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A weekend in Leith, Edinburgh

It’s fair to say that when we moved to Edinburgh, we probably weren’t cool enough to live in Leith. The old trading port has become the city’s creative hub – brimming with incredible restaurants, artisan markets, local distillers and an enviable arts scene. 

A stay in Leith offers a unique experience for those visiting Scotland’s capital, so here’s our top tips for basing yourselves in this stylish neighbourhood.

Where to stay in Leith?

While there are plenty of great Air bnb options, accommodation around the port doesn’t get more unique than hopping onboard your very own luxury floating hotel. 

The Fingal, a former Lighthouse supply ship, was transformed into a hotel back in 2019 and it’s fast becoming one of the quirkiest places to spend a night in the city. 

From its incredible circular glass lift, to its 23 individually named cabins, and even the cocktail menu – the entire hotel has been inspired by the boat’s adventurous past as a lighthouse keeper. Now permanently moored by the harbour, you won’t find anywhere to stay quite like it.

*Gifted stay

Best restaurants in Leith?

With so many great places to eat, it’s hard to pick our favourites. 

If you are looking to continue the nautical theme, one of the best places for great seafood (with an interior to match) is The Ship on The Shore

For something easy and on the go, East Pizzas offer the finest Scottish sourdough pizzas we’ve ever tried.

However, if fine dining is what you are looking for, you won’t find better food than at The Kitchin with its Michelin starred seasonal menu, inspired by Scottish ingredients.  

Best bars in Leith?

With the neighbourhood’s growing popularity, it’s worth knowing a few places in case you don’t get a table.

The best cocktail bars – Roseleaf and The Barologist offer something for everyone, while the Lioness of Leith or Teuchters Landing have more of a laid-back vibe if that’s what you are craving after a day of walking.

Make sure to stop by Leith Arches to try its legendary street food and music. It’s worth going for Bross Bagels alone

Leith is also home to some exciting local distillers and brewers, including Pilot Beer and one of our favourite gin brandsLind & Lime. You can see some more of our shots for Lind & Lime here.

Best things to do in Leith?

With numerous markets, pop-up galleries and independent shops, you’ll never be short of things to do around Leith. 

For some added history, a tour around the Queen’s former yacht, The Royal Britannia, is like taking a trip back in time.

Finally, for those looking to head into the heart of Edinburgh itself, the Water of Leith is a tree-lined walkway that takes you all the way to Stockbridge.

We’d definitely recommend a weekend in Leith. For now, this part of town still feels less busy than the main tourist hot spots, but we don’t see it staying a hidden gem for long…

For more travel inspiration, take a look at our Guides, and start planning your own adventures!

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