Thursday 29 June 2023

Hello, friends! Welcome to my updated Edinburgh bucket list. To call it a bucket list is a bit dramatic as a bucket list is technically "a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime" but mine is just a fun list of things I'd like to do in Edinburgh which I like to update annually. If you'd like to read my first Edinburgh bucket list blog post, I'll link it here. Since then, I've been fortunate enough to tick off a few things and have subsequently added a few more. This blog post you're reading was started over a year ago and has sat neglected and forgotten in my drafts so when I rediscovered it recently, I thought it was high time I finish it.

Edinburgh Bucket List (2023)

1. Visiting The Scotsman Picturehouse - Done!

I've decided to include The Scotsman Picturehouse on this list as it was part of my Edinburgh Bucket List in 2021. I've since been fortunate enough to tick it off my list as I was invited to attend a press screening of "The Road Dance" (which was brilliant!). I've always enjoyed an occasional trip to the cinema but I've generally been motivated by the movie rather than the cinema's surroundings whereas I would happily watch anything at The Scotsman Picturehouse. The cinema offers an intimate and opulent viewing experience with only 48 sumptuous leather armchair seats separated by individual tables adorned with classic empire lamps. I can't wait for my next visit!

2. Attending a Concert at St Cecilia's Hall

I recently visited St Cecilia's Hall for the first time and was blown away by the small museum. It's tucked away on the Cowgate and is the only place in the world where it is possible to hear 18th-century music in an 18th-century concert hall played on 18th-century instruments. St Cecilia’s Hall opened in 1763 with an elegant elliptical concert hall at the heart of the Georgian building which to this day hosts regular concerts. As soon as I stepped inside the hall, I knew I wanted attend a concert there. 

3. Gladstone's Land

If you took a look at my 2018 Edinburgh bucket list, you may have noticed that I still haven't crossed Gladstone's Land off my list. Gladstone's Land is one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile which has been lovingly restored and furnished by the National Trust for Scotland. The building allows you to explore 400 years of Edinburgh's Lawnmarket history on three floors. I'm still a NTS member so hopefully, it won't be long till I tick this off!

4. Afternoon Tea Aboard the Fingal - Done!

Afternoon tea has always been a favourite treat of mine. There's something so decadent about pausing for a few hours to enjoy copious amounts of tea, indulge in cakes and savouries and finish with fluffy scones stuffed full of clotted cream and jam. I've also always had a bit of a fascination with boats so naturally, I was very interested in afternoon tea aboard the Fingal. This is something I've managed to tick off my list last year. The Fingal kindly invited me aboard and my mum and I enjoyed a scrumptious afternoon tea with Art Deco-inspired surroundings. I shared a reel at the time documenting our outing so click here if you'd like to watch it.

5. Royal Yacht Britannia

The Royal Yacht Britannia is a grand floating palace that served the Royal Family for 44 years. The impressive ship has travelled more than a million nautical miles and is considered one of the most well-known ships in the world. Despite living in Edinburgh for almost ten years, for some bizarre reason, it'd never occurred to me to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia. It was only after hearing glowing reviews from my lovely friend Tasha, that I added it to my Edinburgh bucket list. Coincidentally, I had a job shortly after which took me aboard but it was a bit of a whistle-stop tour as we were there to work but the little I did see has made me very eager to return for a proper tour and possibly afternoon tea aboard.

6. Dine at the Old Chain Pier

I've walked past the Old Chain Pier on countless occasions but have yet to venture in. Admittedly, I'm not the biggest seafood eater (the reviews look very promising) but the wonderful views over the Firth of Forth and the restaurant's ambience have piqued my interest. I'm looking forward to popping in one day to enjoy an I.J. MELLIS cheese board, fish & chips or macaroni cheese!

7. Granton Castle Walled Garden

I've been slowly working my way through Edinburgh's beautiful private and public gardens (note to self: I should really share a blog post about them as there are so many wonderful ones!) and I have my friend Emma to thank for letting me know about Granton Castle Walled Garden. I've been keen to visit ever since. The garden has stood on the coast of north Edinburgh since the turn of the 16th century and is maintained by local volunteers.

8. Afternoon Tea at Prestonfield

Since I've ticked one afternoon tea destination off my list, let's add another. Prestonfield House was built by Sir William Bruce in 1687 on his completion of the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the building remained a private home until 1958 when it became a hotel. It is now run by the creator of The Witchery by the Castle and from the photos I've seen it has a familiar decadent style. This year, their afternoon tea has been designed to celebrate the King’s Coronation. 

