Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the world. It has beautiful buildings, brilliant people and better weather than its equally delightful but much wetter western neighbours.
There are some fantastic blog posts about Edinburgh which I found really handy when looking for a few touristy things to do and some great places to eat and drink. Try this blog about food and drink in Scotland’s capital, and this great post featuring a walking tour passing 50 of the authors favourite Edinburgh places.
Having visited Edinburgh a number of times, this post focuses on some lesser known attractions which all add up to one pretty perfect Edinburgh day after you’ve had your fill of the royal miles, castles and palaces.
This small gallery is easily stumbled upon during a wander up and down the royal mile. Situated just off the royal mile, up from Grassmarket on Victoria Street it sits alongside many independent retailers including bookshops, kilt sellers, whisky specialists and many more. It stocks a wide range of affordable prints, jewellery, home decorations and gifts, perfect for treating yourself or others. I couldn’t resist some decorations by East End Press.
We found a flyer for a Liberty print exhibition and found so much more than just an exhibition space at Dovecot Studios. Not only was the Liberty Print exhibition gorgeous and perfectly presented the studios housed a great cafe, gorgeous gift shop (featuring some wonderful crafts by Arthouse Unlimited a charity that ‘presents the artistic talents of adults living with learning and physical difficulties’) and a fabulous open artists studio housed in a converted Victorian swimming pool.
The studio took up the whole space previously occupied by the 25m swimming pool and now allows resident artists to produce bespoke large scale tapestries for clients around the world. If the authenticity of some of the ‘wool mills’ on the royal mile leaves you feeling a little flat this place is the perfect antidote. A real gem and a highlight of the trip.
Situated to the west of the city centre this two building complex houses a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions. There are also many sculptures in the grounds.
The two buildings along with the landscaped gardens are art in themselves. Add to this some beautifully curated exhibitions mixing international and local artists and you have the recipe for a truly world class modern art museum.
A particular highlight was an exhibition of works by Raqib Shaw (see above). The cafe in Modern One is in a lovely setting, spilling out onto a courtyard garden and makes for a great pit-stop on an arty tour of Edinburgh.
While not strictly arts and crafts, a good days art-ing should definitely end with some craft/artisan beer in my book. Where better than with a trip to Leith to enjoy Campervan’s wide range of brews in their taproom? Fear not when you turn off Leith Walk and appear to be heading into an industrial abyss; a warm welcome awaits behind an inconspicuous door in an industrial unit! Their brews are top notch and the team get massive extra bonus points for having the board game Splendor available to play while you drink. You can even order in takeaway pizza to accompany your beers. If you fancy continuing your Leith based beer crawl I can also heartily recommend the Lioness of Leith and Teuchters Landing (also FANTASTIC for whisky).