How To Spend a Rainy Day in Edinburgh

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Last weekend, Gary and I decided to head through to the capital for the day. We’d worked hard all week, and had hardly seen each other – with me in Belfast and Gary in London and Newcastle –  so a Saturday in a change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered! It was also the final weekend to catch the Roy Lichtenstein exhibition in the city, so we decided that we would grab some lunch before heading over to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for some pop art goodness.

On Saturday morning, we woke up to rain, rain and (yup!) more rain. But determined not to let a little wet weather spoil our fun, we headed through to Edinburgh with a spring in our step and our warmest coats. I also wore a retro-inspired ensemble by the fabulous Julie Mollo – because nothing says “take a hike, rain!” like a bright yellow skirt!

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I’ve talked before about how to turn a dodgy weather day around, and was determined not to let the rain clouds get the better of us! When we arrived in Edinburgh it was bitterly cold and very wet, so we decided that the long trek to the gallery wasn’t really on the cards – sorry Roy! Instead, we decided on a few fun activities that were in much closer reach, AND had the bonus of being indoors.

Today, I’d love to share a little round-up of what we got up to, and how we spent a rainy day in Edinburgh…

1. Visit a museum and/ or gallery 

…because, like Glasgow, Edinburgh is FULL of them! You don’t even need to walk very far to find one either – in fact, one of my favourites, the Fruitmarket Gallery, is right next to Waverley train station. This cute contemporary art gallery is a great place to start a day in the city, and we couldn’t resist swinging by to see the Another Minimalism exhibition.

We might not have quite made it to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art this time, but we were in easy walking distance of so many other exhibition spaces that we really didn’t mind!

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2. Shop local at one of Edinburgh’s many indie boutiques

Edinburgh is home to so many awesome and unique businesses, I can’t help but fall in love with them a little bit. I’ve mentioned Godiva Boutique previously, and another shop that stole my heart a long, long time ago is Hannah Zakari. Bursting with handmade designs and creations from the most cult of small sellers, this is the perfect remedy for anyone suffering from high street fatigue.

I always like to check out the latest jewellery designers being stocked in Hannah Zakari, and spent some time having a good snoop around their shelves. I especially loved the colourful work from Miss Vicky Viola (who – call me biased – in addition to making some beautiful pieces, also works in the store and puts together killer playlists!), Wolf & Moon and One We Made Earlier.

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3. Grab an award-winning smoothie

If all that shopping makes you kinda thirsty, just hop around the corner from Hannah Zakari and you’ll find the bright and cheery Hula Juice Bar. With a thirst-quenching menu of freshly-made juices and more awards than you can shake a banana at, your only problem will be deciding what to have. I opted for Sunshine In A Cup – a tasty blend of mango, orange and peach juices, which was the perfect pick-me-up on such a wild weather day! Gary’s pink Ass-Aye-Eee smoothie was also delicious (I obviously had to have a sip for, um, research purposes!).

If you’re a little more peckish, Hula also do a range of light bites, breakfast items and superfood bowls – well worth a visit for lunch if you’re in the Grassmarket area.

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4. Get lost in a world of illusions

Brace yourself – things are about to get weird, and in the best kind of way! When our gal pal Erica visited over Christmas, she told us that she’d been on the tourist trail while in Edinburgh, and one place that she visited during her stay was Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Miss Thang had talked so enthusiastically about this place, we knew we had to check it out for ourselves.

Located right next to Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura has six floors of interactive optical illusions and some visually incredible pieces of work. We explored everything from a mirror maze, to a vortex, a tunnel of stars and much more. All this indoors, plus a pretty stunning rooftop view over the city (which we only braved for about 30 seconds seeing as the rain was NOT for stopping!) made this a really fun way to spend the afternoon!

5. Cosy up with a coffee and vintage vibes

To end our little whistle-stop tour of the city sights, we pulled up some vintage chairs at Spoon and ordered some hot drinks to get cosy and talk about our day. Spoon is the kind of place I go back to again and again, I just can’t get enough of their décor (which has everything from original mid-century cabinets to Chesterfield sofas made for curling up on) and I always feel super relaxed whether in for lunch, dinner or a coffee.

Afterwards, we braved the wet, windy weather one last time, and made a break for the train station! We didn’t see Roy (or the sunshine!), but we had a total blast during our day out. I hope this list inspires you if you ever find yourself spending a rainy day in Edinburgh! Let me know if you have any other must-visits in the city – I’m sure it won’t be too long until we return…

Here’s to splashing through puddles to get to the next adventure,

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2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Great tips! I had a Christmas trip up in December and wanted to visit Hannah Zakari as I love it in there. I couldn’t find it on Candlemaker Row 🙁 Maybe we went too late as it was about 4pm and it was closed. There didn’t seem to be any signs of it at all!

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