Lynne Clark, our resident writer, blogger and curator at Country Ways and Charles Michies, set out on a mission to discover what was on offer from some of Aberdeen's local, independent and national stores.

Here's just a few of them within the city and beyond, but there are many, many more for you to discover. Enjoy the tour!

Union Street
The Belmont Quarter
The West-End
Shopping Centres
The Shire

Union Street

Approximately one mile long, Union Street, or the Granite Mile as it is known locally, is a major shopping thoroughfare in the city, with direct access to the Bon Accord, St. Nicholas and Trinity Centres

Union Street East End

Image: Union Street East End. Just one of the many stunning buildings along the 'Granite Mile' (R.Michie)

Boasting a range of high street favourites such as Primark, Sports Direct, WHSmith, Beaverbrooks, Lakeland, and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, it is also peppered with local businesses rooted in the community, such as Aberdeen Vinyl Records and Aberdeen Souvenir Gift Shop.

A short walk down some steps on to Correction Wynd and you can find Red Robin Records Vinyl Cafe, a place to shop all things vinyl, as well as unique and quirky hoodies and t-shirts – all while enjoying a great coffee.

Red Robin Records

Image: Red Robin Records (Press & Journal)

Further up the street you can find independent menswear retailer Attic Clothing, with a mix of cutting-edge brands and new up and coming designers. Annie Mo’s, self-described ‘proudly offbeat’ independent homeware shop is also a must visit, where you can find everything from books to baskets, candles to clocks, figurines to foot stools, soap to sideboards – and everything in between! A veritable treasure trove of quirky craftsmanship meets timeless elegance. Perfect for treating yourself or finding a unique and special gift for someone.  

Annie Mos

Image: Annie Mos - Furniture, Homeware & Gifts on Union Street (

Moving towards central Union Street, with imposing granite listed buildings and Renaissance inspired architecture, it is perhaps no wonder that independent and family owned and run jewellers Jamieson & Carry have made their home in the heart of the city since 1733. Most recently their commitment to luxury retail has led to the opening of the city’s first TAG Heuer Boutique, directly opposite their main premises.

Jamieson & Carry, Tag
Image: Jamieson & Carrie on Union Street and Tag at the corner of Bemont Street (

The West End of Union Street boats a selection of high-end retailers of independent menswear, designer footwear and accessories. Luxury retailers Pure Man, Signature Menswear and Cruise Fashion offer a fresh mix of sharp clothing, formalwear and stylish casualwear by leading designers such as Borgioli, Duno, Gallotti, Jeffrey West, Oscar Jacobson and Roberto Morelli, Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith Lacoste, Belstaff, Boss, Burberry, Gucci, Jimmi Choo and many more.

Signature Men's Wear

Image: Signature, Union Street (Drapers)

A stalwart of the community since 1921 and with their flagship branch still to be found on Union Street is the independent family-owned Charles Michies With their travel health clinic, they can help you to stay safe and well as you travel. The pharmacy also boasts a beautiful gift shop full of high quality products which are just a little different from the high street, particularly those made in Scotland and the UK. Make sure to also follow the aroma of freshly bakes scones and pancakes to the café, where a range of scrumptious home bakes are on offer.

Further up the street you'll women's fashion store Sirene, which was described by Elle magazine as ‘shopping heaven’, as well as being named in Grazia and Stella Magazine’s list of the UK’s 50 Best Boutiques.


Image: Sirene, Union Street (

And if all that shopping wasn’t enough to make you thirsty, make sure to visit the small independent Aberdeen Whisky Shop & Tasting Room, where you will find amazing and unique whiskies bottled exclusively for Aberdeen Whisky Shop, as well as a range of gins, rums, liqueurs and gift sets.

Aberdeen Whisk Shop

Image: Abedeen Whisky Shop, Union Street West End (Press & Journal)

Union Street can be accessed by bus and there are many car parks nearby, including Loch Street and Harriet Street, Trinity and Bon Accord.

The Belmont Quarter

Where an emerging café culture meets historic architecture and cobbled streets, the Belmont Quarter is the perfect place to shop and socialise.

Follow the cobbles up and indulge your sweet tooth with a fresh handmade donuts from Dough & Co, before paying a visit to Books and Beans and enjoy not only a wonderful selection of fairtrade coffees and homemade bakes and sandwiches, but also a journey of discovery through the 10,000 secondhand books that cover two floors. Across the road is family run business Juniper, a veritable treasure trove of unique jewellery, giftware, homeware, wall art and furniture, including leading Scottish brands such as Sheila Fleet, Highland Stoneware, Isle of Skye Candle Co, Caithness Glass, Darach Gifts, Whisky Frames and so much more.

