Edinburgh’s Top Ten Student Secrets

Edinburgh’s Top Ten Student Secrets

With over 33,000 students, you can imagine that Edinburgh has a huge amount of student secrets…. so we’ve narrowed it down to our top 10. Edinburgh is such an amazing city, second largest financially after London and home to the Scottish parliament, it is historic, beautiful and extremely busy, so get out there and make the absolute most of it!

1.     Wild West, Morningside

It’s crazy to think that Edinburgh was once home to its own Wild West and although there isn’t much left of it today, this authentic replica (hidden behind Morningside Library) is definitely worth visiting.

2.     Kyoto Friendship Garden

Hidden in the grounds of the 16th century Lauriston Castle is the beautiful Japanese Kyoto Friendship Garden. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the twinning of Kyoto in Japan with Edinburgh and its blossom filled garden has enough zen to calm the whole of the Edinburgh student population. 

3.     Tom Riddle’s Grave

Okay fine, it’s Thomas Riddell’s grave but rumour has it that it actually did inspire JK Rowling in her naming of Lord Voldemort for her Harry Potter books. She famously did a lot of writing in a nearby café on George IV Bridge so it is very possible that she borrowed his name from here!

4.     National Museum of Scotland’s Rooftop Terrace

Due to the very mysterious and maze-like presence of the National Museum of Scotland, this Rooftop can actually be very hard to find. However, once you navigate your way to the top of the building, the terrace welcomes you to some spectacular views of Edinburgh city and far beyond.

5.     The Devil’s Advocate

This bar and restaurant is tucked away, hidden and secretive which definitely adds to its allure. Home to a former Victorian Pump house, this fabulous building boasts a mezzanine dining area, a 200 strong whisky shelf and a vastly impressive gin collection… probably a place for special occasions.

6.     Dr Knox’s Enigma

This is Edinburgh’s newest live escape room game, with ingenious puzzles and impressive attention to detail, and it definitely will not disappoint… if you can find it! It’s tucked away on the very steep stairs of Warriston’s Close, between the Royal Mile and Cockburn Street.

7.     Cramond Falls

For those looking for an escape from the busy city centre, taking a walk along the River Almond in Cramond will lead you to the stunning Cramond Falls. It’s not quite Niagra but it’s definitely relaxing to watch on a summer’s day and you can even pop into the Cramond Falls Café for some tea and cake.

8.     The Stand Comedy Club

It’s definitely not a secret but Edinburgh’s strand of The Stand Comedy Club is a must visit for everyone living or visiting Edinburgh… because of this, the not-so-secret venue has made its way on to the secret list so that we’re extra sure you’ll go! Recent comedians that have taken centre stage are John Bishop, Frankie Boyle, Simon Munnery, Josie Long and many, many more!

9.     The Real Mary King’s Close

This warren of underground passages, streets and houses is a time capsule which has been uniquely preserved beneath Edinburgh. Learn the real history of the people who once would have lived on Mary King’s Close when the streets were open to the skies, explore rumours of ghosts, learn of murders and get under the skin of the plague. A costume character guide will take you on a tour and explain why these streets were vacated; are you ready to discover the truth behind the myths?

10.  The Secret Garden

Obviously the only way to end a secret list is with a secret garden and this one definitely won’t disappoint. The gothic boutique hotel, The Witchery by the Castle, has a beautifully enclosed garden that is hidden down the historic Old Town Close. On entering via the pulpit reception, you’ll descend down great stone stairs to be greeted by dark painted ceilings and bright French windows leading you onto the secret terrace.

Edinburgh is an absolutely magical city filled with even more secrets than these ten. Down alleys, up rivers and even underground, Edinburgh is full of surprises so make sure you discover them all! 

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