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Graham

Our Guide to Abbeyhill

Abbeyhill
We love Abbeyhill and we wanted to share some of our favourite places to visit and hang out. Abbeyhill is one of the oldest parts of Edinburgh, taking its name from Holyrood Abbey at the foot of the hill. It’s close to the Scottish Parliament, Carlton Hill and Leith with easy access to all of the festival venues. Today, Abbeyhill forms one of the most vibrant parts of the city centre, with a diverse mix of artists, actors, musicians, professionals and students all living here. It’s great location serves as the perfect base for visiting Edinburgh - being both close to the heart of the city, yet quiet enough to step out of the bustle and relax.
Abbeyhill
Food & Drink
Some of our favourite places to eat and drink in Abbeyhill and nearby.
A lovely and cozy Italian cafe just around the corner. It's our choice for a tasty breakfast and it’s reliably our favourite coffee in the city. The owners go out of their way to visit Italy to source their ingredients.
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Polentoni
38 Easter Rd
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A lovely and cozy Italian cafe just around the corner. It's our choice for a tasty breakfast and it’s reliably our favourite coffee in the city. The owners go out of their way to visit Italy to source their ingredients.
The Manna House is the well-known local favourite. This artisan bakery and cafe, sells fresh handmade breads, pastries and savoury bakes, as well as providing some lovely lunches. It's a small cafe so it can be a bit of a squeeze if you decide to sit in. Our recommendation is to grab some freshly made baguettes first thing in the morning.
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The Manna House Bakery & Patisserie
22-24 Easter Rd
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The Manna House is the well-known local favourite. This artisan bakery and cafe, sells fresh handmade breads, pastries and savoury bakes, as well as providing some lovely lunches. It's a small cafe so it can be a bit of a squeeze if you decide to sit in. Our recommendation is to grab some freshly made baguettes first thing in the morning.
Looking for great coffee, pastries and a gift in a quirky setting? Head to Century General Store. You’ll find some lovely stationary and ceramics too. If you are walking round to Arthur’s Seat or the Palace it’s on the way.
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Century General Store & Cafe
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Looking for great coffee, pastries and a gift in a quirky setting? Head to Century General Store. You’ll find some lovely stationary and ceramics too. If you are walking round to Arthur’s Seat or the Palace it’s on the way.
A fun and quirky local bar. The Safari Lounge Bar is full of worthy refreshments and imaginative eats that will ensure making the trip was worthwhile.
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The Safari Lounge
21 Cadzow Place
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A fun and quirky local bar. The Safari Lounge Bar is full of worthy refreshments and imaginative eats that will ensure making the trip was worthwhile.
If you need to grab a good bottle of wine or a fine beer, then Cornelius is the place to go. They stock one of Edinburgh’s most comprehensive beer selections and a carefully chosen selection of wine. Their staff are able to give a thoughtful answer to which will best suit your dinner.
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Cornelius Beer & Wine
18-20 Easter Rd
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If you need to grab a good bottle of wine or a fine beer, then Cornelius is the place to go. They stock one of Edinburgh’s most comprehensive beer selections and a carefully chosen selection of wine. Their staff are able to give a thoughtful answer to which will best suit your dinner.
This award-winning specialist Italian grocer, wine merchant and café bar has legendary status in the capital. Just a short walk away, its extremely loyal clientele may vary from the cream of Edinburgh society to students (normally with visiting parents), but they return month after month, year after year to enjoy the very best of regional Italian produce.
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Valvona & Crolla
19 Elm Row
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This award-winning specialist Italian grocer, wine merchant and café bar has legendary status in the capital. Just a short walk away, its extremely loyal clientele may vary from the cream of Edinburgh society to students (normally with visiting parents), but they return month after month, year after year to enjoy the very best of regional Italian produce.
With ingredients sourced from their kitchen garden behind the restaurant, and a daily menu, The Gardener’s Cottage is a very special place. Friendly staff, great seasonal food and communal dining. Well worth visiting.
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The Gardener's Cottage
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With ingredients sourced from their kitchen garden behind the restaurant, and a daily menu, The Gardener’s Cottage is a very special place. Friendly staff, great seasonal food and communal dining. Well worth visiting.
Boutique Shops
Lovely lovely shopping that is literally around the corner!
Ginger Twist is a petite yarn shop full of squishy wool, fibre and patterns. It also serves as home to Ginger's Hand Dyed, a range of beautifully hand dyed yarns from the proprietor herself.
Ginger Twist Studio
11 London Road
Ginger Twist is a petite yarn shop full of squishy wool, fibre and patterns. It also serves as home to Ginger's Hand Dyed, a range of beautifully hand dyed yarns from the proprietor herself.
Cloud 9 is a lovely gift and houseplant shop on Easter Road. They have their own brand of scented candles that are excellent.
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Cloud 9 Edinburgh
40 Easter Rd
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Cloud 9 is a lovely gift and houseplant shop on Easter Road. They have their own brand of scented candles that are excellent.
Sightseeing
You're in Edinburgh! Of course you want to see some of the amazing sights nearby.
A short walk away from Abbeyhill is the Scottish Parliament Building designed by Spanish architect Miralles. Its a building that divides opinion, but we love it and think its a great addition to the city. Book online in advance to go on the free 1 hour tour.
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Scottish Parliament Building
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A short walk away from Abbeyhill is the Scottish Parliament Building designed by Spanish architect Miralles. Its a building that divides opinion, but we love it and think its a great addition to the city. Book online in advance to go on the free 1 hour tour.
