Come rain or shine, Tollcross has a host of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
Cinema and theatres
Nothing beats a trip to the cinema, and Tollcross is fortunate to have a great variety. Both the Odeon Lothian Road and nearby Cineworld Fountain Park show the latest releases, but for something a bit special we recommend the Cameo Cinema. This Edinburgh icon started life as the King’s Cinema in 1914 and is one of the oldest cinemas in Scotland still in use. On opening, it had just 673 seats, all on a single level which sloped gently towards a mirrored screen, the first of its kind in Scotland. A live orchestra accompanied the silent films before the building was fitted for sound in 1930 and started showing ‘talkies’. A Milk Bar was added in 1963 and the Cameo became the first cinema in the city with a drinks licence. Today, the bar remains and although the interior of the main auditorium is largely unchanged from how it looked in 1914, the cinema has since expanded and continues to be a popular haunt for lovers of indie, cult, foreign language and quality blockbusters.
Located in the heart of Tollcross, the King’s Theatre is a stunning Edwardian auditorium with 1,300 seats. Built in 1905, the doors opened the following year with a performance of Cinderella and the theatre soon became established as a place of variety and pantomime. Today, the King’s is Edinburgh’s home of West End drama and touring theatre, giving local audiences the chance to see some of the best touring productions on home turf. Over the years the King’s has played host to some of the world’s biggest stars of screen and stage, including Sir Laurence Olivier, Maria Callas, Sir Ian McKellen, Penelope Keith and Simon Callow. The late Sir Sean Connery even worked backstage here.
The King’s Theatre is currently closed for refurbishment. Keep an eye on their website for updates.
Home of opera, dance and musicals – discover more about Edinburgh’s legendary theatres in our guide to The History Behind Edinburgh’s Theatres
Explore the outdoors
Opened in 1822, the Union Canal was Scotland’s first inter-city link and was built to transport coal from the west coast to Edinburgh. Running just over 30 miles from Edinburgh Quay to the Falkirk Wheel, this scenic waterway is on Tollcross’s doorstep and well worth exploring. Whether you choose to sail, cycle or walk along the waterway, discover more about the adventures you can have on the historic Union Canal.
Skirting the edges of Tollcross and the largest public park in Edinburgh, the Meadows is popular all year round. Boasting tree-lined paths, a good cycle network and multiple kids’ play areas, it’s the perfect place for a dose of nature and a change of pace. In summer months this popular green space hosts many events including a circus, cricket matches and the famous Meadows Festival. Adjoining the Meadows is Bruntsfield Links, another popular city park. At one time home to several golf clubs (the oldest being the Royal Burgess Club which traces its roots back to 1735), today the park has a small 9-hole golf course.
Visit a gallery
Between Bruntsfield and Tollcross, Upright Gallery is a contemporary gallery with a changing exhibition programme. The multipurpose Edinburgh Printmakers is set in a beautiful building that used to be a rubber factory and brewery. It has a creative studio, two galleries which host a year-round programme of exhibitions, shop, café and a community garden. It’s now one of the largest printmaking spaces in Europe and one of the UK’s leading contemporary art spaces.
Discover all things to do in Tollcross
Uncover a host of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
Shopping in Tollcross
The shops in Tollcross offer a great choice of everyday needs and hidden gems.
Food and drink in Tollcross
The Tollcross food and drink scene has some real gems.
Accommodation in Tollcross
Discover more about where to stay in Tollcross and the surrounding area.