Rich in history, Edinburgh is the kind of city I love to visit, where everything is easily accessible on foot. That is as long as one is prepared for all the hills and steps, Edinburgh makes for an excellent workout. Dominated by the castle, sitting high on a hill, and Edinburgh’s dramatic architecture, especially in the Old Town. Houses and buildings are stacked on top of each other, with alleyways in-between, I immediately felt like I was on a Harry Potter set (well, the book was penned in this city). There are lots of wonderful independent shops to explore. I started the day early to stroll and explore this enchanting city, starting on Cockburn Street. These are my 16 favorite Edinburgh shops that I discovered on my rambles.
7 Cockburn Street
Too early to enjoy a first coffee at The Milkman coffee shop, but I was afforded the opportunity to admire the beautiful wooden shutters and original signage of this historic building at the foot of Cockburn Street. A detour on the way back down the hill meant I was able to pop in and enjoy that missed morning coffee.
52 Cockburn Street
Further up the hill is this charming building with its rounded walls and curved windows, home to Miss Katie Cupcake. This shop feature local makers and has a lovely assortment of dried flowers, vintage goods, gifts and stationery.
88 – 90 W Bow
From Cockburn Street I explored Old Town, which has plenty of shops for wizardry and traditional Scottish attire. Walking down the architecturally impressive multi-tiered Victoria Street towards Grassmarket the red shopfront of this kilt maker caught my eye with its historical movie worthy outfits in the window.
Homemade gelato and artisan chocolates are the treats that await behind this pretty shopfront. Unfortunately the North Sea breeze was a bit too chilly for me to sample Mary’s gelato, but the customers braver than me packed the interior happily enjoying her wares.
72 – 74 West Port
A series of connecting rooms are piled high, in bookcases and every available surface, with secondhand and antiquarian books. Assistance from the knowledgeable staff will help you guide these tomes, where one could lose themselves for hours.
155 West Port
Time for more coffee, and Lovecrumbs is the perfect cozy coffee shop. There are lots of delicious cakes to chose from and a cute assortment of gifts and stationery.
87 Broughton Street
Broughton Street in Edinburgh’s New Town is home to several lovely independent shops. The beautiful black shopfront of Narcissus Flowers made the gorgeous flower displays really stand out, and inside the dark interior was an equally dramatic backdrop for the containers of colorful blooms.
16A Broughton Street
I love a traditional shopfront, plus the name of this classic fishmonger shop caught my eye and made me stop for a closer look.
53 London Street
Further down the street Lifestory has a very eye-catching shop window. Inside there is a range of Scandinavian led home wares and accessories, a coffee bar and a beautiful space at the back of the shop to sit and stay a while.
3 North West Circus Place
I loved Stockbridge and the small row of shops of North West Circus Place in Stockbridge. Dick’s has a lovely range of classic, beautifully-made mens and womenswear, accessories, and homewares from small, independent manufacturers. Goods to use and cherish for years.
5 North West Circus Place
Next door to Dick’s is a charming and cozy coffee shop with great coffee. The pretty pastel blue and yellow shopfront adds to the charm.
6 Bakers Place
I’m always fond of a great cheesemongers, and I J Mellis, the renowned purveyor of fine farmhouse and Scottish artisan cheeses, ticks all the boxes.
9 St Stephen Street
St Stephen Street is another lovely street of independent shops. The sun-filled The Method has a beautiful range of pared-back designed homewares, an assortment of apothecary items and a massage treatment space. The overall ambience is very understated and calm.
22 St Stephen Street
Stockbridge has its own Lovecrumbs coffee shop, this one a more petite version, but still with the same delicious cakes.
46 St Stephen Street
I’m always happy to discover a great kids shop, as I think they are in short supply. Bon Tot has a great feeling of play and fun, from the plywood display units, to the neon sign and the pastel-coloured plumbing pipe rails. I really loved the colour palette of the clothing, a little more subdued and sophisticated than typical.
68 St Stephen Street
After discovering Golden Hare Books some time ago on Instagram it was on the top of my list of shops to visit in Edinburgh. Golden Hare Books didn’t disappoint, though it was challenging to photograph with a big van parked outside. This book shop inside is as unique as its shopfront. Instant visual impact is created as books are displayed with their fronts facing out, rather than lined up on shelves in a traditional fashion with spines out. A fireplace anchors the main room, whilst a cozy back room with comfortable seating is the perfect children’s reading nook.
A special thanks to @windmilldreams for all the wonderful recommendations.