Edinburgh boasts an amazing number of unique neighbourhoods, from the quaint mews of Stockbridge to the historic cobbled streets of the Old Town. Each area has its own atmosphere, but none are more vibrant than Leith.
Over the past 10 years or so, Leith has seen a huge amount of development. In such instances it is often easy for historic local charm to be lost, however, Leith manages to blend its burgeoning creative scene with its rich cultural roots.
If you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, a day spent in Leith is well worth your while. With several of Edinburgh’s best restaurants, lots of unique shops and a couple of staple attractions to keep the whole family occupied, you will have a packed schedule.
The first stop for a day in Leith has to be the Royal Yacht Britannia, recently voted the UK’s best visitor attraction it is not one to be missed. Built in Clydebank in 1953, it was a “floating palace” for the Royal Family until its decommission in 1997.
Now visitors can experience the decadence for themselves. Britannia’s interiors remain largely unchanged, so you can enjoy the vessel exactly as royals, celebrities ambassadors, presidents and prime ministers did.
The tour is fantastic and engaging; there is the obvious historical appeal and stories of guests from Liz Taylor to Nelson Mandela, but the guides keep younger visitors interested too with fun facts and curious things to spot.
After a morning of exploring you will certainly have earned a good lunch, and Leith is home to some of Edinburgh’s best restaurants including Michelin-starred The Kitchin and Restaurant Martin Wishart.
For something more casual, you can pick up a bite on the go and relax by the waterfront with a bagel from Bross Bagels or fish and chips from Pierinos.
Leith is a neighbourhood of artists and makers, and they are celebrated in almost every shop window. An afternoon of shopping is made all the sweeter when you know you are supporting independent artists and businesses.
One such business is Logan Malloch. Opened by husband duo Philip Logan and Brian Malloch, this beautiful shop supports A plethora of Leith artists, selling prints, original artworks, cards and gifts. As soon as you walk through the door you will be met by a riot of colour, and you are sure to leave laden with bags.
For Brian, Leith really is the place to be. “We looked at a couple of places in Edinburgh but other locations didn’t have the buzz of Leith. We love our shop and are so happy to be part of Leith Walk. The community of Leith is so mixed and varied, it’s just brilliant. There really is something for everyone here.”
Venture off the well-trodden track of the Royal Mile and Princes Street and spend a day in vibrant Leith. You won’t regret it.
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