Monday 22 August 2016

Things to do in Edinburgh | Off The Beaten Track

Edinburgh is my all time favourite city, and I love it more and more each time I visit. Luckily I get to visit fairly often, as Martin is a native Edinburghian (??? no?). That also means I get to see the non-touristy side, as he shows me some of the hidden gems and his favourite things to do in Edinburgh. Which in turn become my favourite things to do!

A little google search of "things to do in Edinburgh" will inundate you with suggestions to see the castle, St Giles Cathedral, Holyrood and Princes Street gardens. Which is cool and you defo should make sure you see them.

WHAT ABOUT OTHER THINGS THOUGH? Once you've had your fill of the castle and you want a bite to eat or to sit down and chill with a cuppa, where do you go? Edinburgh isn't exactly renowned for being the cheapest of places, and it can be so tempting to stay in the confines of Princes Street and the Old Town. But fear not - add these little faves of mine onto your iternary and don't break the bank while seeing something a lil' bit different.

1. Pub quiz and cocktails at the Newsroom.

Not everyone is a pub quiz lover, I know. (Why tho????). But the quiz in the newsoom is great fun. Short and sweet with quite a few realistic questions that even a simpleton like me can get. The decor is cool, kind of industrial but cosy with a front window full of lanterns. It's also a free quiz, so more money to spend on AMAZING cocktails. I'm so fussy with cocktails because I kind of hate alcohol generally, I only like super fruity ones that taste nada like booze. The Passionberry Fizz is delish, and I highly recommend getting a pitcher (to yourself). It's also so reasonably priced at around £6.50/7 per cocktail.

2. Watch a film in the Dominion

Spend time at the cinema while on holiday? What? Are you mad? Martin has been going on about the Dominion since we first met, and I completely understand why. Maybe your local town has something similar and you wont be blown away but all my town has is a shitey Odeon so this blew my mind! The Dominion is kitted out with leather recliner sofas for a nice cwtch while watching tv. The building itself is very traditional and "art-deco" so is well worth a visit!

3. Eat ice cream at Luca's

While you're in Morningside - a suburb of Edinburgh - checking out the Dominion, grab an ice cream at Luca's. It's traditional Italian ice cream from a family run business. I like to think of myself as an ice cream expert (I eat a lot of ice cream...) and I absolutely LOVE it. There are so many flavours to choose from, and to me it is a must visit if you're a lover of ice cream!

4. Take in the views from Calton Hill

This is a bit of a touristy thing to do, but it is often overlooked. Even on a gloriously sunny day at the peak of The Fringe Festival when Edinburgh is at it's busiest, there was only a handful of people up on the hill. I's a lovely place to take a little picnic and spend an hour out of the main city. The views are something special and you can learn a little about the history of the monuments etc from the information posts so it's something worth doing whatever you're into. Bonus points if you get up there super early and watch the sunset. Or even the sunrise, if you're not an early bird. Don't forget your camera!

5. Use Edinburgh as an exploration base

Is this a cheat point? I think no. Surrounding Edinburgh, both near and a little bit further afield, are some fabulous places. An hour or so away is the seaside town of North Berwick which couldn't feel more different to Edinburgh and is a lovely place to spend a morning if you're a beach lover. Or about 40 minutes out of Edinburgh is a lovely collection of villages and towns on the way to the M6. I'm such a big fan of discovering little villages etc, as a village girl myself I appreciate how many little gems can be found in these places. So spend an afternoon exploring local pubs and tea rooms, and see some cute houses. Other places worth consideration for a day trip from Edinburgh include Peebles, Glasgow and Dumfries.

6. Have tea and cake at Lovecrumbs

 A little bit out of the way of the Royal Mile and Princes Street so maybe not somewhere you would necessarily find on your exploits. If you, like me, are a "tea and cake" fanatic then it REALLY isn't one to be missed. Be prepared to not find a seat, as it is extremely popular with locals. But for the delicious cakes, quirky setting and just general ambience it is worth the wait. Keep an eye out for the window seat - it's definitely the best seat in the house!

7. Have chips with "salt and sauce" from a local chip shop

I didn't have the foggiest idea what "salt and sauce" was when Martin used to go on and on and on about it. Our chippies in Wales do salt and vinegar, or curry sauce. Salt and sauce is an Edinburgh speciality and is basically diluted brown sauce which sounds vile but it's actually decent! Find a local chippy somewhere away from the city centre and enjoy a local delicacy!

8. Visit Edinburgh University Teviot Building (and the Library Bar)

This SU building blows all others out of the water. It is insane and you get such Hogwarts vibes when walking into it. Many unis have more modern SU buildings, and Edinburgh has that too with their Potterow building, but this one is something really special. It makes me wish I hadn't just graduated so I could choose to go to Edinburgh and spend all my time in the Library Bar. There are a few bars and they all have different "themes", so definitely get a pint or a coffee in there and soak up the ambience.

PLEASE if you have visited Edinburgh and have any cool suggestions of things you think I might enjoy, don't hold back! Sharing is caring, and all that.
Teri-May xx


  1. I love Edinburgh! Using this as a guide next time i go there :)))))) x

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  3. Thanks for sharing all of your experiences!

  4. A lovely place Edinburgh. So nice city. Thanks for the reading.

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