Looking for fun, festive things to do in Glasgow at Christmas time? The city is filled to the brim with festivities, decorations and the usual welcoming atmosphere you’d expect from Glasgow.
Now that it’s almost December, the festive season is well and truly upon us and it’s time to start planning out all the christmassy things you’re going to do this year.
There’s plenty to do in and around the city that’ll keep everyone happy and get you all in the mood for festive cheer and good times. Get your friends together, go with your partner, grab your family or take the kids…there’s something to suit everyone.
Is it even Christmas if you don’t visit some Christmas markets? I don’t think so!
Glasgow’s Christmas Markets might not be quite as impressive as Edinburgh’s, but they’re still a lot of fun. There are two markets this year in the city – one at St. Enoch’s and one in George Square.
There are independent retailers selling cute Christmas trinkets and gifts, plus plenty of decorations and ornaments. There are places you can drink mulled wine or Gluhwein to really get in the festive spirit and plenty of delicious things to eat too.
There’s also rides and entertainment at the George Square markets to keep wee ones happy.
There’s also an autism-friendly day at the George Square markets on 4th December. Flashing lights will be turned off, music will be quieter and it’ll be as friendly as possible to those with autism. What a great idea!
Go to a festive movie
What’s better at Christmas time than snuggling up with a good movie? Well, there are quite a few places throughout the city where you can indulge that wish.
Glasgow Film Theatre is showing a myriad of festive flicks throughout the month of December. Catch up with Buddy the Elf, see how Kevin’s getting on in Home Alone or join in with the Frozen sing-a-long.
If you’re willing to travel a bit outside of the city then you can head to the Christmas drive-in movies at Loch Lomond Shores. These are being hosted by itison and look set to be spectacular. As well as great movies such as Love Actually and Die Hard, there’s also gourmet festive food stands and car-aoke.
Admire the Christmas lights
This might not sound so fun at first, but bear with me! When my brother and I were younger my mum used to drive us around admiring the Christmas lights and we absolutely loved it. Not to sound old as heck, but Christmas lights these days are so much more impressive now than when I was wee. That means it’s even more fun these days!
Jump in the car and head out on a drive to discover the Christmas lights, or just head out on foot. It’s fun admiring the Christmas lights and, let’s face it, cringing at some of the tackier displays too.
Attend the panto
Does anything say Christmas quite like the panto? Oh no, it doesn’t!
I love a good trip to the panto, with the singing, the banter, the costumes, and the punny jokes. Who doesn’t?!
There are several pantos happening in and around Glasgow. My favourite panto is usually the one at The King’s, which is Aladdin this year. Elsewhere, there’s Cinderella at the SEC and The Pavillion, Mammy Goose at The Tron and Alice in Pantoland at The Shed. There are also plenty more smaller productions around the city if you fancy that too.
Get your skates on
There’s no place to get your skates on in Glasgow city centre this year but, fear not, there are several places nearby where you can ice skate in the open air. The nearby city of Paisley has an open-air ice rink as part of their Winterfest. There will also be Christmas markets and festive fairground rides, plus plenty of things to eat and drink at Winterfest.
Elsewhere, there’s the ice rink at M&D’s theme park at Strathclyde Park. Here you can skate outdoors then enjoy some fun times in their Santa Wonderland, including seeing reindeer, meeting Santa and more. Elsewhere within the park, there’s indoor bowling, a game zone and, of course, the theme park rides themselves.
What things are you planning to do in Glasgow this Christmas?
I’m fiercely passionate about my home city, Glasgow. I’ve lived just outside the city for my entire life and have always loved it.
I never fail to be disappointed when speaking to someone while I’m travelling who tells me they’ve visited Scotland, but only been to Edinburgh. Sure, Edinburgh is beautiful, but to overlook Glasgow is to do the city a disservice.
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is the West End of the city. It has charming side streets with tiny shops, delicious restaurants and vibrant and bustling bars. It’s pretty much the perfect introduction to the city.
This is the area where I went to university (The University of Glasgow) and I’ve loved it since those days. The area is full of students, which gives it a fun and lively feel.
