What's New In Edinburgh?
December 15, 2016 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Visiting Edinburgh in January and wondering what the hot new things to do, eat, see, or experience there since my last trip 3 years ago. We usually enjoy unusual museums and collections, vintage menswear , fine dining, LGBT stuff, and historical tours and sites like the Mary King's Close tour (We're both suckers for the macabre).

Also interested in day trips reachable by mass transit (no car!/ don't drive)
posted by The Whelk to Travel & Transportation around Edinburgh, Scotland (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
When we were there last year, the Surgeons' Hall Museums was closed for renovation. I really, really wanted to go. Happily, it' now open. If you like macabre (and I know you do), they've got it.

Gilmerton Cove would probably be in your wheelhouse too. We loved it. You have to book the tour in advance.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:55 AM on December 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

I didn't get a chance to seek out any vintage per se, but I can personally attest that the bog standard charity shops in the city centre have excellent contemporary pickings at least.

I speak from experience of having had an unexpected two hours to spare before my flight, wandering in in search of a specific *look* rather than a specific label or era... and emerging with... a problem cramming my purchases into my flight bag. That was a good day, that was.
posted by tel3path at 9:58 AM on December 15, 2016

I'm not sure Edinburgh changes that fast that there'll be much new in the past three years!

I feel like the Ghost Bus tours are newish, but maybe I've just been late to hear of them (can't vouch personally, I'm afraid).

Not new, but if you want vintage, you want Armstrong's in the Grassmarket and then wander along to West Port and Bread Street for assorted vintage boutiques.

Just in case this is up your street, if you're here at the end of January, you could catch Trainspotting 2 in its home city.
posted by penguin pie at 12:18 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm not an expert in Edinburgh, but but we found Nova Pizza to be our favourite restaurant that we tried during our week there this past summer and I'm usually very picky about italian food.
posted by Poldo at 1:35 PM on December 15, 2016

If you like vintage and didn't find one of the three branches of Armstrongs last time you visited, you should pay a visit. The big one on the Grassmarket is basically cool-old-clothes Narnia.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:47 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh - and day trips accessible by public transport:

* You could take a bus to South Queensferry to see the Forth Bridges, including the famous old rail bridge and the almost-finished and rather elegant new Queensferry Crossing. Or you could take a train from Edinburgh to Fife if you want to go by train over the bridge - anything that goes through Dalmeny station will take you across the bridge (though tbh most of the places the train goes to are not that special. Kinda nice taking the route along the coast of Fife and looking out across the Forth, but not much by way of destinations around the railway stations of Fife. The cute little harbour village of Aberdour is quite nice so that might be a possibility.)

* Take a train 30 minutes east to the seaside town of North Berwick (not to be confused with Berwick-upon-Tweed, down on the Scottish/English border). Twee little seaside town, has a lot of charity shops on the High Street, which might possibly turn up some vintage (though more likely just uninteresting second-hand clothes, but I guess the hunt can be fun). It has a couple of beaches to walk along and is home to the Scottish Seabird Centre and some fish and chip shops.

* This slideshow actually has some decent suggestions like the Falkirk Wheel/Kelpies and Linlithgow so I won't bother re-typing it...

Included in that article, though - for walking in the Pentland Hills, you can take a number 10 bus to Bonaly (alternate buses go to Bonaly or Torphin; on Sunday I think they all go to Torphin so you have to get off a few stops earlier on Woodhall Road and walk up to Bonaly). It's probably easiest to do a circular walk and come back to the same spot for the bus. There are great views back to Edinburgh - you could walk from Bonaly up to Bonaly Reservoir, then turn hard right along the fence line and yomp up to the top of Harbour Hill for a fantastic sweep of a view across the Forth Valley. Then back down to Bonaly.
Although it's great to walk from Bonaly through to Flotterstone, eat at the Flotterstone Inn (actually it's a while since I've been there but I think it was OK), and get a bus from there back to town, the buses from that side are stupidly infrequent so you'd have to time it well.
posted by penguin pie at 3:10 PM on December 15, 2016

Oh! But be aware that a lot of the Scottish Seabird Centre's wildlife camera streams can be a bit barren in winter!
posted by penguin pie at 3:17 PM on December 15, 2016

We ate at Dubh Prais (cozy basement, excellent food) and at The Granary (candle-lit vaulted space, excellent food) and I recommend both! Just don't eat too much pheasant because you have to handle all sorts of stairs afterwards in the Old Town, not that this happened to me.
posted by Hypatia at 4:04 PM on December 15, 2016

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