5 top photoshoot locations in Edinburgh

29 Mar 2019

Best engagement photoshoot locations in Edinburgh

There are so many best photo spots in Edinburgh.

Living and working here we are pretty spoilt as have access to one of the best, most photogenic cities in the world. So we thought we’d share our list of our absolute best, top 5 locations for engagement shoots.

From the hills of Edinburgh through to the modern Edinburgh Quay, we’ve got rural and urban fairly well sewn up. If you didn’t already know it, one of the things Edinburgh thrives on is it’s versatility.

We’re always up for discovering new spaces too, so let us know if you’ve any favourite spots that you think would make a great backdrop for a photoshoot and we’ll happily explore it with you…

Alie x

Calton Hill, Edinburgh

With grassy slopes and panoramic views of the city, you have a fabulous view right down the length of Princes Street and over to Edinburgh Castle. You can also see vistas across the cliffs of Salisbury Crags, Arthur’s Seat, all set within the backdrop of Holyrood Park.

When it comes to an engagement (or proposal shoot) in Edinburgh, it’s pretty picture perfect, largely down to its location – you can easily walk to the top of the hill via a staircase on Regent Road.

One of the obvious questions is what’s the large unfinished column sitting atop the hill all about? It was modelled on the Parthenon in Athens, but due to lack of money it was left unfinished, earning it’s  wonderful knickname: Scotland’s Disgrace. We love it for photographs (although be prepared as it’s a bit of a climb!)

Sunrise and sunset it’s a popular spot. And just recently the Gardner’s Cottage has opened a restaurant up Calton Hill, called the Lookout, which just gives another reason for climbing the hill.

Blackford Hill, Edinburgh

As Edinburgh south-siders we have a soft spot for the view from Blackford Hill. From here you’re looking northwards right across to the Castle, Arthur’s Seat on your right and the Forth in the far distance. Looking south it’s all about the Pentland Hills.

We love it for engagement shoots as you immediately have varied views and different terrain (think open landscape and plenty of gorse)

It’s a relatively easy climb (especially if you cheat and park in the observatory carpark). Although for us we prefer the route through the Hermitage and up through the steps. You get the best of both worlds in your photographs that way – the light through the trees and then the view from the top.

In and around the bottom of Blackford Hill there are lots of fab spots for photographs and we love that even in the height of summer you’ll be sure of a quiet spot.

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Nothing screams old Edinburgh more than a wander down the Royal Mile. There’s so much to love about the (literally 1 mile) stretch down from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace, but what delights us most are the hidden closes and gardens tucked away.

Each and every photoshoot we have done on the Royal Mile has revealed spaces we’ve never seen before. And what makes it perfect for an engagement shoot is that you can find plenty spots off the beaten track so you won’t feel self-conscious on camera. Although if you pick fringe time then even in the busyness there’s no chance of feeling self-conscious as literally anything goes.

The Royal Mile is perfect for an Engagement shoot if you’re looking to capture Edinburgh character in your photographs.



Edinburgh Quay and the Union Canal, Edinburgh

One of our personal favourite photoshoot spots in Edinburgh, a stone’s through from the city centre, close to the Blue Sky Photography studio and yet slightly hidden from tourists, is the basin to the Union Canal: Edinburgh Quay.

The vibrancy and buzz of this spot are predominantly from locals who use it for business and for pleasure (running, cycling, boating).

It’s a perfect backdrop for photoshoots as it’s on the water and has a wonderful urban feel about it all… and there are plenty of spots to grab a drink or bite to eat. Winner all round.

We love the fact that you’re right in the heart of Edinburgh but it looks completely different to your ‘classic’ Edinburgh backdrop. Perfect if you’re looking for a more modern engagement shoot, perhaps even as a contrast to your rural or stately home wedding.


Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags, Edinburgh

It’s epic, awe-inspiring, really is an ancient volcano and sits in the middle of Edinburgh.

Not only is Arthur’s Seat an impressive hill in its own right, but it also sits within Holyrood Park which boasts , 3 lochs, a 15th century medieval chapel, and a series of 150 foot cliff faces.

And you wonder why it’s such a fabulous spot for engagement photographs?

The added bonus for us when photographing here is that we also get a workout at the same time. Yes it really is a bit of a climb. So just allow the time. And if you’re heading for sunrise or sunset then make sure you start your ascent in advance. We use a sunset app to track the time of sunrise and sunset so we’re in the right place at the right time to get those “wow” photographs you’ll love to have on your walls.


Port of Leith, Edinburgh

When we first arrived in Edinburgh (a mere 20 years ago), we first lived in Leith. And one thing everyone used to say to us “it’s very up and coming…” Whatever that actually means?

Whatever it was, or is, one of the things we love about Leith is that it’s on the cusp. Just literally outside Edinburgh city centre, giving it its own unique feel. It’s as though Leith could get away with anything…

We love Leith for photoshoots as there’s urban landscape a-plenty. That and the water.

And when it comes to eating out Leith is awash with new trendy coffee shops, funky bars and Michelin starred restaurants…  If you’re looking for personal favourites? Try a bagel by Bross Bagels and sweet treats by our friends at Mimi’s Bakehouse are in a league of their own. And for a recent date night Niels took me on was to the Martin Wishart Cook School and Dining Room. (food and experience were both tremendous)

That could be the perfect post-shoot location to grab dinner, debrief and share how much you actually enjoyed your shoot…!