En garde for the sharp end of Xmas shopping
If you wake up on Christmas morning to find a sword-shaped package under the tree, chances are it's sword.
If you’re one of the Capital’s growing band of Game of Thrones fans, chances are it has been purchased at the Knights Vault – Scotland’s leading licensed sword seller (and not easy to say after a seasonal sherry).
Swords are not the only outlandish gifts you’ll find at the Old Town outlet, the only trademarked Outlander retailer in the UK. Boasting the country’s biggest display of traditional, antique and replica swords, including many featured in Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Assassin’s Creed, owner Colin Hope certainly has the edge when it comes to “presents for the person who has everything.”
A former chief executive for a social housing provider, he started out with a market stall and opened the shop in November 2014, inspired by an interest in Scottish history and militaria. He is assisted by manager Charis Fleming, creator of handcrafted weaponry and, at 19 years old, Scotland’s youngest female blade smith.
Colin (58) says: “Our product range is so different from anything else you will find on the high street. It’s not just the swords that sell well, the small gifts go really well too.”
Big ticket items include a Jamie Fraser replica sword for £500 or a full-size suit of armour cocktail cabinet for a cool £2000.
At the stocking filler end of the range there’s a knitted knight’s helmet for £17.50, while personalised heraldic surname history prints sell for around £22.
The shop also specialises in short blades, with a large selection of sgian dubh and dirks which can be made to order and engraved.
The Knights Vault, 102 West Bow, EH1 2HH, 0131 281 4147, www.theknightsvault.com. Opening hours: noon to 5.30pm, Monday to Saturday, closed Sunday.