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One of my favourite ways to find truly unique and unusual gift ideas for friends and family is to browse the gift shops at exhibitions, museums and galleries. It’s a great way to find treasures you wouldn’t necessarily come across anywhere else.

The most recent gift I bought was a Sophia Webster Chiara Key Charm when I took my teen daughter to see Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion at the Design Museum in Kensington.

A favourite gift-to-self that could easily have been a gift for someone else is a beautiful vase I bought from the National Glass Centre in Sunderland, which sits on the banks of the river Wear.

These gift shops usually have curations of products aligned to their current exhibitions; many of them also have their own branded products and cleverly edited curations of products you can also buy elsewhere but maybe wouldn’t have spotted. Perfect for hunting down gifts for kids, teens and your favourite family and friends.

There are many amazing galleries and museums dotted around the country, but the brilliant thing is that most of them also have online stores. So, much as I highly recommend taking in a little culture with your gift shopping, you can simply pop online to browse and buy.

This also brings to mind another great gift idea... a National Art Pass from Art Fund, which gives free entry into hundreds of galleries and museums around the UK as well as discounts on many exhibitions.


Here’s a roundup of some lovely exhibition, gallery and museum gift shop finds from around the UK. Things that would make wonderful birthday and Christmas gifts.

  1. Green Vase with Blue Details
    £70 (at time of publication)

    The vases are all handmade in the glass factory and one-of-a-kind, so you will be buying a truly unique gift.

    Buy from National Glass Centre
  2. Sophia Webster Chiara Key Charm
    £55 (at time of publication)

    This key charm by Sophia Webster is modelled on her iconic butterfly wing sandal. What a fabulous gift for fashionistas.

    Buy from Design Museum
  3. Chanel Vintage Pattern A4 Fashionary Sketchbook
    £30 (at time of publication)

    This beautiful A4 Chanel Vintage Pattern designers’ sketchbook features an extensive fashion glossary and figure templates in classic ’fashionary’ format.

    Buy from V&A
  4. Black/White Ghost Set by Studio Arhoj

    These are just too cute! Each Ghost is unique: hand-thrown, glazed, decorated and low-fired in the kiln three times.

    Buy from Saatchi Gallery
  5. Banksy: The Man Behind The Wall – Bristol Museums
    £20 (at time of publication)

    Banksy started as a graffiti artist in Bristol and directed the street art documentary Exit Through The Gift Shop, so it seems fitting to buy this book from the Bristol Museum & Gallery.

    Buy from Bristol Museum & Gallery
  6. L S Lowry Sticker & Activity Book
    £2 (at time of publication)

    4 pages of activities including dot to dot, word search, crossword, and spot the difference. This would make a great stocking filler or kids' party bag filler.

    Buy from The Lowry Shop
  7. Murano glass green & blue rectangular bead necklace
    £142 (at time of publication)

    These pastel blue, green, and purple rectangular flat Murano glass beads are separated by tiny metal spacer beads on a gold wire with an adjustable claw-style clasp.

    Murano Glass is world-renowned for its elegance and craftsmanship. Originating from the island of Murano in Venice, Italy.

    Buy from National Galleries of Scotland
  8. Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly
    £22.99 £19.49

    In 1985, a group of masked feminist avengers known as the Guerrilla Girls papered downtown Manhattan with posters calling out the Museum of Modern Art for its lack of representation of female artists. They quickly became a global phenomenon, and the fearless activists have produced hundreds of posters, stickers, and billboards ever since.

    Each copy comes with a punch-out gorilla mask that invites readers to step up and join the movement themselves.

    Buy from Amazon
    12/06/2023 05:48 pm GMT
  9. National Art Pass - Art Fund
    Prices vary

    The Art Fund's National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK while raising money to support them. There are various passes available.

    Buy from Art Fund


Pop over to the Gifts section for myriad other gift ideas.