Just a short walk away from Abbeyhill is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. If you are lucky she (or other members of the Royal Family) might be visiting at the same time as you are. If not, don't worry, you will get to see to see the beautiful Gardens, the Palace, the Abbey ruins (from which Abbeyhill gets its name) and the Queen's Gallery. And if you still have energy, you can pop across the road and see the Scottish Parliament building.
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Palace of Holyroodhouse
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Just a short walk away from Abbeyhill is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh. If you are lucky she (or other members of the Royal Family) might be visiting at the same time as you are. If not, don't worry, you will get to see to see the beautiful Gardens, the Palace, the Abbey ruins (from which Abbeyhill gets its name) and the Queen's Gallery. And if you still have energy, you can pop across the road and see the Scottish Parliament building.
Calton Hill is well worth walking up. It's close by, with incredible view of the city, Arthurs Seat and the sea. At the top you will find the 'Collective' contemporary art gallery (and cafe) and smattering of statues and monuments. There is also a branch of the excellent Gardener's Cottage restaurant called "The Lookout" there too! Once you have seen all you want to see it's very easy to walk down the other side onto Princes Street from which you can easily go shopping, sightseeing, off to a festival show or hang out in one of the many bars, pubs and restaurants.
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Calton Hill
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Calton Hill is well worth walking up. It's close by, with incredible view of the city, Arthurs Seat and the sea. At the top you will find the 'Collective' contemporary art gallery (and cafe) and smattering of statues and monuments. There is also a branch of the excellent Gardener's Cottage restaurant called "The Lookout" there too! Once you have seen all you want to see it's very easy to walk down the other side onto Princes Street from which you can easily go shopping, sightseeing, off to a festival show or hang out in one of the many bars, pubs and restaurants.
Abbeyhill is made up of tenement housing, parks and the famous "colony houses" - of which our home is one. Created in 1867, these rows of houses were principally created for the railway workers who created Waverley Station and the first railways into Edinburgh. The colonies are unique for their gardens, and layout of single floor lower flats facing one way and double floor upper flats on the adjacent street, which has fostered a long-standing friendly community in the area. Each September the Abbeyhill colonies plays host to the Colony of Artists Art Festival, where a number of the flats owned by local artists are opened to visitors to view and purchase artworks. This is usually accompanied by music and street parties, as well as an all-important specially commissioned craft beer.
Abbeyhill Colony of Artists
Abbeyhill is made up of tenement housing, parks and the famous "colony houses" - of which our home is one. Created in 1867, these rows of houses were principally created for the railway workers who created Waverley Station and the first railways into Edinburgh. The colonies are unique for their gardens, and layout of single floor lower flats facing one way and double floor upper flats on the adjacent street, which has fostered a long-standing friendly community in the area. Each September the Abbeyhill colonies plays host to the Colony of Artists Art Festival, where a number of the flats owned by local artists are opened to visitors to view and purchase artworks. This is usually accompanied by music and street parties, as well as an all-important specially commissioned craft beer.
Edinburgh Festivals
The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the place to go to see authors discuss their books, watch lively debates and get your new book signed. Located in Charlotte Square, it's a lovely part of town just to hang out, check out what new books have been released and have an ice cream. For those of you with kids there are lots of events on for kids and a whole Kids Books store for them to explore.
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Edinburgh International Book Festival
5 Charlotte Square
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The Edinburgh International Book Festival is the place to go to see authors discuss their books, watch lively debates and get your new book signed. Located in Charlotte Square, it's a lovely part of town just to hang out, check out what new books have been released and have an ice cream. For those of you with kids there are lots of events on for kids and a whole Kids Books store for them to explore.
Head to the Fringe Box Office on The Royal Mile to book tickets for The Fringe - Easily the biggest of the Edinburgh Festivals despite starting out as a side event to the International Festival many years ago. This is what many people think of when they think of Edinburgh Festivals. Grab a brochure, check the many websites and apps and explore the 3500+ shows all across the city this August. There is something for everyone, whether its family-friendly or raucous and late-night.
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Fringe Box Office
Old Assembly Close High St
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Head to the Fringe Box Office on The Royal Mile to book tickets for The Fringe - Easily the biggest of the Edinburgh Festivals despite starting out as a side event to the International Festival many years ago. This is what many people think of when they think of Edinburgh Festivals. Grab a brochure, check the many websites and apps and explore the 3500+ shows all across the city this August. There is something for everyone, whether its family-friendly or raucous and late-night.
The Edinburgh International Festival is the original festival and the home of the performing arts from around the world. There are many venues around the city that play host to some of the worlds most spectacular shows. Go to www.eif.co.uk for more info.
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Festival Theatre
13-29 Nicolson St
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The Edinburgh International Festival is the original festival and the home of the performing arts from around the world. There are many venues around the city that play host to some of the worlds most spectacular shows. Go to www.eif.co.uk for more info.
Natalia Misslin (aka Natami) - Probably the smallest venue at this years Edinburgh Fringe, but undoubtedly the closest - being right on the corner of Maryfield! Local dressmaker Natalia has turned her shop into a cafe, gallery and Fringe venue for this August only. Head over one Sunday at 6pm and you’ll hear live music and performances. Plus we hear the coffee is pretty good too.
Natalia Misslin
Natalia Misslin (aka Natami) - Probably the smallest venue at this years Edinburgh Fringe, but undoubtedly the closest - being right on the corner of Maryfield! Local dressmaker Natalia has turned her shop into a cafe, gallery and Fringe venue for this August only. Head over one Sunday at 6pm and you’ll hear live music and performances. Plus we hear the coffee is pretty good too.