9. St Giles Rooftop 

This is another 'leftover' from my 2018 Edinburgh Bucket List and I'm not even certain if this is something they still offer but a few years ago, I heard from a couple of people that they'd joined one of St Giles' free daily tours and were lead up to the rooftop. I can only imagine that the views must be stunning! 

10. Dine at The Caffè Bar in Valvona & Crolla

Opened in 1996, Valvona & Crolla's Caffè Bar uses recipes which have been handed down over the years from their families in central and southern Italy. Their dishes are also prepared using the produce sold in the shop. I've been in their store multiple times and keep meaning to stop in for lunch.

11. Mansfield Traquair 

A few years ago, while taking photos of Mansfield Traquair, someone stopped to ask me if I'd been inside to see the stunning murals by Phoebe Anna Traquair. I hadn't and they strongly encouraged me to visit during an open day as they were very impressed by them. I've been curious ever since but haven't made it along to their open day yet.

12. Corstorphine Hill Tower

Corstorphine Tower is a memorial to the well-known Scottish author Sir Walter Scott and was built in 1871. I've stood outside the impressive tower but, unfortunately, it's only open on certain days of the year like Doors Open Days Scotland so I'll need to keep an eye out.

Thanks for reading, let me know what's on your Edinburgh Bucket List!

Thursday 8 June 2023

Hello friends and welcome to a new series I'm calling "A Little Exploring". It's been on my mind for some time to create a collection of mini Edinburgh neighbourhood guides. One reason I've put this off for so long is that there are already so many wonderful Edinburgh guides! So, rather than this being a definitive guide to a particular neighbourhood, these mini guides will be filled with my favourite places to eat, small businesses to visit and attractions to see. Therefore, I've only included places I've been to or come highly recommended by close friends so if I miss out your favourite small business or attraction, please leave it in the comments as I'd love to add it to my to-visit list.

If this is your first visit to Leith, I hope this guide will give you a rough idea of where to start and if you're more familiar with the area, the "A little more exploring..." section at the end might be of more interest. Happy exploring!

A Little Exploring: Leith

Welcome to Leith! For those who enjoy a little background, Leith was an independent burgh until it merged with Edinburgh in 1920 (much to the outrage of Leithers who voted 26,810 to 4,340 against the merger) and, for many centuries, it was Scotland's premier port and home to a wide variety of flourishing industries including shipbuilding, flour milling and biscuit making.

An introduction to the neighbourhood...

Leith Walk – The Leith Walk area is the most densely populated area in Scotland with nearly 26,000 people residing within an 800 metre radius! For the past few years, Leith Walk has been a bit of a mess but, thankfully, the tram works are finally coming to an end and walking down Leith Walk is no longer an obstacle course. Leith Walk is the perfect place to begin, I’d recommend wandering down the street and popping into the various small businesses. Be sure to check out the Leith Walk Police Box, a quirky pop–up space.

The Shore - Sitting on the shores of the Water of Leith, The Shore is one of Leith's most scenic sights and known for its great eateries. The banks of the Shore are lined with a range of beautiful old buildings and in the warmer weather, there’s a wonderful atmosphere as many locals and visitors sit alongside the water or enjoy alfresco dining at the restaurants and pubs.

Constitution Street - If you find the hustle and bustle of Leith Walk a little too much for you, Constitution Street will provide some welcome respite from the crowds allowing you to admire the mix of historic buildings. The street is also home to a range of local eateries.

A must-see attraction...

The Royal Yacht Britannia is a grand floating palace that served the Royal Family for 44 years. The impressive ship has travelled more than a million nautical miles and is considered one of the most well-known ships in the world. Today, the Royal Yacht sits beside Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre and welcomes visitors aboard to explore its five decks. The self-guided tour will guide you through the Admiral’s Quarters, Crew Quarters, State Apartments, the Bridge, and there’s even the option to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the Royal Deck Tea Room.  

A spot of independent shopping...  

(Just a couple of my favourites, I’ve really tried to limit myself!)  

