If you like the quaint, leafy nature of the likes of Morningside, but fancy pitching your tent just a playful hop slightly further afield still from the capital’s core, then may we recommend the stunning Edinburgh suburb of Colinton.

With a history dating back to before the 11th Century, Colinton (or Baile Cholgain as it is sometimes referred to in Scottish Gaelic) hugs you with that warm ‘small village’ embrace that can be so appealing to anyone looking to escape the city’s often hectic energy. In fact, the original heart of the area is still called “Colinton Village’ to this very day and is an extremely attractive proposition for families and couples alike.

It’s so stupendously lovely, in fact, that world famous Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson used to spend many a happy summer here as a child. And if it’s good enough for little Louis, then it’s good enough for us.

Sitting some 3.5 miles south-west of the centre, you’re not entirely out of reach from all the action, but far enough away to not feel too dazzled all of the time.

But that doesn’t mean that Colinton is a tired old bore fest. Not a bit of it!

Come with us now as we take a joyous wander through the romance and intrigue of one of Edinburgh’s most unexplored gems… Oh, and make sure to read to the end. There might just be a secret tip hiding for you there.


The past is all around as you saunter through this delightful little slice of Edinburgh. If history is your thing, then you’re most definitely in the right place. Yes, Edinburgh is a city all about the history. But there is something particularly sweet and charming about what Colinton has to offer, with many a treasure to uncover.

Walk With Robert Louis Stevenson is a fascinating trail that allows you to follow in the writer’s footsteps, leading you through an environment that he would have experienced as a child. There are plaques along the way baring quotes from his poems and a lovely statue to photograph and share with those you love.

Spylaw Park has just what you need if you require a bit of open space for a thoughtful stroll or a healthy run with the dog. With benches, trees and plenty of green grass, this popular riverside public park has everything you need to help blow all of those nasty everyday stresses away. Like your summer picnics? Look no further.

Colinton Parish Church  sits, handsomely, next to the Water Of Leith Walkway and is a beautiful spot for peace and contemplation. A church has stood on this spot for around 1000 years and, although what you see now is mainly a rebuild from the beginning of the 20th Century, there is a notable aura about the place. There is also a fantastic café, the Swing café, inspired by a Robert Louis Stevenson poem.  Definitely worth your time.

Colinton Lawn Tennis Club offers a great recreational environment for all of you wannabe Raducanus’ and Murrays’ out there. Catering for both beginners and those with a practiced swing, if you want to keep fit and enjoy getting involved in a game or two of tennis, then this cheerful and well run club has served you up a winner. A local champion.

Coffee & Cake

If there’s two things we need in this city, no matter how far from the noise we are, it’s a good cup of something hot and a tasty snack. Well, not to worry, dear reader. We may be a healthy jump away from the likes of Princes St out here in lovely Colinton, but that doesn’t mean you need ever miss out on a nice cup of Joe.

The Swing Cafe has already been briefly mentioned, be we think it’s so good that we’d happily give it another pop. Set within the Parish Church, this sweet café is a lovely place to catch up with friends, have a chuckle and enjoy everything that the place has to offer. And, being a not for profit organisation, any surplus cash goes straight to charity.  Now you can’t argue with that.

Java Moment is a small café with a big heart. Keeping the caffeine going in Colinton, as well as some super food, this popular spot has everything you could possibly want to keep you fuelled up and ready to face the day. The staff are super friendly and the scones are absolutely to die for. If you need to give your belly a smile, then this is the happiness it needs.


We might be a wee bit away from all of the big shops out here in Colinton, but that doesn’t mean you have to head all of the way into town to get your itching retail fix. No, it’s not George Street or the St James Centre. This is a different sort of experience all together. Out here on the fringes it is all about the community. And the shops available for you absolutely reflect that.

OLIVE Deli & Post  could be the best Post Office you will ever set foot in. A traditional sort of shop focusing on quality products and stand out customer service, if every town had somewhere like this at middle of it we’d all be in a much happier place. Whether you’re after cards, tasty foods or a friendly smile, you’ll find it all right here in this excellent Deli and shop.

Colinton Arts was established in 1981 and is a family run Gallery and Framer here to help you make your home look fabulous. Showcasing some of the most beautiful art from some of the most exciting artists around, this Colinton institution is the very best of its kind. If art is your thing, then you are in for a right proper treat. Fantastic.

Pedan & Pringle may be primarily about kitchens, but they can actually fix you up with an awful lot more than that. Professional, creative and highly skilled, if you’ve moved into the area and are looking to get a fresh design for your new home, then look no further than this excellent company. From inception to completion, you’ll be in the safest and most inventive of hands.

Bars & Restaurants

If you fancy chilling out with some good food and drink and pondering the lovely day you’ve had, then don’t you worry. There’s plenty here to keep you satisfied and more than enough to convince you not to bother hopping on a bus and trekking all of the way down to Morningside. Colinton, dear reader, is quite cool enough.

Colinton Inn is exactly what it says it is. A friendly local helping to bring the community together. Sitting in the heart of Colinton Village, this superb pub offers great food, great drink and even offers live music from time to time for those cool cats out there who dig a bit of the foot tapping groove (See? We’re down with the lingo!). Providing both inside and outside seating, make this one your first stop.

Dantes adds a little slice of Italy to the conversation and in typical Mediterranean style. Serving up classy and mouth-watering dishes, this family run business has plenty of history and plenty to shout about. So, for fresh Italian cuisine and some sunny charm, we highly recommend you dance on down to Dantes and marvel at their extensive and modern looking menu. Thinking of going somewhere else? Forget about it!

The Spylaw may be your new favourite spot for the classic Sunday lunch. Whether you’re a local, a walker or just plain lost, the welcome you get here is legendary and that is perfectly in keeping with everything else they do. Whether you drift in for a quick drink or fancy food and wine with friends, The Spylaw will make you feel perfectly at home. It’s five stars from us.

Osteria Dei Sapori pretty much confirms what we already knew about Edinburgh: we have the best restaurants around. And, here in Colinton, you are one lucky duck if you like your food Italian. Osteria Dei Sapori has class written all over it and it is yummy, yummy, yummy.  Check out the menu, book yourself a table and let your world change one bite at a time. Scrumptious!

And our secret tip?

The Colinton Tunnel isn’t exactly so much of a secret anymore, but stumbling across it still feels like an experience that is uniquely your own. If you’ve been on social media investigating the sites of Edinburgh, you’ve probably seen pictures of this unique Victorian Railway Tunnel along the way. But nothing compares to seeing it up close and personal. Take the walk and take your time. It truly is amazing.

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