Finally, the sun has begun to shine on Edinburgh! For those of you who have never visited on a sunny day, please believe me when I say that it is gorgeous. It’s still a bit windy so when you’re in the shade it can be chilly but if we temporarily ignore that, it really is lovely.
This weekend is the first in over a month where I am in Edinburgh for its entirety with nothing planned. My assignment submission dates are creeping up on me so I could have worked on those but as Ferris Bueller said, “How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” I chose to spend the day in Leith instead of climbing Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill because I was alone and they are things I’d rather do with my friends.
The Shore has been on my ‘Edinburgh’ Pinterest board for a while and since it was often pictured in the sun, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to visit. It’s around a 40 minute walk from my flat which was really enjoyable in the warmer weather. After being on my feet a fair bit over the past two days my legs were a little stiff but exercising them helped.
I wandered north mainly on Leith Walk but I did cut through some streets which were less busy. Depending on where I’m going I don’t always take the fastest routes because Edinburgh is made up of beautiful buildings which I like to admire. I also found some street art on my which I loved.
The Shore is not a beach like at Portobello even though the name may suggest it. Instead of prominently looking onto the Firth of Forth, like Portobello Beach, The Shore sits on the banks of the Water of Leith. I sat down on a bench when I arrived, partly to rest my feet for a bit but mainly just to watch the swans before they disappeared under the bridge. I walked along the edge of the water taking a few photos as I went whilst eyeing the cafes as I would probably have lunch at one later on.
I reached the Firth a little after 12 o’clock so I crossed over an old bridge and headed to the shopping centre, Ocean Terminal which was about 15 minutes walk further. The bridge was mainly closed off, probably because of what looked like rotting wood but the part that was open gave a lovely view down the water. I stopped to take a few pictures and there was a girl next to me creating a time-lapse.
As well as being housing multiple shops, eateries and a cinema, Ocean Terminal is home to the Royal Yacht Britannia. The ship was retired by the royal family in 1997 and turned into a museum/visitor attraction in Edinburgh. I have visited with family on previous occasions and would highly recommend it. You can easily make a day out of it and then top it off with a visit to The Shore for a lovely dinner.
I left Ocean Terminal to go find some lunch in one of the cafés that sat next to the water. I brought my book with me to read and was looking forward to a relaxing hour or so. A lot of my options looked like they had great food and aesthetic interiors (obviously an important factor when choosing somewhere to eat) but I wasn’t prepared to pay over £7 for a toastie on this particular day.
I chose to eat at Crolla’s Gelateria because I could get a window seat and dog-watch as I ate. As a huge dog lover, I was delighted to watch all the different breeds as they walked past. As I left there was the most gorgeous husky in the shop which I was dying to pet.
I had a cheese and ham filled croissant (a favourite of mine) before choosing to order some ice cream, of course. I was going to go for a scoop of Creme Egg and another of Kinder Egg as it’s approaching Easter but just as I went to order they took away the Creme Egg carton. Instead, I selected Highland Toffee Apple and when I finished ordering they brought out the Creme Egg flavour again, which made me a little sad.
It was a bit hard to focus on reading my book whilst eating and not just because I was distracted by the numerous dogs. The gelateria had music playing which didn’t really give the completely chill vibe I was originally looking for. Classic songs that were sung by the Beatles or ABBA, for example, had been mixed together and put to an unwavering synthetic drum beat which got on my nerves as time went on. I was also a tad disappointed to find a bit of paper in my ice cream but apart from those little things, it was lovely.
Walking along The Shore it didn’t really feel like I was in Edinburgh. It reminded me of some of the villages and towns that I’ve visited with my parents when we were on holiday such as Banbury in Oxfordshire. I’m hoping that when the weather is better again I can go for a walk down the Water of Leith Walkway, especially from Stockbridge to Dean Village which I’m sure is beautiful as Spring blooms.
If you have an afternoon to spare I would recommend taking some time to wander around Leith, especially if you’re a dog owner as it seems to be a highly popular spot to walk them. I shall warn you though, I have been still craving fish and chips ever since.