The Outer Hebrides gift guide: 15 ideas for unique presents to help support small businesses

From little treats to one-of-a-kind luxuries, each one of these gift ideas supports a small business in the Western Isles.

Times are tough for small businesses everywhere. And, on top of rising costs, businesses in the Western Isles are facing a long winter with less business than in the summer months.

Luckily, with the holidays approaching, there’s plenty of opportunities to support island businesses.

Here’s just a few gift ideas for treating your loved ones to some Hebridean magic – or for a Christmas present to yourself.

£2o and under

Island-based bobbles from Hebridean Woolly Hats(£19.95)

A multicoloured bobble hat.
The ‘Harris’ hat from Hebridean Woolly Hats.

Hebridean Woolly Hats offers a design for every island, so whether you’re repping Eigg or Harris, you can be cosy (and fashionable) while you do it.

With a thermal band for extra protection against the cold, these bobble hats also come in a range of children’s sizes – perfect for a Christmas day walk.

Barra Botanical ‘Machair Scents’ candle (£9.50)

Celebrate one of the Outer Hebrides’ most unique landscapes with this soy scented candle that’s perfect for a cosy winter night in.

Available through Buth Barraigh, Barra’s community shop and refillery.

Hebridean Charcuterie salami set (£14.50)

For the foodie who’s tried everything, this pair of salami offers a peppery taste of island life.

The ‘Wild & Free’ salami combines vension, goose, and pork, while the ‘East to West’ pairs pork with mutton in a tribute to the crofters of the Western Isles.

LOOM’s Gaelic alphabet print (£20)

A colorful, geometric poster showing a Gaelic picture alphabet.
LOOM’s design for a Gaelic alphabet. Photo supplied by: Pearse O’Halloran.

Help a little one get a head start in their Gaelic with this stylish print from Stornoway-based graphic design studio LOOM.

For the grown-ups, the shop also sells a range of prints, T-shirts, and tea towels that give a fresh take on classic Hebridean imagery.

A West Beach jigsaw from Coralbox (£20)

Bring Berneray’s stunning West Beach to your coffee table with this 1,000-piece puzzle, made from a picture by local photographer Eilidh Carr.

For animal-lovers, Coralbox’s adorable otter jigsaw is another favourite.

Under £50

A bottle of Downpour gin (£42)

North Uist Distillery's award-winning Downpour gin.
North Uist Distillery’s award-winning Downpour gin. Image: North Uist Distillery

All of the gin that North Uist distillery makes is delicious, but special mention goes to their sloe and bramble gin, which tastes of pure Christmas.

Try serving over ice with ginger beer for the ultimate festive drink. (This comes rigorously tested.)

Balivanich water tower T-shirt from Culla (£22)

This tongue-in-cheek T-shirt celebrates one of Uist’s lesser-known landmarks: the water tower than stands above Balivanich.

It might seem a little unusual, but this is the shirt to buy for someone who wants to show off their love for the Western Isles with something truly different.

Sollas Bookbinding’s DIY kit (£32)

A kit full of bookbinding supplies.
A coptic book kit from Sollas Bookbinding.

If you know a bookworm who’s read everything, why not help them make their own book?

This coptic kit comes with everything you need to make a journal — or, if you fancy one ready-made, Sollas Bookbinding stocks them in a huge variety of styles and colours.

Sugar kelp aromatic water from Isle of Harris Distillery (£25)

One for the mixologists. A shot of this aromatic water is sure to give any gin and tonic a unique island flavour.

It pairs perfectly with Isle of Harris Distillery’s house gin, of course, but you’ll be forgiven for using it liven up what you found in the back of the cupboard.

IsleKnit ‘Stormy Seas’ cowl kit (£38)

Treat the crafter in your life to a Hebridean project for the long winter nights with this kit from Uist-based IsleKnit.

The finished cowl features a design inspired by the Western Isles’ seascapes — and will keep you warm even in the stormiest weather.

Under £100

Shoreline Stoneware’s ‘Hebridean Rock Pool’ bowls (£75)

Asymmetric ceramic bowls with a 'pool' of turquoise sea glass in the middle.
Handmade ‘Hebridean Rock Pool’ bowls from Shoreline Stoneware.

No two of these handmade bowls from Uist-based maker Shoreline Stoneware are exactly alike.

With a shining ‘pool’ made from found sea-glass, they make a stunning statement piece for any room.

Harris Tweed Isle of Harris’ well-dressed bears (£58)

What’s cuter than a teddy bear? A teddy bear wearing a genuine Harris Tweed jacket, of course.

Sporting tweed handwoven by islanders, this is the perfect gift for a cherished young one — or one who’s young at heart.

Gneiss Things’ ‘Gneiss cubes’ (£60)

A set of uniquely-marbled polished stone cubes.
Whisky stones from Gneiss Things.

Pop these stone cubes in the freezer for an elegant alternative to ice that won’t melt in your drink.

Hewn out of the Hebridean landscape, they would make the perfect gift for a whisky connoisseur who isn’t looking for yet another bottle.

A hamper from the Hebridean Smokehouse (£79)

This luxurious hamper makes for a true holiday feast for anyone in love with Outer Hebrides’ peat-smoked salmon.

It includes three kinds of salmon, two salmon pâtés, as well as their speciality smoked scallops — as well as some oatcakes to help you get through it all.

A one-of-a-kind Harris Tweed bag from Dancing Flower Crafts (£85)

A close-up of puffins embroidered onto Harris Tweed.
One of Dancing Flower Craft’s one-of-a-kind bags.

Embroidered with designs depicting the landscape and nature of the Western Isles, these bags are true fashion statements.

If you’re looking for something a little simpler, Dancing Flower Crafts also offers plenty of unembroidered Harris Tweed goods.

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