5 cool ways to enjoy the sun in Edinburgh
Sunny Edinburgh

Before you start complaining about the heat (assuming you’re reading this on a warm, summery day and not the dark depths of winter), we’ve rounded-up some of the best ways to enjoy Edinburgh in the sun, from the finest ice-cream to relaxing beer gardens.

1. Grab an ice-cream

Mary’s Milk Bar

marys milk bar

City contributor Katie Hogg said:

Residing in the cobbled streets of the Grassmarket, Mary’s is all about the gelato. Having trained in ice cream making in Italy, Mary combines unusual yet scrumptious flavours together using her ‘Flavour Thesaurus.’ Her concoctions have included Beer and Peanuts and White Chocolate and Thyme. A perfect cone for those looking to challenge their tastebuds.

9 Grassmarket – www.marysmilkbar.com

S. Luca

City contributor Katie Hogg said:

Considered Edinburgh’s favourite ice cream parlour, S Luca’s two shops – based in Musselburgh and Morningside – always attract a queue during the summer. But the wait is worth it. The company, which was set up over a century ago by Mr Luca Scappaticcio in Musselburgh, has won various awards and its creations include Raspberry Pavlova, Toffee Fudgy Wudgy and Festival Blueberry.

16 Morningside Road, / 32-38 Musselburgh High Street – www.s-luca.co.uk

Best ice cream in Edinburgh: 6 places to cool down with a cone

2. Find a beer garden

The Peartree

Edinburgh City Editor Alex Watson writes: 

Students, professionals and tourists alike flock to The Peartree’s beer garden on sunny days, so it’s lucky that this is probably the roomiest beer garden in Edinburgh. With picnic tables galore and some sheltered seating there’s room for everyone, and their outdoor bar means you don’t even have to walk indoors to get another round in – genius.

38 West Nicolson Street – more info

The Cumberland Bar

Cumberland Bar garden
Facebook / The Cumberland Bar

Edinburgh City Editor Alex Watson writes: 

Close enough to ever-bustling Princes and George Streets for a restful shopping break, New Town institution The Cumberland Bar’s beer garden is still a relatively well-kept secret from those who rarely venture past Queen Street. The traditional set up here may be standard for your average beer garden, but in central Edinburgh a picnic table and some greenery can be hard to come by for pub-goers.

1-3 Cumberland Street – more info

10 of the best beer gardens in Edinburgh

3. Enjoy the great outdoors (in the city)

Holyrood Park

There’s no place that highlights the beauty of Edinburgh quite like Holyrood Park. Walking through it you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re tucked away in some Highland location rather than somewhere near the centre of a city. It has a little something for everyone whether you’re looking for stunning vistas, a pleasant walk, or a spot to picnic – there’s hardly a better place in Scotland to spend a summer’s afternoon than here.

Princes Street Gardens

Fancy a quick spot to rest in the city centre? then fear not, Edinburgh has a little pocket of greenery right next to the hustle and bustle of the shopping district that’s right next to the cities main train station. On a summer’s day it will be packed, so don’t expect to perch your behind on one of the prized park benches (think Still Game), but luckily there’s more than enough space to sit down on one of the lush grassy knolls for you to stop and have a refreshment or a bite to eat.

4. Quench your thirst

Hula Juice Bar

Hula Juice Bar
Facebook / Hula Juice Bar

Edinburgh City Editor Alex Watson writes: 

The most popular purveyor of smoothies and all things juiced in Edinburgh has to be Hula Juice Bar in the Grassmarket, and for good reason. Last year Hula was featured on a list of the top 10 juice and smoothie bars in the whole of the UK, proving once again that Edinburgh is pretty much the best at everything. Every recipe includes all manner of delicious super fruits, veggies and seeds so – as well as being totally tasty – Hula’s smoothies are really good for you as well. For something a little different, try a slightly naughtier milkshake smoothie with blended frozen yogurt.

103-105 West Bow – more info


Facebook / Papii

Edinburgh City Editor Alex Watson writes: 

Greek café and popular brunch spot Papii are known for their sumptuous fruit smoothies and have lots of summery combinations on their menu. They’re all served ice cold in adorable mason jars, but it’s up to you to make the hard choice between our two favourites – a pineapple and coconut based Tropical Blast, or a Very Merry Berry containing pretty much every berry you’ve ever heard of.

101 Hanover Street – more info

10 of the best places for smoothies in Edinburgh

5. Go al fresco

Miro’s Cantina Mexicana

miros cantina

Edinburgh City Editor Alex Watson writes:

Booking might be essential for this one as the petite Miro’s Cantina Mexicana on Rose Street is always bustling, but that’s because they’re serving up some of the best Mexican food in the city. The menu is packed with every mouth-watering Mexican morsel you could ever want, including fresh guacamole, quesadillas, fajitas and highly recommended frozen margaritas. On a sunny day you can eat al fresco, watch the world go by and maybe ever trick yourself into believing you’re in Mexico.

184 Rose Street – more info

Maxies Bistro

Contributor Morgan Cranch writes:

As soon as the sun comes out, restaurants all around Edinburgh are propping up the parasols and re-arranging outdoor seating for patrons to sit with huge sunglasses propped on their noses.  A favourite for its intimate dining and the terrace garden overlooking Victoria Street head to Maxies Bistro for lunch or dinner

5b Johnston Terracemore info

Know of any other ways to cool down in the capital? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter

Main image: Jaione Dagdrømmer / Flickr / CC