8 of Edinburgh’s Most Romantic Places
Edinburgh is undoubtedly a romantic destination. With its rich history, beautiful architecture and stunning vantage points, you don’t have to go far to feel the love in this city. If you’re searching for somewhere new (or old) to inspire a bit of romance this February, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite places. So, whether you’re planning a proposal or just looking for a romantic place to spend the day, keep reading to discover eight of Edinburgh’s most romantic places.
1. Dunbar’s Close Garden
Did you know there’s a secret garden hiding in the Old Town? To find this romantic little escape in the city, head down the narrow and quiet Dunbar’s Close off the Royal Mile. You’ll soon be delighted when it opens out into a beautiful and tranquil space with cobbled paths, wooden benches and well-kept greenery.
Laid out in the style and character of a 17th-century garden, this gem is particularly special in summer, when the trees are lush and green and the space truly comes into its own. It’s the perfect place to sit and read on a sunny day or have a romantic moment away from the hustle and bustle. Relaxing in the peaceful surroundings, you’ll feel as if you’re one of a lucky few to have discovered it.
2. Dean Village
This beautifully preserved 19th-century village is one of Edinburgh’s favourite hidden gems. Despite being the subject of countless Instagram photos over the years, it remains a tranquil haven in the city. As if frozen in time, this romantic gem is filled with little alleyways, storybook bridges and charming architecture, all set alongside the Water of Leith River. It’s the perfect place for a peaceful and romantic walk in the city.
3. Portobello Beach
You don’t have to travel to Spain to catch a picturesque sunset on the beach! There are many romantic activities to enjoy along the Portobello Beach Promenade, which make this the ideal place to spend the day with your loved one.
Starting in The Beach House Café, you’ll immediately be transported to the seaside with their whimsical decor and beautiful views of the Forth. Enjoy breakfast with a sea view or a delicious slice of freshly baked cake. Take one of their famous homemade ice creams to go and relax along the waterfront while you watch the world go by. Then pop into the arcades to see if you can win your way into your loved one’s heart!
Later, set out a blanket on the beach and relax with a romantic picnic at sunset.
4. Cramond Island
If a walk on the beach isn’t your thing, what about a walk on a causeway? Cramond Island is a peaceful escape just outside of the city but feels like it’s miles away.
Head to Cramond Village, where this uninhabited island is located less than a mile out to sea. When the tide is out, the walk across the causeway takes around 15 minutes. Once on the other side, this quiet little island has fantastic views over the Firth of Forth and you’ll be able to see the bridges from a new perspective. There are also the ruins of military fortifications and gun emplacements on the island.
Back on the mainland, take a seat in the picturesque Cramond Gallery Bistro, where you can enjoy homemade food in a lovely outdoor seating area. Dogs welcome!
A word to the wise; mind the tide times and be sure to check the guidelines before heading out. Give yourself plenty of time to explore as this island is deceptively small. If you don’t head back before the tide comes in, you’ll find yourself stuck until the next day, which would probably make the trip a little less romantic…
5. Dominion Cinema
Take your cinema-going experience to a whole new level at this 1930s-style picture house, complete with its original Art Deco features. This elegant cinema is fitted with cosy two-seater sofas in their theatres – perfect for cuddling up to your date while enjoying a classic film or the latest Blockbuster hit. You can even transport yourself to London for the night with the Dominion’s live screenings of theatre, opera and ballet from places like the Royal Opera House and the Vaudeville Theatre.
With comfortable seating, gourmet snacks and drinks and world-class performing arts on offer, the Dominion is the perfect Edinburgh location for a romantic date.
6. The Witchery by the Castle
All the superlatives in the world wouldn’t be enough to describe the decadent luxury you’ll find hiding in this Old Town building. The Witchery is famous for being one of Edinburgh’s most romantic destinations and best-kept secrets.
Once through the doors of this adult-only boutique hotel and restaurant, the gothic-noir atmosphere will heighten your senses and grab your imagination. Jewel-toned velvets, painted ceilings, carved wood paneling and gothic candlelit rooms will transport you to another world. In the Secret Garden, an elegant wall of French windows opens out onto a secluded terrace, with al fresco dining in the summer months making it the ideal location for a romantic lunch.
In one of their lavish suits, a complimentary bottle of champagne will await you amid antique furnishings and freestanding baths – with just enough room for two. Some of the rooms even have four-poster beds and fireplaces. Enjoy breakfast in your love nest with a lavish spread of meats, cheeses, croissants, fresh fruit and more. The Witchery is the ultimate in romantic getaways.
7. The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill
For a simpler, more organic approach to romance, it doesn’t get any more romantic than gazing up at the stars. Perched on Blackford Hill is the Royal Edinburgh Observatory where regular astronomy evenings are hosted. Get there before dusk to take in the spectacular views of Edinburgh, then watch the city slowly fade into darkness; it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset.
At the astronomy evening, a tour of the beautiful Victorian telescope dome will be followed by stargazing on the flat roof. If you can, try to choose a clear night. You don’t want to miss the magic of the stars!
8. Victoria Street
Victoria Street was originally built as part of a series of upgrades to the Old Town, aimed at improving access around the city. Today it is a romantic destination for locals and tourists alike, and one of the most photographed places in the city.
This sweeping street with its cobbles, gentle curve, bright colored facades and whimsical shops, will charm and delight you. A destination all of its own, you could spend the whole afternoon wandering in and out of its many intriguing shops.
Aside from stunning architecture, Victoria Street’s charm is undoubtedly due to its collection of independent businesses. Lined with boutiques, specialty shops and cafés, you’ll find everything from cheese to macarons and books to gag-gifts on this treasured street. It’s understandable why it was the inspiration for the famous Diagon Alley.
When you’re finished shopping, have a relaxing meal on the romantic terrace and watch the world go by. Or take a walk down to the Grassmarket, where you’ll have an endless choice of cosy and alluring pubs to have a drink in.