Golden Hare Books, image credit @GisforGeorgina

Swim at Jupiter Artland


Outdoor events

Gosford House Winter Wonderland | 17th - 23rd December 2021

Edinburgh Zoo : Christmas Nights | 19th November 2021 - 2nd January 2022

Christmas at the Botanics | 25th November 2021 - 2nd January 2022

Dalkeith Country Park's Spectacle of Light | 4th December 2021 - 2nd January 2022

Jupiter Artland


Outdoor &/or quieter attractions

Seacliff Beach | Our favourite beach with golden sands, tiny harbour carved from the rock and the towering Tantallon Castle overlooking the bay. Usually a small fee to park at the beach.
Seacliff Beach, North Berwick, EH39 5PP

Horse riding at Seacliff Stables | Now reopened with precautions, beautiful beach rides await.
Seacliff Stables, North Berwick, EH39 5PP

Royal Botanic Garden | The glass houses remain closed for restoration but the cafe, gardens and visitor centre are open. Throughout December 'Christmas at the Botanics' is an outdoor light show, a completely different experience of the gardens after dark.
Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ

Craigmiller Castle | Edinburgh's 'other castle', great views over Edinburgh and a remarkable history. Craigmillar Castle, Craigmillar Castle Road, Edinburgh, EH16 4SY

Peggyslea Clydesdales | Experience these beautiful traditional heavy horses. Meet the team, take a carriage drive and get the opportunity to drive the horses yourself. A fabulous day out for all the family. Open every day 11am - 3pm, book online.
Peggyslea Clydesdales, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 9LX

Arthur's Seat | For the best view over Edinburgh take a hike up Arthur's Seat, the huge volcanic rock in the city centre. Look over the famous Sailsbury Crags to Edinburgh Castle and beyond.
Queens Drive, Edinburgh, EH8 8HG

Calton Hill | Just a short walk from central Edinburgh this UNESCO world heritage site offers one of the cities best view points. Well worthy of a sunset stroll up to the monuments and old observatory.
32 Greenside Road, Edinburgh, EH1 3AJ

Pentland Hills | Explore the hills from your cottage doorstep. We have listed our favourite walks here, but provide a fantastic guidebook and OS map so you can seek out your own adventures.

Blackness Castle | where the land meets the sea, with fantastic views over the Forth bridges.
Blackness Castle, Blackness, Linlithgow, EH49 7NH

East Links Farm Park | Brilliant fun for children, the outdoor elements of the park are now open. Take a train safari through the animal enclosures, climb the fort or jump on the giant jellybean! About an hours drive but well worth it.
East Links Family Park, Dunbar, East Lothian, EH42 1XF

Edinburgh Zoo | The zoo is open but is requiring everyone planning a visit to prebook. We love visiting the Edinburgh penguins, pandas and cheeky monkeys.
Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS


Closed for winter & reopening in the Spring

Dawyk Botanic Garden | The Dawyk botanics are open as normal with cafe also open. This botanics is far quieter with beautiful woodland gardens and walks in the Scottish Borders. Open daily from 1st February - 30th November
Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, Scottish Borders, EH45 9JU

Jupiter Artland | Reopening in May 2022. You can really experience the sculpture here walking around and through it as you explore the park. The cafe is open serving takeaway cakes and coffees.You can now swim in an artwork within Joana Vasconcelos : Gateway piece.
Jupiter Artland, Bonnington House Steadings, Edinburgh EH27 8BY

Little Sparta | The Pentland sculpture garden of Ian Hamilton Finlay. Open from June - September Little Sparta, Stonypath, Dunsyre, ML11 8NG

Robert Smail's Printing Workshop | Reopening 1st April - 31st October 2022. The National Trust owned letterpress print shop has reopened for pre-booked tours Monday-Friday.
Robert Smail’s Printing Works, 7 - 9 High Street, Innerleithen, EH44 6HA

The Royal Burgh of Culross | Reopening in April 2022. Culross is one of the most complete examples of a 17th Century fishing village owned by the National Trust. The gardens & streets are open but the palace tours must be booked in advance.
Culross, Fife, KY12 8JH

Scottish Sea Bird Centre Boat trips | Reopening Aril - October. Boat trips out to see the Bass Rock with gannets and puffins. Private charter available as well as socially distanced trips.
Scottish Seabird Centre, The Harbour, North Berwick, EH39 4SS

Children's pony rides at Karecole Farm | Pony rides will restart in the spring. Children can come along and ride the ponies. Karecole Farm, Dolphinton, EH46 7HQ

John Muir Country Park, Beach views, Bass Rock, Near Edinburgh, Scotland

Seacliff Beach & Bass Rock beyond




Local Indies

Not completely local but well worth the trip, Mainstreet trading is our all time favourite shop.
Mainstreet Trading, St Boswells, Melrose, Scottish Borders, TD6 0AT

Lifestory | A scandi paradise, stocked full of beautiful things for your home. Think glassware, soft furnishings, notebooks, satchels, cards and everything in between.
53 London St, Edinburgh EH3 6LX