Bookshops of Leith  – I struggled to choose just one bookshop so here are a few favourites. First, sitting at the top of Leith Walk, Topping & Company Booksellers (pictured below, 2 Blenheim Place) is spread out over two levels with tables to sit and enjoy a complimentary drink. Typewronger Books (4a Haddington Place) is a cosy nook that stocks a range of books including local authors. Next, Elvis Shakespeare (347 Leith Walk) is a wonderful fusion of rare vinyl and secondhand books. Argonaut Books (15 Leith Walk) sits near the Foot of the Walk and is another fantastic bookshop with a small cafe. Lastly, Edinburgh Community Bookshop (179 Great Junction Street) sells secondhand books to raise funds for various local charities.

Valvona & Crolla (19 Elm Row) - Valvona & Crolla is a charming family-run business and a cornucopia of Italian deli produce, pastries, bread and wines. There’s even a restaurant tucked away in the back. 

Pascal & Co (20 Albert Place) - Named after the owner's beloved pooch, Pascal & Co is a delightful vintage store filled with a lovingly curated selection of vintage clothes and retro home decor sourced from Scotland, France, Italy and beyond.

Druid Edinburgh (5 Dalmeny Street) - Druid creates small-batch, hand-poured botanical candles using premium ingredients, blended together with perfume-grade fragrance and coconut wax.

Handsel (336 Leith Walk) - Handsel is one of my favourites to pop into when looking for a gift. I'm always impressed by their range of home and lifestyle products.

Logan Malloch Ltd (13 Leith Walk) - Logan Malloch is another beautifully-curated contemporary gift store with a wonderful bookish nook to the rear of the shop. 

The Leith Collective (Ocean Terminal) - A brilliant store stocking over 300 makers and artists' work. A really interesting space to browse as you never know what you'll come across!

TBCo (170 Great Junction Street) - A beautiful shop filled with a range of stylish scarves and cosy blankets as well as beautiful homewares and a children’s section.

*There's also a host of charity shops dotted along Leith Walk!

A bite to eat...

 William & Johnson Coffee (Custom Lane) - I love their hot choc.

Embo (29 Haddington Place) - cosy lunch spot.

Sicilian Pastry Shop (14 Albert Street) - great for lunch on the go!

 Roseleaf Bar Café (23 Sandport Place) - great lunch spot and amazing red cappuccino.

 The Pastry Section (143 Great Junction Street) - a must-visit!

Toast (65 Shore) - amazing sweet treats.

La Casa (297 Leith Walk) - a lovely dinner option.

Photos (Roseleaf, Toast, Pastry Section, William & Johnson)

A little more exploring...

Leith Murals - As you explore Leith, there's a good chance you'll spot at least one of its murals. A few of the murals date back to the 80s and are complemented by an influx of new murals from 2013 onwards, thanks to LeithLate’s mural project. If you’d like to visit all of Leith's murals, LeithLate has created a mural map, tap here to see it.

Pilrig Park - Pilrig Park is a popular park with locals and it's a great spot to enjoy a picnic or soak up a bit of sun in summer. The large, open space is also home to Pilrig House. The historic house was once the home of Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather and uncle. The well-known author spent time there as a child and went on to mention Pilrig House in his novels Kidnapped and Catriona!

Lind & Lime Gin Distillery (24 Coburg Street) - A recent discovery of mine (thanks to Lothian's Edinburgh Bus Tours), Lind & Lime was established by two friends. The distillery features a bar, tasting area, and shop as well as running tours and experiences.

Coburg House Art Studios (15 Coburg Street) - I have to admit, I've yet to visit Coburg House but it sounds too good not to include. Once a granary warehouse, Coburg House has been a thriving hub of artists, designers and makers for over 20 years. The shop is open every weekend and it hosts regular exhibitions as well as open studios.

Out of the Blue Drill Hall (36 Dalmeny Street) - Another really interesting space is Out of the Blue Drill Hall. It was once an army drill hall but was transformed into a community hub and venue in 2004. Keep an eye out on their website as they host regular events and exhibitions. 

Photos (Pilrig House, Out of the Blue, Leith Aquatic Mural, Lind & Lime)

See you in the next guide!

Spoiler: It'll be a New Town guide.


Friday 2 December 2022

It’s been on my mind for some time to put together an independent gift guide to Edinburgh and since we’re on the run-up to Christmas, I figured what better time to finally get around to it. I don’t know about you but I come across so many lovely brands on a nearly daily basis yet when an occasion arises to buy a gift, I often draw a blank. So, I have filled this guide with a few recommendations from Edinburgh's Indie Streets and local maker stores to an under £30 gift guide.

