s Grotto, Elf workshop, Donkey rides, and a Christmas Tree yard.
Hopetoun House Christmas Shopping Fair
Fri 29 Nov … Sat 30 Nov … Sun 1 Dec 10am-4:30pm
Why: Set in one of Scotland’s finest stately homes, the elegantly grand surroundings are just as inspiring as the stalls. Also, there’s Afternoon Tea in the Carriage Room, the Stables at 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3:30pm.
Where: Hopetoun House, South QueensferryEH30 9SL
Don’t Miss: Contemporary handblown glass by Nutmeg Glass; Laura Thomas bedding and home-wares; one of my fave textile designers Mairi Helena will have a stall; festive Scandi Living homewares; plus Edinburgh Gin.
Late night shopping on St Stephen St & surrounding Streets
Thurs 5 Dec 5pm-8pm
Why: Edinburgh’s favourite independent shops for book lovers, cool kids, zen skincare, vegan clothing, home decor & interiors, vintage finds and so much more. You can shop while sipping bubbles or mulled wine and afterwards pop into local fave Smith & Gertrude for wine and cheese board or LastWord Saloon for a decadent cocktail or the endless options of delicious cosy restaurants. Bonus: The owners are raising donations for Maggies Cancer Centres.
For the Interior Lover: Catalog for contemporary interiors; Colour & pattern loving Jessica Buckley Interiors; Creative & bold Jeffrey’s Interiors; Love Crumbs for tasty treats & homewares.
For the Fashionista: Bon Tot for cool kids; Shop Treen for vegan clothing; Dicks for a curated edit of mens, womenswear and a few homewares too; and Iolla for the latest eyewear trends.
For the Bookworm: Independent book store of 2019 – Golden Hare Books
For those that need a pamper: Zen skincare and lifestyle store The Method
Late night shopping on Broughton St
Fri 6 Dec 5-8pm
Why: It’s Friday night, pop into some of Edinburgh’s iconic Independent shops. My faves include Scandi lifestyle shop of dreams Lifestory; beautiful blooms and festive wreaths at Narcissus Flowers; design led gift shop Curiouser & Curiouser.
Christmas Arts Market at Out of the Blue Drill Hall
Sat 7 Dec 11am-5pm … Sat 14 Dec 11am-5pm
Why: Set in an ex-military drill hall, this EPIC festive market brings together a whopping 150 creatives. You can find paintings, prints and photography through fashion, jewellery and textiles to ceramics, soft furnishings and design. There is literally something for everyone.
Where: Out of the Blue Drill Hall on 36 Dalmeny St.
Don’t Miss: Click HERE to see the full line up of creatives – there is a different line up for each date. Also Don’t Miss the XMAS BRUNCHEON with live music from 11.30am – 2.30pm on Sat 14 Dec
Summerhall Christmas Market
Sun 8 Dec 11-5pm
Why: Summerhall has been called one of the world’s greatest art venues and I’d have to agree. It’s with live music x theatre x art x tech hub with talks, workshops, a restaurant and bar all wrapped up in an iconic building. The Christmas Market is a fun event with 70 indie creatives & artisan gourmet food producers. A great pop-up food & bar scene in the courtyard.
Where: Summerhall at 1 Summerhall (near the Meadows)
Cost: £3 (under 16s go free)
Don’t Miss: Check out the full line up HERE and be sure to grab locally produced luxe Coco Chocolatier art bars, illustrator Susie Wright ceramic birds; Badger & Baird Twig Ring; Cinema on Sunday screening of Annecy Animation; and the Summerhall singers.
Edinburgh Palette Makers Market
Sat 7 Dec 11am-5pm
Why: Edinburgh Palette always puts on a great Makers Market with a mix artistic & beautiful handcrafted gifts. A wide selection of textiles, prints, glass, jewellery and pottery can be found.
Where: Edinburgh Palette at St Margaret’s House on 151 London Rd.
Cost: free entry
Glow Scottish Design Market at Dovecot Studios
Sat 7 Dec and Sun 8 Dec 10am-5pm
Why: With a focus on textile design, this highly curated market is where you can find the best in contemporary textiles including knitting and printing, to embroidery and macrame. Next door grab the tastiest of meals at The Pantry.
Where: Dovecot Studios on 10 Infirmary St
So, that’s my round up of the BEST of the BEST creative Christmas Markets in Edinburgh. If you were ever looking for an excuse to visit Edinburgh, this is it. I hope you are able to hit up a few of the festive markets and support some of our amazing local designers and indie shops. If you see me, please say Hi!