Off the beaten path in Edinburgh

Last updated: Thursday, 8 October 2020

Discover more in the capital.

Edinburgh bound? With ScotRail you can travel like a King to the Castle whenever you want, but there’s so much more to discover in the city when you get off the well-trodden tourist trail. Read on for a few suggestions to help you make a day (and night) of it in Scotland’s stunning capital.

Dean Village / Water of Leith

Dean Village is only a five-minute walk from the west end of Princes Street, but it truly feels like a different world. The village was a former milling town for hundreds of years before being swallowed up in the capital’s urban sprawl.

Today it’s an oasis of calm in the middle of the city with a picture postcard appearance and quaint architecture. With the Water of Leith running alongside it’s one of the most romantic strolls you can take in Edinburgh.

If you plan on stretching your legs and following the path along the water you’ll be rewarded with an arrival in Stockbridge. This fashionable neighbourhood is full of cafes, delis and pubs to keep you going whatever the time of day.


It’s really a case of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ with Bramble as it’s tucked away in a basement on Queen Street.

Track it down though and you’ll be rewarded with a speakeasy-style bar that’s not only considered Edinburgh’s finest, but was voted best in the whole of the UK earlier this year.

Unlike many cocktail bars there’s no gimmicks here, just a mixture of classics alongside some more experimental concoctions from a set of bartenders whom really know their stuff.

Bramble is buzzing at the weekends and more relaxed weeknights, though go for the latter and you might be paying for it the next day at work.

Mums Comfort Food

The Edinburgh dining scene is one of the best in the U.K., with Michelin stars aplenty and almost every cuisine under the sun popping up somewhere in town. Mums however, is pretty unique to say the least.

Located near Edinburgh University, their tagline is ‘Great Comfort Food’ so expect treats like Sausage & Mash, Sheperd’s Pie, Smoked Pork Chops and Steak & Ale Stew. If you’re early enough, you may be in time for a good old-fashioned fry up.

Room for pudding? Here you’ll find perhaps the world’s only deep-fried Custard Creams, every bit as indulgent as they sound. If that’s too much for you there’s Treacle & Date pudding or Caramelised Banana Split on offer.

Portobello Beach

Just because you’re in the city doesn’t mean you have to go far to get the sand between your toes. Portobello beach is a popular walking spot for locals and visitors, not far away from the city centre buzz and perfect if you fancy getting away from the smog for a gulp of fresh sea air.

The beach and promenade are both awash with old-school seaside charm, too. Think Mr Whippy ice cream and amusement arcades, as well as more than a few quaint restaurants and cafes along there nearby Portobello High Street.

If you’re getting there by train, nearby Brunstane is just a 7-minute hop from nearby Waverley, with services every half hour.

Off the beaten path in Edinburgh
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