Shelagh’s Edinburgh guidebook

Shelagh

Shelagh’s Edinburgh guidebook

Sightseeing
Holyrood Park and the foot of Arthur's Seat is 10 -15 minutes walk from our home. The view from the top is magnificent and there are plenty of routes to the top so you can safely socially distance.
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Arthur's Seat
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Holyrood Park and the foot of Arthur's Seat is 10 -15 minutes walk from our home. The view from the top is magnificent and there are plenty of routes to the top so you can safely socially distance.
Ten minutes walk from here. Interesting glimpse into Scottish and royal history & lovely gardens.
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Holyrood Sarayı
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Ten minutes walk from here. Interesting glimpse into Scottish and royal history & lovely gardens.
See how the other half sail. Leith is a really interesting area and if you are into modern Royal history a visit to the yacht is a real treat.
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Royal Yacht Britannia
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See how the other half sail. Leith is a really interesting area and if you are into modern Royal history a visit to the yacht is a real treat.
Ancient and modern history of Scotland spanning nature to politics. Vast collection - start at the top and work your way down if you prefer recent history (as I do) as you will need a lot of time to enjoy it all. 30 minutes walk from here.
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İskoçya Ulusal Müzesi
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Ancient and modern history of Scotland spanning nature to politics. Vast collection - start at the top and work your way down if you prefer recent history (as I do) as you will need a lot of time to enjoy it all. 30 minutes walk from here.
The Royal Mile starts just 10 minutes walk from our home and leads you right up to the craggy rocks which form the dramatic setting for Edinburgh Castle. You can walk the whole route in 40 minutes.
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Edinburgh Castle
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The Royal Mile starts just 10 minutes walk from our home and leads you right up to the craggy rocks which form the dramatic setting for Edinburgh Castle. You can walk the whole route in 40 minutes.
Find out how people could watch the world go by before CCTV. The old camera obscura is a fascinating experience enjoyable for children and adults.
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Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
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Find out how people could watch the world go by before CCTV. The old camera obscura is a fascinating experience enjoyable for children and adults.
Shorter climb than Arthur's Seat but offer great views across Edinburgh and some interesting buildings/monuments.
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Calton Hill
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Shorter climb than Arthur's Seat but offer great views across Edinburgh and some interesting buildings/monuments.
Free to visit . A lovely walk on a sunny day with warm tropical glasshouses when the weather is more typically Scottish. Regular special exhibitions, indoor and outdoor cafes and a must if you love trees and plants.
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Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
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Free to visit . A lovely walk on a sunny day with warm tropical glasshouses when the weather is more typically Scottish. Regular special exhibitions, indoor and outdoor cafes and a must if you love trees and plants.
Great for families. Interesting geological themed exhibitions and only 20 minutes from our home. Handy cafe if you are in the area.
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Dynamic Earth
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Great for families. Interesting geological themed exhibitions and only 20 minutes from our home. Handy cafe if you are in the area.
This is on the Royal Mile (also called High Street) and just 20 minutes away from our home. Very interesting displays - the toys are both historically interesting and nostalgic for older adults! Check opening times as things have changed since covid-19. https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/museum-childhood
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Museum of Childhood
42 High St
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This is on the Royal Mile (also called High Street) and just 20 minutes away from our home. Very interesting displays - the toys are both historically interesting and nostalgic for older adults! Check opening times as things have changed since covid-19. https://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venue/museum-childhood
Lovely green space alongside our busiest shopping street. Has been a bit spoiled by overuse during the Christmas Market but still a great place to relax and have a city centre picnic.
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Princes Street Gardens
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Lovely green space alongside our busiest shopping street. Has been a bit spoiled by overuse during the Christmas Market but still a great place to relax and have a city centre picnic.
You can have a great time just wandering around the streets of Edinburgh's Old Town - keep an eye open for the many ancient narrow streets (often called "close" or "wynd") and steps which take you past many ancient buildings and secret gardens. Edinburgh's Old Town is still very much a residential area. There are guided tours but if you are on a budget just get a free map from the Tourist Information Office and walk around. It feels a little intimidating at night but is a very safe area. Personal favourites are Dunbar's Close Gardens off Canongate, Sandeman Garden (owned by the Scottish Book trust) in Trunk's Close off the Royal Mile and the Miss Jean Brodie Steps which lead up from Grassmarket and offer a fantastic view of the Castle.