On a final note, as hard as I try, this guide will never fully encompass all of Edinburgh's wonderful small businesses so if I’ve missed out your favourite business or haven’t mentioned your favourite maker, please do include them in the comments section!  

Edinburgh’s Indie Streets  

Edinburgh is renowned for its vibrant independent business scene and several streets have become havens for independent stores, here are a few to visit:

Stockbridge: Stockbridge is a great place to visit when looking for gift inspiration as the neighbourhood has a wonderful high street as well as St Stephen Street which is a haven for independent shopping. A few shops I'd recommend popping into on the high street include Rare Birds Book Shop, which features great books by great women; Galerie Mirages, a cornucopia of jewellery from around the world; Caoba, a fascinating Mexican gift shop; and more.

St Stephen Street is just a short walk from Stockbridge's high street and is home to a range of brilliant stores such as the ever-so-charming bookshops, Golden Hare Books and Ginger and Pickles; serene lifestyle store, The Method; stylish vegan clothing and lifestyle store, Treen ; beautifully-curated fine jewellery store, ætla; and Space at Seventeen, a pop-up space with a brilliant residency line up. Bonus: At the very end of St Stephen Street and beginning of St Vincent Street you'll find Grow Urban, the ideal place to pick up a present for any houseplant lovers.

New Town: Broughton Street is another must-visit indie shopping street. Keep an eye out for ethical homewares and lifestyle store, Stor Lifestyle; tea-lovers paradise, Rosevear Tea; independent art and gift shop Curiouser & Curiouser and stylish Scandi-inspired lifestyle store, Lifestrory!  

Bruntsfield & Morningside: Bruntsfield’s high street is filled with so many lovely stores like quirky gift shop, Halibut & Herring; beautiful clothing store, Biscuit Clothing; florist and botanical store, Snapdragon; award-winning bookshop, The Edinburgh Bookshop plus another branch of Rosevear Tea and Curiouser! Morningside High Street also has a few gems including chocolatiers Edward & Irwyn; delightful homeware shop, Hestie and more! 

Leith Walk: One of Edinburgh’s longest high streets, Leith Walk is home to a range of independent shops including a variety of wonderful bookshops like Topping & Company, Typewronger Books (4a Haddington Place) and Argonaut Books as well as homeware and lifestyle gift shops, Handsel and Logan Malloch Ltd; small batch candle store, Druid Edinburgh; loose leaf tea store, PekoeTea and more!  

Local Maker Stores:

There are a few shops in Edinburgh which solely stock independent makers and provide a wide range of gift inspiration:

An Independent Zebra (88-92 Raeburn Place, Stockbridge):
An Independent Zebra was started by makers for makers and now stocks over 160 small independent businesses!

The Red Door Gallery (42 Victoria Street, Old Town): The Red Door Gallery is a hub of creativity for the visual arts and proudly supports the work of over 150 artists and creative businesses.

Leith Collective (Ocean Terminal, Leith): The Leith Collective is home to a collection of unique and handmade products made using sustainable recycled materials. With over 130 artists and makers from all over Scotland, there’s plenty of choice!

A Few Gift Ideas (under £30):

For those of you who are looking for specific gift ideas, here's a list of 10 ideas which will hopefully provide some inspiration. Two disclaimers before we begin, as this is a list of personal recommendations, I must admit it’s by no means impartial as I’ve included a few talented friends’ work plus I’ve chosen items that I would enjoy gifting or receiving. In no particular order, let's begin!

1. Candles: There are a whole host of wonderful candle-makers based in Edinburgh and a few of my personal favourites are Kind Candles, Can to Candle, Druid Candles, Melrose Candle Co., Edinburgh Candlemaker Co and Edinburgh Honey Co.

2. Colouring Edinburgh Book by Helen C Stark (£8.49): Helen has been a friend of mine for quite some time and I’m a huge fan of her Edinburgh colouring book.

3. Sweet Treats: For friends or loved ones with a bit of a sweet tooth, I'd recommend checking out Edward & Irwyn, The Marshmallow Lady and Coco Chocolatier.

4. Rachelle W Design’s Tea Towel (£14): Rachelle is one of my closest friends and she also runs a brilliant small business. Her foodie and Edinburgh-themed tea towels are just one of the many beautiful items she sells.  

