Edinburgh picnic

Edinburgh’s Perfect Picnic Spots

There is no better place to spend National Picnic Week (17th to 25th June 2024) than in Edinburgh, where almost half of the city is green space and options for al fresco dining are aplenty.

From secluded spots for a romantic picnic for two, to enjoying lunch alongside a Brachiosaurus, Scotland’s capital truly provides the perfect setting for everyone as we look to take advantage of the charming Scottish summer weather.

So, gather your loved ones, some delicious dishes and a beautiful blanket and join us as we share our top recommendations for the perfect picnic in Edinburgh.

The Essentials: What to Pack for a Picnic in Edinburgh

What would a picnic in Scotland’s capital be without a picnic blanket from the Edinburgh Woolen Mill? These popular blankets come in a range of tartans, so you’re guaranteed to find the perfect base to elevate your picnic aesthetic.

In keeping with the traditional theme – the tipple of choice has to be one of Edinburgh Gin’s pre-mixed cans. They come in a range of summery flavours sure to compliment your dishes of choice, from Rhubard & Ginger to Watermelon & Lime.

Family Friendly Picnic Spots in Edinburgh

Victoria Park, Newhaven

Pack up the family and head to Victoria Park, where a wonderful day out awaits. Easily accessible from the city centre, you can even hop on the newly extended tramline where it is just a 10-minute walk from the Newhaven stop.

Here you will find parks for the children to enjoy, plenty of paths perfect for learning how to ride a bike and most importantly, plenty of green open space to pick your spot for the day.

Make sure you have a blanket big enough for the entire family to fit on and create core memories as you all have fun in the sun together.

Edinburgh Zoo, Corstorphine

Recently recognised as the “best zoo in Scotland” by TripAdvisor, Edinburgh Zoo prides itself on its vision of a world where nature is protected, values and loved.

Easily accessible by car or public transport, the wildlife conservation charity is home to over 2,500 animals from around the world. It’s easy to see why it is one of the must-visit attractions in the city, and a great place to enjoy a picnic!

As little feet get weary, there are many areas throughout the zoo to choose from – whether you want to have lunch alongside 100 penguins at Europe’s largest outdoor penguin pool, or share a flask of tea with a Trex.

There’s plenty to see and do while you’re there; why not join one of the daily talks with their expert keepers or book one of their many events taking place throughout the summer.

Scenic Picnic Locations in Edinburgh

Arthur’s Seat, City Centre

Set an early alarm, grab your friends and embark on an unforgettable hike up Arthur’s Seat to watch the sun slowly wake up the city below as it rises over Edinburgh’s infamous skyline.

This ancient volcano, one of the highest points in the city, takes around 30 minutes to climb and is a wonderful place to reward yourself with a breakfast picnic of croissants, fresh fruit and coffee when you reach the top.

Arthur’s Seat is notably featured in Ian Rankin novels, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and most recently made famous in One Day by David Nicholls. Why not take a notepad and some pens and set your friends a task to write while you’re up there – journal, blog, write poetry or maybe get inspiration for your very own novel!

Arthurs seat

Yellowcraig Beach, East Lothian

Popular with families, enjoy a delightful day at Yellowcraig Beach with views over to the 1885 lighthouse on Fidra Island, which is said to be the inspiration for Treasure Island.

This dog-friendly beach is just 40 minutes from the city and a perfect spot to set up an all-day picnic where the more adventurous can work up an appetite swimming or paddleboarding in the sea.

Romantic Picnic Spots in Edinburgh

Dunbar’s Close Garden, City Centre

Wander hand in hand through one of the many hidden closes on the Royal Mile to discover the serene Dunbar’s Close Garden.

This intimate spot allows you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic date.

Nestle down amongst the 17th century-style gardens and cosy up on the blanket for an afternoon in the sun. Or why not try out TikTok’s latest fun date night trend; take along a canvas and some paints and paint each other’s portraits!

Why not pull out all the stops and impress your date with a classic and sohisticated cocktail, as recommended by our talented Bartender Carl.


  • 50ml Eagle Rare Bourbon
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 10ml Maple Syrup
  • 10ml Lime Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters

Method: Shaken with ice. Pour over ice. Garnish with an orange peel.

the bonham Bourbon cocktail
Photo by Emile, The Bonham

Royal Botanic Gardens, City Centre

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh is the second oldest botanic gardens in the UK, and one of the most romantic spots in the city.

Take a lovely stroll around the world-famous gardens before seeking out a serene spot for an idyllic picnic for two. Whilst you’re there, join in with one of their many events taking place throughout the summer – a perfect activity for the perfect day-date.

A Guide to Edinburgh’s Outdoor Food Festivals

Summer brings an array of food festivals to the city where you can browse local delicacies, pick your favourite picnic spot, and soak up the atmosphere of these lively events.

  • Neighbourgood Market 17 May – 30 July 2024 – just a short walk from the city centre in the charming area of Stockbridge. Take a blanket, or your own deck chair, and pitch up to try the amazing food and drink on offer
  • Edinburgh Food Festival 19 – 28 July 2024 – celebrating its 10th year in George Square gardens. This dog friendly event hosts some of Scotland’s best food and drink vendors where picnic benches await you to enjoy the most delicious street food
  • Edinburgh Foodies Festival 2 – 4 Aug 2024 – enjoy live music from Peter Andre, Blue and Symphonic Ibiza. This is a great day out for the family in Inverleith Park where you can taste delicacies from around the world

Planning a short break to Edinburgh this summer? Perfectly placed in the popular West End, The Bonham Hotel allows guests to experience all that the city has to offer in a stylish setting. Save up to 20% when you book direct with us.

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