Best things to do in Portobello, Edinburgh

Three miles from the tourist-trodden Previous City of Edinburgh, Portobello has a totally totally different really feel from the medieval spires and haunted snickleways the Scottish capital is legendary for. The shoreline right here has been on a rickety wood rollercoaster of rebrands over the centuries, from a thriving industrial base in the 18th century to an upmarket seaside vacation spot for the Victorians after which a barely uncared for suburb of pale grandeur on the flip of the millennium. Slowly and quietly since, indie retailers have sprung up alongside the excessive road and road meals stalls have changed the Wimpy quick meals joint, which stubbornly clung to the facet of the promenade’s arcades for many years.

Lately, if it’s sunny – “faucets aff” climate, as they’d say right here – you’ll be hard-pressed to discover a spot of sand on the lengthy sweep of seaside that doesn’t have already got a rainbow windbreaker or disposable barbecue occupying it. Tables and chairs spill out from brunch spots on the promenade providing avocado toast and eggs Benedict with a sea view, and also you’re by no means various ft from an artisan ice cream hatch.

Right here’s how to spend your time in Portobello.


Portobello Seashore

A day at Portobello Seashore is bound to blow away the cobwebs

(Vault Metropolis Brewing)

The primary draw to this Edinburgh suburb is its lengthy stretch of sandy seaside. On a transparent day, the ocean is denim blue, with clear shallows lapping quietly on the shore and, closing your eyes, you might be on a Greek island save for the obnoxious squawk of seagulls combating for chips The west finish of the seaside is common with canine walkers, strolling alongside the sand with a view all the best way to Bass Rock in the space. For these with restricted mobility, seaside wheelchairs can be found.

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Artwork Stroll Porty

12 months-round, you possibly can see the proof of Portobello’s inventive group in the seaside-themed road murals and pop-up installations that seem in parks and on the promenade. The view out in the direction of the East Lothian headland from the latter attracts sketch artists, which could clarify the “Portobello pencil sharpening challenge” – sharpeners glued to the seaside partitions that went viral in 2020. September sees 10 days of eco-art initiatives pop up round Portobello and past in the course of the Art Walk Porty Pageant.

Portobello Swim Centre

It could appear odd to go to the seaside solely to head to the indoor swimming pool however the Portobello Swim Centre is dwelling to the one public Victorian Turkish baths in Scotland. The double-height principal pool, with its rose skylight, is a sight in itself, however the hidden heated swimming pools and hydrotherapy spots are the true surprises behind these doorways.


Shrimp Wreck

This informal spot serves up sea-fresh road meals with a little bit of pleasant patter on the facet. It’s a step up from the old-school fish and chip vans on the promenade, with Pittenweem lobster, fats juicy buffalo prawns from the west coast and crab-topped mac ‘n’ cheese on the menu. Regardless of being principally open air, Shrimp Wreck is open year-round, come rain or shine. If the sky turns steely gray and the wind whips on the coast, you possibly can huddle in the shelter together with your crispy squid.

Bross Bagels

Mama Bross has an empire of bagel retailers throughout Edinburgh, however Portobello is the place it started. In a grand, previous constructing on Portobello Excessive Road, you possibly can watch the bagels baking earlier than they’re shipped out to the numerous Bross branches throughout the capital. Founder Larah Bross hails from Montreal and the menu embraces her Jewish-Canadian background, mixed with regionally sourced Scottish produce.


It could say espresso home on the outside, however this LGBT+-friendly spot on the High Street is certainly a food-first institution match for night meals. The menu modifications by season, pattern and whim, whereas towering wagyu burgers imply there’s no hazard of leaving hungry. The kitsch decor is a delight and there are many native craft beers on faucet, plus they do a imply Sunday roast.

The Seashore Home

Vivid and bunting-strewn, the inside of The Beach House appears like an ode to The Nice British Bake Off. Salad greens and herbs come straight from the kitchen backyard, naturally seasoned by the salty sea air, and the wildflower desk preparations are accomplished regionally, too. Crunchy sourdough and wholemeal loaves are made recent every day, topped with creamy avocado and runny poached eggs.


Porty Vault

Taproom to Portobello’s personal Vault Metropolis Brewery simply across the nook, the Porty Vault specialises in bitter beers. A positively pun-tastic chalkboard menu exhibits off the crew’s creativity in fidgeting with flavours resembling New York cheesecake and lemon drizzle. There’s normally a stylish pop-up on the go in the open kitchen, so that you may discover El Perro Negro’s award-winning burgers to accompany your Strawberry Sundae bitter.

Uncommon brews go down a storm at Porty Vault

(Vault Metropolis Brewing)

Smith & Gertrude

Peruse the partitions lined with bottles on the market or settle in for a glass and a few small plates at this stylish wine bar on the Excessive Road. The menu may be very a lot cheese-based with tasting notes to match the crisp picpouls or mild chenin blancs. The very best spots are by the large home windows overlooking the road, or on the squashy sofas in the again the place you get a sneak peek of Portobello’s again gardens.


Uncovered stone partitions, a warehouse-sized inside, and loads of fernickety espresso paraphernalia tells you this place is critical a couple of cup of Joe. Fairtrade espresso beans come from Rwanda however are roasted in-house. In summer time, the iced latte topped with coconut milk is ideal for sunny days by the ocean.


Until’s Bookshop

It’s a delight to merely browse the cabinets and cabinets of second-hand books at Till’s. You may discover a classic cookbook, a well-thumbed paperback with the earlier proprietor’s scribblings in the margins or a pristine copy of a bestseller for a discount value. There’s a espresso store hooked up to gasoline your perusing.

Books, books and extra books at Until’s

(Vault Metropolis Brewing)

Cove Scotland

Knick-knacks and treasures by native artisans and artists are on provide in this shop on the Excessive Road. Certain, tartan prints and Scotty canine items tick the “you’re in Scotland” field, however previous maps and retro prints of Portobello preserve it feeling ultra-local.

Harry’s Connoisseur Treats

For the four-legged pal in your life, this dog shop specialises in handmade treats for hounds. Treats, resembling gourmand venison and apple slices, or hen and turmeric, sound like they belong on a chef’s tasting menu, and there are even “woofins” – muffins for canines – to really spoil your pooch.

The Positive Wine Firm

The selection is immense at The Fine Wine Company, the place the bottle-filled cabinets graze the ceiling. The gathering showcases over 5,000 small producers from throughout the globe. It’s a fantastic spot to decide up a bottle of whisky they usually provide a collection of artisan IJ Mellis cheeses to accompany your tipple.


Bedrooms with large sash home windows overlooking manicured gardens and a sweeping previous staircase for Scarlet O’Hara moments await at this family-run spot. The rooms are delightfully kitsch with enormous beds and thick curtains. A continental breakfast is served in the grand eating room.

Abercorn Visitor Home

Boasting some stunning communal areas, Abercorn Visitor Home dates again to the 1870s. Every en-suite room is an ode to Victorian allure and the plant-filled sunroom is the right place to chill with a very good e book – maybe one thing you’ve picked up earlier from Until’s, simply across the nook.

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