Romantic Places to Propose in Edinburgh & Local Advice

Romantic Places in Edinburgh to Propose in Edinburgh

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Planning to pop the question and looking for places to propose in Edinburgh? This guide details not only the most romantic locations but also which sites work best for each season.

Most Romantic Places in Edinburgh to Propose in Edinburgh Old Town

1. Edinburgh Castle

Looking for iconic? Check out Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade.

The views from the half-moon battery over the city set the scene for the perfect backdrop to your proposal. 

If you climb higher to the Mons Meg platform, this is the large cannon that fired the salute when Mary Queen of Scots was married for the first time; you will be beside St Margaret’s Chapel. 

This royal chapel is available for weddings as well!

  • Season: All year round
  • Pros: Landmark, historic, city views, free (esplanade)
  • Cons: Crowds
  • Best for: Those who appreciate local history and scenery
Edinburgh Castle Front Entrance Royal Mile Edinburgh Activities

2. The Vennel

Jean Brodies Steps at The Vennel in Edinburgh’s Old Town Grassmarket is one of the top three popular Instagram spots in the city.

Why? It has elevated views of the castle and a vintage lamp post in shot.

  • Season: All year round, even looks good in rain
  • Pros: Striking, Castle in background
  • Cons: Super busy with twirling skirts and Insta-hats, so get there early
  • Best for: Couples who like to be seen at ‘the’ place

3. Victoria Street

The pink, blue and orange-painted buildings on Victoria Street make it instantly recognisable.

If your husband/wife-to-be is a Harry Potter fan, then this might be the ideal spot for you, as Victoria Street is said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley.

You can read all about the Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh here.

  • Pros: Pretty
  • Cons: Crowded, hard to photograph, not pedestrianised
  • Season: All year round
  • Best for: Potterheads

4. Victoria Terrace

Instead of being in the action, why not get on top of it?

Victoria Terrace is a long stretch located above the shops on Victoria Street.

There is a handful of restaurants, but you could definitely find a secluded space to get down on one knee.

You could organise a meal and drinks at Scotts before, after or even for the big reveal!

You may also like our guide to romantic restaurants.

  • Pros: Quiet, looks down onto Victoria Street
  • Cons: Not as pretty as the real deal
  • Season: All year round, parts are covered for rain
  • Best for: Couples that want a bit of privacy close to the action

5. Arthur’s Seat/Salisbury Crags

If you are a more athletic couple, you won’t get a better view than from the top of Arthur’s Seat/Salisbury Crags.

It takes around 1-2 hours to complete this hike, so it is not suited for every couple.

However, the views include 360 scenes over to The Kingdom of Fife and a backdrop of Edinburgh.

You could check out St Anthony’s Chapel ruins (image below) with a loch in the background.

It’s not a common proposal spot in a popular area if you are thinking about something a little different.

St Anthony Ruins Holyrood Park Edinburgh Nature

Remember, it is Scotland, and even in the summer, you will need to wrap up warm to enjoy this. 

There’s more about what to wear in our tips section below.

  • Pros: Views, possible to find quiet area
  • Cons: Busy, windy, long walk back if they say no
  • Seasons: All year round, avoid rain forecast or too much wind
  • Best for: Nature fans who don’t mind a good hour hike
Arthurs Seat Edinburgh

6. Dunbar’s Close Garden – Tried and Test By Family Friend

This secret garden just off The Royal Mile is ideal for a shyer couple looking for a hideaway proposal spot in Scotland.

Surrounded by shrubs, bushes and flowers, this quiet green space is found through one of the unique closes in the Old Town.

  • Pros: Among nature, quiet
  • Cons: Open to elements
  • Seasons: All year round if open
  • Best for: Couples looking for privacy in the Old Town
Dunbar Garden Edinburgh Plants

7. The National Museum of Scotland

This unassuming building from the outside opens up to the lightest and airy space.

The building dates back to 1861 and is in the style of Romanesque Revival architecture.

The wrought-iron balconies that surround the various floors give you an amazing birds-eye view over the whole of the exhibits. 

If the inside of the building doesn’t meet your requirements, then keep wandering because you will find an outside area. 

