How to Spend A Day in Edinburgh – The Instagram Edit
There’s no doubt you could easily spend a whole week or more exploring what Edinburgh has to offer, but we understand that sometimes all you can spare is one day. To make it easier for you we’ve put together this comprehensive walking tour that will reveal the best spots for a photograph.
This itinerary requires a fair bit of walking, which is the best way to get around Edinburgh, so make sure you’ve got comfy shoes on and don’t forget to bring your phone/camera (and a brolly)!
We suggest you start the tour at 9am at the latest, which should give you enough time to finish the walk in one day.
Breakfast at the Pantry
This is a very popular place in Edinburgh, but if you arrive early you shouldn’t have problems getting a seat. (If it’s warm grab a seat outside.) The eggs benedict are amazing, as is the colourful fruit bowl. Make sure to take a photo of your brekkie and post it on Instagram.
Pop around the corner and get a few snaps of one of Edinburgh’s most picturesque streets, Circus Lane. Make sure you walk far enough so you get St Stephen’s cathedral in your shot.
Walk down to the main bridge in Stockbridge and follow Water of Leith to the charming Dean Village. There are so many pretty photos to be taken here, so just go mad and snap away.
Follow Bell’s Brae up to the West End and pop into the recently opened Cairngorm Coffee on Melville Street. Get yourself a beautiful cup of coffee to takeaway, and whilst waiting feel free to use the built-in iPads.
St Mary’s Cathedral
After leaving the Cairngorms, turn right and walk a bit along Melville Street in order to get a shot of the imposing St Mary’s Cathedral against the sky.
St Cuthbert’s Cemetery
With your coffee in one hand and your phone/camera in the other, start walking along Queensferry Street towards Princes Street Gardens and St Cuthbert’s Cemetery in the west corner. The beautiful old gravestones make for a great photo and you can also get the Castle in your photo from here.
Princes Street gardens
Walk through the gardens and take more photos of the Castle, because, let’s face it; you can never have too many photos of the Castle!
Towards the end of the gardens you’ll bump into the largest monument to a writer in the world. It’s pretty impressive!
Get onto Princes Street and head towards Calton Hill where you’ll be able to indulge in beautiful sceneries of both the city and the majestic Arthur’s Seat. Climb onto the National Monument and get someone to take a photo of you. Another must-have shot is a shot of Edinburgh with the Dugald Stewart Monument in the foreground.
Lunch at Milk
You must be hungry by now, but not to worry, you don’t have to walk far at all to have a tasty and affordable lunch – Milk Café is right on the top of Calton Hill!
Walk down the hill and head to North Bridge where you’ll have a great view of the luxurious Balmoral Hotel, Waverley Train Station and its photogenic roof, the Scotsman hotel, Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat. So many photos to take!
Walk along North Bridge until you get to the Royal Mile where you turn right. Get a shot of the three red phone booths and continue walking until you see the City Chambers on your right hand side. Take a photo of the statue of Alexander Taming Bucephalus (a horse) and the City Chambers building.
Keep walking along the Royal Mile for 50 metres or so until you reach Advocate’s Close on the right side. Venture inside the close and get a photo of the Scott Monument with the street lamp in the foreground.
Walk back to the Royal Mile and go inside St Giles’ Cathedral to take a photo (or hundreds of them) of the gorgeous glass stained windows and exquisite ceilings. Just make sure you pay £2 for a photo permit!
Continue to the end of the Royal Mile and you’ll finally see Edinburgh Castle. We don’t have to tell you to take a photo of the castle, but go inside the arched gate and take a photo of the Hub (the building that looks like a church) and the Old Town through the arch. See if you can spot the two red phone boxes as well. There’s no time to go inside so walk back along the Royal Mile and turn right on George IV Bridge.
Turn right again and you’ll see the colourful houses on picturesque Victoria street that make an excellent photo.
Mary’s Milk Bar
Continue down Victoria street and turn right onto Grassmarket. Walk along Grassmarket square until you reach Mary’s Milk Bar on the left hand side. After all that walking you deserve to indulge in some artisan gelato and chocolate!
Greyfriars Bobby & Greyfriars Kirkyard
Walk back along Grassmarket and up along Candlemaker Row and you’ll bump into a statue of a small terrier – the famous Greyfriars Bobby who stayed by his master’s grave for 14 years. Get a selfie with Bobby and enter the gates to the Kirkyard and walk around the beautiful but haunted graveyard. So many photos to be taken here!
National Museum of Scotland
Walk back to Bobby and cross the street and step inside the National Museum of Scotland. Head to the spectacular Grand Gallery to get a shot of the beautiful light-filled atrium. Then take the lift to the 7th floor for a great view of the Edinburgh skyline.
Stay at Rock House
It’s been a long day so time to head back to Calton Hill and Edinburgh’s most well kept secret: Rock House that we at Dickins rent out to visitors. It is an absolutely stunning place full of history, atmosphere and unrivalled, private views of Edinburgh.
Rock House was built in 1765 and is where pioneer photographers Adamson & Hill lived and worked. Needless to say it’s the perfect place to end a day of photography – although it’ll be difficult to put down your camera once you’re in the house that has been so beautifully decorated.
Once you do manage to do that make sure you pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and relax in the cosy sofas and start thinking about dinner. If you’re too knackered to leave the house you can always order in a take away chippy from The Tail End Fish Bar – one of Edinburgh’s best fish & chips shops.