Summertime in Edinburgh

Things To Do In Edinburgh This Summer

We love Edinburgh in summer!

Edinburgh shines in the summer for several reasons, transforming the city into a vibrant hub of culture, outdoor activities, and festivals. So, for summery things to do in and around Edinburgh, for locals and visitors alike, read on!

Take a picnic to The Meadows

Load up your picnic hamper (or better still, treat yourself to a Victor Hugos!) and head to The Meadows. Come a lazy summer’s day, it is one of our favourite Edinburgh things to do! Lay out your rug and enjoy relaxing in such a beautiful park.

If you’re feeling energetic or want to get involved, then there’s plenty to keep you occupied, from taking to the tennis courts to challenging your friends to a game at the short-hole golf course. If you’re feeling particularly alive you can walk or run along the tree-lined paths. For those looking for a more sedate activity, we recommend combining your picnic with a wander around Tills Bookshop.

Wander along the Water of Leith

One of everyone’s favourite Edinburgh activities come sunny days is to enjoy the Water of Leith walk. Stretching from Balerno, south of the city, to Leith in the North, passing by some of Edinburgh's most interesting neighbourhoods including Colinton Village, Dean Village and Stockbridge.

The full walk is 18 miles for the particularly committed, but no one says you have to walk it all! We do like finishing in Leith though as you can then round off your efforts with a drink or two in one of the pubs at the shore.

Enjoy some shows at Edinburgh's Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world's largest arts festival, held annually in Edinburgh. It runs for three weeks in August and features thousands of shows across theatre, comedy, dance, music, circus, and more. With over 300 venues hosting thousands of performances across the city, it’s good to plan and get tickets in advance but it’s also great just to wander and see where your mood takes you on the day. The four main venues are, Assembly Hall: Located on George Street, Gilded Balloon on Bristo Square, Pleasance just off the Royal Mile, and Underbelly with venues across the city centre, a personal favourite being around the famous Speigletent with its mirrored walls and ceiling.

Have some fun at Jupiter Artland

Ok, we’re pushing the Edinburgh boundary here, escape the city for the day, Jupiter Artland is an award-winning contemporary sculpture park and art gallery just outside Edinburgh. It is set over 100 acres of meadow, woodland and indoor gallery spaces and is home to over 30 permanent and unique site-specific sculptures from artists including Phyllida Barlow, Christian Boltanski, Charles Jencks, Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley. It also has a 9-meter diameter swimming pool made of vibrant, hand-painted Portuguese tiles. While it isn't exactly a lido, it offers a special way to experience art and cool off during the summer months.

Spend some time on the Royal Mile

The Royal Mile, stretching from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, is a vibrant hub brimming with history, culture, and entertainment and is a vibrant hub of cafés, shops and bars. You might want to take your time to see the castle, Palace of Holyrood, St Giles Cathedral and John Knox House, but it’s also great to browse a diverse range of shops, from traditional tartan and kilts to independent boutiques and souvenir stores and savour delicious Scottish cuisine in cosy pubs, traditional restaurants, or trendy cafes. Grab an ice cream and wander to catch some street entertainment and investigate its many hidden ‘Closes’.

Head over to Stockbridge

Stockbridge is a charming and vibrant neighbourhood in Edinburgh that offers a village atmosphere in the heart of the city. Stockbridge is always wonderful for a visit, but in summer they have their Foodies Festival event. 

The Foodies Festival is a great way to experience the best of Edinburgh's food scene in one place. It's a fantastic event for food lovers of all ages, with stalls serving delicious street food from around the world, live music performances, cooking demonstrations, and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Shelter from the summer rain at the Museum

Edinburgh's National Museum of Scotland comes alive in the summer with special exhibitions and family-friendly activities. Whilst there is a permanent collection you can explore year-round, there are usually additional temporary exhibitions in the summer months.

Visit a Secret Beach

While Edinburgh has plenty of popular beaches like Portobello Beach and Silver Sands Beach, there are also some hidden gems tucked away along the coast. These beaches are perfect for a relaxing afternoon with the locals, offering beautiful views and a chance to escape the crowds.

Look and feel your best

Heading out in Edinburgh? Get ready with help from Little City Treat and treat yourself to some summer nails or a luxury blow-dry.