Dough & Co, Belmont Street

Image: Dough & Co, Belmont Street (Aberdeen Live)

Just around the corner on Little Belmont Street you will find tea and coffee specialists MacBeans, a local business at the heart of the community that has been brewing the finest flavours for you to take home since 1989. With a focus on sustainability and individuality, White Stuff is but a few doors up, where self-expression and creativity are the calling cards of their unique styles on offer. From there you can pop across the road to Oliver Bonas, an independent lifestyle boutique designing their own fashion and homeware.


Image: Juniper on Belmont Street (Yelp)

After shopping by day, enjoy some of the best bars and restaurants in the city by night, including boutique cocktail bars The Tippling House, and Bar Ninety-Nine, Aberdeen’s oldest bar dating back 300 years Ma Camerons, and the atmospheric Slains Castle.

The Belmont Quarter can be accessed by any city centre bus and parking is available at nearby Loch Street and Harriett Street car parks.

The Tippling House

Image: The Tippling House, Belmont Street (Albyn Architects)

The West End (Rose Street, Thistle Street, Chapel Street, Holburn Street)

Aberdeen’s West End is bursting with high end independent boutiques specialising in clothing, designer footwear, lifestyle and homeware. Bellino, Hamish Munro, Esslemonts 2 and Tiger Lily Boutique boast some of the best styles and collections from across the world, including fashion brands Eve in Paradise, Elena Wang, Fabienne Chapot, Gabor, Leo & Ugo, Essentiel Antwerp, Queens of Archive, Nooki, Bellerose and Hoff. Tiger Lily Boutique was awarded the prestigious title of best fashion boutique in Scotland two years running, 

Tiger Lily
Image Tiger Lily  (Facebook Page)

Make sure to pay a visit to Country Ways, a family run business operating since 1978 and specialising in country, lifestyle and equestrian wear. Offering a carefully curated range of UK and International brands such as Fairfax & Favor, Barbour, Le Chameau, Dubarry, Holland Cooper, Ariat and many more, they are sure to offer you the very best in style and performance for any adventure you might have planned. Pop over to Decidedly Dogs, just across the road, for a great selection of treats and apparel for your four-legged friend. Both stores are dog friendly!

The high-end lifestyle concept store TherapACE is dedicated to innovation and creativity offering a unique shopping experience for those looking for art, craft, jewellery and accessories. There are many opportunities to explore unique and bespoke gifts in the West End. The independent No. 18 Gifts & Cards is an Aladdin’s cave of unique and bespoke gifts, homeware accessories and fashion by local artists and national suppliers.  Explore a world of charm at the independently family-owned gift shop Copper & Gray, from exquisite jewellery, lifestyle and homeware gifts. Pay a visit to Colin Wood Antiques, trading since 1969 and specialising in rare maps and prints of Scotland, fine antique and vintage furniture.

Copper & Gray

Image: Copper & Grey, Rose Street (Trend Magazine)

The West End can be accessed by bus via Union Street and there is parking nearby at Chapel Street car park, as well as some dedicated on street parking spaces.

Shopping Centres

Aberdeen boasts 3 major shopping centres where you will find everything from the latest fashion trends and clothing brands, to interior design, homeware, health and beauty and much more!

Union Square has over 80 top high street stores, including Boss, Superdry, M&S, TKMAXX, Dune, Hollister, Jo Malone, Hotel Chocolat, Pandora, Seasalt Cornwall, The White Company, River Island, NEXT and Zara. The centre also boasts 30 cafes and restaurants, as well as Aberdeen’s largest 10 screen cinema. Conveniently attached to the city’s railway and bus stations, as well as a dedicated carpark with 1200 spaces, the centre is the perfect location to shop, eat, drink and be entertained all under one roof.

Union Square Aberdeen

Image: Union Square (Visit Aberdeenshire)

The Trinity Centre is a short walk across the road from Union Square and has been a major destination for shopping in Aberdeen for almost 40 years. It’s not hard to see why with stalwart favourites like Primark, HMV, Flying Tiger and Trespass, as well as newer additions such as Angus Alchemy, distillers of world class gin, rum and moonshine and local brand Shot N’ Roll providing freshly baked vegan cinnamon rolls and specialist coffee. The centre also hosts a permanent Makers Market & Gallery, showcasing traditional Scottish crafts, arts and unique gifts. The centre has it’s own dedicated carpark and can be accessed easily by any city centre bus.

Trinity Centre

Image: Trinity Centre (

At the heart of the city lies the Bon Accord & St Nicholas Centre, a short 5 minute walk from the Trinity Centre. With over 70 shops, Bon Accord boasts some of the high street’s favourite names, including Waterstones, New Look, The Perfume Shop, NEXT, H. Samuel, OFFICE, Phase 8, HOBBS, and Claire’s. Make sure to pay a visit to Curated Aberdeen, a large local makers market where you can find bespoke and unique gifts made by small local businesses. Each purchase also supports Aberdeen charity Charlie House. The centre also plays host to Forbes Gallery, where shoppers can enjoy a fine selection of local photography and quality Scottish gifts. The centre has two dedicated car parks and can be accessed easily by bus.


