Perhaps the most continental city in the UK, Edinburgh is a popular destination for luxury travellers all year round, and it is a beautiful city to visit in the spring. Visitors to the Scottish capital will never be short of things to do, but you’ll be kicking yourself if you miss out on any of the hidden gems below.
The Elephant House on George IV Bridge is now famous as J. K. Rowling’s café of choice and the birthplace of Harry Potter. The café boasts some of the best coffee in town and the breakfast is out of this world. With stunning views from the back, it’s not hard to see why this place has provided inspiration for so many authors over the years; The Elephant House also counts Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith among its patrons.
Hugely popular with the locals, this restaurant and deli on Hanover Street is perfect for those in search of healthy, organic food. All of the fare is vegetarian, but with treats such as hearty lentil lasagne and rich veggie chilli on the extensive menu, even committed carnivores are sure to find something that appeals! The range of salads is impressive (and the desserts are lovely too).
OK, so it’s hardly off the beaten track, but this bar‘s location on the Royal Mile is unbeatable and the staff are delightful. Stop for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and take in the atmosphere of one of Edinburgh’s liveliest streets. The food’s not half bad either!
The Old Town Bookshop on Victoria Street is a den of art, architecture, Scottish history and topography. Let the outside hustle and bustle melt away as you lose yourself among the books and maps.
Lickety Splits on Jeffrey Street is not only an absolute treat for anyone with a sweet tooth, it is also a feast for the eyes. This is a vintage sweet shop with a modern edge; striped candy and all manner of sugary treats dazzle customers as soon as they step through the door.
The National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street is actually one of Edinburgh’s most popular tourist attractions and it’s not hard to see why but not all visitors are aware of the panoramic views from the roof terrace. Take the lift to the top floor and then climb the ensuing stairs for breathtaking views across the city. Entrance to the museum is free of charge, although donations are always welcome.
William Forshaw is Managing Director at Maxwell Scott.