5. Loose Leaf Tea or Coffee: For tea lovers, I'd recommend checking out Rosevear Tea, Pekoe Tea or Eteaket Tea. For coffee drinkers, Mr Eion, Williams and Johnson and Obadiah Coffee do a great bag of locally roasted coffee.

6. Adriana De Matos’ Scottish Wildlife Enamel Mug (£16): Adriana is another talented Edinburgh-based artist, I'm particularly fond of her wildlife series!

7. Blind Date With a Book (from £7.99): I've spotted this in a few independent bookshops such as Golden Hare Books and Topping & Company and thought it sounded like a fun idea. If you haven't heard of it, the "blind date books" are wrapped then a few clues are written on the paper to give you a clue of what type of book is hidden inside.

8. TBCo Gloves or Wrist Warmers (£30): TBCo has a beautiful range of finely knit merino cashmere gloves in a variety of colours.

9. Hidden Scotland Magazine (£15): Hidden Scotland produces beautiful biannual magazines showcasing the best that Scotland has to offer.

10. Pockets of Pretty: An Instagrammer's Edinburgh (£20): Sneaking in my book as the last entry. Pockets of Pretty is a labour of love and is filled with various neighbourhood guides, coffee shop recommendations, day trip ideas and more!

Tuesday 31 May 2022


Hello, friends! I can hardly believe we're in the month of June already. Spring has passed and we're well and truly into the summer months - although I'm not sure the weather has got the memo! There's so much to look forward to: rose season, lazy picnics plus there seems to be so much going on in the city. I wanted to share a small selection of dates for your diary and please do leave a comment below if I've left something that you think is worth mentioning.

*tap an event to visit its website for more information

Exhibitions, Entertainment & Festivals

All Month: Counted | Scotland's Census 2022 (Scottish National Portrait Gallery, free)

All Month: Robert Blomfield: Student of Light (University of Edinburgh Main Library, free)

All Month: The Collective New Exhibitions (The Collective, free)

All Month: Japanese Contemporary Design (National Museum of Scotland, free)

Sundays: Live Jazz Söderberg Pavilion (5.30pm, Söderberg Pavilion)

3rd-5th: Meadows Festival (The Meadows, free) 

From 4th June: Will Maclean: Points of Departure (City Art Centre, £6.50)

4th-12th: ECA Graduate Show 2022  (Edinburgh College of Art, free but booking is essential)

7th-18th: Sunshine on Leith (King's Theatre, from £26.50)

9th-18th: Hidden Door Festival (Old Royal High, prices vary)

11th: Leith Festival (various locations, free)

From 11th: Daniel Silver: Looking (Fruitmarket Gallery, free)

13th: Romeo + Juliet: 25th Anniversary (Scotsman Picturehouse, £19.95)

18th: Edinburgh Canal Festival and Raft Race (Union Canal, free)

19th: Baroque Violin and Harpsichord Concert (St Cecilia's Hall, £5-£20) 

22nd: Eagles (Murrayfield Stadium, prices vary) 

From 24th: Alan Davie: Beginning of a Far-off World (Dovecot Studios, £5.25)

24th-25th: Leith Late Festival (various locations)

From 25th: Céline Condorelli / After Work (Talbot Rice Gallery, free)


All Month: Visit Dr Neils’ Garden (Dr Neils’ Garden, free)

All Month: The Pastry Section's Teddy Bears' Picnic Carrot Cake for Charity (The Pastry Section)

All Month: Visit Secret Herb Garden

25th-26th: Scotland’s Gardens Scheme, Bonnington House (Jupiter Artland, £10) 


Topping & Company (2 Blenheim Place): Topping & Company has organised eight literary events this month. The month will begin with Climate Fiction Reading Group (6th) and end with Robert Crawford discussing his long-awaited second volume on T. S. Eliot (30th) with a host of wonderful authors in between.

Golden Hare Books (68 St Stephen Street): Join Golden Hare Books for an evening with author Philip Miller, as he discusses his brilliant new novel "The Goldenacre" (9th).

Blackwell's Bookshop (53-62 South Bridge): Blackwell’s Bookshop Book Quiz (6th) starts the month off before hosting an evening with Esme Young and Serena Baker with their new books "Behind the Seams: My Life in Creativity, Friendship and Adventure" and "Serena Sews" (18th).

