This article covers the areas of Edinburgh to the east of Leith and Holyrood Park. The most relevant parts of this area for tourists are Duddingston (Village) and the beach town Portobello. It borders with Musselburgh in the east.
Lothian Buses have a comprehensive service throughout the east of the city. Many services depart Princes Street in the New Town. To get to Portobello take Lothian buses 15 or 26/X26/N26 from Princes Street. Lothian buses 42 (via Duddingston Village), 45 and 49 also go to Portobello.
Local Services from Bathgate, Edinburgh Park, Haymarket and Waverley stations serve Brunstane and Newcraighall in this area for those coming from Edinburgh. The line continues to the South of Newcraighall, connecting with stations at Shawfair, Eskbank, Newtongrange, Gorebridge, Stow, Galashiels, and Tweedbank.
The primary route into the area from the South-East is the dual-carriageway A1, the main London-Edinburgh road. This comes in to the Newcraighall and Brunstane areas, wherein it diverges into city streets. The coastal road from Musselburgh splits at Eastfield, the inland route leading to Brunstane again, the coastal fork leading to Joppa and Portobello.
There is a Park & Ride car park next to the Newcraighall train station (for access to the city centre) which is charged at 50p per 24 hours and has 24-hr access.
- 1 Duddingston Village (There are paths from Queen's Drive (upper level) which connect to the village. Take bus 42 from the city centre and get off at Holyrood High School). Village on the eastern edge of Holyrood Park, which dates back to 1124.
- 2 Duddingston Loch. A wildlife reserve and also the setting for the famous Henry Raeburn painting The Skating Minister.
- 3 Dr Neil's (Secret) Garden, Old Church Lane, Duddingston Village, EH15 3PX. Open daily 10AM - dusk. Not quite a secret but certainly an overlooked jewel. Beautiful terraced garden on the shores of the loch. Find it behind the historic church (Duddingston Kirk), which is occasionally also open. Free entry, but £1 donation appreciated.
- 4 Portobello (From Duddingston Village walk along Duddingston Road West, turn left into the Figgate park and follow the Figgate Burn, about 2½ km. Take the bus 42 from the city centre and get off at Portobello Town Hall - takes about 35 min.). A traditional British beach resort within the city on the shore of the Firth of Forth. Golden sand, ice-cream parlours, fish'n'chips, amusement arcades, playgrounds, paddling pools, what more do you want from the seaside? Admittedly the weather is often more suited to Bracing Walks than Cooling Dips but there's still fun to be had in "Porty".
- 1 Portobello Swim Centre, 57 The Promenade, Portobello, ☏ . Traditional Victorian baths with fully modernised facilities. Pool, gym, sauna and the only Turkish Baths in town.
- Cycle along the Innocent Cycle Path (a transformed railway track) from the Royal Commonwealth Pool (South) to Portobello.
- If you are in the area (for example when walking towards Portobello), then consider walking through the Figgate Park with wildlife in and around the Figgate Pond.
- 1 Fort Kinnaird. A massive out-of-town retail complex (supposedly the biggest of its type in the UK), next to the A1 dual carriageway as it heads out of town to the south-east. Lots of mainstream chain shops.
- In Portobello there is a larger Scotmid in Bath Street and various smaller convenience stores along Portobello High Street to buy supplies for a picnic at the beach.
- 1 Bonoful, 13-17 Brighton Place, Portobello. Indian food.
- 2 Reds, 254 High Street, Portobello, ☏ . M-Th 10:30AM-3PM; F-Su 10:30AM-8PM. Family and children friendly bistro. Mains £6-8, special children's menu.
- 3 Cherry's Cafe, London Road. A small cafe serving nice Turkish food and breakfast items.
- 4 The Beach House Cafe, 57 Bath Street, Portobello, ☏ . M-F 9AM-5:30PM; Sa Su 9AM-6PM. Right at the promenade along the beach with views towards the sea. Offers fresh and locally sourced sweet and savoury food.
- The Mouse Hole Deli, 131 Portobello High Street, Portobello, ☏ . Deli for food and buying local products.
- 1 The Sheep Heid Inn, 43-45 The Causeway, Duddingston Village, ☏ , fax: . 11AM-11PM (midnight on F Sa). Food daily from around noon till around 9PM. Established in 1360 if not before, this is certainly Edinburgh's oldest public house, though its claim to be the oldest in Scotland is disputed by a few others. In any case it's a lovely traditional pub, with a beer garden and skittle alley (reputedly the oldest in the world). Barbecues on summer Sundays attract the crowds from all over town. It is now run by Mitchells & Butlers, a nation-wide chain of pubs and restaurants.
- 2 The Guild of Foresters (formerly Foresters Arms), 40 Portobello High Street, Portobello, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-11PM; F Sa 11AM-1PM; Su noon-11PM; food daily: noon-10PM. A nice pub with a small selection of cask ales. Locally sourced food is also available.
- 3 The Regent, 2 Montrose Terrace, ☏ . Campaign for Real Ale Edinburgh and S.E. Scotland Pub of the Year 2008. They also offer a small selection of food. The Regent is unofficially a gay bar but is very straight-friendly. Free wifi available.
- 1 Abercorn Guest House, 1 Abercorn Terrace, Portobello, ☏ . A family-run B&B. £25-100 per person (depending on the month).
- The Georgian Retreat, 36 Regent Street, Portobello, ☏ . A privately owned apartment suitable for up to four people. Generally bookable for a minimum of 7 days only. Low season: £65, high season: up to £120. Prices are for the entire apartment per night.
- 2 Kings Manor Hotel (Best Western), 100 Milton Road (Close to Brunstane train station), ☏ .
- 3 The Brae Guest House, 119 Willowbrae Road, ☏ . A family-run B&B. £20-40 per person per night (depending on the season) including breakfast.
- 1 Portobello Library, 14 Rosefield Avenue, Portobello (Take Lothian bus no 15, 15A, 21, 26, 42, or First Bus 129), ☏ . M-W 10AM-8PM; Th-Sa 10AM-5PM. Offers free Wi-Fi.