Places To Stay In Edinburgh – The West End
This week in our ‘Places To Stay’ series is an area somewhat off the beaten path but nevertheless a beautiful part of Edinburgh – the West End. You’ll find Edinburgh’s West End located approximately between the Dean Village and up to Shandwick place and between Haymarket and the start of Princes Street.
Edinburgh’s West End
The West End forms a large part of the city centre and has a quiet feel to it, despite being only a few minutes walk from the hustle and bustle. This area is known for its stunning architecture with rows and rows of grand Victorian homes. Wide streets circle around quaint crescents with private gardens, giving this unique part of Edinburgh an elegant and opulent feel. The West End is also home to a variety of fantastic local restaurants and some of Edinburgh’s best independent shopping. You’ll also find the Dean Village located here too, one of the city’s most charming and almost storybook-like areas.
We’re sure you’ll love this stunning part of the capital as much as we do, so we’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite things to do while you’re here, as well as some of the grand West End homes you can stay in during your next visit to Edinburgh.
Something to See
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a must-see Edinburgh museum for all art enthusiasts. The museum is split into two galleries – one across the street from the other – and located away from the busiest parts of the city.
These grand neo-classical buildings are set back from the road with sweeping lawns and lush, leafy surroundings. The lawn in front of Modern One was landscaped to a design by Charles Jencks and is home to a fantastic sculpture park. Inside the museum, you’ll find an extensive collection of Dada and Surrealist art and work by the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi. The galleries often exhibit temporary collections too, like the works of Lichtenstein and Warhol, so be sure to check regularly.
Behind Modern One, you can follow the footpath through the trees and down to the Water of Leith, bringing the peaceful museum vibes back outside with you. Once beside the tranquil water, you’ll have a hard time believing you’re in the middle of the city. From here, you can either walk back up to the museum or continue along the Water of Leith and on to the Dean Village and Stockbridge.
Though there is a shuttle service from St Andrew Square to the galleries and back, we definitely recommend making the walk at least one way. It’s a great opportunity to see the more residential areas of the West End and tick off a few points of interest along the way. Which brings us to our next highlight; the Dean Village.
Dean Village is undoubtedly one of the most peaceful places you’ll find in the city centre. Formerly this little village housed mills of various kinds and remnants of the industry can still be seen here today. With charming buildings, cobbled streets, and picturesque charm, stepping into the Dean Village feels like stepping into a fairytale.
The most striking building in the Village is Well Court, a quadrangle of homes situated around a central courtyard. Recently restored with support from Edinburgh World Heritage, this little gem has become something of an Instagram hot-spot for those who have been lucky enough to find it.
Something to Do
Music at St Mary’s Cathedral
Saint Mary’s Cathedral is often overlooked but we promise it’s worth the visit. This grand cathedral was build in the late 19th century and its 90 metre (295 ft) spire makes it the tallest building in the Edinburgh urban area. With a beautiful stone interior, it’s the perfect setting to enjoy one of their daily choral services, and the singers themselves are part of the cathedral’s own music school. St Mary’s was also the first cathedral in Britain to employ girls in the treble line as well as boys. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate this beautiful building or to enjoy the classical concerts hosted here.
Edinburgh’s independent shopping scene is about as good as it gets and the West End is one of our favourite spots in the city to find unique items of clothing and quirky gifts.
Most of the independent stores in the West End are concentrated on William St, Alva St, and Stafford St. Georgian storefronts and restored street lamps make this a quaint and idyllic place to shop. For luxury clothing and accessories, visit Frontiers Woman. If you’re looking for unique and creative jewellery, Lily Luna stocks some beautiful pieces. At Paper Tiger, you’ll find quirky gifts galore with colourful stationery, novelty books, and greeting cards for any occasion.
You’ll also find salons, florists, cafés, and some fantastic food here, too! Teuchter’s Bar is a free house on William Street and well-known as a venue for rugby fans. In the basement, ‘A Room in the West End’ bistro serves fresh and locally-sourced produce. And across the street is The Voyage of Buck, a stylish pub with cocktails and food inspired by travels to Paris, Taipei, Cairo and Havana.
Something to Eat
If there’s one thing the West End has, it’s good food and lots of it! Narrowing down this list was a difficult task. So we’ve picked three of our favourite spots; one for coffee, lunch, and dinner.
