The gorgeous gateway to Edinburgh, this bustling port district is a hubbub of fabulous bars, restaurants and activities. There's so much to do here, it was hard to whittle it down to this list - but somehow, we did it. From kooky cocktails in cosy quarters and rollicking rambles by the river to Scotland's only floating hotel, here's our guide to quirky things to do in Leith.
Head To Granary For Creative Cocktails
Boasting stylish bare-brick walls, retro carpets and leather chairs, this cracking cocktail bar is certainly a must-visit. Granary whips up beautifully prepared mixes and artisan G&Ts, which go all too well with the food offering available. Though there’s no better way to kick-start your morning than with one of its brunches, you can also join it for lunches and dinners.
Drink Craft Beers At Innis & Gunn
A slick brewery and taproom nestled on The Shore, Innis & Gunn has made a name for itself as one of the best pubs in Leith. This warm, intimate nook, which is illuminated by red neon signs and swinging pendant lights, is an ideal place to knock back a selection of craft beers – think in-house creations, rare, international bevvies and locally brewed bangers. Plus, there’s comforting Scottish grub to pair.
Tuck Into Vegan Grub At Harmonium
On the hunt for scrumptious vegan food? Then shimmy on over to Harmonium on London Street, where you’ll find one of the best restaurants in Leith that also happens to be completely plant-based. Not only can you devour chargrilled scotch bonnet cauliflower steak and loaded mac ‘n’ cheese, but also freshly prepared pizzas, towering burgers and an indulgent salted chocolate mousse.
Wander Down The Water Of Leith Walkway
Whether you're looking for a unique way to explore the city or just fancy a relaxed, summer stroll, the Water of Leith Walkway is one of the best free things to do in Leith. While the whole 12-mile trail, which starts at Balerno and ends in Leith, could take you up to five hours, you can cheat (we won't judge you). Instead, kick off at Dean Village for a chilled-out, 1.5 hour walk.
Stay At Fingal, Scotland's Only Floating Hotel
Bobbing away serenely on the water, this luxury yacht exudes glamour at every corner. Fingal is the country’s only floating hotel, flaunting a number of plush, charming rooms that promise a restful night’s sleep. And if you need a bite to eat? The Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar, which you can find onboard, is just as opulent, whipping up extravagant eats galore.
Grab A Bite To Eat At Leith Farmers Market
Spend your Saturday afternoon wisely by checking out the Leith Farmers Market. Head on over to find a wealth of independent traders selling delicious delights, including European cheeses, meats and baked goods. But that’s not all, as you can also sample a range of international street food bites, plus rummage through the creative crafts and beautiful artworks that are up for sale.
Enjoy Comedy, Pop-Ups And Pints At The Biscuit Factory
Though found on the site of a former soap-making business, The Biscuit Factory is now an arts and event hub that really has it all. Boasting 32 businesses under its belt, it's a one-stop shop for all of your cultural needs. Expect restaurants, distilleries and coffee shops alongside salons and studios. On top of that, this joint also regularly hosts quirky pop-up events and laugh-out-loud comedy nights.
Listen To Live Music In A Quirky Basement
If you have a love of all things whisky and a penchant for live tunes, then The Mother Superior should be your first port of call. This fun-loving haunt holds regular acoustic gigs in its basement and is home to over 800 different bottles of whisky. It also hosts a regular 'malt of the month' offer, where you can snap up tipples at a lower price, and rustles up finger lickin' American South-inspired fare.
Visit Fishers For The Best Fish And Chips In Town
When you're by the coast, it feels almost illegal not to indulge in a spot of fish and chips, right? And if you ask any local where to get the best, the answer on their lips will be Fishers. Found on The Shore in Leith, this unique venue is set in an old, 17th-century watchtower, providing a warm, traditional atmosphere. And if fish and chips isn't your thing, there's an array of other seafood delights to try.
Get Creative At Leith Festival This Summer
Every summer, on the second Saturday of June, Leith Festival comes to life, bringing the community together for a day of celebrations. Though it started all the way back in 1907 (before Leith assimilated with Edinburgh), not much has changed since then; it still involves a colourful parade that weaves through the neighbourhood, with creative exhibitions, shows and workshops to get stuck into.
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