Narcissus Flowers | If Willy Wonka did florists this would be it. The corner shop on Broughton Street is picture perfect with flowers spilling outside onto the street. The flower shop is now open, they also have a fabulous Flower School opening when it is safe to do so.
87 Broughton St, Edinburgh, EH1 3RJ

Restoration Yard | Restoration Yard is in a gorgeous, homeware, lifestyle and book store set in Dalkeith Palace estate. The shop and larder are now open, the grounds provide the perfect place for a restorative stroll after collecting your groceries.
Restoration Yard, Dalkeith , EH22 1ST

Hawico Scotland | The most beautiful Scottish cashmere shop in the heart of the Grassmarket. Find stacks of cashmere sweaters and scarves. There are 49 shades to choose from, but if you can't find the combination of colour, size and style you want they will make it specially for you as part of their 'Create Your Own' special order service.
71 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HJ

Secret Herb Garden | A quaint herb nursery on the out skirts of Edinburgh. They have opened the nursery and will sell potted herbs, dried herbs, herbal teas and their own gin from their distillery on site. Explore the garden, green houses and quirky antiques.
32A Old Pentland Road, Edinburgh, EH10 7EA

Anta | Modern covetable tartan fabrics, furniture and ceramics. Their popular shopping and kit bags made from offcuts of carpet are lovely as are their hand painted thistle & tartan ceramics.
117-119 George St, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN

Homer | A gorgeous lifestyle & interiors shop selling a curated collection of Scandi-Scot Furniture, books and homeware. The perfect treasure trove in the New Town.
8 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TD

Kilberry Bagpipes | Whether you are looking for Highland Bagpipes or Scottish smallpipes in this wee workshop you will find both. Think of it as a one-stop piping shop.
27 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TA

Golden Hare Books | Independent bookshop of the year 2019, You can’t always judge a book by its cover so they’ve styled the shop to have as many outward facing books as possible. Making sure these are changed regularly, so you’re guaranteed a completely fresh selection on each visit.
68 St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AQ

Armchair books | This fantastical book shop is a lightly alphabetised jumble sale of groaning floor-to-ceiling shelves in Edinburgh's historic West Port. Well worth a good explore.
72-74 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LE

The Edinburgh Bookshop | Found amid Bruntsfield’s offering of charming shops, The Edinburgh Bookshop is a firm favourite. This cosy place was named Scottish Independent Bookshop 2018 at the British Bookseller Awards. A number of signed copies sit alongside both local authors and international finds.
Offering a click and collect from their shop: 219 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4DH

Drinkmonger & Royal Mile Whiskies | If you are looking for the best local beer, whisky or gin look no further than this treasure trove of a shop. Drinkmonger Bruntsfield has reopened, the super knowledgable staff will help you find the perfect bottle.
11 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HN

Mr Wood's Fossils | Mr Wood's Fossils is a unique shop stocking an extensive range of fossils, minerals and meteorites. There's something for the curious kid, the dedicated collector, or just something beautiful to put on the shelf.
5 Cowgatehead, Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 1JY

Aesop | Gorgeous skin hair & body products sold from their beautiful boutique in Stockbridge. The shop was crafted by Scottish furniture designers out of a single sycamore tree.
6 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6ST

Drum Farm Antiques | We love to explore at Drum Farm. The sheds are stacked full to the rafters with grand Georgian mirrors, retro 60s furniture and old farmhouse paraphernalia. Always a treasure to be found.
684 Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, EH22 1RR

Local indie food

Bowhouse | well known for their bustling Market weekend held on the second weekend of each month (except January and February). They welcome the best local food and drink traders from across Scotland. 10-4pm both Saturday and Sunday. Bowhouse Farm, St Monans, Anstruther, Fife, KY10 2DB

Liggy's Cakes | For all things cake head to Liggy's Stockbridge cake boutique. You are welcome to collect pre-ordered cakes from their shop or arrange delivery.
20 Deanhaugh Street, Edinburgh, EH4 1LY

Whitmuir Organics | Their little local farm shop has now reopened Tuesday - Friday 10am - 4pm, the cafe remains closed at this time.
Whitmuir Farm, Lamancha, West Linton, EH46 7BB

Penicuik Storehouse | A community owned grocers in the centre of Penicuik. Supplying local produce and all run by volunteers.
22 High St, Penicuik, EH26 8HW




Food & Drink

For the best of food & drink see our journal post. From takeaway to socially distanced restaurants. We have listed some of the best in & around the capital.

Florist courses Edinburgh


Edinburgh view from Calton Hill to Princes Street, Balmoral, Edinburgh, Scotland

Views from Calton Hill out over the city

Golden Hare Books, image credit @GisforGeorgina

Swim at Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland

John Muir Country Park, Beach views, Bass Rock, Near Edinburgh, Scotland

Seacliff Beach & Bass Rock beyond




Florist courses Edinburgh


Edinburgh view from Calton Hill to Princes Street, Balmoral, Edinburgh, Scotland

Views from Calton Hill out over the city

Beautiful Stays Host Unusual Sawdays Cool Cottages Hidden Scotland