Typewronger Books (4a Haddington Place): Typewronger Books has a great lineup for June including Cunning Folk Book Club (6th), Little Living Room Open Mic (13th) and Humanist Society Book Group (19th). 

Portobello Bookshop (46 Portobello High Street): Lastly, Portobello Bookshop is hosting eight events this June starting with a children's event with Alex Mullarky and her debut novel "The Sky Beneath the Stone" (5th) and ending with an online event with Gurnaik Johal and Nana Nkweti in honour of their respective debut short story collections (30th).

Markets & Pop-Ups

All month: Sonny Day Studios (Space at Seventeen)

Saturdays:  Grassmarket Market (10am-5pm)

Saturdays: Leith Market (Dock Place, 10am-5pm)

Sundays: Stockbridge Market (Saunders Street, 10am-5pm)
Saturdays: Edinburgh Farmers’ Market (Castle Terrace, 9am-2pm)

Friday-Sunday: The Pitt Street Food Market (Pitt Street)

3rd-5th: Flair Art & Design Fair (B3 Level, St James Quarter)

4th-5th: Grow Urban Plant Pop-Up (Anthropologie)

4th-5th: Abbeymount Studios Open Studios

6th-19th: Treen Pop-Up (Lower Ground Floor, St James Quarter)

25th: Out of the Blue Flea Market (Out of the Blue Drillhall, free)

New To The City

Fortitude Coffee (72 Newington Road) 

Argonaut Books (15-17 Leith Walk)

Druid Edinburgh (5 Dalmeny Street)

Leith Bottle Shop (30 Great Junction Street)

Ocelot Chocolate Shop and Café (124 Raeburn Place) 


Travelling Basket (Coming Soon to 29 Broughton Street)

Banh Mi Bar (Coming Soon to Bruntsfield)

Friday 6 May 2022

Hello, friends! May is a wonderful month to be in Edinburgh. There's just so much to be grateful for; lighter nights, spring blossoms, and there seems to be so much going on in the city. I wanted to share a small selection of dates for your diary and please do leave a comment below if I've left something that you think is worth mentioning.

*tap an event to visit its website for more information

Exhibitions, Entertainment & Festivals

All Month: The Art of Wallpaper - Morris & Co. (Dovecot Studios, £10.50)

All Month: Barbara Hepworth | Art & Life (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art: Modern Two, £15)

All Month: Robert Blomfield: Student of Light (University of Edinburgh Main Library, free)

All Month: Japanese Contemporary Design (National Museum of Scotland, free)

All Month: C.A. Walac | Flat Versions (Custom Lane, free)   

All Month: Treasures of the National Library of Scotland (NLS, free)

Sundays: Live Jazz Söderberg Pavilion (5.30pm, Söderberg Pavilion)

7th-15th: Edinburgh International Children's Festival (various locations)

8th: Scottish Vegan Festival (Corn Exchange Edinburgh, from £3)

10th-14th: Cluedo (King’s Theatre, from £23)

14th-15th: Edinburgh Zine Festival & Artists’ Bookmarket (Fruitmarket Gallery)

18th: Dirty Dancing in Concert (Usher Hall, from £27.50)

From 21st: National Treasure: The Scottish Modern Arts Association (City Art Centre, free)

25th-28th: Wuthering Heights (King’s Theatre, from £23)

28th-29th: StagEHd Festival (Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens, free)


All Month: Visit Dr Neils’ Garden (Dr Neils’ Garden, free)

Mondays & Tuesdays: Meet the Gardener (Royal Botanic Gardens, free)  

Fridays & Saturdays: Whisky Tasting & Tour for Whisky Month (Real Mary King’s Close, £35pp)

7th: Greentree Garden Open Day (18 Greenhill Park, £5)


Topping & Company (2 Blenheim Place): Topping & Company has organised over a dozen literary events this month. The month will begin with Emma Smith with her new book ‘Portable Magic’ (4th) and end with Antony Beevor discussing his latest book ‘Russia: Revolution and Civil War 1917-1921’ (31st) with a host of wonderful authors in between.

Lighthouse Bookshop (43-45 W Nicolson Street): Lighthouse Bookshop is hosting nearly a dozen literary events this month including Tracey Thorn with her new book ‘My Rock 'n' Roll Friend’ (9th) and an evening with Dr Samara Linton and Rianna Walcott discussing ‘The Colour Of Madness: MENTAL HEALTH AND RACE IN TECHNICOLOUR’ (15th).