Locals know to skip the chain bars and restaurants of the city centre and check out the West End or Finneston instead. The restuarants and bars here are quirkier and have much more character than the city centre bars, which are mostly owned by the same large company and consequently can be very similar.
Glasgow’s name actually translates to ‘dear Green place’, which is apt as there are 90 public parks and gardens across the city.
For complete quiet, I can hide away in Kelvingrove Park. It has Victorian grandeur with fabulous statues and a grand staircase and offers complete peace from the hectic pace of city life.
In the fall you should take a walk through Kelvingrove park and enjoy the yellows, oranges and reds of the changing leaves as they fall from the trees and create a beautiful multi-coloured carpet for you to walk on.
If you’re visiting Glasgow and wondering where you can get the best shots for your Insta-grid, then there are plenty of places. The city is incredibly photogenic and has great architecture, gorgeous streets and plenty of raw, real places to shoot images.
This includes Glasgow University’s imposing Gothic features and the cobbled streets of the West End. The best vantage point can be found at the Science Centre Tower. The world’s first 360° turning tower which offers stunning panoramic views of the whole city.
Great (free!) museums
Glasgow is full of incredible museums and galleries. Most of these are absolutely free, so that everyone is able to share in the joy and knowledge that they hold.
My favourite museum is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. With over 8000 exhibits it contains everything from beautiful pieces of art to a real spitfire and best of all? It’s completely free.
Glaswegians are typically open, warm and friendly. They’re overwhelmingly welcoming, especially to visitors. We also have a great sense of humour and will talk to just about anyone.
Friendly people can make all the difference to a trip, as I’ve found out many times. Friendly people can be the difference between loving a place and hating it.
There are SO many events that take place in Glasgow.
There are major events, like the Celtic Connections Music Festival and Glasgow Film Festival. There’s a comedy festival, a coffee festival and the wonderful West End Festival. There are live music festivals, the annual Aye Write! Book Festival and an International Pipe Band Championships.
As well as these large events there are dozens of smaller events and there’s always live music being played somewhere in the city.
No matter when you visit Glasgow, there’s bound to be something fun happening!
The Big Feed, Glasgow
When you think of Scottish food, the first thing that probably comes to mind is haggis. But, there’s so much more the foodie scene in Glasgow and Scotland in general!
There’s a really strong foodie scene in Glasgow and there are so many great restaurants to try out. You’ll find all different types of cuisines and restaurants to suit every budget dotted across the city. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’re bound to find it.
Aside from amazing restaurants, there are also several food events on regularly in the city. I love the Big Feed events – a cool street food style event that happens in a transformed warehouse in Govan. It’s the type of thing that you need to go to in order to fully appreciate how fantastic it is. Another great street food style event is the Dockyard Social, which is so popular it’s set to become a permanent fixture in the city.
Last week I visited GlasGLOW at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. GlasGLOW is probably best described as an immersive light and sound experience that is set up each year around Halloween.
A massive section of the Botanic Gardens are covered in lights that will dazzle you as you walk around. It’s pretty much the perfect way to embrace the darkness now that the clocks have gone back and the daylight hours are disappearing.
My favourite part was what we dubbed the ‘jazzy grass’. There are thousands of light bulbs on the grass that ‘dance’ to music, change colour and just generally look mesmerising.
As well as lights outdoors, snaking through the park on a one-mile stroll, there are lights inside the Kibble Palace.
The Kibble Palace dates back more than 150 years and was moved from the home of John Kibble to the Botanic Gardens and extended in 1871.
Back then, it was lit by 600 gas lamps that could be coloured for effect. The lights of GlasGLOW illuminating it in vibrant shades is a perfect throwback to those days. Although, maybe just a tad more high tech and impressive!
Inside the Kibble Palace there are dozens of types of tropical plants, trees and flowers from all over the world. It’s just as pretty to visit in daylight when GlasGLOW isn’t on!
The event is completely family-friendly and is perfect for both adults and kids. It’s a great way to make use of a stunning park in the wintery months when it wouldn’t otherwise be used.
