Edinburgh’s New Town: What to see, where to go
Edinburgh’s New Town is packed full of restaurants, coffee shops and historic venues, making it a great destination for a day out. It’s one of the best places to meet up with friends for lunch, dinner or drinks; or as the location for a really inspiring conference or meeting.
Built in a grid layout from the late 1700s onwards, the New Town is an example of Georgian splendour and was designed to house those with aspirations to escape the more haphazard life in the city’s Old Town. With crescents, squares and gardens, the New Town is a beautifully designed space and is packed full of architectural gems.
The rectangular of streets between St Andrew Square and Charlotte Square hosts many of the city’s favourite restaurants and cafes. George Street is famous for its buzz, largely thanks to popular eateries including Baba, Café Andaluz, Brown’s Brasserie and Gusto and Contini. If you are looking to go off the beaten track, some of the best coffee can be round in the Wellington or Cairngorm cafes, and independent restaurants like Noto and Dusit on Thistle Street are also worth seeking out.
Set in a city that welcomes thousands of people for conferences and meetings every year, the New Town is a good place to seek out perfect and unique venues, suitable for all sizes of event. Close to the rail station and the tram which whisks visitors to the airport quickly; and also home to a wide variety of hotels, the New Town is ideally located for events and meetings. A quick round-up from our portfolio of luxury venues offers a glimpse of what Edinburgh offers delegates:
The Merchants’ Hall on Hanover Street is a superb example of nineteenth century splendour and is owned by the City’s Merchant Company. Welcoming up to 200 guests, the Hall is home to fine art and sculptures and underwent a restoration in 1995. It is now the perfect venue for board meetings, events and weddings.
Close by, the beautifully restored Assembly Rooms also houses some of Edinburgh’s finest event spaces. The stunning Ballroom is a magnificent light-filled space with its huge Georgian windows and impressive chandeliers, while the Music Room is a flexible and dramatic venue suitable for up to 600 guests.
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Also set in the heart of the Edinburgh New Town, overlooking the Queen Street Gardens, is the Royal College of Physicians . Designed by Robert Adam, the College dates back to the late 1700s and its rooms offer a stunning backdrop for dinners and receptions. With its physic garden, the College also has an outdoor area for small receptions. Seating up to 300 people, its modern conference centre is right up to date and has comprehensive and modern AV facilities.
The magnificent National Galleries house Scotland’s world-renowned collection of art with works from Rembrandt to Van Gogh, Picasso to Warhol. Available to hire, the spaces within the galleries can welcome cocktail receptions, private views and dinners. Also in the Galleries is the excellent Scottish Restaurant with its views over Princes Street Gardens. The Galleries are currently undergoing a significant transformation with new facilities due to open in early 2021, but its still very much open for business.
Are there many better spots to enjoy dinner then surrounded by historic works of art? The @NatGalleriesSco certainly know how to put on an event that will leave an impression! https://t.co/RAh00kfa4x #events #eventvenue #edinburgh pic.twitter.com/gDIEu7QZCd
— Unique Venues of Edinburgh (@UVofE) October 8, 2019
Also close by the New Town are some of our other venues including the spectacular Mansfield Traquair; Riddles Court and the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile; and of course, Edinburgh Castle, which presides over the city and offers historic grandeur for many different events. Edinburgh’s city centre is easily walkable and most of the New and Old Town venues, cafes and restaurants are in easy walking distance of each other.
Edinburgh’s New Town is home to many architectural splendours and is a great place to meet up and inspire your delegates, or just enjoy an afternoon shopping and meandering through the lanes and crescents that are admired the world over.
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