I love living in a city! Everything is nearby, and there is always something to do! Since my job doesn’t start for a while, I’ve been spending my time exploring the local community and all the cute shops. Simon and I live in the part of town called Stockbridge. It’s in the New Town (though “new” here means built in the 1800s) and is known for its Georgian architecture. Though it’s a quick walk to the city center, Stockbridge has its own high street and shops. Here are a few of my favorite local places. The best part is they are all within a five minute walk from our flat!
This bookstore is amazing! It has a rotating selection of books, hand picked by the managers. The store is cozy with a fireplace surrounded by only the most beautiful book covers. If they don’t have the book you are looking for, they are happy to order it for you. The store has quite a following and hosts events such as a kids’ reading circle and a wine book club. Everyone who works there is so kind and welcoming! It’s pet friendly too! They even keep a log of the dogs that stop by on their instagram! Rosie hasn’t been on there yet, but keep an eye out for her!
My favorite coffee in town, so far, has been at Artisan Coffee and Fortuna. Fortuna isn’t in Stockbridge, but we had such a wonderful experience there, I felt it is worth mentioning. Nigel, the owner of Fortuna, is very personable! He lived in the States for a long time and loves talking to us about our move and places back in America.
Artisan Coffee is right down the road and makes a delicious latte! They have a beautiful array of sweet treats, and the sun always streams in the windows. Both of these coffee shops are dog friendly as well! That means Rosie can come in the shop and sit with us as we have coffee. It’s lovely!
Smith & Gertrude is a wine and cheese bar right down the street. They are known for their pairing platters of artisan delicacies. We’ve only been there once, but the staff is super knowledgeable, and the environment is cozy and romantic.
There are about a million wine bars nearby! Smith & Gertrude is just unique for their cheese offering. You could also go to Good Brothers, Whiskers, or Rollo, and that’s just in Stockbridge!
In Scotland, the local pub is just shortened to the local. People will say, “Just going to pop down to the local,” when they are going to the pub. For us, we have three locals within one block of our flat. They are always underground and dark, but it’s cozy on a rainy day. There is the Bailee, the St. Vincent, and the Antiquary. The Antiquary is the closest to us and is dog friendly! I’ve only been once, but it’s less dark than the others while still offering that pub feel. I’m looking forward to spending more time there and doing their quiz night!
One of my favorite things about Stockbridge is its proximity to Inverleith Park. Parks in Edinburgh are kind of funny. They are everywhere, but…they’re all private. Each park has a fence around it, and you can only go in if you pay a membership fee and have a key. At first this really bothered me. It felt elitist and selfish. But then I realized the practicality of it. Edinburgh is a HUGE tourist city. On top of that, the whole month of August is the Fringe Festival that brings people in from all over the world. By keeping the parks private, they are ensuring they are only used by the people who live there year round and will treat them respectfully. They stay clean, well kept, and don’t have drunk people leaving trash all around.
That being said, there are a few public parks in the city as well! Princes Street Gardens is right below the castle and offers a beautiful haven for tourists. The Meadows is south of the city center and provides a very large green space for the university students. And then there is Inverleith Park near Stockbridge. Inverleith Park is on top of a hill and opens up to beautiful views overlooking the city. There are fields where club sports teams come to play rugby, football, and Aussie football. A little pond has swans, ducks, seagulls, and pigeons for kids to feed and for Rosie to chase. Every Sunday, they host a free 5k run around the park for whoever wants to participate. Dogs are allowed off leash and Rosie loves to go run in the grass! It’s a beautiful space, and I am so glad to have it so nearby!
Water of Leith
The Water of Leith is a little river that stretches through town. Alongside the river is a walkway that you can supposedly take to various parts of the city, though it stops and starts a lot, so it’s had to follow. From our flat, there are three parts of the riverwalk that are accessible to us. It’s a great place to go to get away from the city bustle, since it is often tree lined and serene. Sometimes all you can hear is the rushing water and bird song. It’s truly lovely!
There are four Michelin starred restaurants in Edinburgh. (Since Simon and I love food, we know this kind of stuff!) One of the chefs has expanded and has multiple more reasonably priced restaurants around town as well. Scran & Scallie is the sister restaurant to The Kitchin, which has held it’s Michelin star for 12 consecutive years. It’s more affordable, has amazing food, and happens to be right down the street! It’s still more of a special occasion place for us, but everything there is amazing!
Charity shops are what they call thrift stores. The difference is that they are volunteer run, and all the profits go to the charity of choice. Stockbridge is known for their many charity shops and the amazing finds you can snag! When I was looking for work clothes, I went shopping and found some great brands for super cheap! You still have to do some digging, but it’s a great option for finding cheaper clothes!
The Stockbridge Kitchen is my favorite lunch spot. You can get a cup of soup and a sausage roll for a very reasonable price. The food is delicious, and it’s perfect for a cold or rainy day. It feels very comforting.
Though it seems like I just listed everywhere in Stockbridge, there are actually many more spots I didn’t talk about! That’s what’s great about the city! There is always somewhere new to explore and enjoy! I’m just getting started on my city exploration, but so far I am loving the journey!