The trail takes around 90 minutes, but you could do it faster or slower as it’s all done at your own pace.
There are stalls selling delicious food inside the park too, so no need to have dinner before your visit.
GlasGLOW is on until the 11th November 2018 and will be returning again in 2019! Have you been or would you like to visit?
If you’ve never been to Glasgow before then let me warn you before your visit…it rains a lot! The west of Scotland is pretty much the wettest part of the country and Glasgow has around 200 days of rain per year. That’s more days with rain than without!
Even with the rain, Glasgow is still one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s the city I’ve grown up right next to and I love living just 10 minutes from the bright lights of Scotland’s largest city.
So, you might need some tips on things to do in Glasgow when the weather isn’t being kind. Here are some ideas of indoor things to do in Glasgow when it rains…
Shop until you drop
There is some fantastic shopping to be done in Glasgow. Around the city you’ll find independent stores, all the high street favourites and some fantastic jewellers too. Whatever you’re looking for you’re bound to find it somewhere in the city.
The best shopping spots can be found in Buchanan Galleries, the shops which line Buchanan Street, the St Enoch’s centre and the independent, quirky boutiques of the west end.
Since it rains so much in Glasgow, our street food markets are mostly all indoors. If they weren’t they’d end up getting cancelled due to the weather more often than not!
Big Feed is usually on the last weekend of every month and any bank holiday weekend. It’s housed within an old warehouse and comes alive with food trucks, live music, drinks and plenty of yummy things to eat. It’s the perfect place to pass a few hours on a rainy day.
Other street food events in Glasgow include The Dockyard Social, located just outside the Finnieston area. Here you’ll find 11 ethically-sourced food vendors whipping up some amazing flavours. There are also several bars selling craft beers, wines and fun cocktails.
I’m a firm believer that Glasgow has some of the best museums in Scotland. The majority of the museums in and around the city are free too which is even better!
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of my favourites and is the most visited musuem outside of London. There are over 9,000 exhibits contained within a gorgeous building and it’s perfect for both adults and children.
Other great museums include The People’s Palace (a personal favourite), Riverside Museum, Scotland Street School and more. There’s plenty of musuems that’ll suit all ages and all interests.
Glasgow’s Science Centre is a great option, especially with children. There are loads of hands on exhibits and plenty of things to keep everyone entertained and interested. Lots of the exhibits are interactive and educational, as well as being really fun. Perfect!
If you’ve got a head for heights and want some great views over the city you can also head up Glasgow Tower. It’s situated right next to the Science Centre and gives 360 degree views over Glasgow.
If it’s a dreich (Scottish word for miserable!) night in Glasgow, why not escape the rain by going to see some live music? Glasgow has been named as a UNESCO City of Music partly thanks to the sheer amount of live music to be found across the city on a weekly basis.
There are famous music venues and plenty of pubs and bars with regular live music sessions. Every music genre is covered, from indie rock to jazz, and you can quickly and easily find out what’s on where and when by searching online.
Visit an escape room
Unless you’ve been living under a rock I’m sure you’ll have heard about escape rooms being a big thing right now. Escape rooms are basically where you and a bunch of friends or family are locked in a room with a number of puzzles to solve in a limited amount of time in order to escape. Puzzles can be mathmatical, scientific, riddles and more.
There are a few different escape rooms located within Glasgow, each a little bit different. They’re super fun and really get the mind working.
Do you have any other indoor things to do in Glasgow when it rains to add to my list?
North Berwick is one of my absolute favourite little towns in Scotland. It’s a place I visit several times each year when we go on long weekends to Archerfield Estate, which is just a few miles away from the town.
As it’s somewhere I’ve been so often for the last 7-8 years, I’ve gotten to know North Berwick very well. I decided to put together this guide to North Berwick, so if you’re heading there for the first time soon read on to find out all the best places to eat, drink and relax…
Where to eat in North Berwick…
Herringbone is my favourite place for lunch in North Berwick. The Scandi-style interior is stylish and comfortable and there’s a great choice of food and drinks. The staff are also super friendly and the whole place is dog-friendly too. My dog Ben loves a visit to Herringbone!
