Best museum shops for Christmas gifts

  • 8 December 2014

From Glasgow to Gateshead, Surrey to Sheffield we bring you a rundown of the best museum shops to stock up on stocking fillers.

Whether you're looking for an exclusive artwork print, an animal wall mount or a miniature kite, museum shops are a treasure trove of creative Christmas gifts – and there's savings to be had if you're a National Art Pass holder too. Who said Christmas shopping had to be stressful?

London

Give the bustling crowds of Oxford Street a miss this year and head for South Kensington, where the V&A museum shop is jam-packed with collection-themed delights. Boasting everything from Chinese ceramics to contemporary jewellery, exclusive textiles to gardening tools, you can tick off several of the gift-getters on your list in one fell swoop. 

If you're fed up of sending silly socks or reindeer emblazoned jumpers, the wares of the Design Museum in Shad Thames are stylish and slick, sure to earn you brownie points with the more discerning members of your Christmas party. Choose from Swiss watches, leather satchels and silk print ties, graphic fruit bowls, coffee makers and fairtrade rugs – or, if you're feeling particularly swish, how about an Atelier Swarovski bracelet?

Our other favourites from the capital include the William Morris Gallery, where the mantra 'have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful' is reflected in a range of furnishings bearing the designer's iconic prints, and the Courtauld, which is known for its range of books. Both shops are offering a 10% discount on presentation of your National Art Pass.

South

For interior-obsessed friends, look no further than the Turner Contemporary in Margate, which stocks a range of homewares exclusively created by modernist architect and previous winner of the Sterling Prize, David Chipperfield (who also designed the building). Meanwhile, if you're after the perfect post-Turkey board game, the shop also promises a family friendly selection – all with a 10% NAP discount.

In need of something unique? Head to The Lightbox in Woking, where you can find art and craft by contemporary local artists in a range of styles. If you still can't decide what might please a fussy friend, gift vouchers are also available. NAP holders receive a 10% discount on selected items from the shop.

Also in the South, Chertsey Museum's 'pocket money toys' are great stocking fillers, while the Bate collection of Musical Instruments at Oxford University stocks a range of CDs, themed illustrations and books (10% off with NAP at both). 

Midlands

Find gifts for the mini-creative in your midst at Bimingham's Ikon Gallery, where Lomo cameras, jewellery design and t-shirt graffiti kits will please an aspiring Bailey, Banksy or Warhol. The shop, which also features a Made in the Midlands section devoted to local authors, publishers, musicians, crafters and artists, offers a purse-pleasing 10% NAP discount.

With luxury hot water bottles, iPad sleeves and collectable porcelain teapots, paper planes, miniature kites and 3D doodle sets, The Hepworth in Wakefield's line of gifts range from the elegant to the eccentric, making it a top choice for your festive spending splurge. Other suggestions for shoppers in the Midlands include The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, featuring mementos celebrating Stoke-on-Trent's most famous industry, or the Harley craft shop where NAP holders can enjoy a very merry 15% discount.

North

BALTIC's Love North East range includes Geordie catchphrase t-shirts and souvenirs featuring the region's iconic landmarks, such as the Angel of the North and the Millennium Bridge. The Special Occasions selection is great if you want to treat someone special to Tatty Devine jewellery or limited edition art prints, while those looking for a more offbeat option can choose from a set of miniature bee houses or a fuchsia pink radio. NAP holders save 10% on presentation of their membership card.

Animal wall mounts, hand shadow jewellery and giant floor puzzles are just some of our favourite finds in Yorkshire Sculpture Park's well-stocked shop, which also includes seasonal offerings in the form of cosy knitted mittens and rich textile scarves.

Meanwhile, Manchester is a NAP discount delight with 10% off at Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery and Gallery of Costume. Further members' offers are available at Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, Harris Museum in Preston and Bury Art Museum.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

Great news if you're in Glasgow, as Burrell CollectionGoMA (Gallery of Modern Art)Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside Museum and People's Palace are all offering 10% off shop purchases to NAP holders. 

In Wales, Swansea Museum focuses on the local, with a selection of maps and prints of the area and publications by historians from the region, while National Museum Cardiff offers gifts themed around its impressive collection. For NAP holders in Northern Ireland, 10% discount is available on local crafts from the Down County Museum shop.

Don't forget, you can also buy a great range of gifts and cards from the Art Fund online shop.

Tags: Museums and galleries