J.K.Rowling. Ian Rankin. Miss Jean Brodie. Maisie the Cat

What do all of these names have in common?

Well, apart from the fact that they are all fabulous and esteemed literary icons of herculean proportions, they all actually have their associations with the leafy Edinburgh suburb of Morningside, in the sunny, south end of the city.

Now, this isn’t entirely surprising. Morningside is one of the most incredible neighbourhoods in all of Edinburgh. Sitting just beyond the equally beautiful Bruntsfield, this highly popular area is affluent, lively and, most importantly of all, friendly. If you’re going to visit here, it’s unlikely that visit is going to be fleeting. It’s just too gosh darn delightful.

So, let us not be fleeting. Let us delve into the delights that await you and reveal just what it is that makes Morningside one of the most sought after areas in all of Edinburgh… Oh, and make sure to read to the end. There might just be a secret tip hiding for you there.

Parks & Recreation 

One of the highlights of living in Edinburgh is that there is rarely an opportunity to be bored. Morningside is no different. Come rain or shine, night or day, there will always be somewhere to go and something to do. Yes, there are cafes, bars, restaurants and the like. We’ll get to that later. But what else does the area have to offer? More than you might assume, we think.

The Dominion Cinema is a great way to kick back and enjoy all of the latest movies as they were meant to be seen. First opening in 1938, this legendary independent cinema is one of only two family run cinemas in all of Scotland. With a real old fashioned atmosphere and a genuine sense of occasion, this elegant and classy establishment is an absolute blockbuster.

The Churchhill Theatre began its life as Morningside High Church in the 1800’s. Converted into a theatre in the 1960s, it has since become a favourite in the area for a good old fashioned bit of entertainment. If movies aren’t your thing and you prefer the creek of the stage boards, then make sure you get yourself over to this historical venue.

Falcon Bowling and Tennis Club has been around since 1998 and is a great place to go and enjoy some stress free games in a warm and welcoming community. With its gorgeous setting and generously priced membership, we think you’ll be spending an awful lot of your time in this beautiful, peaceful and sociable club.

Hermitage Of Braid is just down the road from the main street and a natural treasure of Edinburgh. If tennis and bowls are just too competitive for you, but you still like your exercise, then this dazzling area will suit you down to the ground. With plenty of paths to choose from, this tranquil woodland even has a small café at its entrance to help you fuel up before your adventure. Lovely place for a dog walk.

Coffee & Cake 

If, like us, you enjoy a little wander around on a bright, sunny day, then you’re going to need to kick start your journey with a hot beverage and maybe a little something to nibble on. Fortunately for you, Morningside has a fantastic selection of cafes to choose from to get your caffeine hit sparking. And if it’s raining? Well, these places are so great, you may just want to spend the day cozied up in their homely embrace.

Karine brings a little bit of je ne sais quoi to the south side of the city. Intimate and warm, this French Delicatessen and Coffee Shop serves authentic French food and their very own special brand of coffee. With seats both inside and out, this splendid place is an ideal spot to relax, no matter the weather. Go on. Transport yourself. Live the French experience.

Blackwood Coffee  is a fantastic place to go to sit and watch the world go by. With some of the best coffee you’re ever likely to taste and food that is guaranteed to put a smile on your belly, why would you ever want to deny yourself this Morningside favourite?  The chocolate cake is absolutely out of this world. You know it makes sense.

Roundsquare Coffee House takes style, polishes it up and then gives it an upgrade. To put it plainly, you will not believe just how good this place is. With an incredible cake selection to feast your eyes and mouth upon, this friendly and chilled out café is marvellous for a spot of lunch or a quiet coffee on any day of the week.

S Luca is an ice cream lover’s paradise. Yes, we know, this section is all about the coffee and that. Which is why we’d like to point out that their café is, indeed, excellent. The coffee is splendid, the food is scrumptious and the service is absolutely top notch…But the ice cream. Oh, the ice cream. If it’s a sunny day, you’ll have to wait in line. Yes, it is that good.


Who doesn’t like a bit of a shop? Of course, we all do. Well, luckily for you, Morningside has plenty of excellent stores to choose from. Whether it’s having a well-earned browse on your day off slugging it in the office, or you desperately need that one specific thing and need it urgently, you’re unlikely to run into any problems here. Waitrose? Got it. Marks And Spencer? Of course! But, oh, there is so, so much more.

Houseproud is probably the finest hardware store in the city. It’s not mind-blowingly big, and yet it seems to have everything you could possibly want from such a place – and more!  The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and simply can’t do enough for you. If you need it, it’s quite likely that Housproud have it. A very handy place to have close by.

Toys Galore will make you happy. And that, in itself, is a good enough reason to pay it a visit. As soon as you walk through the doors, your inner child will pop right out and you’ll be giddy with glee for, quite probably, the next week. Of course, if you have kids, this place will keep them entertained for hours on end and it’s a great place to pick up Christmas gifts. But who needs an excuse? Just do it. You deserve it.

House is a small place packed full of wonders. Tucked away near the bottom of Morningside Road, this diamond of a store has everything you could possibly want to help make your house a home. As it says on their website “To save you the stress, we’ve selected the best” And they could not be more right. Absolutely top drawer.

Rua is the kind of gift shop that we all wish to find, but always seems to be out of reach. Well, look no more! Any store that has ‘Iron Brew’ scented candles (Yes. As in the iconic Scottish drink) is worth a mention in our book. There’s so much going on here, we think you will have a whale of a time just looking around. Put this on your list.

Bars & Restaurants 

McLarens On The Corner is relatively new to the scene in Morningside, but it has quickly established a reputation as one of the best bar/restaurants in all of Edinburgh. The food is stunning, the drinks are varied and the venue itself (a former Bank Of Scotland) is something you will never be able to unsee. Oh, and there outside garden is a great place to unwind on a warm day. You have to come here. Family friendly perfection.

Canny Man’s is what you might call a unique sort of place. It is also, according to celebrated chef Rick Stein, “the best pub in the world”. Yes, you read that right. It is, without question, an absolute Edinburgh institution. You could spend days just looking around, whilst sipping on a friendly beverage…And we’re pretty sure some do. It’s amazing. It’s wonderful. It’s something you have to experience at least once.

Mia Italian Kitchen opened up their first restaurant in Dalry in 2013. Such was the success that they opened up a second branch in Morningside not two years later. And thank goodness for that. If you like your restaurants all about families and the local community, then you are going to love Mia’s. Chilled out and utterly delicious Italian food…Well. what more do you want?

The Hermitage Bar is a beautiful pub that will make you feel right at home from the word go. With flawless food and an extensive drinks menu, this place is extremely popular, so be prepared for a crackling atmosphere. Want some free advice? Try the Fish and Chips. Once you’ve had them here, you’ll never go anywhere for them again. You’re welcome.

And our secret tip?

Wild West Morningside is one of the most unexpected things you will find in any city ever. Tucked away off the main street, this bizarre feature is exactly what it sounds like. Complete with a jail, cantina and general store, you’ll half expect John Wayne to pop his head around the corner. Yet another reason why Morningside is so very, very special.

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