Zittos is an Italian restaurant and wine bar that does all of the Italian favourites. It’s a great place for an evening meal.
Osteria is the ideal place to go if you’re going for a special dinner, as it’s a little fancier than the rest. The menu is fantastic, the service is great and its perfect for a romantic meal for 2 or a celebratory meal with family or friends.
The Puffin is also a new(ish) place to eat in North Berwick. I have to admit that I haven’t tried it out myself yet, but have heard good reports. It’s dog-friendly too, so I think me and little Ben will have to try it out soon!
Near to North Berwick there are also plenty of other eateries to choose from. Within a few miles of North Berwick you’ll find Greywalls, The Main Course, Archerfield Clubhouse, The Old Clubhouse and many more.
Where to drink in North Berwick…
Admittedly, there aren’t that many watering holes in North Berwick, but there are a few good ones.
My absolute favourite place to go for stylish drinks just happens to be one of my favourite eateries too – Herringbone. The wine list is extensive and there are also plenty of fantastic cocktails to choose from too.
If a casual pub is more your kind of thing then head to The Golfer’s Rest. It’s a casual, cosy pub that screens lots of sports if that’s your kind of thing.
Where to shop in North Berwick…
Pretty much all of the shops in North Berwick are on or centered around the High Street. There are quite a few independent boutique style shops with things that are a little different to what you find in the usual high street stores. There are always my favourite type of shops to browse in, as they’re way more interesting than seeing the same type of things in every shop elsewhere. They’re the perfect little shops if you’re looking for gifts (for someone or just yourself!) or cards.
A lot of the shops are also dog-friendly too, so you don’t need to leave your pooch at home if you want to browse around. Perfect!
Other things to do in North Berwick…
If you’re visiting North Berwick you absolutely can’t forgoe a walk on the gorgeous sandy beach. There are actually two beaches in North Berwick – the beach at West Bay and Milsey Bay Beach. Both are absolutely gorgeous and incredible on a sunny day.
The sunsets over West Bay are also absolutely gorgeous, especially in spring or autumn. If you get the chance, don’t hesitate to take a walk on the beach at sunset, or just sit on the sand and enjoy the view.
There’s also the Scottish Seabird Centre, the option to go on boat tours out to sea and much more.
Nearby North Berwick there’s also the stunning Yellowcraigs beach, my absolute favourite in the area. Don’t miss it on a trip to this part of Scotland. It’s always much quieter than the beaches in North Berwick itself, so great if you want something a little more chilled out.
Have you got anything to add to my guide to North Berwick?
Wondering what the best Scottish seaside towns to visit are? Then you’ll want to stick around and read on.
Mainland Scotland is surrounded by more than 6000 miles of coastline, so you won’t be surprised to find out there are some incredible little seaside towns dotted all around the coast.
North Berwick, on Scotland’s east coast, is a personal favourite of mine. I visit a few times each year and stay at nearby Archerfield Estate, so I’m pretty familiar with this seaside stunner.
The best part about North Berwick is the two beaches either side of the town. They are soft sandy beaches that are perfect to walk along (my dog loves a walk on the beach there!), whilst taking in the fresh sea air and gorgeous views out over the water.
Away from the beaches, you’ll find a cute little town with some lovely boutique shops, a couple of good restaurants (I recommend Osteria), a couple of pubs and a stylish bar and eatery (Herringbone – it’s fantastic). A great thing about most of the shops and some of the venues is that they’re dog-friendly. If you’re travelling with your dog (like I do!), it’s great to be able to take them out with you for the day.
It has pretty much everything you could want or need for a day-trip or weekend getaway. When the sun is shining the main streets are packed with people out making the most of the weather and I’d highly recommend making dinner reservations wherever you want to eat – it can get busy in summer!
Portree is a colourful, impossibly pretty town on the magical Isle of Skye. It’s the largest town on the island and the colourful houses that line the water make it a photographer’s dream (aka Instagram-perfect!).