Here you have direct views of Edinburgh Castle and over the city. 

Your proposal will be very memorable.

Edinburgh Castle House Tops Edinburgh Old Town Views From National Museum
  • Pros: Indoors or outside on the terrace (free entry)
  • Cons: Busy with families
  • Seasons: All year round
  • Best for: Museum fans

Looking for romantic things to do in the city? Here’s our extensive list.

National Museum Scotland Edinburgh

City Centre Proposal Ideas

8. Calton Hill

Why not take a romantic walk up to the top of Calton Hill and watch the sunset before your surprise? 

Take a picnic with you, find a comfy space, cosy up, and watch as the colours unfold over the Old and New Town.

It does get chilly, so pack layers.

While this is one of Edinburgh’s most popular walks, there is ample space to find a secret spot to pop the question.

  • Pros: Stunning views, lots of space
  • Cons: No shelter from wind, busy
  • Seasons: All year round, have a back up if it rains
  • Best for: Couples who don’t mind a short hike for panoramic views
Calton Hill Edinburgh at Sunset

9. Ross Fountain at Princes Street Gardens

There are lots of potential proposal locations in Princes Street Gardens in the City Centre.

For a cool Edinburgh Castle capture, consider the Ross Fountain in West Princes Street Gardens.

This green and gold sculpture is perfectly placed underneath the castle, which sits on a rocky cliffside.

A circular gate and flowers frame Ross Fountain.

There’s another lovely shot lined with trees to the left of the fountain.

  • Pros: Pretty, castle views
  • Cons: Busy, birds surround the area when people eating at cafe, rain
  • Seasons: All seasons, landscape changes accordingly
  • Best for: Couples that don’t mind an audience
Ross Fountain Princes Street Edinburgh

10. Gardener’s House at Princes Street Gardens

Another cute suggestion is Gardener’s Cottage, aka Great Aunt Lizzie’s House, from the BBC show Teacup Tales.

  • Pros: Quiet, pretty
  • Cons: Seasonal, secured by a gate, so you can’t access the house
  • Season: Spring and summer
  • Best for: Nature fans who want to avoid crowds
Edinburgh Park Nature Gardeners Cottage Princes St Garden

11. The Meadows

The Meadows is a popular park in Edinburgh which is open all year round.

In summer, students and young families hang out on the grass. It is always busy with runners and pushchairs.

However, for just over one week, mid to end of April, there is a tree arch which is absolute perfection for an engagement shoot and proposal because it becomes a cherry blossom tunnel!

  • Pros: Ridiculously pretty
  • Cons: Timings can be difficult to get right
  • Season: Spring
  • Best for: A spring photo shoot

Find out where the best cherry blossoms are in Edinburgh here.

Cherry Blossom Tunnel at The Meadows in Edinburgh

Stockbridge Proposal Ideas

Stockbridge is one of Edinburgh’s prettiest areas, with Georgian houses, a Sunday market, lots of cafes, nice walks and that street you saw on Instagram…

12. Circus Lane

A curved mew of tiny houses with well-manicured greenery, Circus Lane is THE place to take your photo in Edinburgh’s New Town.

It is very popular with IG fans and photographers, which makes getting the street to yourself quite a challenge.

If you plan to propose in winter or don’t mind a bit of rain, then you will increase your chances of having this Stockbridge beauty without others snapping it.

  • Pros: Very pretty, nice area
  • Cons: Popular, often used for photoshoots
  • Season: All year round, quieter in winter
  • Best for: Couples who want ‘that’ engagement shot
Circus Lane Edinburgh St Stephen Church

13. Stockbridge Market Sign

An alternative to Circus Lane is just a couple of minutes away, the historic Stockbridge Market sign.

This is not where the current market is held, and it is fairly unused; however, there are sometimes bright ‘for sale’ signs next to the arch.

A good photographer will be able to work around this.

  • Pros: Vintage, cool, nicely framed, quiet
  • Cons: Signs often ruin it
  • Seasons: All year round
  • Best for: Couples looking for an urban shot with some history attached
Stockbridge Market Sign Entrace Stockbridge Edinburgh

14. Potted Garden

The Potted Garden has become a bit of an institution thanks to Instagram and the Edinburgh photographers.

