Dramatic architecture, heart-stopping views and even weather that beckons for canoodling, Scotland is impossibly romantic. The jewel in its crown, Edinburgh, is one of the most photographed cities in the world. Its striking skyline is shaped by volcanoes which cradle Edinburgh Castle and the austerely beautiful Old Town.
Edinburgh is as busy as it is gorgeous (which is to say, a lot), so finding a honeymoon nest outside of the bustle is key. Just west of the downtown core is perfect: Think cobblestone streets, quaint independent boutiques and local village vibes. The perfect base to explore Edinburgh is the Dunstane House, one of the only true boutique hotels in the city. Nestled a stone’s throw from the downtown core along the Water of Leith, the stately historical home was built in 1852. Previously home to merchants, musicians, doctors and distillers, it now houses 16 charming rooms, all paying homage to the owner’s Orkney roots with original Scottish artwork, local artisan toiletries, reclaimed antiques and a rich palette of nautical navy and burnished orange. The effect is more home than hotel, and guests are fully encouraged to treat it like their own. The hotel can arrange for honeymoon experiences that are totally unique. A sunset picnic on Arthur’s Seat? A master cake baking class with Scotland’s best confectioner? A personal shopping experience along Multrees Walk? An off-the-beaten-path tour of historic, rustic pubs? Whatever your heart desires, the Dunstane House staff will make it a reality.
For the days you want to wander Edinburgh, explore Dean Village, one of the most coveted neighbourhoods to live in. Tucked on the Water of Leith, Edinburgh’s largest river, Dean Village was founded in the 12th century. While just a short walk from the city centre, Dean Village is one of the city’s best kept secrets. Pretty stone houses, narrow cobblestone paths and ivy-covered footbridges make this neighbourhood straight out of a fairy tale. Don’t miss Stockbridge, a picturesque little village, just a pinch north of Dean Village.
5 things to do in Edinburgh
1. Stroll the Stockbridge Sunday market for rare gins, incredible smoked fish, locally roasted coffee and gorgeous spices.
2. Take in the Royal Botanic Garden, a perfect backdrop for honeymoon photos.
3. Step back in time at Mary King’s Close, the only preserved 17th-century street in Edinburgh.
4. Nab a table at Michelin-rated The Kitchin. Or, book at The Scran and Scallie, a gastropub by the same team.
5. Get coffees to go and stroll the bucolic Water of Leith walkway to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
By Karen Cleveland
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