It’s a small town that’s surrounded by hills and feels like it’s a million miles away from the stress and rush of everyday life. There are cute cafes, restaurants, a few shops, a cinema and an indoor swimming pool if the weather gives up during your visit!
Away from Portree, Skye is one of the most rugged and beautiful places I’ve visited in Scotland. I couldn’t recommend a visit to this island more. There’s so much natural beauty and so many great walks and amazing views to be discovered.
St. Andrews is another of my favourite Scottish towns and almost certainly the most famous town to have made it onto this list. It’s where Prince William met his now wife, Kate and where they both went to university.
The University of St. Andrews was Scotland’s first ever university and dates all the way back to 1413. It lies right at the heart of the town and means there are plenty of students in and around the town, giving it a youthful and vibrant feel. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to all of the historical architecture and old-world feel that St Andrews has.
Visitors will find dozens of independent shops, pretty cafes, some fantastic restaurants (I recommend the Vine Leaf) and plenty of cosy pubs and busy bars. It’s the perfect place for a long weekend or even just for a day if that’s all you can manage.
The highlight of St. Andrews is its gorgeous seaside position, stunning views and pretty beach. Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral and Castle ruins.
This one might seem like a little bit of a random inclusion on the list as there really isn’t much to John o’Groats. I’m including it firstly because it’s famous as being the most northerly inhabited town in mainland Scotland and secondly because of the multitude of things to do and see nearby. Thirdly, and crucially, the views from here are incredible, especially on a sunny day.
Around John o’Groats you’ll find some of the best coastal views in the country and some of the nicest beaches too. Hire a car, get on the road and explore. You won’t be disappointed!
Do you have any more to add to my list of best Scottish seaside towns?
A couple of weekends ago I finally went somewhere I’ve wanted to go for ages. I went to Big Feed, Scotland’s biggest indoor street food market!
Big Feed is hosted in a warehouse in an unassuming street in Govan. We parked up and began to walk towards the door of the warehouse but we could already hear live music and plenty of buzz. There’s a small entry fee for Big Feed and your hand is stamped to allow you to exit and return again later if you wish.
It was nothing like I was expecting. The warehouse is quirky and has been kitted out with pretty lights, plenty of seats inside and outside and there are food trucks everywhere . There are DJs, live music sets and the atmosphere is friendly and chilled. It’s also completely dog-friendly inside and outside so I was delighted to be able to take my pooch Ben with me. He definitely enjoyed seeing all the other dogs and getting lots of attention from people!
The food and drink vendors who are there vary each time. Everything looked amazing during our visit and I only wish I’d been hungrier so I could have eaten more! My personal favourites were the mozzarella fritters from Apecini and the chilli nachos from Firedog.
The whole venue is licensed so you can enjoy a drink (or five!) whilst eating and hanging out. During our visit there was an adorable little Prosecco van, as well as two other bar areas selling a good selection of beers, ciders, wines, soft drinks and some cocktails. What more could you ask for?!
I’m already planning my next visit to the Big Feed as it was so much fun. The atmosphere was perfect and I spent a good few hours just hanging out, chatting with my friends, drinking and getting more food every so often.
Next time I go I hope there will be some different food vendors there so I can sample some new street food delights!
Emma’s Top tips:
– Click here to check the Big Feed website for details of dates when the market is open
– Be sure to look up the address before you leave, as it would be easy to drive straight past
– Get there early as there are often queues and it’s a one-in-one-out policy once the venue is full
– The venue is completely dog-friendly so don’t forget to take your four-legged friends!
Have you been to Glasgow’s Big Feed yet?
Looking for a fun day out in central Scotland? Why not visit The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel? They’re around 20 miles from Glasgow and Edinburgh, so it’s easy to visit them from either city in a day. Plus, they’re just a few miles apart, so the perfect distance to visit both sites in just one day. You can easily drive between both sites, or use the canal pathway and walk or cycle between the two.
