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A local’s guide to Edinburgh

Hayley Daines shares her favourite spots in the Scottish capital

Since the Edinburgh Fringe started a few weeks ago, tales of five-star performances and non-stop laughter have been floating down from the Scottish capital and, (because we don’t want to miss out on all the fun!) we’re getting to know the city’s cobbled streets and sparkling culture a little better. We’ve got the local-lowdown from blogger and Edinburgh native Hayley Daines (@hayley.b.daines), who’s given us some resident-approved recommendations for eating, exploring, and soaking up the very best of the city… Because, if it’s good enough for a local, we're there in a heartbeat.

"I’ve lived here for eight years now and my love for Edinburgh keeps growing – it’s the most beautiful city." 


Hidden gem?

Portobello is quickly developing into the new must-visit place. This year has seen a lot of exciting new businesses open. And what’s better than escaping the crowds of the city and heading to the beach? It’s the perfect place for some dog spotting and people watching – you may even get inspired by the ever-growing wild swimming community!

Best coffee?

Well, this is a tough question – the coffee scene in Edinburgh has a lot to offer. We try our best to visit somewhere new each weekend. If you’re visiting the city centre I would recommend: Wellington Coffee, Cairngorm Coffee and Fortitude.

The table you always book for dinner?

Hawksmoor. I can never fault the food, service or drinks. Whenever we have family visiting we book a table there.

Favourite gig venue?

Summer Sessions at the bandstand in Princes St Gardens, they have an amazing line-up every year. You get to sit outside, underneath Edinburgh Castle and watch your favourite band.

Best sunset?

Catch a sunset with a view from Calton Hill (or Arthur’s Seat if you’re up for the challenge).

Where’s your happy place?

Despite being a bustling capital city, there are some beautiful nature spots to visit when you fancy a slice of calm. We love to go for an evening walk at Portobello with Ziggy and Rex, grabbing a pizza slice for dinner and watching the sunset.

What’s your favourite thing about the Edinburgh Fringe?

The city comes alive over the Fringe. It’s magic, it makes you feel like you're on holiday strolling the streets of a different country. It’s like being a tourist in your hometown. Even if you don’t make a show, there’s so much on offer like food markets and street shows!

Hayley's Edinburgh looks