Things to do in Leith

Leith Shore

The Shore at Leith

We're often asked what else there is to do in Leith so have compiled this local guide with our top things to do in the area. A unique blend of old and new, Leith is fast becoming a favourite for locals and tourists when on holiday in Edinburgh. Whether you're a foodie sussing out a Michelin starred restaurant, or prefer a gentle stroll along the Shore, followed by a quiet drink, you're sure to find something in this unique city quarter by the sea.

Here are our top 5 things to do when visiting Leith:

1)     Restaurants in Leith

Leith caters for all tastes. For Michelin starred cuisine, book into The Kitchin or Restaurant Martin Wishart. As Edinburgh's premier waterfront destination, you'll also find the some of the best seafood in Edinburgh, such as Fishers and The Ship on the ShoreThe Roseleaf is a charming pub serving cocktails from teapots, or for cupcake heaven try Mimi's Bakehouse. Whether it's a quiet pint or stylish cocktail, there are many places to try and too many to mention! 

2)     Shopping trips

Ocean Terminal makes shopping in Edinburgh easy with extensive covered free car parking and a range of high street shops. From high fashion to shops for kids, it's a great place to get your Christmas shopping done, all under one roof. Our Britannia Gift Shop is definitely worth a look, with a range of unique gifts, open to all. There is also Leith Gallery where you can browse and buy a great variety of art, from paintings and ceramics to sculpture and jewellery. Or maybe you're looking for your family tartan? Family-owned since 1868, Kinloch Anderson are also based in Leith and are renowned experts in kilts, tartans and all aspects of Highland Dress.

3)     Historical sightseeing

Leith has a rich history and for almost 900 years played a central role as Scotland's principal port. Leith exported whisky to the rest of the world, built ships, fished and milled. The area has a long tradition of innovation and contributed to many world firsts, from the classic wine bottle design we know today, to the original rules for the game of golf.

Other attractions to look out for include Trinity House and there are many other points of interest for a spot of sightseeing, from the Queen Victoria Statue to Scotland's Merchant Navy Memorial at the Shore.

  4)     Exploring Leith

The Water of Leith Walkway is a beautiful 13 mile walk through the heart of Edinburgh, from Balerno to Leith. The route is also suitable for cycling and parts are accessible for wheelchairs. You can also spot the Antony Gormley '6 Times' statues which run from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to the docks by Britannia. Many visitors enjoy a gentle stroll along the Shore waterfront, followed by a spot of lunch in one of the many bars, cafes and restaurants here.

5)     Visit the cinema

Perfect for a rainy day! Ocean Terminal is home to a 12 screen Vue Cinema with all the latest films and has an excellent choice of restaurants for a pre-cinema bite to eat too, from Wagamama to Pizza Express, Zizzi and the Handmade Burger Company.  

Where to stay: There is a great choice of hotels, B&B's and Guesthouses in Leith too. Check out VisitScotland's accommodation pages for more info.

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