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Edinburgh Old Town
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You can have a great time just wandering around the streets of Edinburgh's Old Town - keep an eye open for the many ancient narrow streets (often called "close" or "wynd") and steps which take you past many ancient buildings and secret gardens. Edinburgh's Old Town is still very much a residential area. There are guided tours but if you are on a budget just get a free map from the Tourist Information Office and walk around. It feels a little intimidating at night but is a very safe area. Personal favourites are Dunbar's Close Gardens off Canongate, Sandeman Garden (owned by the Scottish Book trust) in Trunk's Close off the Royal Mile and the Miss Jean Brodie Steps which lead up from Grassmarket and offer a fantastic view of the Castle.
Guided tours starting here offer a really interesting way to spend a couple of hours finding out about the Old Town's fascinating history.
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The Real Mary King's Close
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Guided tours starting here offer a really interesting way to spend a couple of hours finding out about the Old Town's fascinating history.
Lovely house highlighting Edinburgh's New Town history.
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Georgian House
7 Charlotte Square
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Lovely house highlighting Edinburgh's New Town history.
You can reach the Eastern part of the Water of Leith within 15 minutes from our house and walk all the way along through the city or take a bus to the West End and access the walk from Dean Village or the Gallery of Modern Art . A circular walk crossing this river can offer you a glimpse of kingfishers, otters and many small birds. See if you can spot the Anthony Gormley statue close to the bridge at Powderhall. The Water of Leith runs through Stockbridge which is a lovely part of Edinburgh with lots of independent shops and cafes and a Sunday market.
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Water of Leith Walkway, Dean Village Entrance
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You can reach the Eastern part of the Water of Leith within 15 minutes from our house and walk all the way along through the city or take a bus to the West End and access the walk from Dean Village or the Gallery of Modern Art . A circular walk crossing this river can offer you a glimpse of kingfishers, otters and many small birds. See if you can spot the Anthony Gormley statue close to the bridge at Powderhall. The Water of Leith runs through Stockbridge which is a lovely part of Edinburgh with lots of independent shops and cafes and a Sunday market.
Arts & Culture
Great temporary exhibitions and a vast collection.
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National Gallery Of Scotland
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Great temporary exhibitions and a vast collection.
We love this place. Great cafe and excellent collection. Lots of well-known Scottish public figures are captured in the portraits on display and the special exhibitions are always worth a view.
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Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen St
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We love this place. Great cafe and excellent collection. Lots of well-known Scottish public figures are captured in the portraits on display and the special exhibitions are always worth a view.
Controversial building in many ways but I love the architecture. Tours were available before covid-19 and there was easy access to the public gallery to watch parliamentarians at work when Parliament is sitting. You can walk there in 20 minutes but look at the website first for current advice https://www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/visiting-the-parliament.aspx
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Scottish Parliament Building
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Controversial building in many ways but I love the architecture. Tours were available before covid-19 and there was easy access to the public gallery to watch parliamentarians at work when Parliament is sitting. You can walk there in 20 minutes but look at the website first for current advice https://www.parliament.scot/visitandlearn/visiting-the-parliament.aspx
Fantastic location near the Water of Leith. Easily accessible by bus from our home and near the lovely West End which has great independent shops and cafes. Good collection and great temporary exhibitions. Cafe has a gorgeous garden and is often praised for its food.
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Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern One)
75 Belford Rd
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Fantastic location near the Water of Leith. Easily accessible by bus from our home and near the lovely West End which has great independent shops and cafes. Good collection and great temporary exhibitions. Cafe has a gorgeous garden and is often praised for its food.
Edinburgh has a strong tradition of invention and medical education. This museum tells that story and offers some grisly evidence of what healthcare was like before we had great drugs and the NHS.
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Surgeons' Hall Museums
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Edinburgh has a strong tradition of invention and medical education. This museum tells that story and offers some grisly evidence of what healthcare was like before we had great drugs and the NHS.
