As far as iconic areas go, they don’t come more legendary than Leith. A wholesale regeneration hasn’t robbed Leith of its earthy qualities. Enjoy the delights from curio shops to a diverse range of cafés, restaurants and bars.
Leith is the old maritime centre of Edinburgh. Its shipping heyday is behind it now, but the popular dockside restaurants, bars and shops have a unique charm and make Leith a vibrant place to hang out.
Sunshine on Leith – it certainly does! The area recently played the starring role in a cinematic adaptation of the hit musical based on songs by The Proclaimers and was one of the most successful Scottish films for years.
The award-winning Royal Yacht Britannia, now berthed in Leith, was the former floating residence to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family for over 40 years and sailing over 1,000,000 miles. Follow in the footsteps of royalty to discover the voyages and life that it played host to, with self-guided audio tours to educate and a Tea Room to replenish.
Walk the Water of Leith, one of the city’s most iconic walks and perfect for a delightful stroll, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Leith’s shops tend to have a charm all of their own. Off-beat eco-friendly shop Flux is a top spot for unusual gifts, whilst Georgian Antiques affords ample opportunity to browse one of Scotland’s largest antique emporiums. Ocean Terminal, designed by Terence Conran, houses all the big names.
Leith Walk and Elm Row, stretching from Leith up into town, is lined by a highly eclectic collection of shops, including bakeries (try the Sicilian Pastry Shop for great cakes), food shops and charity shops. An institution among book lovers for almost 60 years, McNaughtan’s Bookshop is ideal whether you’re on the look-out for a special present or fancy a rummage. Meanwhile, book and music fans should check out Elvis Shakespeare and Vinyl Villains.
If you're in the area on Saturdays, Leith Market runs from 10am to 4pm at Dock Place, with a special Vegan Quarter on the first Saturday of every month.
There is more to eating and drinking in Leith than ticking off Michelin -stars. You don’t have to look far to find a great pub and the stylish Shore area in Leith is full of them, including The Kings Wark (which also happens to do some of the best burgers in the city), Nobles and Leith Beer Co. Make sure to stop by the chintzy, charming Roseleaf Bar for a cocktail in a china teapot or fantastic homemade pub food.
Many artistic, educational and social endeavours take place in Out of the Blue Drill Hall while Leith Links is home to football and festivals. The first Leith Festival was launched in 1907, and is still going strong.
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