Edinburgh is a thriving destination in any season but it really is at its loveliest in the autumn. The air is crisp, the buzz of summer festivals has dwindled and the ground is hidden beneath a patchwork of fallen leaves. To celebrate the arrival of autumn, we’ve put together a list of activities so you can enjoy all that Edinburgh has to offer this time of year.
Admire the changing leaves in Princes Street Gardens
When the autumnal foliage is in full swing, there is no prettier sight than Princes Street Gardens. Set against the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the trees are illuminated by a fire of reds, oranges and golds. Many budding photographers flock to this area to try and get that covetable Instagram shot and it’s easy to see why. With a number of coffee shops nearby, a leisurely walk through the gardens is the perfect way to spend your lunch hour.
For a more private experience, try the Queen Street Gardens. These private gardens are only available to very local residents, as well as guests at our Royal Garden apartments.
Queen Street Gardens in Edinburgh
Buy fresh produce at a local farmers market
Make the most of the autumn harvest by paying a visit to your local farmers market. Held every Saturday at Castle Terrace, the Edinburgh Farmers Market is a long-standing event with over forty local vendors selling a variety of seasonal delicacies. As the largest market in Scotland, it features everything from apples to artichokes and rhubarbs to runner beans. The vendors change throughout the month so it’s worth coming back and enjoying more of the best produce around.
It’s really a must-attend event as a visitor to Edinburgh in Autumn. Soak up the sights, sounds and smells and take home some fresh ingredients for that perfect autumn feast.
Shelter from the cold inside a cosy cafe
With an abundance of cosy coffee shops dotted throughout the city, there’s no better way to spend a chilly afternoon in Edinburgh than curled up with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. The often overlooked Cafe Noir (1 Palmerston Place) is within walking distance from each of our West End apartments. If you’re more of a tea person then why not take a walk down to Strumpets (35 William Street) and explore some of the independent boutiques. The Grassmarket area is full of tasty eateries including Lovecrumbs (155 West Port) and Hula Juice Bar (103 West Bow) or if you fancy something a bit unique, there’s Scotland’s first cat cafe Maison de Moggy (17 West Port). Coffee, cake and cats – who could ask for more?!
Go pumpkin picking at Craigie’s Farm
Why not pick your own pumpkin for carving this Halloween? Craigie’s Farm in South Queensferry is just a short bus ride from the city centre and the ultimate autumn day out for the whole family. Grab yourself a basket and a map and choose from a wide array of seasonal produce including brambles, apples and rhubarb – perfect ingredients for a spot of home baking! There’s also a children’s play area, a nature detective trail and a chance to meet the animals. Afterwards, head inside to the cafe and sample what you’ve picked by enjoying a hearty bowl of pumpkin soup.
© Craigie’s Farm
Collect conkers at the Royal Botanic Gardens
While the Botanics are a stunning space at any time of year, our favourite time to visit has to be the autumn when the ground is laden with conkers and mountains of crisp fallen leaves. The perfect escape from all the hustle and bustle, it really is an oasis hidden in the heart of the city. With plenty of benches to rest your feet, you could easily spend an hour or two here lost in a book or simply admiring the rich scenery.
Afterwards you can take a quick stroll along the Water of Leith to the village of Stockbridge, where you can indulge in some charity shopping or grab a tasty danish from one of the local cafes.
© Hamish Irvine, Night Concierge at Fountain Court
Scare yourself silly on a ghost tour
With Halloween right around the corner, why not get into the spirit (no pun intended) by taking one of Edinburgh’s famously spooky ghost tours? Renowned for its Gothic buildings and dark cobbled lanes, the Scottish capital is claimed to be one of Europe’s most haunted cities. With torture, murder and disease woven throughout its history, there are a number of creepy attractions to choose from. For a list of Edinburgh’s most spine-chilling ghost tours click here.
We have also partnered with the Edinburgh Dungeons to bring our guests a 25% discount on ticket prices. This uniquely thrilling attraction will take you back to the past’s most horrible bits. See, hear, smell and feel the city’s darkest stories as they come to life.
© The Edinburgh Dungeons
What are you waiting for? Autumn is the perfect time to explore Edinburgh! We would love for you to stay with us at any of our properties. Each of our apartments includes daily housekeeping, a fully fitted kitchen, and free high-speed WiFi. With a range of properties across the Scottish capital there is a city break to suit every type of traveller. Stay with us today!