The Top 10 Things To Do and See In Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Charles Jencks garden at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh
Charles Jencks garden at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh | © Archimage / Alamy
Alex MacKay

A strong individual identity lies at the heart of Stockbridge, to the north of Edinburgh’s city centre; its bohemian vibes give it a rarified air amongst the precincts of the capital. In addition, the proximity of stunning attractions such as the Royal Botanic Gardens and the historic Dean Village make it a well worthwhile visit for urban explorers. Here’s our guide to the best things to see and do in the Stockbridge area.

1. The Stockbridge Market

Market

A mother and daughter buying bread at Stockbridge Market in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
© Alan Wilson / Alamy
Situated in Jubilee Gardens on the banks of the Water of Leith, the Stockbridge Market gets a rep as the ‘second’ farmer’s market in the capital, after the Edinburgh’s Farmer’s Market on Castle Terrace, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of artisan, handmade and crafted goods and ingredients sold here every Sunday afternoon. The Stockbridge location also means that the market stays off the main tourist track (and thus keeps jostling, overzealous tourists away) and bargain hunters will be put in the mood for a tour of Stockbridge’s many renowned charity shops. At the market, one may find items and goods ranging from artisan cheeses, smoked salmon, jewellery, crafts, soaps, crepes, melting marshmallows and even handmade dog treats. Some of the popular producers known to appear are the Edinburgh Natural Skincare Company, Bad Tempered Baker and – in their own custom-fitted VW Camper Van – North Berwick’s Steampunk Coffee.

Opening Hours: Sunday: 10am – 5pm

2. The Scran and Scallie

Gastropub, Restaurant, British

Delicious food at gastropub The Scran and Scallie
© The Scran and Scallie

For those new to the Scots dialect, ‘scran’ is food and ‘scallie’ is squint-eyed or lopsided. The thought process underlying Stockbridge’s The Scran and Scallie is surely then, a bold, off-piste reinvention of traditional Scottish cuisine. Indeed, a hearty dose of national pride suffuses the ethos of The Scran and Scallie gastropub, brought to life by Michelin-starred, Edinburgh-superstar chefs Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack. A more brazen attempt at an informal pub-style eatery than the duo’s other fine-dining establishments in the capital, The Kitchin and Castle Terrace, The Scran and Scallie can still boast a unique level of flair and panache in their menu. Aside from pub staples such as juicy burgers, chunky chips and fish pie, the culinary selection expands to include oysters, home-cured salmon, braised hogget, sheep’s head broth, and, for the sweet tooths, the delectable stout ice cream. Reservations are vital, but if fortune is smiling on you, you may be able to score one of the few tables the restaurant sometimes holds back during normal service for walk-ins.

Price: High

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 12pm – 10pm

Watch out for: A Scottish gastropub with style and panache

3. Golden Hare Books

Bookstore

Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh is a treat for bibliophiles
© Golden Hare Books
In the heart of picturesque Stockbridge is Golden Hare Books, a charming celebration of novels, children’s books and art & design. Golden Hare’s modus operandi is to display a discerning, curated selection of ‘the finest voices in international literary fiction and poetry; the most stimulating and provocative non-fiction of all kinds; the most inventive and original in contemporary art and design; and a children’s department that will enchant and enrapture youngsters and adults alike’. With additional regular events such as book launches, poetry nights and book group evenings, you’ll surely agree with Golden Hare’s own sentiment that they are dedicated ‘not just to the love of reading, but also to the book as beautiful, life-enriching object of desire in its own right’.

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10am – 6pm

4. The Last Word Saloon

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails

Interior of The Last Word Saloon, Edinburgh
Courtesy of The Last Word Saloon

From the proprietors of the trendy and esteemed Edinburgh cocktail bar, Bramble, comes the Last Word Saloon, residing in subterranean premises on the bohemian St Stephen Street. But any similarities to its sister establishment are quickly upturned by the shadowy and gothic decor, replete with Sherlock Holmes-esque open fire. Still, the same inquisitive attitude towards creating bold new drinks concoctions persists –signature beverages are the adventurous Arnaud’s No.6 (Black Bottle blended whisky with Dubonnet, hibiscus syrup and orange bitters) and the Last Word (Fifty Pounds Gin, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur & fresh lime juice).

Price: Mid-range

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 4pm – 1am

Watch out for: The Last Word cocktail

5. Inverleith Park

Park

Views across Inverleith Pond to Edinburghs New Town and beyond to Arthurs Seat. Inverleith Park is a park
© LatitudeStock / Alamy
Adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Stockbridge is one of Scotland’s largest urban parks and a true oasis in the heart of the capital, Inverleith Park. The park was opened in 1891 and continues to offer healthy-minded locals and urban explorers a huge green expanse for sports, walks and picnics. The original boating pond, playing fields and tree-lined walkways are all still intact, whilst a children’s play park, running track, three football pitches and six seven-a-side pitches now supplement the park’s roster of outdoor pursuits. There is also a renewed commitment to community enterprise present in the park: an area of the grassland has been converted into allotments for Edinburgh residents. Naturalists too, will be equally pleased with the western end of the boating pond being extended to form a wetland to encourage wild birds to flock to the park.

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