The Scottish capital is the perfect place for couples to find a nice restaurant or a trendy bar. But there are plenty of other ways to spend time together, too.
These days, dinner and a movie just doesn’t cut it. The perfect date needs to be both exciting and memorable. Luckily, Edinburgh is the ideal place to get creative with the time you spend with that special someone. In a city as vibrant as the Scottish capital, there is always something going on, so there is no excuse not to make that time together memorable.
To help you get inspired, we’ve put together this handy guide of all the best dates Edinburgh has to offer. These options will suit any date style, from classic romance to fitness fun. Let’s take a look.
There is a reason why these escape room adventures are taking towns and cities by storm across the UK: they’re really fun! If you’re looking to break the ice with hilarity and excitement, make a booking at one of Edinburgh’s themed escape rooms to get you and your date working together against the clock. From detectives to zombies, there are endless themes to choose from, and you’re sure to be remembering your great escape for a while. What’s more, discounts are sometimes offered for small teams of two.
For a real adrenaline rush, pay a visit to Scotland’s first indoor rock climbing centre, Alien Rock, located in Edinburgh. This is a great opportunity to have fun, work together, get competitive and try your hand at something that little bit different. Alien Rock caters to beginners all the way up to rock climbing experts, so it doesn’t matter how much experience of the sport you have. The fun and challenges you have along the way will also give you something to talk about on your next date.
You might think of trampolining as something resigned to gym halls or Olympic training grounds, but with trampoline parks becoming more and more popular across the country, this is no longer the case. New facilities come fully equipped with floor and wall trampolines, as well as basketball hoops, dodgeball arenas and foam pits for any couple looking to expend some energy. If you’re getting tired of the usual dating formula, this could be a great way to break the mould. A trampolining date is sure to have you jumping for joy (or falling head over heels).
A night at the theatre is the more exciting, sophisticated and romantic alternative to a trip to the cinema. While seeing a film feels like a ‘nice’ date idea, the theatre feels like something really special. Seeing a show has always been an act of real luxury, especially in the stunning playhouses you’ll find in and around the Scottish capital. The range of shows on offer in Edinburgh means that there’s bound to be something to suit any taste – from War Horse to Wicked.
If you’re worried about conversation lulls and awkward silences, a stand-up show is a great way to avoid this completely. It’s also the perfect way to gauge your date’s sense of humour if this is your first outing together. While summer festivals like The Fringe have comedy acts galore, there are plenty of places in Edinburgh to see a great stand-up show at any time of year, like The Stand. Just be wary of sitting too near the stage, as audience roasting is a common part of any show.
A traditional evening date consisting of a few drinks can be a relaxing way to spend time, but sometimes a little something extra is needed to keep things light and exciting. Thankfully, there are many places throughout Edinburgh where this is possible, including establishments with a stash of board games ready to be played — like The Golden Rule, Brass Monkey and Joseph Pearce on Elm Row. So whether you’re a Connect 4 connoisseur or a Monopoly master, something as simple as a board game can liven up your evening and give your date a fun, competitive edge.
Heads and Tales is a cosy romantic bar hidden away in Edinburgh’s West End. This subterranean wonderland is focussed on all things gin, making for a unique place to enjoy a few drinks and catch up or get to know each other. The stunning setting is often enough for a great date, but there is plenty more you can do to make things extra special. For example, why not take part in one of the bar’s gin masterclasses? You’ll be guided through the process of gin-making, getting free samples and garnishes along the way.
If you’re looking for more of a day-time date, then you certainly can’t go wrong with a spot of afternoon tea. And if you’re going for afternoon tea, why not make it a real experience? This sweet little bistro makes its home on a vintage red bus. You can enjoy some of the best sights the city has to offer, all while tucking into macaroons, finger sandwiches and more. You can also opt for the gin tea experience, which includes adorable pot-tails.
Looking to wow your date with romance in the purest sense? Then a visit to the Royal Observatory is an absolute must. Signing up to an astronomy session might not sound like the most lovey-dovey activity on paper, but trust us, it’s definitely worth the not-so-hefty £5 per person price tag. After all, what could be more romantic than an evening under the stars? These evenings are held at least once a month, and include lessons on the night sky and a chance to peer through a telescope to get up close and personal with the stars.
Sometimes it is the simplest activities in life that are the most romantic and special. A gentle stroll through the park might be all you need to reconnect with that special someone. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the surroundings are suitably stunning, but you don’t have to worry about this in the Scottish capital. From Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat to the Meadows and West Princes Street Gardens, you can take your pick of places.
There’s something about getting scared together that brings people closer, so the Edinburgh Dungeon might just be the unlikely date venue you’ve been looking for. Because the Scottish capital has such a rich (and often bloody) history, there is no end to the thrills and chills on offer in this iconic underground maze. You’ll meet witches, spirits, cannibals and body snatchers – and you might even be put on trial for a crime you didn’t commit! If you and your date love heart racing, hand-holding scares, then you can’t get any better than the Edinburgh Dungeon.
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