Best Photography Locations In Edinburgh

February 04, 2024

Best Photography Locations In Edinburgh

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Photo Locations in Edinburgh

The best locations in Edinburgh for capturing the ultimate photography experiencePicture the LocationFollow the link to view my image collection.

The Enchanting City of Edinburgh: A Photographer's Paradise

The best photo spots

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a city steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. It's also a photographer's paradise, with endless opportunities to capture stunning images. From its iconic castle and cobbled streets to its dramatic hills and lush gardens, Edinburgh has something for everyone.

Must-Visit Photography Spots:

  • Calton Hill: For panoramic views of the city, Calton Hill is unbeatable. This volcanic hilltop offers stunning vistas of Edinburgh Castle, Arthur's Seat, and the Firth of Forth. At golden hour, the light bathes the city in a warm glow, making it a magical time to photograph.
  • Victoria Street: This vibrant street is a photographer's dream, with its colourful houses, charming shops, and cobbled lanes. It's no wonder J.K. Rowling found inspiration for Diagon Alley here! Grab a coffee and wander, capturing the quirky details and lively atmosphere.
  • Dean Village: Step back in time in the picturesque Dean Village. This former mill village is now a peaceful oasis, with charming stone houses, a babbling river, and lush greenery. Capture the tranquillity of the spot or snap photos of the quirky cafes and independent shops.
  • Arthur's Seat: Hike up to the top of Arthur's Seat for breath-taking views of the city and beyond. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the Fife coastline. The hike itself is a great way to explore the city's green spaces, and the reward at the top is a photographer's dream.
  • Princes Street Gardens: These beautiful gardens offer a welcome escape from the city bustle. Capture the colourful flower beds, the elegant Georgian architecture, and the iconic views of Edinburgh Castle. In the spring, the gardens come alive with cherry blossoms, making for a truly magical scene.
  • The Royal Mile: No trip to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to the Royal Mile. This historic street is lined with shops, pubs, and landmarks, making it a great place to capture the city's character. Keep an eye out for hidden alleys and closes, which offer a glimpse into Edinburgh's past.

Beyond the Tourist Trail:

For something a little different, venture beyond the usual tourist spots. Here are a few hidden gems for photographers:

  • Blackford Hill: This hill offers stunning views of the city, the Pentland Hills, and the Firth of Forth. It's a great place to escape the crowds and capture some panoramic shots.
  • The Water of Leith: This picturesque river winds its way through the city, offering a variety of photo opportunities. Follow the path, capture the wildlife, or snap photos of the bridges and historic buildings that line the banks.
  • The Vennel Steps: These hidden steps offer a glimpse into Edinburgh's past. The narrow lanes and close-knit buildings make for a truly atmospheric setting.

Tips for Photography in Edinburgh:

  • Be prepared for all weather conditions. Edinburgh is known for its changeable weather, so be sure to pack your raincoat and camera bag cover.
  • Get up early or stay out late. The best light for photography is often at sunrise or sunset, so try to be out shooting during these times.
  • Explore the back lanes and closes. Some of the most photogenic spots in Edinburgh are hidden away in the back streets. Don't be afraid to wander and explore.
  • Look for the details. Edinburgh is a city full of character, so keep an eye out for the little things that make it unique, such as the intricate stonework, the colourful doors, and the friendly faces.

With its endless photo opportunities, Edinburgh is a city that will ignite your creativity. So grab your camera and start exploring!

Every city has its own unique beauty, and what better way to capture it than through photography? But with so many streets, landmarks, and hidden gems to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start. That's why I've put together this guide to help you find the best photography locations in your own city.

  1. Start with the iconic spots. No matter what city you're in, there are bound to be a few iconic landmarks that everyone recognizes. These can be great starting points for your photography adventure. For example, in Edinburgh, you could try capturing the Scott Monument from a variety of angles, or close by, you could head to Princes Street Gardens or Edinburgh Castle
  2. Don't forget the hidden gems. While the iconic spots are definitely worth a visit, it's also important to explore the less-touristy parts of the city. This is where you're likely to find some of the most unique and interesting photo opportunities. Wander down side streets, explore local markets, and keep an eye out for anything that catches your eye.
  3. Think about the time of day and weather. The time of day and weather can make a big difference in your photos. For example, if you're looking to capture the city lights, you'll obviously need to shoot at night. And if you want to get some dramatic clouds in your shots, you'll need to be patient and wait for the right weather conditions.
  4. Use a map to plan your route. Once you've got a few potential locations in mind, use a map to plan your route. This will help you make the most of your time and avoid getting lost.
  5. Be respectful of your surroundings. When you're out taking photos, it's important to be respectful of your surroundings. Be mindful of private property, and don't be disruptive to people who are living or working in the area.
  6. Most importantly, have fun!

Photography is a great way to explore your city and get creative. So relax, have fun, and experiment with different techniques. You might just be surprised at what you capture.

Here are some additional tips for finding great photography locations:

  • Ask local residents for their recommendations.
  • Check out photography websites and blogs for inspiration.
  • Join a local photography club or group.
  • Use social media to find other photographers in your city.
  • With a little planning and effort, you're sure to find some amazing photography locations in this beautiful city that is Edinburgh. So get out there and start exploring!

I hope this post has inspired you to visit Edinburgh and capture its magic for yourself. I'm sure you'll take some amazing photos! Happy snapping!

Classic views are sometimes best seen from outside Edinburgh

An introduction into the best photo locations Edinburgh has to offer. Keep in mind that classic views are sometimes best seen from outside Edinburgh looking in.

If you're reading this then you’re probably going to come to the city with a view to creating vibrant photography from the classic views, famous landmarks & historical buildings of Edinburgh, which also happens to be my hometown. Attractions are plentiful and are well documented elsewhere so it’s easy to find plenty subject matter to suit your taste. Whether its buildings of historic interest or stimulating attractions one certainty is, the city won’t fall short of your expectations. Cobbled street views depict iconic settings so well. Traditional or contemporary, Edinburgh photo opportunities are in abundance, there is ample to see and do. Not forgetting the lively Christmas and New Year celebrations, note, a woolly hat and scarf is necessary essential in the photographer’s kit bag.

The city has it all and offers boundless photographic scenarios to get you inspired. What’s more, the surrounding coast and countryside of East, West and Midlothian are perfect for bracing beach walks and refreshing rambles along the Pentland Hills and country parks, truly inspiring photography locations.

My personal photo challenge is to depict all that is Edinburgh, I’m attempting to capture a comprehensive image collection that ranges from the finer detailed shots through to the wider perspective panoramic images; it’s all a work in progress.
Ref: Capital city of Scotland - Historic Old Town - Georgian New Town - The City of Edinburgh