To celebrate the launch of the new MINI Cooper automatic, the British car manufacturer approached us and asked to design a driving route around some of our favourite places in Edinburgh.
What we love the most about MINI is how the company combines the tradition of this iconic British car model with the latest innovations and trends. We think that Edinburgh is also the perfect example of how old and new can work together and we’ve wanted to reflect that in the itinerary we’ve created. From the latest coffee shops and fashion stores to the quaint beauty of the Old Town and the magnificent views from Calton Hill, have a look at the map at the bottom of the post and plan your visit to Edinburgh with Future Positive and MINI!
9 AM – Brew Lab
Start your Edinburgh road trip at Brew Lab, a specialty coffee shop serving single origin brewed coffees and espresso. The custom made espresso blend created and roasted by Has Been is brewed using traditional methods that bring out the coffee’s best characteristics. With pastries from local bakery Le Petit Francais, as well as cakes from cake shop and café Lovecrumbs, Brew Lab makes a perfect spot to start your day in Edinburgh.
6-8 South College Street
10 AM – Old Town
Edinburgh’s Old Town is the oldest part of the city and one of the most popular with tourists. While you’re here, it’s worth exploring the majestic buildings of Edinburgh University including the Old College and McEwan Hall in Bristo Square. Take a stroll down the Royal Mile, at the centre of the Old Town, leading from Edinburgh Castle to the beautiful Holyrood Palace. Also, don’t be afraid to explore the narrow streets and hidden courtyards around this part of the city as it’s where many great small restaurants and cafés are located.
12 PM – Stills Gallery
Stills Gallery is Scotland’s Centre for Photography. Located just off the Royal Mile, Stills hosts four exhibitions each year that showcase the work of photographers and artists from around the world. Photography enthusiasts can also enjoy facilities such as dark rooms and a digital lab, as well as attend a wide range of courses throughout the year. The exhibitions at Stills are free and the gallery is open daily from 11AM – 6PM.
23 Cockburn Street
1 PM – Timberyard
Family-owned Timberyard has been opened for just a couple of years but it’s already one of the most talked about restaurants in the city. Aware of sustainability and the environment, Timberyard uses ingredients from small and local suppliers, breeders, producers and growers. Enjoy the delicious menu and don’t forget to explore all the different spaces of the restaurant, including the yard and the growing patch, where the owners grow their own herbs.
10 Lady Lawson Street
2:30PM – Dick’s
Continue your trip around Edinburgh and stop for some shopping at Dick’s. This menswear store opened in Edinburgh’s Stockbridge neighbourhood in 2012 with the idea of bringing together a curation of selected menswear collections, accessories and homewares. Dick’s supports small and independent manufacturers who produce quality products that will stand the test of time.
3 Northwest Circus Place
3:30PM – Life Story
Keep on shopping in Broughton, another great area for discovering small businesses in Edinburgh. Life Story is a design concept store owned and run by designers and partners in life Fee and Adam Storey. The store stocks carefully selected lifestyle products, art, lighting, homewares, furniture and taxidermy.
53 London Street
4:30PM – Calton Hill
Park your car and get ready for a little hike to Calton Hill, one of Edinburgh’s most iconic attractions. From the top of this mount you can enjoy spectacular views of the whole city, including the Old Town, Arthur’s Seat and the North Sea. Calton Hill is also home to contemporary art gallery Collective and numerous buildings and structures such as the National Monument and the Nelson Monument.
6:30PM – The Compass
Drive down Leith Walk and arrive to Future Positive’s neighbourhood, The Shore. Known for its excellent food offer, The Shore is a hidden gem for many tourists. Although it is hard to choose, one of our favourite restaurants in the area is The Compass. This gastropub offers great dishes at affordable prices – don’t leave without trying the desserts! The Compass’ kind staff and relaxed atmosphere make it the perfect last stop for the end of your trip.
44 Queen Charlotte Street
Do you have any additions to our road trip? Share your Edinburgh favourites with us in the comments section below.