The Kelpies are the largest equine statues in the world. They stand at 30 metres tall and weigh around 300 tonnes each. They’re massive!
The history of the statues comes because Kelpies are mythical creatures who possess the strength of 10 normal horses. They stand right next to the Forth and Clyde Canal and were chosen at the inception of the project as a symbol of strength and endurance.
The Kelpies are crafted from steel which symbolises the lost steel industry in Scotland – an industry which was once massive and responsible for so many jobs in the country.
There is an extension of the canal around The Kelpies, allowing canal boats to pass through the waterway. How much fun would that be on a canal boat journey!
During a visit to The Kelpies, as well as admiring the huge statues themselves there are kids play parks, walks along the canal, a visitor centre, cafe, gift shop and plenty of outdoor spaces to relax if the weather is being kind.
The Falkirk Wheel
The Falkirk Wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. It’s a rotating boat lift, the only one of its kind in the whole world.
The Falkirk Wheel is over 35 metres high and is such an amazing sight to see. It carries boats from top to bottom and vice versa. Travelling through 35 metres to join the Union Canal at the top or the Forth and Clyde Canal at the bottom.
You don’t need to be on holiday on a canal boat to enjoy the experience though, there are several boat trips throughout the day that you can join. I definitely recommend booking for the tour as soon as you arrive at The Wheel, as they do fill up fast.
As well as The Wheel, there are play parks, a cool airstream selling food, a cafe, water play park and more.
Have you enjoyed a visit to The Kelpies and The Falkirk Wheel? Or would you like to?
Despite several trips abroad, one of my most favourite trips of last year was spent exploring the north of Scotland. I enjoyed a week travelling around the northernmost tip of the country and was blown away by its beauty.
The weather during my time in this area was incredible, which I’m sure definitely contributed to my enjoyment, but I think it’s one of those places that would look stunning no matter what.
I highly recommend hiring a car if you’re planning to explore this area. It’s super easy to get to Thurso by train, but once you’re there a car is the best way to get around.
So, here are the best things to do near Thurso for your two day visit…
Visit John o’Groats
You can’t travel to the north of Scotland and not visit John o’Groats. It’s world-famous for being the most northerly inhabited point in mainland Scotland and for being the start or finish of the End to End challenge – from Land’s End to John o’Groats, usually completed by bike.
To tell the truth, there isn’t much in John o’Groats beyond some seriously pretty views, a few shops to browse in and a nice spot for coffee or some lunch. It’s absolutely worth a visit to enjoy the stunning scenery, peace and quiet and being in this wonderful location.
Visit Dunnet Head
John O’Groats is famous for being the most northerly point in mainland Scotland, but I didn’t actually realise it’s the most northerly inhabited place. The most northern point in mainland Scotland is actually Dunnet Head.
Dunnet Head is around 13 miles from Thurso and is easily reached by car. Here, you’ll be greeted by stunning views out over the North Sea. You’ll also get the chance to spot some wildlife too at the Dunnet Head Nature Reserve. You can try spotting puffins, razorbills, guillemots and more soaring over the sea cliffs.
Drive part of the North Coast 500
If you do decide to hire a car during your time in this area (and I highly, highly recommend doing so!), you can drive part of the North Coast 500 route. The North Coast 500 route has become so popular in the last few years and it’s easy to see why.
I rented a car for one day whilst in Thurso and drove as much of the North Coast 500 route as I could. I’ve got to admit I didn’t get very far though. I kept stopping every few miles to take pictures of gorgeous views or walk along white sandy beaches that had suddenly come into view.
Every few miles or so along the route I found myself saying some version of ‘wow, look over there it’s beautiful‘ as every corner I turned seemed better than the last. I felt like pinching myself to check I was actually still in Scotland and not somewhere further afield with out of this world views.
If you’re using Thurso as a base (and it’s a very good place to do so), you’ll want to save some time for exploring Thurso itself. It has some cute independent shops, a few decent pubs and some nice restaurants. It’s a good place to chill out in the evenings after a long day sightseeing and exploring the nearby area.
