Enjoying a picnic is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Lounging in the sun with friends and good food. Being based in a city, it’s an easy misconception to make that you have to travel miles into the countryside to find the perfect spot for a picnic. We might be biased, but in our eyes, there’s no better place than Edinburgh, so we’ve rounded up our favourite spots to lay down your blanket and dine alfresco.
Best places in Edinburgh to have a picnic
There are so many green spaces in Edinburgh that you can make your spot - trust us, we’ve done the (not very) hard job of testing each one, just for you.
Princes Street Gardens
Conveniently central in the city, Princes Street Gardens is a popular destination for when the sun is shining down on Edinburgh. A tranquil place to find some calm and quiet away from the thrum of the city surrounding it, Princes Street Gardens is Edinburgh’s version of Central Park.
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Honestly, the Royal Botanic is just a beautiful place to sit and breathe deeply. Pack some sandwiches, bring a good book, and picnic with views of the iconic Palm House, or watch nature literally trickle by on the Chinese Hillside.
On a clear day, you can see the whole of Edinburgh from the peak of Arthur’s Seat. Tackling the extinct volcano is a feat, but when you’ve got a tasty picnic waiting for you at the peak, it’s more than worth it. You don’t have to make it to the top to enjoy an escape from the centre though - we won’t tell anyone. Promise.
The unfinished acropolis on Calton Hill is a sight everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Journey up the stairs and experience the joy to be found at the summit. Rugged and beautiful, Calton Hill is uniquely Edinburgh and gives a whole lot of view for not a lot of effort.
Hidden gems in Edinburgh
Away from the hustle of Edinburgh city, the Meadows is a safe haven filled with tree-lined paths and green fields, and is a firm favourite of the TBCo team. Gifting beautiful views all year round but especially beautiful in spring when paths are lined with blossom trees.
Based in Newhaven, these Victorian Gardens overlook the Firth of Forth into Fife (say that really fast five times, we dare you). If you’re someone who likes reading while picnicking, Starbank Park has a Doctor Who Tardis-themed library box full of complimentary books to peruse.
Saughton Park and Gardens
Situated west of the city centre, this space offers quaint views and an easy space to spend your afternoon - the rose garden is an absolute must-see.
Top 3 best beaches in Edinburgh
Just a short bus ride away from town, Portobello Beach (or ‘Porty Beach’ as it’s affectionately known by its locals) has a classic British breach vibe and has been the site of many a TBCo picnic.
Just a little bit east of Edinburgh lies Yellowcraig beach. Known for its natural cove and views of Fidra Island (thought to have inspired the book Treasure Island), bring a barbecue and your favourite picnic blanket for an afternoon by the sea.
Gullane Beach in East Lothian is well-known for its golf courses, but is also popular with windsurfers, kite flyers and adventurers.
Pack a picnic in Edinburgh
Once you’ve chosen your next picnic spot, make sure you’ve got the essentials; a water-resistant blanket and handy carry strap are must-haves for your next outing.