Heathergems is a nice shop located at the southern end of the town centre. They make really unusual jewellery out of heather! The heather is put into bundles and then dried and pressed, until it develops different colours and forms a "gem". It is hard to believe, but you can watch a video about the process and also watch people making jewellery through a window. There is a shortened version of the video here.
I was fascinated by this, but unfortunately in the shop I found that most things were not to my taste. I also had the idea of buying something for my cousins here, but I did not find one thing suitable for teenagers. In the end I found a pretty necklace for myself which I really like and wear very often, but altogether I think they could reach a larger group of consumers if they tried to serve different tastes.
However, the gems themselves were really lovely, with many pretty colours. If you are looking for an unusual present or souvenir from Scotland, you might find one here!
Opening times: 09.00am to 05.00pm daily
What to pay: From £15 upwards
While waiting for my train bound for Edinburgh i found a second hand bookshop on the station platform itself. The money taken is donated to charity and there was a huge selection of books, all catalogued and in their respective section. I headed for the travel section where to my surprise i picked upo 4 guide books at very cheap prices (£1 each)
A few miles north of town on the A9 is the House of Bruar. It’s a shopping mall in the middle of nowhere. But, it’s an enterprising venture and popular.
Sometimes I stop for food/coffee/toilet there, but most times I pass on by. It’s always busy, and the food is good.
There’s nothing I’d ever want to buy in the shops, except maybe in the food hall.
I do tend to curse the place because it has a tendency to clutter the road up with people who have nothing better to do than go “for a run in the car” at the weekend - usually very slowly, while gawking at the sheep and scenery, while I’m just actually trying to get where I’m going reasonably quickly.
They have managed to build it so it fits in with the landscape, and it has a big advantage over - say - Pitlochry or Aviemore as a stopping point, in that parking is easy and there is no town centre congestion.
What to buy: Me? Nothing, apart from an espresso and a cake.
Normal people? Tartan, woollens, postcards, tourist junk.
What to pay: More than elsewhere.