A few weeks ago I was rummaging in our “junk closet” (basically a small room where we keep suitcases/hangers/chairs etc) when I came across our picnic basket that we received last year as a wedding gift. As soon as we got the picnic basket I was SO happy and I imagined all the picnics we would have with it. Then I moved to Edinburgh in October and as the rain started to pour I realized I would have to wait until this year to take it out on it’s picnic debut. But of course, it got semi buried under a bunch of boxes and I forgot about it. Until that one day when I saw it again! And since we had a friend visiting and the sun was shining, we took it out that same evening! Honestly, it was amazing! First of all, having lived in Stockholm for so many years, I’ve become accustomed to spontaneous park hangs/picnics and I now realize how easy it is actually own a proper picnic basket. In Stockholm I would always forget something, like forks, or salt or napkins etc. Having the picnic basket literally halved my time when I packed everything together. All I had to do was throw some food and wine into the basket, grab a few blankets and go since the basket already has plates, napkins, a cooler box thingie, salt and pepper shakers etc in it.
I’ve only been able to use the basket a few times (again, because it rains a lot here) but I’m definitely going to try to squeeze in a few more trips before it gets properly cold. I thought I would list my favorite picnic spots in Edinburgh:
When I was looking on Google Maps at the spot I’m actually thinking about, it claims that it’s Holyrood Park but I’m not 100% sure. Isn’t Holyrood Park the hilly bit? Or is that Arthur’s Seat? The spot I’m talking about is the big flat glass “patch” right at the bottom of the hill. Here it is pinned on Google Maps.
Why I like it here:
- You can park your car in the mini car park for free after 5.30 pm, so its easy peasy lemon squeezy.
- It’s such an oooopen space, so even if there are tons of people around it doesn’t really feel like there is.
- The views of the hills are amazing.
Calton Hill is one of those places that’s nice for a quick stroll or jog but it’s also a really nice place to sit and people watch. I always feel like when the weather is good it’s almost extra good on Calton Hill for some reason. The views over Arthur’s Seat are amazing and you feel elevated because it’s quite high up. Plus, location-wise it’s really close to town.
I haven’t actually had a proper picnic in Inverleith Park but it’s definitely my next place to go after a friend told me that he has all his barbecues there with friends. It’s also really pretty in the early autumn with the leaves changing colors.
Princes Street Gardens
I wasn’t sure I was going to add Princes Street Gardens to this list because it’s so central and usually really busy with people. But whenever I’m shopping in town and the weather is sunny I always pop into Princes Street Gardens, even if it’s just for a quick walk or to enjoy my coffee on the grass. This spot is perfect for an impromptu picnic/lunch because there are tons of shops/restaurants/cafes along Princes St or Lothian Road that do takeaways. Why sit in a crowded restaurant when you can sit outside?!
Can’t go wrong with the Meadows, especially if you’re a student. Plus Deadly Donuts is close, so….