Edinburgh’s Top Picnic Spots
Summer is coming (apparently) and apart from the odd “sunny but cold” day, it’s safe to say we’re skeptical. However, in Scotland we’ve adapted and overcome the weather using sheer willpower. Quite often we declare “it’s time for a BBQ”, before wrapping up in a winter coat and braving the late Spring rain/wind/snow to cremate a few burgers! In the hope of a rare summer’s day appearing, we’ve scouted out Edinburgh’s top picnic spots for you.
If you want to “live like the locals” then the Meadows is for you. The moment the sun appears the Meadows will be filled with families, students and tourists alike. It’s a huge park with a kids play park, gorgeous tree-lined walk ways and (all summer long!) the smell of a barbeque! It’s a short 10 minute walk from the wee statue of Greyfriars Bobby, opposite the National Museum of Scotland.
Princes Street Gardens
Your picnic can’t get more central than the Princes Street Gardens! When you’ve finished exploring the shops, walk down the south side of Princes Street and enter the gardens from one of many gates into the sunken park. Created in two phases in the 1770’s and 1820’s, the gardens were created following the draining of Nor Loch. The Loch itself was an artificial landmark, created as part
of Medieval defences of the north side of town. In winter the Garden’s are transformed into a Winter Wonderland for the fantastic Edinburgh Christmas Markets, but for now just enjoy the lush green grass, beautifully manicured flower beds and stunning views of historic landmarks.
Edinburgh’s top picnic spots don’t get much bigger than this. 650 acres of hills, lochs, glens and cliffs, Holyrood Park is a surprisingly wild area of Edinburgh. Commonly associated with the Palace of Holyroodhouse (the Queen’s Edinburgh residence) the park was a 12th-Century royal hunting estate! Now it its a favourite of Edinburgh runners, walkers and hikers who pass through on their way to climb Arthur’s Seat. There are 3 lochs to choose from for a waterside picnic; St Margaret’s Loch, Dunsapie Loch and Duddingston Loch as well as gorgeous historic ruins and two natural springs. In a park of this size there’s endless options for a quiet spot of lunch.
If the title ‘Edinburgh’s Top Picnic Spots’ conjure up ideas of white sandy beaches, then Portobello beach could be for you! The number #26 Lothian bus stops right outside The Dunstane, then hop off on Portobello High Street, before slipping down a side street to the promenade. It’s a great sandy beach with seaside cafes and an old amusements arcade to entertain those less keen on being covered in sand! Portobello beach is also a dog-friendly beach, so it really can be a day out for all the family! Though regardless of the air temperature we’re not sure we’re brave enough to dip our toes in the baltic Firth of Forth!