Here’s another reason to visit Leith. Specifically, a shopping mall called Ocean Terminal. Royal Yacht Britannia is moored here and that’s won best Scottish attraction for 11 straight years, but that’s not really my cup of tea (even if I did the advertising back in the day to launch it as an attraction).
No, hidden away on the top floor of the mall is this little treasure – The Scottish Design Exchange (SDX).
It’s described as a ‘collective not-for-profit store’ and features a wide variety of art, design and fashion with a strong Edinburgh (and even stronger Leith) feel about it.
Really it’s amazing; there’s some really great photography on show, you can buy textiles, fashion, furniture, gift cards, small artworks, glassware, jewellery even chocolate and it has a really punchy, vibrant, young and entirely uncommercial feel about it.
Think of the best of the best degree shows in art colleges all collected under one roof with art pieces that make you smile or swoon and that’s pretty much the mood of SDX. It’s not high concept work on the whole, it’s things you’d actually like to buy and it’s reasonably priced. And yet, it also feels like a gallery with constantly rotating stock.
It’s a great finishing point for a walking tour of Leith and afterwards you should jump onto the number 22 bus (known affectionately round here as ‘Leith on Wheels’) and keep your ears open for local banter as you return to the city centre (20 minutes £1.60).