Green Guide Edinburgh

Green runs through Edinburgh, from the hills leading to Arthur’s Seat all the way to the Hibernian home kit. Our tips will help you make a sustainable choice when visiting Edinburgh and the surrounding areas so we can work together to keep the city looking beautiful for many years to come.

That's why we've created the LNER Green Guide; a one-stop shop to staying sustainable when you visit Edinburgh.

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Eco-friendly places to stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is full of sustainable living spaces, from hotels and apartments that only use good quality locally sourced products, to hostels that are great for the backpacking adventurer.

Edinburgh places to stay

B&B Straven House

BEST FOR: Couples and solo travellers.

ADDRESS: Lothian, 3 Brunstane Road N, Portobello, Edinburgh, EH15 2DL


For the personal touch which comes with a stay opt for B&B Straven Guesthouse which holds a Gold Green Tourism Award and is located just 50 yards from Portobello Beach and only 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.

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The Balmoral Hotel

BEST FOR: Guests from all walks of life

ADDRESS: 1 Festival Square, Edinburgh, EH3 9SR


For those looking for a touch of luxury The Balmoral Hotel also hold Green Gold Tourism Awards and are conveniently centrally located, making them the ideal bases from which to explore Edinburgh’s fascinating sights.

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Eden Locke

BEST FOR: Couples or solo-travellers

ADDRESS: 127 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN


Eden Locke is a design-led aparthotel that manages to effortlessly balance comfort, style and sustainability. As the name suggests, Eden Locke aims to be an oasis for both locals and visitors alike.

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Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel

BEST FOR: Travellers on a budget

ADDRESS: 9 Haddington Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4AL


Only a ten-minute walk from Edinburgh Waverly, this vibrant hostel has a range of accommodation to suit, from the classic dorm to private and family rooms. With its fantastic central location, easily accessible public transport links, and its Green Tourism Gold Award, ECYH is a no brainer for those looking for a low-carbon stay.

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Ten Hill Place

BEST FOR: Those looking for stylish sustainability in a central location

ADDRESS: 10 Hill Place, Edinburgh EH8 9DS


Ten Hill Place has held a Green Tourism Gold Award since 2009 and is still working to make the hotel as sustainable as possible. Recently it has removed all plastic water bottles from guest rooms and provided guests with free wildflower seeds to take away and grow, encouraging biodiversity.

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Conscious places to eat in Edinburgh

Eating green has never been easier in Edinburgh with the opening of restaurants with eco-friendly initiatives happening all the time. Find anything from luxurious restaurants to homely coffee shops. 

Edinburgh places to eat

Black Rabbit Cafe

BEST FOR: Vegans

ADDRESS: 33 Brougham Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9JT


Black Rabbit’s menu is host to a wide range of vegan meals and desserts. Black Rabbit relies on 100 per cent green electricity to run its in-house bakery, and use compostable and recyclable take away packaging. They even offer a 10 per cent discount if you bring in your own mug or take away container!

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Cafe Modern One

BEST FOR: Art lovers

ADDRESS: 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR


Located in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Café Modern One has a daily menu to make best use of seasonal and local produce. Its very own kitchen garden provides the team with the fruit and veg used in the ‘cooking from scratch’ menu, making the journey from plant to plate one of the shortest out there.

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BEST FOR: Foodie fans of all ages

ADDRESS: Cannonball House, 356 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE


Contini, which holds a Sustainable Business Award, is a family run business boasting three Edinburgh restaurants, including Contini George Street, The Scottish Café and Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery and Cannonball Restaurant and Bar.

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Forage and Chatter

BEST FOR: A quiet night out

ADDRESS: 1A Alva Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4PH


Forage and Chatter is a restaurant hidden away in the west end of Edinburgh, serving up local Scottish produce. Much of the resturants ingredients are foraged or sourced within a 25-mile radius from the front door, and its menu reflects seasonal changes.