Visit Dunnet Bay Distillery
Dunnet Bay Distillery is home to Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka and is well worth a visit when you’re in the area. You can take a tour of the distillery, learn all about how they make gin and vodka, the botanicals they use for the gin and the hand bottling process. Plus, you get some gin to taste (best make sure you’re not the designated driver for that part of the journey!).
Walk along Dunnet Bay Beach
I’m pretty sure I found the best beach in Scotland during my time up north. I was driving along, heading to Dunnet Head when I turned a corner and my jaw dropped at the gorgeous white sand and blue sea I saw. I turned the car around, found the car park and parked up. There was no way I could drive past this beauty of a beach!
It’s the perfect place for a walk along the sand, or even a picnic if you’re that organised. Definitely do not miss visiting this gorgeous beach if you find yourself nearby.
Do you have other things to add to my list of things to do near Thurso and in the North of Scotland?
I’m lucky to live just an hour from Edinburgh, meaning I’ve visited the city lots. I visit on day trips, for weekends and for mid-week getaways. It’s such a fun city to visit and explore and each time I visit I feel I get to know it even better. As well as the usual tourist attractions and some other less well-explored spots, I’ve tried and tested loads of the best restaurants the city has to offer.
I always think choosing restaurants when travelling is tricky. I’m looking for great food, local flavours, amazing service and a great atmosphere. But when you’re in a new city this can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Luckily for you, I’ve done the hard work for you when it comes to Edinburgh’s resturants. I’ve rounded up some of my very favourite eateries in the city so you’ll find some of the best food during your visit.
Here’s my pick of the best restaurants in Edinburgh…
The Witchery by The Castle
I always struggle to explain The Witchery when I’m talking or writing about it. It’s as if there just aren’t enough words to properly portray it because it’s just that different and special. It feels as though you step into another world when you step inside.
You’ll find The Witchery right at the top of The Royal Mile, just a few steps from Edinburgh Castle. Its location, right at the heart of the Old Town adds to the ambience of it.
There are two restaurants within The Witchery – The Witchery restaurant itself and The Secret Garden. Both have a completely different feel but are very special in their own ways. If you choose to stay in one of The Witchery’s 9 suites you are served breakfast by candlelight in the restaurant – an unforgettable experience.
You’ll need to book The Witchery far in advance as it fills up fast!
Wedgwood The Restaurant
This lovely restaurant is handily located on The Royal Mile and is a stylish spot for lunch or dinner.
The vibe at Wedgwood is described as ‘fine-dining without the pretentiousness’ and I think this is pretty spot on. It’s chic and modern, but still relaxed and it feels very comfortable.
The menu is different and exciting with plenty of locally foraged and sourced ingredients and there is a great selection of wines to accompany food too. Everything was fresh, beautifully presented and, most importantly of all, delicious.
I was first recommended this restaurant by friends who used to live in Edinburgh and hasn’t ever disappointed. It’s located on Victoria Street, one of the prettiest streets in the city and is set over several floors. The decor is eclectic and funky and it’s a fun atmosphere.
The food is a mixture of French, North African and Scottish and there’s plenty of choice on the extensive menu.
The Stockbridge Restaurant
This restaurant is located, as the name suggests, in the Stockbridge area of the city. Located just to the north of the city centre and within easy walking distance, this area has amazing Georgian atmosphere and feels more like a cute village than part of the city.
The restaurant itself is adorable inside and the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. There’s candlelight, crisp white tablecloths and a relaxed atmosphere.
The food is delectable, with importance placed on sourcing local, fresh ingredients. The wine menu is extensive and Jane has great knowledge of wines and will be able to recommend something to perfectly complement your meal.
If you’re looking for some great Asian food during your visit to Edinburgh, I highly recommend Thai Orchid. Located just a few steps off the Royal Mile, it’s the perfect taste of Thailand in the city.
Using fresh produce sourced locally, whilst importing herbs, spices and other ingredients direct from Thailand, quality is guaranteed.
I received complimentary food at several of these restaurants. All opinions and inclusions within this article are entirely my own.