An Old Town gem tucked away near the Parliament building. Bookshop and exhibitions and, before covid-19, poetry performances and readings. Perfect if you want to know more about Scotland's poets or buy a special gift for a poetry loving friend.
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Scottish Poetry Library
5 Crichton's Cl
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An Old Town gem tucked away near the Parliament building. Bookshop and exhibitions and, before covid-19, poetry performances and readings. Perfect if you want to know more about Scotland's poets or buy a special gift for a poetry loving friend.
Food scene
Artisan bakers serving great takeaway coffee, bread and pastries. A new branch is opening just 5 minutes from us on Easter Road. Recommended for breakfast/brunch - not clear if there will be indoor seating (the small Brunswick Road branch had to remove its indoor seats as it was to small for social distancing).
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Twelve Triangles
90 Brunswick St
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Artisan bakers serving great takeaway coffee, bread and pastries. A new branch is opening just 5 minutes from us on Easter Road. Recommended for breakfast/brunch - not clear if there will be indoor seating (the small Brunswick Road branch had to remove its indoor seats as it was to small for social distancing).
Lots of space for socially distanced dining. Good for breakfast/brunch/lunch. Great coffee, pastries and cakes. Homemade soups and salads are always delicious. 5 minutes walk from our home
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Red Kite Cafe
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Lots of space for socially distanced dining. Good for breakfast/brunch/lunch. Great coffee, pastries and cakes. Homemade soups and salads are always delicious. 5 minutes walk from our home
Great for brunch/lunch/dinner - seats inside and outdoors in lovely garden. Not sure if bookings needed under new post-lockdown rules so take a look at gardenerscottage.co.uk
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The Gardener's Cottage
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Great for brunch/lunch/dinner - seats inside and outdoors in lovely garden. Not sure if bookings needed under new post-lockdown rules so take a look at gardenerscottage.co.uk
Great for breakfast/lunch/brunch. About 20 minutes walk from our house. Booking might be necessary: edinburghlarder.co.uk I really love their food and they do local and sustainable food very well.
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The Edinburgh Larder
15 Blackfriars St
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Great for breakfast/lunch/brunch. About 20 minutes walk from our house. Booking might be necessary: edinburghlarder.co.uk I really love their food and they do local and sustainable food very well.
Good for basic pub food and local beers.
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The Mash Tun Bier House & Kitchen
154 Easter Rd
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Good for basic pub food and local beers.
Good for breakfast/brunch/lunch - excellent menu and lots of options for vegetarians/vegans too.
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Smoke Stack
53-55 Broughton St
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Good for breakfast/brunch/lunch - excellent menu and lots of options for vegetarians/vegans too.
Busy pub with vast range of beers and wines. Good pub food - burgers are a speciality, has always offered table service, Can be very busy but always a good buzzy place.
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The Holyrood 9A
9a Holyrood Rd
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Busy pub with vast range of beers and wines. Good pub food - burgers are a speciality, has always offered table service, Can be very busy but always a good buzzy place.
Modern Mexican food like the Wahaca chain but better. Good for a light meal or a big blow out andserves great cocktails too.
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Bodega - Leith
14-15 Albert Pl
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Modern Mexican food like the Wahaca chain but better. Good for a light meal or a big blow out andserves great cocktails too.
Wood-fired pizza. Delicious.
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Origano pizzeria
236 Leith Walk
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Wood-fired pizza. Delicious.
Italian specialising in wood-fired pizza. Very buzzy atmosphere, tables outside and friendly, efficient service.
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La Favorita
331-325 Leith Walk
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Italian specialising in wood-fired pizza. Very buzzy atmosphere, tables outside and friendly, efficient service.
Always delicious but booking necessary. Modern food and great cocktails.
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Forage & Chatter
1A Alva St
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Always delicious but booking necessary. Modern food and great cocktails.
One of several cafes with a social purpose - you can eat well here, enjoy their great coffee and make a bigger social contribution by adding a small amount to your bill for the good causes they support. Very stylish space and affordable prices.
Vesta Bar & Kitchen
7-8 Queensferry Street
One of several cafes with a social purpose - you can eat well here, enjoy their great coffee and make a bigger social contribution by adding a small amount to your bill for the good causes they support. Very stylish space and affordable prices.