A Cinnamon Bun at Söderberg
Swedish baked goods strike again at the city’s favourite Scandinavian bakery, Söderberg. This small branch of the local chain is located on Queensferry Street and although it’s mostly geared up for takeaway, they do have a couple of cosy tables and chairs set up. They serve delicious dark-roasted coffee as well as open-face sandwiches, incredible bread, pastries and cakes in a no-frills environment.
Lunch at Bross Bagels
We know, we know – more carbs! But we had to include this cult-favourite, especially now that Bross Bagels has opened up in the West End!
The founder of Bross hails from Montreal, which she proudly calls the world’s bagel capital, next to New York City. Bross Bagels are baked in the traditional Montreal way and filled with tons of different NYC inspired combos like cream cheese and lox, pastrami with swiss cheese, and Nutella. We’re hooked.
Dinner at L’escargot Blanc
For dinner, we chose the award-winning French bistro and wine bar, L’escargot Blanc, which has been drawing in locals for over 20 years. Known for their unpretentious environment and excellent food, L’escargot’s menu is filled with the French classics, all made with local ingredients. Favourites include traditional dishes like moules marinières and duck confit. They also have an extensive wine list and offer reasonably priced set-menus during the week.
Somewhere to Stay
Edinburgh’s West End is a great place to stay during a visit to the city. Quiet streets and stunning homes make it the perfect place to get a good night’s sleep. And with an abundance of cafés and restaurants close by, you’ll have food on your doorstep both morning and night. Despite being a peaceful area, Princes Street can be reached by foot in mere minutes.
Here are three beautiful West End homes that you can stay in with Dickins.
This lovely home is situated right in the heart of the West End’s quaint independent shopping streets. This home has a luxury feel and has been finished to a high specification. There are stunning solid oak parquet floors and the beautiful kitchen is top quality. It features an induction hob and is fully equipped for dining at home.
The lovely bedroom is located quietly at the back of the flat. The bed has lovely linens, so you should have a great night’s sleep. There’s a TV in the bedroom room, too. There’s also an enclosed private patio off this room and across the corridor is the gorgeous bathroom.
One bedroom home – sleeps two.
This one bedroom home is so beautiful and genuinely luxurious. Buckingham Terrace is a very impressive Victorian terrace just over Dean Bridge. Art lovers will not only love this apartment, but also love the fact that Edinburgh’s two Modern Art Galleries are just around the corner.This home has such a luxurious, elegant feel. It has the scale of a two bedroom home so it is very spacious with high ceilings, great views and a sense of style. It’s a home from home for the owners who have wonderfully high standards and great taste.
To the front of the home you’ll find the luxurious living room and dining kitchen with a large opening in between them giving a sense of open plan living, but creating two distinct spaces at the same time, making it a great home for entertaining. Located on the second floor, this home has lovely open views too.
One bedroom – sleeps two
This luxurious home on Chester Street is very spacious and ideal for a family with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The decor is stunning and there are white walls, plantation shutters, and beautiful oak chevron flooring. The living space is a lovely large room with comfy leather sofas and a TV with Netflix. There’s a dining table to seat six and a beautiful kitchen which is well-equipped for guests who want to cook.
The master bedroom is an attractive room with an ensuite shower room. On the other side of the hallway, you’ll find the other double bedroom. This bedroom is off a cosy snug, which has a sofa and a TV. At the end of the snug, you’ll find a luxury bathroom with a shower and a lovely bath.
Two-bedroom home – sleeps four.
This modern family-friendly home is within walking distance of lots of popular areas like Dean Village, Stockbridge, and Princes Street. The Water of Leith is close by and brilliant for walks to make you feel like you’re in the middle of the countryside.
This is a lovely home on the second floor with lots of light. The sitting room is bright and airy with views north. There are two comfy sofas and a dining table to seat six. The kitchen is well equipped and ideal for self-catering. The spacious master bedroom is quietly situated at the back of the building with an ensuite shower room. The second bedroom has a super kingsize bed and there’s a second bathroom with an attractive walk-in shower.
Two bedroom homes – sleeps four.
These are only three of our lovely West End homes. You can view the full collection here.