33 NW Circus Place, just across from Circus Lane and close to the Stockbridge Market sign, is a private garden, so you can’t access the stairs, but it could be a worthy alternative to Circus Lane if you decide it is too busy.

  • Pros: Pretty, looks good in photos
  • Cons: Private access
  • Seasons: Spring and summer
  • Best for: Alternative to Circus Lane, horticulture fans

15. Dean Village

Dean Village is a dreamy spot only a 10-minute walk from Edinburgh’s West End.

This historic area is a pocket of history with cobbled streets and old mill buildings.

Down by the water on the side where you see the yellow buildings is the most popular photo spot for couples.

Dean Village is part of the Waters of Leith Walkway, which connects Leith, Stockbridge and Dean Village, plus many other areas of Edinburgh.

  • Pros: Scenic, historic
  • Cons: Residential, crowds
  • Seasons: All four
  • Best for: Couples looking for a picturesque spot

Read next | Everything you need to know about Dean Village

Dean Village in Edinburgh Historic Houses_

Leith Proposal Ideas

16. Fingal

The Fingal is a luxury floating hotel and restaurant that is docked in Alexandra Docks in the hip neighbourhood of Leith.

Guests have access to the deck, which has chairs for lounging, and this is where I could see the perfect proposal!

IF dining, contact ahead to confirm that staff are OK with a proposal, which I am sure they will be as the customer service is the best in the city.

If it is raining, you could propose in the private engine room – permission would need to be sought beforehand.

  • Pros: Quiet, scenic
  • Cons: Ask permission beforehand
  • Seasons: All four
  • Best for: Couples with nautical connections who love luxury

17. Cramond Beach

Cramond Beach is the quieter of the two. There are a couple of walks which are popular with locals but not crowded.

Firstly, the walk out to Cramond Island, which you need to time with the water.

The second option is to walk to Cramond Falls, which is surrounded by trees and greenery.

Learn more about Edinburgh’s best beaches here.

  • Pros: Quiet, scenic
  • Cons: Not iconic if that’s your thing, busy at weekends
  • Seasons: All four
  • Best for: Couples looking for a short hike
Cramond Island Walkway Cramond Beach Edinburgh

Near Edinburgh City Centre

18. Portobello Beach

Did you know that Edinburgh has two beaches which you can get to from Leith?

Portobello Beach is like a throwback to childhood holidays with its boardwalk, arcade and golden sand.

Parking can be a bit of a nightmare when the weather is nice, and it becomes the busiest place in the city when the temperatures hit ‘taps aff’ degrees.

This could be a really nice winter proposal spot, providing it isn’t windy. East Coast sunsets are really quite something else.

There are a couple of cafes, pubs and a food truck that sells oysters called Little Chartroom On The Prom.

Most have outdoor seating if you want to factor in food and drink to your proposal.

There’s even a food truck that sells oysters called Little Chartroom On The Prom.

  • Pros: Photogenic, vintage vibes
  • Cons: Crowds on sunny days
  • Seasons: All four
  • Best for: Beach fans, dog walk proposal

Thinking of taking your dog to Edinburgh? Here are the best hotels that welcome our furry friends.

Portobello Beach Cafe_

Lesser-Known Areas of Edinburgh

19. Union Canal

Why not take your other half out on a boat trip on the Union Canal in Edinburgh?

You can hire a boat entirely for you and up to 35 people to invite guests if you want to make it a family affair.

The Lochrin Belle gives you the option of afternoon tea, a bespoke picnic hamper or meals, and corkage, which is £40 per trip.

You can enjoy the views from a different side of Edinburgh while you work up the courage to pop that all-important question. 

  • Pros: Unique, lesser-known area of Edinburgh, holds up to 35
  • Cons: On the water, so not to everyone’s taste, cost
  • Season: All year round, weather permitting
  • Best for: Water babies, unusual proposal ideas
Union Canal with Cafe Boat Edinburgh

20. Laurieston Castle’s Japanese Gardens

This 16th-century tower house has a 19th-century extension and popular gardens for families with young kids.

