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Anti cuffing season: Here are the best solo valentines dates in Edinburgh

Perfect for those of us who don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day


The days are short and dark, you can’t step foot on campus without seeing couples holding hands and the only thing warming your bed this year is the electric blanket your mum got you for Christmas.

As the perpetually single friend who’s plagued with photos from friends’ weekly dates to Chez Jules, there is nothing I know more about than how to keep myself from feeling too lonely during these cold months. From trips to the theatre to scenic walks in nature, here are the best places in Edinburgh to romance yourself with these solo dates.

1. The theatre date

With Bedlam Theatre only a stone’s throw away from Main Campus, it’s the perfect spot not too far from your Marchmont flat to pop into on a week night. Bedlam is a student-run theatre which frequently puts on amazing plays for incredibly affordable prices – starting from £3. Whether you want to watch a modern take on a classical tragedy, an exploration of mental health or a comedy celebrating the importance of platonic relationships, Bedlam Theatre is one of my favourite place to go for a solo-date.

(Pro tip: bring a warm coat and big scarf as it does get very cold, especially if you don’t have a date to cuddle up to)

Located 11b Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 1EZ

2. The hot chocolate date

There’s only one place in Edi to get a hot chocolate from, and that is Upland’s Roast, located in the meadows right next to the Main Library. Although the queue is very commonly 30+ people long, their luxurious Hot Chocolates are worth it, with marshmallows, whipped cream and chocolate flakes.

Once you have your hot chocolate, a walk around the meadows whilst you drink it is a must. So close and convenient from campus, you can take yourself on a date and Meadows walk in the time you’ve allotted from your lunchtime break from studying in the library.

3. The bookshop date

For an Edinburgh-based romance, I recommend One Day by David Nichholls (make sure you have a box of tissues beside you), but if you’re very happy in your single era and are yet to read Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton, go for it.

If you are after a heartbreaking but incredible read, try Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngoni Adichie. The cherry on top is the free tea you get if you purchase a book, so you have something to sip on as you crack open a good story. If you’ve never been to Topping and Company before, it’s a trip you can’t miss.

Located 2 Blenheim Pl, Edinburgh EH7 5JH

4. The Museum date

Whilst everyone and their mum have been to the National Galleries of Scotland just off Princes Street, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is much more tucked away.

With the most stunning medieval stain glass windows, and hundreds of portraits brimming with rich Scottish history, it’s an amazing place to appreciate some art whilst learning more about the country you study and live in. The Neo-Gothic architecture and murals also look amazing on your Instagram, so you can get some great photos whilst giving yourself some self-love.

Located 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD (with free admission)

5. The ice cream date

Although Edinburgh may be perpetually cold, it doesn’t stop the city from being full of ice cream parlours. My personal favourite is Mary’s Milk Bar on Grassmarket. The flavours change daily with an array of vegan and dairy gelatos with some classics on offer, like salted caramel, whilst also having some more unique flavours – like tea and biscuit or goats cheese and peach. With a nice little treat as cold as your ex’s heart, this retro parlour serves you a nice pick me up after a long day of lectures.

Located 19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS

6. The yoga date

If you’re looking for a little more active yet introspective solo-date, a yoga class may be perfect for you. Edinburgh University Yoga Society has a whole timetable of classes each week costing just £3 for its members. An hour for yourself is a nice, short experience that can give you some comfort during these cold months with deadlines hurtling towards you.

7. The blind date