Top Things to do in Edinburgh This Autumn
Autumn has long been my most favourite time of the year. From the changing colours of the leaves to the chill that the air brings as summer draws to a close, there’s nothing quite like it. Arguably one of the most beautiful seasons in the city of Edinburgh, though I may be bias. From enjoying quiet afternoons spent wandering through Princes Street gardens watching the leaves fall under the castle, to enjoying life as a passerby in a quiet coffee shop in the West End. Read on for my list of top 10 things to do in Edinburgh for autumn.
Walk Through Princes Street Gardens
Edinburgh is home to some of the most beautiful public green spaces, with Princes Street gardens in the heart of the city. Seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of the main shopping street above, take up a spot on the grass or many benches and watch as the leaves change colour. Set to a dramatic skyline backdrop with the castle in the distance, it’s easy to find yourself lost in the moment.
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The Quietest Time of Year
With the Fringe Festival well and truly over and Christmas still a glimmer in the distance, autumn is one of the best times of year to visit Edinburgh. Not only do both September and October tend to have the best weather, but there’s just something about that cool crispness in the air and bright blue skies hinting at winter around the corner.
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Take In The Views
Take a hike to one of the many vantage points in the city for views like no other. One of my favourite views is at the top of Calton Hill, a short distance with big reward. Head to the far end of Princes Street past Waverley station and you’ll find steps at the bottom winding their way to the top. Be sure to walk the whole way round to get a 360 of the city and out towards the sea.
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Harvest Season at the Farmers Market
I do love market day, and nothing quite says autumn like a farmers market. Head to both the Grassmarket and Stockbridge for the freshest local produce on offer, perfect for whipping up an autumnal treat for dinner or comforting warm pudding for dessert. Grassmarket holds it’s market on a Saturday, whilst Stockbridge is on a Sunday. If you’re super keen you can make both in one weekend! Just think of all those goodies…
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Boutique Shops Stocked With Cosy Scottish Knits
Edinburgh is home to some amazing independent stores and vintage boutiques, so what better way to refresh your wardrobe and invest in some cosy knits for autumn and winter. Knitted Arran wool did you say? You’ll find that here no problem.
Enjoy a Walk in the Pentland Hills
With the beauty of the Pentland Hills surrounding Edinburgh quite literally on it’s doorstep, it’s so easy to instantly immerse yourself in the countryside. Catch a bus from the city centre for around 40 minutes, or take a short 20-30 minute drive to one of the many sights. I recommend Bonaly as one of my favourites. Make sure you wrap up warm, the wind is much harder hitting than it is in the city!
Keep Warm in the Galleries
Edinburgh is home to over 10 galleries and museums, all of which are free to enter. Some of my favourites are the Modern Art Galleries and the National Museum of Scotland. It’s easy to lose yourself for a day immersed in the paintings and exhibitions, plus it’s perfect for keeping warm and cosy inside away from the bitter chill of the autumnal air.
Watch the Changing Colours in the Dean Village
The Dean Village has long been a favourite hidden spot amongst locals. With postcard-perfect houses steeped in history overlooking the river below, it’s like stepping back in time. Enjoy a walk through the village towards Stockbridge and escape the business of life in the city above.
Take a Quiet Walk Through the Botanical Gardens
Another free to enter attraction, Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens are a real gem in the city. You can wander for hours around the grounds and glasshouses. Or even stop for a coffee to warm up in one of their several on sight cafes. What better excuse to get that photo of you throwing leaves in the air you’ve been planning for your Instagram, right?
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Watch The World Go By Over a Hot Drink
Sometimes you just need a good old cuppa and a sit down to relax. What better place to people watch as the world continues on the outside, seeking a moment of solace over a perfect cup of tea. Ah, bliss.
What’s your perfect autumnal day in the city?
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