Although I don't subscribe to the commercially driven urge to be romantic on this one day more than other 364 days in the year (or 365 this year, as it's a leap year!) if you are visiting Edinburgh this Valentine's weekend, here is my rundown of a few of Auld Reekie's romantic hotspots!
Among the famous burials here, in the Canongate on the Royal Mile, is one Agnes Macklehose, also known as Nancy, who went by the name of Clarinda in her letters to the poet Robert Burns. It was for Clarinda/Nancy/Agnes that Burns wrote one of his most famous poems, Ae Fond Kiss, after their last meeting before Agnes left Scotland for Jamaica:
Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, for ever!
I'll ne'er blame my partial fancy;
Naething could resist my Nancy;
For to see her was to love her,
Love but her, and love for ever.
Had we never loved sae kindly,
Had we never loved sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted,
We had ne'er been broken-hearted.
Water of Leith
Enjoy a romantic stroll through the hidden gems of Edinburgh's New Town suburbs. Starting in Stockbridge, follow the water of Leith west and soak up the peace and solitude as you hear the water running by. You'll pass through the Dean Village, a wonderfully maintained historic village, before continuing up towards the two galleries of Modern Art near Belford. A charming rustic adventure in the heart of the city.
Not only the official residence of the current monarch, but also historically a site associated with kings and queens throughout history, including Mary, Queen of Scots. An iconic figure in Scots history, Mary was married three times in her life, although her life was not overall a particularly happy one. Visit her original bed chambers and soak up the medieval atmosphere, in this beautiful and evocative building.
National Museum of Scotland
There are plenty of hidden corners to get lost in at the city's finest museum, but the crowning glory is its rooftop terrace. Accessed via a fairly indirect route of stairs, only a small percentage of the museum's visitors make it up here, meaning you could have the whole terrace to yourself, with 360-degree views out over the whole of the Old Town and Arthur's Seat.
Surgeons Hall Museum
Love is all about heart and soul, and here you'll find plenty of hearts... and many more body parts besides! Okay, so it may not be everyone's idea of romantic, but if your true love is of a medical (or just plain grisly) persuasion, a trip to the recently renovated museum on Nicolson Street could tick all the right boxes.
Still looking for some 'puppy love' this Valentine's Day? Book one of my Tours With Paws, featuring my co-guide Monty, or join a Weekend Explorer Tour...
Edinburgh Expert is run by Gareth Davies, an adopted native of Edinburgh with 18 years of experience living and working in the city.