Christmas shopping is never easy. But if you want to ensure that your gift isn’t relegated to a pile of unwanted socks, you could try getting your loved ones vouchers for their Christmas present. There are plenty of options, each offering unconventional experiences across Scotland, with something to suit just about everyone.

1. Canyoning with Vertical Descents, Fort William

Inchree Falls, Onich, Fort William

£60 per person (for approximately 3 hours)

01855 821 593

Observing the powerful, rapid gush of water at the Inchree Falls doesn’t exactly encourage you to jump into it. But that is exactly what participants are challenged to do during Vertical Descents’ canyoning adventure, making their way from the top of the waterfall to the bottom via a series of jumps, slides and climbs. It makes for a terrifying prospect, but a sense of utter achievement when completed, and is the perfect gift for thrill-seekers as well as those who want to be taken out of their comfort zone.

2. Brew your own beer at Stewart’s Brewing, Midlothian

26a Dryden Road, Bilston Glen Ind Estate, Loanhead, Midlothian

£200 for 40 litres of beer

0131 563 7580

The craft beer trend shows no sign of slowing down. But while small-batch beers are all well and good, you can’t get much more special than a beer brewed by you. That’s what’s on offer at the brew-it-yourself facility at Stewart’s, where up to four guests will work alongside experts to design, bottle and (most importantly) drink their very own beer. It might be pricy, but you will receive up to 70 bottles of your beer to take away – making this a present that keeps on giving.

3. Take a trip on the Loch Lomond Seaplane

Departures from outside Cameron House, Loch Lomond, Alexandria

Discovery tour is £129 for adults and £119 for children

01436 675030

This magical seaplane offers people the chance to view Scotland’s west coast from an unusual perspective. In a small group – with uninhibited views out the window – you will take in scenes of Ben Lomond, the Cobbler and the Rest and Be Thankful, before travelling out as far as Tarbert and Arrochar in Argyll. You then pass over Loch Katrine, Loch Venachar and Loch Ard before landing on the water on Loch Lomond – which is an experience in itself. The pilot doubles up as a tour guide who will offer commentary throughout the short flight, so make sure and pay attention (if you can tear yourself away from the scenery).

4. Try a cookery class at the Cook School Scotland, Kilmarnock

Moorfield Park, Kilmarnock

01563 550008

£50 for a half day, £100 for a full day

If you have a foodie in your family, it can be tempting to get them a cookbook and be done with it. But if you want to really make an effort with their gift, try getting them a voucher from Kilmarnock’s Cook School, which has some of the best cookery classes in the country. They offer full and half day courses on a range of cuisines and skills: Christmas dinner, Chinese, Indian, Spanish, Mexican, Meat Free and Home Baking, to name but a few. There are various dates, with one-to-one classes as well as children's lessons for any mini Jamie Olivers. If you don’t want to choose a specific class in advance, you can buy a voucher for £10, £50 or £100 that can be redeemed against a course of the recipient’s choice.

5. Solve a murder mystery at the Crianlarich Hotel

The Crianlarich Hotel, Main Street, Crianlarich, Perthshire

£95 per person (includes 3 course meal, evening’s entertainment, accommodation in the hotel and breakfast the next day)

01838 300 272

We all fancy ourselves as a bit of a detective when watching a whodunnit drama on TV. Now you can offer someone the chance to prove their police skills, attempting to solve a murder as it unfolds in front of them. There are various storylines, depending on the date chosen, but potential dramas include Sutherland Secret, The Acquisition and Alice with Malice. All are immersive and interactive, and a few contain bad language, so be sure to check the age recommendations if you are buying for anyone under 16.

6. Try a wine tasting at Glasgow Wine School

Tastings held at locations across the city

Various packages available, a tasting starts from £22.50

01786 396044

Buying a bottle of wine is nice, but buying someone a wine tasting is miles better. At Glasgow Wine School you can choose from a plethora of options, depending on how generous you are feeling, with vouchers that offer a single evening’s tasting, an eight-week course or a wine pairing with food. You can buy a voucher for one person, or for a couple, with the Glasgow Wine School sending out their e-vouchers as late as Christmas Day itself. Ideal for those last-minute shoppers.

7. Swim with basking sharks in Oban

Basking Shark Scotland, Dunstaffnage Marina, Dunbeg, Oban, Argyll and Bute

£195 for a one-day tour

07975 723140

In Scotland, we are lucky enough to have one of the world’s biggest hotspots for basking sharks. And if you want to give a gift with a difference, why not send someone to see these gentle giants up close? Basking Shark Scotland runs a one-day tour (with longer options available) that allows its participants to snorkel alongside basking sharks in the water surrounding the isle of Coll – with the option to watch from the boat for those feeling a little less adventurous. You can enjoy up to six hours interacting with the wildlife, with the company boasting eco-friendly credentials thanks to their conservation efforts and respect for marine animals.

8. Design your own perfume at the Perfume Studio, Edinburgh

The Hilton Carlton, 19 North Bridge, Edinburgh

Various packages, starting from £49 per person

0330 0889 636

Not sure what perfume to buy? Then let your loved one create their own- with the Perfume Studio giving guests the opportunity to make a personalised scent. The perfumers will hand out various samples and participants can combine their favourites, then name their perfume and take it home. The size of bottle you are given at the end is dependent on the package that’s ordered, with some of the premium options offering afternoon tea and bubbly alongside the perfumery experience.

9. Segway at the Scottish Segway Centre

Scottish Segway Centre, Falkirk Wheel, Lime Road, Tamfourhill, Falkirk

£35 each per adult, £25 each for under 14s

01324 430033

If you’ve been in any major city over the past five years, then you are likely to have seen groups of Segway tours. They might be a nuisance in busy squares, but flying around the open fields that surround the Falkirk Wheel offers a feeling of total freedom. That’s what’s on offer at the Scottish Segway Centre, where you can buy up to an hour of Segway riding. The guides are happy to welcome children from as young as seven, and there’s no upper age limit. Daredevils in their 80s have previously taken part.

10. Have a spa day at the Auchrannie Resort, Arran

Auchrannie Resort, Auchrannie Road, Arran

Day packages start from £95 (including lunch and transfers)

01770 302234

If you want to win brownie points, then this should do the trick. Getting a loved one a voucher for a spa day at the Auchrannie Resort means that they can leave the mainland behind for hours of dedicated ‘me time’ and pampering. This spa on Arran offers a range of island escape packages, which includes at least two treatments, a tea or sorbet, the use of resort facilities, lunch (with a glass of prosecco) and transfers to and from Brodick ferry terminal. It doesn’t have to be a gift just for ladies, either, with dedicated male treatments that include a salt and oil scrub and a deep tissue back massage. And if you want to involve the whole family in the relaxation, they even have two children’s treatments for those aged five and over: a princess package and teen beauty.