Blackwell's Bookshop (53-62 South Bridge): Blackwell’s Bookshop will host Kenny Boyle with his new book 'The Tick and the Tock of the Crocodile Clock’ (18th), Dacre Stoker as he talks about Dracula's Scottish connections for its 125th anniversary (24th), and Elodie Harper will discuss her new book'The House with the Golden Door' (26th).

Typewronger Books (4a Haddington Place): Typewronger Books has a great lineup for May including Little Living Room: Mental Health (9th), In Conversation With Cé Simonis (11th) and Speak Easy Literary Salon (23rd). 

Portobello Bookshop (46 Portobello High Street): Lastly, Portobello Bookshop is hosting four events this May including J. O. Morgan who will be discussing his new novel Appliance (19th), Dean Atta with Only on the Weekends (25th), and An Evening with Mick Herron with Val McDermid (30th, Augustine United Church).

Markets & Pop-Ups

Saturdays:  Grassmarket Market (10am-5pm)

Saturdays: Leith Market (Dock Place, 10am-5pm)

Sundays: Stockbridge Market (Saunders Street, 10am-5pm)
Saturdays: Edinburgh Farmers’ Market (Castle Terrace, 9am-2pm)

Friday-Sunday: The Pitt Street Food Market (Pitt Street)

Until 28th: Ellen Catherine Jewellery (Space at Seventeen)

8th: B’s Vintage Market (Out of the Blue Drillhall, £2)

12th-15th: Support the Makers Pop-Up (St James Quarter)

28th: Out of the Blue Flea Market (Out of the Blue Drillhall, free)


Fortitude Coffee (72 Newington Road) 

Argonaut Books (15-17 Leith Walk)

Ocelot Chocolate Shop and Café (11A Portgower Place)

Travelling Basket (Coming Soon to 29 Broughton Street)

Banh Mi Bar (Coming Soon to Bruntsfield)

Sunday 27 March 2022

Hello friends! When I was little, my bike was one of my prized possessions and I spent many a joyful afternoon cycling with friends or by myself. Unfortunately, as I grew up, I gradually began using my bike less and less. At the start of 2022, I decided to add “get back into cycling” as one of my goals for the year. Therefore, I was delighted when South East Scotland Transport reached out and asked me to be a part of their “Do The Ride Thing” campaign as it’s given me the push I needed to get back on my bike and get acquainted with Edinburgh’s cycle network. I was thrilled to learn that Scotland is becoming increasingly more cycle-friendly with more investment into paths and protected cycle routes - making cycling easier, safer and more convenient than ever before!

“Do The Ride Thing” is centred on encouraging people to get out on their bikes while asking everyone to “Be More Shareful” when on their bike by respecting others who share the road or path. So, whether you’re like me and rediscovering your love for cycling or are completely new to cycling, I’d recommend taking a look at the “Do The Ride Thing” website which is filled with wonderful advice and tips on buying a bike, bike repair, learning to cycle and more.

As I mentioned above, I’m by no means an experienced cyclist but here are a few steps I’ve compiled to prepare myself for the warmer months when I hope to be more confident cycling around the city:

Buy a new helmet (or find your old one)

This was the first thing I did when I decided it was time to get back into cycling. It had been a long time since I was on a bike so I treated myself to a new helmet to keep me safe as I cycle around.  

Dig out your old bike, buy a new one or hire one

The “Do The Ride Thing” website is a great resource with advice on buying a bike, bike repair, and links that direct you to where best to hire a bike. If you are considering hiring a bike, a few local bike shops I’m aware of are Leith Cycle Co, Biketrax, and Cycle Scotland.

Get used to cycling by using Edinburgh’s cycle network

I’m not quite confident enough to cycle on main roads just yet so I’ve researched a few paths I’d feel comfortable to begin with. Thankfully, Edinburgh is blessed with over 75km of off-street paths, many of which were once railway lines, for use by both cyclists and pedestrians. I’ve found the Edinburgh Innertube Map to be a useful resource as it shows how you can easily navigate the city through mostly off-street paths.

This campaign has come at just the right time as I now feel well equipped with all the information I need to begin cycling around Edinburgh. If you’re getting back into cycling, I wish you all the best - happy cycling and stay safe!  

exploring edinburgh. Theme by STS.