Edinburgh’s Hidden Gems: Uncover a different side to the city

Searching for new adventures within Scotland’s capital city? Edinburgh is filled with endless discoveries to keep you returning time and time again.

Whether you’re looking for an activity to expand your mind or wanting a haven to relax and unwind, Edinburgh has everything you need. In this blog, we’ve found 8 hidden gems you must-visit!

1. Edinburgh Gin Distillery

Edinburgh GinSince 2010 Edinburgh Gin has been distilled in the heart of the city, taking inspiration from the incredible sights and history all around. Whilst Edinburgh Gin is sold widely across the UK, you can’t begin to understand what makes this gin special until you take a distillery tasting experience. Choose from gin tasting, a cocktail experience or get stuck in and try creating your own bespoke London Dry Gin using specially selected botanicals. If you’re a fan of gin it would be a crime not to!

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2. Kyoto Friendship Garden

Inside the grounds of Lauriston Castle you’ll find one of the top three Japanese gardens in Britain – the Kyoto Friendship Garden. The garden encompasses classic Japanese elements including blossom trees, serene water features and bamboo shelters to enjoy a picnic underneath. First opened in 2002 its official name is ‘Castle Garden to Water and Beyond’. This garden is so tranquil and zen that you’ll actually find many locals are unaware of it, and it doesn’t seem to appear in many guidebooks, the true definition of a hidden gem!

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3. Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura EdinburghThe Camera Obscura is an incredible creative outlet in the heart of Edinburgh, rooted in the city’s history. Dating back to 1835 the Camera Obscura guaranteed visitors the best views in the city, through Maria Short’s famous telescope. Today, the rooftop terrace continues to offer 360° views over Edinburgh, whilst the World of Illusions is on hand to immerse guests in interactive exhibitions and mind-bending illusions split across five floors.

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4. Library of Mistakes

Library of MistakesThe Library of Mistakes was founded to promote the study of financial history and educate the public about dangerous errors in financial understanding. Professionals, students and members of the public alike can explore financial history to understand how it has worked rather than how it should work – we all learn best from mistakes. The library itself holds a calming atmosphere perfect to chill out and unwind whilst you get stuck into a book.

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5. Cramond Island

Discover this little island in the village of Cramond as you explore on foot during low tide. Cramond Island is just over three quarters of a mile into the river from the village and can be reached by a revealing causeway. With history to explore on the island from gun emplacements to remains of the Duck House, it’s worth the trek across the riverbed.  Just be sure you don’t become stranded on the island when the tide comes back in!

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6. Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland EdinburghOn the cusp of the city’s edge is art gallery and modern sculpture park Jupiter Artland. Since 2009 they have become one of Scotland’s most impressive arts organisations, winning awards and making their mark on the arts and sculpture scene. With more than 100 acres of woodland, meadow and inside gallery spaces there are over 30 permanent and one-of-a-kind sculptures on display here.

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7. St Bernard’s Well

Located near Dean Village on the Water of Leith, St Bernard’s Well is an enchanting structure encompassing a statue of a Greek goddess within. Since 1760 the natural spring has been said to hold healing powers which can improve physical and mental health. The well has recently been restored to its original beauty with grand pillars and an intricate mosaic ceiling. This is the perfect place for a stroll amongst the greenery followed by a picnic.

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8. Portobello Beach

Not far from Edinburgh city centre you’ll find Portobello Beach awaits with rolling waves, two miles of sand and plenty of opportunity for fun. This seaside suburb is perfect for swimming, catching a tan or getting involved in a local event such as the annual Big Beach Busk. You won’t be disappointed at this award-winning beach with various bars and cafes on the waterfront. If you fancy a spot of retail therapy, Portobello’s high street awaits with independent eateries and shops to explore. Make a day of it whatever the weather!

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