What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

The Most Romantic Edinburgh Proposal Ever

Wedding St Giles Cathedral

Edinburgh is a romantic city. With the dramatic castle perched on top of an extinct volcano, pubs with roaring fires, men in kilts and soft Scottish accents, it’s easy to fall in love here. But the most romantic Edinburgh proposal ever. That’s a special story we’re lucky to be able to share. Prepare to get the goosebumps! So without further ado, we’re going to let Nic, the extremely lucky lady, tell us in her own words what happened on 15th January 2014…

The Most Romantic Edinburgh Proposal Ever

My boyfriend and I were always trying to outdo each others birthday celebrations. So I was wondering what he was going to plan for my 32nd.

I woke up on my birthday (15th January 2014) and was treated to breakfast. Afterwards Ben started filming me whilst I opened my presents, which I thought was strange. But then you never know what to expect with him. The last present was an envelope with a letter inside. It was a clue….

Clue number 1

‘I know you’ve been wondering what I have in store for you today but I’m afraid you are going to have to keep on guessing! You will have some help along the way though in the form of clues as to your next destination. The first clue is more an instruction, you must be ready, dressed in your best, for 12pm, when a mystery person will be picking you up and when you will also receive your first riddle! I hope you have a wonderful day my darling, you make me so happy and I hope this day reflects a little of how much I love you x’


As I got ready to be met by a mystery guest I was confused that Ben was sitting in his dressing gown playing the PlayStation rather than getting dressed. At 12, my best friend Emma arrived with an envelope with the new clue.

Clue number 2

If you’re thirsty prepare to guess, my name sounds like a sticky mess. Some like them sour and some like them sweet, which will you decide is your liquid treat!’

It took me a few times reading the clue to get the first riddle, however, I soon realised the answer was Treacle! Living in New Town the bar was one of my favourites. Emma and I left and walked the short distance to Treacle on Broughton Street. On arrival Emma and I were directed to a table and given a menu with just one drink on it…Special of the Day….Giraffe flavoured Spaz Monster (that’s so un-PC but giraffe is my favourite animal and Ben’s nickname for me was Spaz monster!) It was a blend of all my favourite flavours: rum, St Germain, apple and mojito flavours (Ben is a trained mixologist). Our drinks were complimentary and we caught up whilst we drank. At some point during the 2nd cocktail (on an empty stomach) Emma presented me with the next envelope and again brought out her phone to film.


Clue number 3

‘No longer parched but maybe quite hungry? A little more brain work to continue your journey. Where to go when your tummy rumbles? Look to the place where Rapunzel’s hair tumbles!’

This riddle I knew straight away as I had watched Tangled the week before. I was overwhelmed to realise we were going to the Tower Restaurant for lunch. We grabbed a taxi and headed up to Chambers Street where I expected to see Ben joining us. On arrival there was no Ben but another best friend Claire. The three of us were seated and brought complimentary champagne with a delicious three course meal which Ben had prepaid. The restaurant was almost empty other than us and JK Rowling sitting a few rows back from us! Ben’s best friend Neil was the Sous Chef at the Tower and he took us up to the Terrace for the Private Dining Room where we got some amazing photos and soaked up the view. Back in the restaurant I was given another envelope by Neil with another riddle.

Clue number 4

‘Where scholars relax and students regail fabel, I’m hiding where you first met your love under the table.’

I knew straight away our next destination was Edinburgh University’s Library Bar in Teviot. This was where we first met through a mutual friend. Again I expected Ben to be there, but was greeted by another two friends and more champagne. At the exact table where we first met was the next clue.

Clue number 5

‘Sticking to that theme you must now gather your team, I’m where you and your mate started your first date.’

The next venue was Malone’s Bar where we started the night on our first date. Arriving to more friends and more alcohol I started to notice my friends were acting a bit strange and still no Ben. I was given the new clue.

Clue number 6

‘Now almost there, what present awaits you? You have done well so far so I’ll give you a clue, you’ve been entertained, drank cocktails and fed, your last stop you’ll find me where you dreamt to be wed.’


I knew instantly the answer was St Giles’ Cathedral. Ben and I had discussed places we would like to get married and as neither of us are religious I didn’t feel it was right to get married in a church but remarked how beautiful St Giles is and how I would love to have that as my wedding venue.

On the walk there it started to dawn on me this was perhaps this was more than just a birthday treasure hunt! We got to the door of the cathedral and the girls blind folded me and led me up the aisle. It’s safe to say I was shaking with nerves by this point. They took off my blindfold at the altar and in front of me was a wrapped box. I was so nervous I couldn’t open the box and my friend Claire had to come help. In the box was my last clue….


I spun around and Ben was on one knee with all my friends sitting in the pews behind him. I think I burst into tears.
Ben had managed to wangle the whole cathedral being shut to the public so he could propose. We celebrated with champagne on the steps of the cathedral and partied until the small hours. Ben you’re definitely a romantic hero, for planning so carefully and cleverly the most romantic Edinburgh proposal ever!


Having my friends by my side on one of the most special days of our lives was the perfect proposal and showed me how much Ben understood me. We got married in September 2016 at George IV Registry Office with our beautiful son (Harris, 2) by our side. It was so special being able to take our photos outside St Giles.

Thank you so much Nic for sharing your special day with us – Ben is definitely a guy worth holding on to. And Edinburgh the perfect place to pop the question! There is no doubt that this is the most romantic Edinburgh proposal ever! 

We love hearing wonderful stories where Edinburgh has provided a special backdrop, so if you have an extra special story you would like to share, please do get in touch.


  • Cati

    February 23, 2024 at 10:47 am

    Reading this in 2024 and hoping that Nic and Ben are well and living their best lives! What an uplifting story <3


  • nancy hermann

    February 17, 2020 at 12:45 am

    It looks like a fun place to go to.


  • Lori D.

    February 16, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    OH my word! What a fabulous story. So happy to know there is such love and creativity in the world. Ben, you are one in a million. Glad you found your one in a million. Wishing you both a lifetime of just such adventures in love!


  • George W. Kerr

    February 15, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Awesome !! The creative romantic Talent is in his blood. The inspiration an expression of his Love for the Love of his Life. Her obvious devotion to the two men her life deserved of becoming his Wife. Just Beautiful !! They are So Blessed.


  • Martin

    February 14, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Wow, so sweet! I had no idea it was this epic. Ben, you are a right romantic sod. Stop making the rest of us look bad!


  • Laura

    February 14, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    What a great beautiful story to be able to tell your son when he grows up!


  • Kirsty

    February 14, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    I love this!!! My fiancé also did a treasure hunt of clues to solve for his proposal to me, which ended in “the proposal room” at Jupiter art land with all our friends and family. The treasure hunt started on Valentine’s Day and finished on my birthday 11th of march, so almost a whole month of traipsing around Scotland solving clues!!! So romantic and thoughtful! X


  • Lynsey Cowan

    February 14, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    This is amazing Nicola, such a lovely story, thanks for sharing and hope you are well 🙂


  • Minty

    February 14, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Wow!!! WHat an mazing story! Love it!


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