The largely Victorian area of Rosemount remains an enclave of traditional family run specialist retailers such as bakers, fishmongers and cheese shops.  Sample artisan farmhouse cheeses at Gourmet Cheese Co., or take home some fresh fish from The Creel Fish Shop. Indulge your sweet tooth at independent and family operated traditional shops such as confectioner Humbug or with celebration cakes and cookies from Gumblossom.

Pay a visit to Heartfelt Aromas and treat your senses to a vast array of scents with sustainably sourced handmade luxury vegan soy wax candles. Or shop some bespoke jewellery at Thistle Jewellers and treat you or someone else!

Gourmet Cheese Company

Image: Gourmet Cheese Company, Rosemount (Press & Jounrnal)

Check out the Rosemount Market for sustainable, ethical grocery and lifestyle shopping in the heart of Rosemount. Peruse locally sourced seasonal vegetables, fresh baked bread and pastries, and specialist food and alcohol from their favourite indie producers. Enjoy a lifestyle selection that has been carefully curated for zero-waste options, while also supporting local artists and makers. Across the road, houseplant and wellbeing lifestyle shop Rooted Botanical Emporium has everything you need for your green fingers, including houseplants, planters and artisan goods. Or grow a different type of seed with a visit to SEED skateshop, the skater owned skateshop selling clothes, skateboards and accessories for the skater community.

Cloudy Blue Aberdeen

Image: CloudyBlue Gifts (

If it’s the perfect gift you are looking for, then Rosemount is the place to be for quirky, bespoke and unique retailers such as CloudyBlue, an independent gift shop boasting beautiful unique gifts, homeware and cards, as well as prints that can be personalised as you wait. The Owl at Number Two, is another must visit, with an eclectic range of gifts from a wide range of items from local makers and small makers from across the UK. Make sure to stop by Wool for Ewe, an independent family run business and winners of the best independent wool store Scotland 3 times in the let’s knit, British knitting and crochet awards. They have yarns for every budget and patterns for every style.

Rosemount can be accessed by bus or the nearest car park at Denburn parking.

The Shire

Throughout Aberdeenshire, discover charming towns and villages bursting with local independent shops selling bespoke arts and crafts, jewellery, homeware and gifts. In Stonehaven make sure to a pay a visit to the small but mighty My Beautiful Caravan, a tiny shop with a big colourful presence, specialising in quirky cards and gifts from local makers. A visit to Milton of Crathes, set on the idyllic banks of the River Dee and home to an exclusive collection of independent retail, hospitality, sporting and tourism businesses, such as Hidden Scotland, Twin Peakes Fly Fishing and Milton Art Gallery, is a must.

Just along the road in Banchory, be sure to check out independent home and giftware boutique Hush Living, specialising in statement pieces, as well as family run business Country Ways, specialising in country, lifestyle and equestrian wear. If it’s a kilt you’re after, then Kilts Wi Hae in Newmachar, a small family highland wear business and gift shop providing quality highland wear, accessories and gifts at affordable prices is the place to go!

Country Ways, Banchory

Image: Country Ways , Banchory

In the heart of Royal Deeside, you will find in Ballater and Braemar a superb range of independent and artisan shops packed full of local makers, arts, craft and gifts. Why not treat someone (or yourself!) to some award-winning handmade chocolate from the Braemar Chocolate Shop or pay a visit to the Roaring Stag in Ballater for a ‘Tweedie Beastie’ (a wonderful collection of gloriously quirky and cute tweed animals). If it’s quicky you are after then be sure to visit Geek Bothy in Kemnay, an award winning independent family run shop stocking local artists and makers and creations plus quirky and geeky gifts (gift shop of the year 2022 in the Scotland prestige awards).

Braemar Chocolate Shop

Image: Braemar Chocolate Shop (Press & Journal)

If it’s antiques, collectables, vintage, retro or upcycled treasure you are on the hunt for, then The Old Smiddy, a former blacksmiths workshop in the village of Kincardine O’Neil, is well worth a visit with a wide range of antique, retro, collectable and upcycled/reimaged pieces on sale. In Huntly, the Ethical Gift Shop & Refillery specialises in handcrafted, eco-friendly gifts and homewares and also have a refillery full of eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items.

Further North in Portsoy you can find The Portsoy Gift Box, a family run independent gift shop specilaising in unusual handmade cards, gifts and crafts all sourced from local makers and made in Scotland. Close by in Banff you will find the famous Spotty Bag Shop, an institution in itself and famed for having almost everything you can find under one roof! From clothing to gifts, homeware, health and beauty, pets, toys, and everything in between – you’ll find it there! Plus the spotty bags are almost as famous as the shop itself!

 Spotty Bag Shop

Image: The Spotty Bag Shop, Banff

Cover Image: Glen Cairns Photography and Video

March 14, 2024 — Lynne Clark

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