Leith named top ‘hip hang-out’ spot in Scotland

Leith, The Shore. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Leith, The Shore. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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Leith in Edinburgh and Finnieston and the West End in Glasgow have been named the second, sixth and fifteenth as the hippest areas in the UK to hang out.

Among the locations which Leith has beaten are three London trendy hotspots and the Baltic Triangle in Liverpool.

The neighbourhoods in Edinburgh and Glasgow feature in TravelSupermarket’s UK Hip Hang-out Neighbourhood Index.

The Index ranks the hippest areas in the UK and Europe to explore. Taking first place on the UK list is Manchester’s Ancoats district. Top of the European Index was Kreuzberg in Berlin, followed by Riga, Latvia in second, just pipping Ancoats into third place.

Emma Coulthurst from TravelSupermarket says the aim of the Index is to inspire city breakers with ideas for new places to discover; “The Index proves that Scotland is the place to be and it will hopefully encourage new and return visitors to explore the country’s hippest hang-outs”.

She continues: “We scoured the UK to find the most current, independent-feeling neighbourhoods. The destinations on the list are exciting areas, unspoiled by commercialism, where locals love to hang out. They offer an eclectic range of food and entertainment away from the tourist throngs”.

“You’ll be pleased to know that we didn’t base the ranking on beard-to-face and pints of craft beer ratios! Instead, we looked at everything from independent coffee shops and vintage fashion outposts to the local creative culture – the things that set a hip destination apart from the rest of the pack”.

“Anywhere with ‘Peak Hipster’ status, such as London’s Shoreditch, didn’t make the cut – places like this are now overrun by chains. Instead, we wanted to find those areas where locals love to hang out due to the area’s independent creative spirit. And I absolutely promise you won’t have to grow a moustache to go to any of them!”

Manuela Calchini, regional director for Edinburgh and the Lothians at VisitScotland said: “With a fantastic range of cool bars and innovative restaurants, Leith has become one of the trendiest places in Scotland. And, thanks to the likes of Trainspotting, Sunshine on Leith and the MTV Europe Music Awards, which were held here in 2003, Leith has also become intrinsically linked with pop culture.

“This part of Edinburgh boasts a proud history and, with more and more visitors from all over the world falling for its charms, Leith faces an exciting future.”

Liz Buchanan, MBE regional partnerships director at VisitScotland added: “Glasgow’s West End has long been renowned for its unique character and huge choice of restaurants, bars and one-off boutiques that make it an essential stop for visitors. Now, thanks to the opening of the state-of-the-art SSE Hydro arena in 2013, Finnieston has evolved dramatically into another vibrant neighbourhood, boasting some of Glasgow’s coolest pubs and bistros, which have quickly become leading tourism businesses.”

TravelSupermarket has also partnered with UK travel blogger The Cosy Traveller to create bespoke guides for the top ten in the index. Here are The Cosy Traveller’s top spots for Leith and Finnieston:

Leith

Best spots for a caffeine hit: Pet-friendly Printworks Coffee dazzles in two departments: the artisanal coffee and the devilishly scrumptious selection of cakes.

Most Instagrammable places to visit: Visit The Shore on a crisp winter morning to get a shot of Leith’s historic buildings reflected in the canal – you’ll might find yourself wondering whether you’ve accidentally gone too far south and ended up in Amsterdam.

Mouth-watering must-eats/drinks: The Ship on The Shore serves up fish-focused masterpieces in elegant surroundings. The Fruits de Mer showpiece fits over a two-tiered stand ready for two people to dive into and comes with a side of champagne.

Finnieston

Best spots for a caffeine hit: Resembling a Victorian apothecary on the inside, Seb and Mili is an artisan bakers, cafe and deli all rolled into one. Its unassuming exterior hides a menu of freshly baked breads and pastries, but the real star of the show is its artisan roasts and global ‘guest’ coffees. The Steamie is also the destination for coffee lovers, with nitro coffee (nitrogen-infused, smooth-textured coffee) on tap.

Most Instagrammable places to visit: The handmade creations at Tantrum Doughnuts, made with such ingredients as ‘blueberry old fashioned, lemon glaze and crystalised basil’ and ‘pistachio and hibiscus’, make the perfect foodie Instagram shot. The ‘A View of Clyde Street’ wall mural by artist Rouge-One found, unsurprisingly, along Clyde Street, is also popular.

Mouth-watering must-eats/drinks: Local, seasonal seafood make up the majority of the menu at The Finnieston, with expertly-designed dishes that wouldn’t look out of place in a Michelin-star restaurant. But the real star of the show is the restaurant’s catalogue of gin – currently more than 60 varieties line the shelf!