It overlooks the Firth of Forth and is most known for its Japanese gardens, especially in cherry blossom season.

There is a Mimi’s Bakehouse on the premises so that you could team up a proposal with some cake.

  • Pros: Quiet(er) historic building with views
  • Cons: Can get busy in the afternoon
  • Seasons: All year round
  • Best for: Couples including their families, dog walks
Lauriston Gardens and kid playing

21. Romantic Hotel Suites in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has hundreds of hotels, and many have a cool or creepy story to tell.

Hotels with a bit of history and sex appeal include:

  • The Witchery‘s nine suites with roll-top baths
  • The Balmoral JK suite where the final Harry Potter book was finished, read our review of deluxe room 314
  • House of Gods adults-only gothic suite with prosecco and midnight cookies
  • Waldorf Astoria Caledonian suites with Castle views and afternoon teas

We’ve rounded up the most romantic Edinburgh hotels in this guide.

The Turret Suite Witchery Edinburgh Hotel

Bonus – South Queensferry

South Queensferry is technically in Edinburgh but requires a train ride or car journey to get there.

This gorgeous wee town by the water has pastel-coloured houses on its high street and is a prime location to see the famous Scottish Forth Bridges.

You can also hop aboard a cruise to see Incholm Abbey and bridges up close.

It’s pretty easy to find a quiet spot down on the beach by the Firth of Forth water.

  • Pros: Iconic
  • Cons: Very busy in summer
  • Seasons: All year round
  • Best for: Stunning view

You may also like our guide on things to do in South Queensferry.

South Queensferry sunset bridges

Edinburgh Proposal Tips

Please consider the following advice before planning your ideal proposal.

Weather in Edinburgh

They say there’s no such thing as bad weather…

When picturing the big question scene, you have to consider what it will look like in each of the four seasons, as that is the reality of life in Scotland.

April and May have been our sunnier months in the past; however, we have experienced snow in April before, and March has been pretty sunny of late, too!

Rain is what makes our country so lush and green, but it can really dampen the mood if you don’t prepare for an alternative covered proposal spot.

Pack decent rain gear or an umbrella.

Last year, 202 umbrellas lost their lives to Scottish gale-force winds.

It’s not an actual fact, but we do get our fair share of cold wind blasts messing up our hair and battering our trees.

Edinburgh Castle Grey Skies Rain Edinburgh_

Pack Lots of Layers

Even if your proposal date is during the summer months, it will still be chilly in the morning, at night and up on the hills.

Some July days see temperatures with lows of 11 degrees and highs of 23. That’s the difference between a cardigan, pullover (or jumper as we call it; check out our lingo guide) or coat/jacket.

Pack outdoor gear, especially if you plan to propose on top of a hill or hire a photographer, as there will be much waiting around for shots.

Hire a Photographer AFTER the Proposal

If you want to document your big day with the support of a photographer, it is worth considering proposing without one and then re-enacting the scene.

While this might sound a bit cheesy, it is really common for couples to hire photographers for engagement shoots at a later date.

If your partner says yes, you will both be at a level of high no one can describe to you. You will be giddy!

Having them carry out a number of poses for shots might just kill that buzz.

Enjoy the proposal day, then do a shoot when you feel fresh, outfits have been chosen, hair and make-up done, and nails are painted for the ring shot.

Plus, with this option, you can hit up a number of spots that are really close to each other.

For example:

  • Circus Lane and the Stockbridge Market sign
  • Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Mile
  • The Vennel and Victoria Street
  • Calton Hill city views and monuments
  • Ross Fountain, Gardener’s Cottage and Scott Monument (Princes Street Gardens)

There are a number of Edinburgh photographers who do engagement shots at affordable prices. Here is a selection.

Edinburgh Engagement Shoot Photographers

St Giles Cathedral Royal Mile Edinburgh Activities

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Hey lover! Are you looking for the perfect place to propose in Edinburgh? This guide shares 20 popular and secret proposal locations to help take the stress out of saying YES! Local advice about proposing in Edinburgh included.

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