From the historic wynds that criss-cross the Old Town to the indulgent decadence of the New Town, the city of Edinburgh promises a wide variety of first-date locations where couples can meet to break the ice.
While it’s a classic strategy, your romantic rendezvous in Edinburgh doesn’t have to be limited to the traditional ‘dinner and a movie’ template: beyond the city’s pubs, bars, and restaurants is a long list of options which offer a little extra intrigue - and promise to make your first date a memorable one.
10 great cheap date ideas for couples on a budget
As a first date idea, Arthur’s Seat is not for the faint-hearted, but for couples who can brave the climb, the rewards are spectacular. Dominating the city’s skyline, Arthur’s Seat is actually the remains of a long-extinct volcano which, on a clear day, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city.
If you’re looking for that extra romantic twist, try to convince your partner to take a very early morning stroll up Arthur’s Seat - where a stunning view of the sunrise awaits.
The Sheep Heid
On the far side of Arthur’s Seat, The Sheep Heid is one of the city’s oldest pubs - if not the oldest in Scotland. While a pub date might seem a little tried-and-tested, the Sheep Heid promises a unique experience: from the idyllic surroundings of Duddingston village to tales of its historic past patrons, the pub is a quirky and quintessential favourite amongst locals and visitors alike.
The Heid also features Scotland’s last ‘skittle’ bowling alley - an unusual way to add a memorable bit of competition to you and your date’s evening.
Things to do in Edinburgh
Plenty of first dates start with a drink, but the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile takes that notion a bit further by showcasing the fascinating history and heritage of Scotland’s favourite spirit.
You don’t have to be a whisky-aficionado to enjoy the tours: take ‘barrel ride’ through a virtual distillery, learn the aromas of Scotland’s scotch-producing regions, and - of course - sample a dram or two in an expert-led tasting session.
The Scotch Whisky Experience also offers a connected restaurant where you can while away the rest of the evening...
Summer is Edinburgh’s festival season and a time of year when the city bursts with music, laughter and colour - the perfect atmosphere to make a romantic connection. The Fringe is one of the city’s most famous festivals and includes such a broad spectrum of comedy, music, theatre, and dance events that you’ll almost be spoilt for choice for first date ideas.
Book ahead to see a show you’ve both got your eye on, or simply stroll through the city streets to find something that piques your interest.
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In Edinburgh, ghost tours aren’t limited to Halloween and, in fact, take place in the spookiest parts of the city throughout the year. If you have the nerve, a ghost tour can be an exciting date: atmospheric and brooding, Edinburgh’s tours are an exploration of the hidden corners of the city with many delving deep into the forgotten catacombs and dusty mausoleums beneath the Old Town.
Keep an eye out for ghostly surprises along the way - and opportunities to get a bit closer to the person next to you!
Britain's spookiest tours
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