The Dickins Insider Guide to Marchmont, Edinburgh
Roughly a mile to the south of the Old Town, you’ll come across the residential area Marchmont. The name derives from the wife of Sir George Warrender who was the daughter of Hume Campbell of Marchmont. The whole area was developed as a planned middle-class tenements suburb by Sir George Warrender and over the years has become popular with students – due to the proximity to the University of Edinburgh. In general, the area is considered very pleasant and a desirable location to live in, due to the abundance in green spaces and a short distance to the city centre.
To help you experience (and enjoy) Marchmont as a local, we’ve put together an Insider Guide to Marchmont. Let’s begin!
9am: Time for Breakfast
We can’t think of a better way to start your day than with a great cup of coffee or tea and breakfast, so here are a few options in and around the Marchmont area. First, Brochan (24 Marchmont Crescent) is a welcoming cafe situated just off Marchmont road, who specialises in hearty bowls of porridge. There are a range of flavours to choose from as well as seasonal specials. Next, Red Box Coffee (2-6 Spottiswoode Road) is a lovely neighbourhood coffee shop to enjoy brunch. Victor Hugo (26/29 Melville Terrace) is another fantastic option for breakfast. The continental delicatessen is situated in the picturesque Edinburgh Meadows and serves up a variety of foods and drinks from around Europe. The Birchwood (146 Marchmont Road) is located at the top of Marchmont Road and offers a range of scrumptious brunch options as well as various hot drinks. Lastly, there’s also the option to enjoy coffee on-the-go at Colbolt Coffee (Police Box, Marchmont Crescent).
10am: Morning Walk through the Meadows or Morning Yoga
What makes Marchmont such a wonderful location to stay in is its proximity to The Meadows. The large open green space is a popular spot amongst local runners, dog walkers, as well as families. The Meadows also boasts magnificent views of Arthur’s Seat – one of Edinburgh’s striking extinct volcanoes. The green space truly comes into its own during Cherry Blossom season. Cherry Blossom season often varies but it often occurs during May. It’s a real treat to witness the trees which line the various pathways explode into a vision of pink.
There’s also the option to enjoy yoga at Meadowlark Yoga. Their mission is to provide our community with a safe environment to practice yoga at every level of experience, from beginner to advanced.
12pm: A Scrumptious Lunch
After all the walking and fresh air, you’ll no doubt be ready for a delicious lunch and we’ve selected a couple of wonderful options. To start with, if you missed out on Victor Hugo or The Birchwood for breakfast, why not head to either place for a delicious lunch! If you’re in the mood for authentic pan Asian street food head to Saiko Kitchen (15 Roseneath Street). Next, the Rabbit Hole (11 Roseneath Street) serves up delicious meals inspired by the owners’ love of French food, and their Sicilian and rural Canadian upbringing. The menu is seasonal and based around firm favourites with inventive twists. The Earl of Marchmont (22 Marchmont Crescent) is a bustling street corner pub serving classic food, beers, and cocktails. Another plus is they’re dog-friendly so if you’re visiting with your beloved pooch, there’s no need to leave them at home. Lastly, Cafe Artista (94-96 Marchmont Crescent) is a neighbourhood Italian cafe open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are various options for lunch including pizza and filled sandwiches!
1pm: Enjoy a little shopping
Marchmont doesn’t have a vast array of independent shops, however, there are a few fabulous independent shops dotted around the area. For instance, Dahlia (17 Roseneath Street) is predominately specialises in indoor plants, but also has a wonderful range of ceramics, natural handmade candles, incense, and skincare! Amnesty Bookshop (12 Roseneath Street) is a secondhand bookshop where the profits go to raise money for Amnesty’s work campaigning for human rights. Cork & Cask (136 Marchmont Road) is an independent wine, beers and spirits shop. Lastly, Jenni Douglas Designs (100 Marchmont Crescent) is a lovely gift shop selling a wide collection of contemporary and affordable art prints, home accessories, stationery and textiles.
Plus, there are a few lovely charity shops, such as Save the Children (144 Marchmont Road) and Chest Heart and Stroke (6 Roseneath Street), to have a rummage in too. But, if you’re looking to do a little more shopping, Marchmont is centrally-located and only a short walk away from fabulous areas for independent shopping. Another fabulous area, within walking distance from Marchmont, is Bruntsfield – check out our Insider’s Guide to Bruntsfield, Edinburgh.
3pm: A visit to Doodles Ceramics
If you’re looking to do something slightly different during your visit to Edinburgh and create a fabulous souvenir, we highly recommend a visit to Doodles Ceramics (29 Marchmont Crescent)! We also think it’s the perfect way to enjoy a relaxing afternoon as they provide a complimentary hot drink and the option to buy a few snacks. Most items are between £10-£20 so there is something to suit all budgets and perfect for individuals or groups.
5pm: Dinner & Drinks
If you’re staying at one of Dickins’ self-catering properties, you have the wonderful option of heading home to cook up a lovely meal and enjoy a relaxing night in. There are various great shops to buy fresh produce in Marchmont. For instance, a local favourite, Eddie’s Seafood Market (7 Roseneath Street) who sell Scottish sourced Sushi Grade fish. Also, the old styled Greengrocers, D. Fraser McLeod (138 Marchmont Road), The New Leaf Co-op (23 Argyle Place) who focuses on ethical practices, and Margiotta Food & Drink (77 Warrender Park Road) who sell a range of local produce. However, if you’ve had a long day you may prefer to dine out and if that’s the case there are several fantastic options.
If you missed Saiko Kitchen, the Rabbit Hole, or Cafe Artista for lunch, all are open for dinner too. Lastly, if you’re looking for a traditional pub to relax in, there’s the option of The Argyle and Cellar Bar (15-17 Argyle Place) and The Earl of Marchmont (22 Marchmont Crescent).
Take in a Show or a Movie
If you feel like catching a show or a movie, you won’t have to travel too far to visit a theatre or cinema. First, The Cameo (38 Home Street) is a comfortable art house cinema, located at Tollcross, which shows both independent and mainstream movies. Similarly, the Filmhouse (88 Lothian Road) is Scotland’s leading independent cinema, celebrating world cinema in all its brilliance and diversity. Filmhouse is also home to Edinburgh’s International Film Festival. There is also The Dominion Cinema, located in the neighbouring suburb of Morningside. The Dominion Cinema is situated in an Art Deco building and has been a Scottish family run business for 80 years. Lastly, if you fancy a live show, The Kings Theatre (2 Leven Street), The Usher Hall (Lothian Road), Traverse Theatre (10 Cambridge Street), and the Lyceum Theatre (30b Grindlay Street) are all within walking distance and gorgeous venues to see a show at!
Where to stay in Marchmont? 36 Spottiswoode Road
This pretty, light-filled apartment has its own little front garden and its own front door. The location in Spottiswoode Road is a great Marchmont address with lovely local shops and cafes in the area. Moreover, the Meadows is a short walk away too.