Lovely cafe with a sister branch in Morrison Street near Haymarket station. Good fresh soups, salads and sandwiches with great ingredients.
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Milk at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop
21 Hawthornvale
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Lovely cafe with a sister branch in Morrison Street near Haymarket station. Good fresh soups, salads and sandwiches with great ingredients.
Not sure how this excellent little restaurant is coping with social distancing but we recommend their food very highly. Not cheap but worth the money,
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The Little Chartroom
30-31 Albert Pl
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Not sure how this excellent little restaurant is coping with social distancing but we recommend their food very highly. Not cheap but worth the money,
High end eating in some style. Not sure how chef Tom Kitchin is handling this part of his restaurant business since lockdown but it is open and we absolutely love his food. The set lunch is a huge bargain compared with the a la carte evening menu. The quality is unbeatable so book ahead if you want to enjoy a very special experience here.
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The Kitchin
78 Commercial St
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High end eating in some style. Not sure how chef Tom Kitchin is handling this part of his restaurant business since lockdown but it is open and we absolutely love his food. The set lunch is a huge bargain compared with the a la carte evening menu. The quality is unbeatable so book ahead if you want to enjoy a very special experience here.
Reliable quality in a nearby location - this is always a great place for lunch and dinner. Good quality, feels special but not as expensive as many of the top name, Michelin starred places. Small rooms so check booking system as social distancing will have changed things here.
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Wedgwood The Restaurant
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Reliable quality in a nearby location - this is always a great place for lunch and dinner. Good quality, feels special but not as expensive as many of the top name, Michelin starred places. Small rooms so check booking system as social distancing will have changed things here.
Lovely tiny tapas place - best for takeaways since te tiny bar area is not good for social distancing.
PIGGS
276 Canongate
Lovely tiny tapas place - best for takeaways since te tiny bar area is not good for social distancing.
Favourite vegan/veggie eating places
Interesting bar serving vegan/veggie food and drinks. Leith is full of great little independent places to eat and drink.
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Harmonium
60 Henderson St
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Interesting bar serving vegan/veggie food and drinks. Leith is full of great little independent places to eat and drink.
Food has varied over the years with different chefs but it is a stylish place offering reliable quality and usually very good service. Just 20 minutes walk from our house.
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David Bann Restaurant
56-58 St Mary's St
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Food has varied over the years with different chefs but it is a stylish place offering reliable quality and usually very good service. Just 20 minutes walk from our house.
Lovely little cafe which is good for brunch/lunch or afternoon tea. Close to the bus station.
Holy Cow
34 Elder St
Lovely little cafe which is good for brunch/lunch or afternoon tea. Close to the bus station.
Good Scottish food
Modern version of traditional Scottish food. Affordable and good quality. Get your haggis and skirlie here - veggie haggis also served.
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Makars Gourmet Mash Bar (Mound)
9 North Bank Street
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Modern version of traditional Scottish food. Affordable and good quality. Get your haggis and skirlie here - veggie haggis also served.
A tiny place so it is wise to check how they are managing to stay open with social distancing rules. (arcadepub.co.uk) . Offers single malt whiskies from right across Scotland, haggis, neeps and tatties and all sorts of traditional Scottish foods.
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Arcade Bar
48 Cockburn Street
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A tiny place so it is wise to check how they are managing to stay open with social distancing rules. (arcadepub.co.uk) . Offers single malt whiskies from right across Scotland, haggis, neeps and tatties and all sorts of traditional Scottish foods.
More traditional food - but also haggis fritters. This places is famous for its traditional Scottish breakfast. I've never tried it but lots of visitors love it.
The Royal McGregor
154 High St
More traditional food - but also haggis fritters. This places is famous for its traditional Scottish breakfast. I've never tried it but lots of visitors love it.
Upmarket and fairly expensive but a lovely dining space and lots of whiskies on offer as well as a modern version of traditional Scottish food and local ingredients.
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Amber Restaurant
354 Castlehill
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Upmarket and fairly expensive but a lovely dining space and lots of whiskies on offer as well as a modern version of traditional Scottish food and local ingredients.