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Gardener's Cottage

BEST FOR: Good friends and couples

ADDRESS: Royal Terrace Gardens, 1 London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX


The Gardener’s Cottage is a charming restaurant at the foot of Calton Hill, known for its seasonal sustainably-sourced dishes. As you approach the 19th-century cottage, you’ll spot its luscious vegetable garden bursting with fruit, vegetables and herbs.

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Links Fish Bar

BEST FOR: Best for: a sustainably sourced fish supper by the seaside

ADDRESS: 18 Links Place, Burntisland, Fife, KY3 9DY


After a long walk along the beach, the family-run Links Fish Bar is the perfect place to stop for food. The locally-sourced fresh fish and crispy chips really fill an empty stomach, and what’s more you’re supporting a local business too.

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The Kitchin

BEST FOR: Foodies who love to try local delicacies

ADDRESS: The Kitchin, Commercial Quay, 78, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX


Tom Kitchin’s Michelin starred restaurant, located in Leith, is beautiful, relaxed and informal. Being a proud Scotsman, Tom and his team only use locally sourced food to create beautiful and tasty meals. Somewhere great to visit to mark a special occasion.

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Sustainable things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is known to be a lively and exciting city, with a Zoo, beach, Royal Gardens, and a brilliant shopping scene, you'll always be busy here.  

Edinburgh things to do

Arthur's Seat

BEST FOR: Tiring the kids out

ADDRESS: Edinburgh, EH16 5HX


While this extinct volcano is a little way out from the city centre, there is really nothing like getting back to nature to remind ourselves of what we’re
trying to protect. With stunning panoramic views of Edinburgh, this relatively easy hill walk brings a little piece of the Scottish Highlands within easy reach of the city.

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City Explorers

BEST FOR: Getting to know Edinburgh

ADDRESS: 1 Glebe Street, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, ML36PT


Explorers run daily walking tours of Edinburgh, in all weathers. There are several tours to choose from, including a Harry Potter themed tour and a ghost tour for the braver travellers out there.

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Edinburgh Bike Tours

BEST FOR: Fitness fans

ADDRESS: 33 Sandport Street, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 6HQ


Explore Edinburgh’s sights in an eco friendly way on a city cycling tour with Edinburgh Bike Tours, taking in historic buildings, hidden trails and coastline. Family friendly tours are also available.

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Edinburgh Zoo

BEST FOR: Best for families and wildlife fans

ADDRESS: Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, 134 Corstorphine Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh, EH12 6TS


The famous Edinburgh Zoo holds a Gold Green Tourism Award and is a part of RZSS, one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, which is involved in conservation work both in Scotland and in over 20 countries around the world.

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Grain and Sustain

BEST FOR: Eco-conscious shoppers

ADDRESS: 135 High Street, Burntisland, Fife, KY3 9AA


Grain and Sustain is a zero waste ‘bricks and mortar’ shop which helps people make ethical, environmentally-friendly shopping choices. The shop has over 250 products on refill to help shoppers reduce their plastic consumption, as well as handmade gifts and eco-friendly products to help switch from single use to reusable.

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Pettycur Beach

BEST FOR: Families looking for a fun day out

ADDRESS: Pettycur Bay, Burntisland, KY3 9SB


Pettycur Beach has a wonderful sandy beach and great views of Edinburgh and surrounding areas. It is definitely a hidden spot of Edinburgh and is a great place to take the family to enjoy a much needed day out in the fresh air.

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Royal Botanic Garden

BEST FOR: Nature lovers of all ages

ADDRESS: Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, EH3 5NZ


With almost half of Edinburgh classed as ‘green space’, you’re never far from nature. The Royal Botanic Garden, which spans over 70 acres, is a favourite among locals and visitors.

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Saughton Park

BEST FOR: Best for nature lovers of all ages

ADDRESS: Balgreen Road, EH11 3BQ


Saughton Park in Edinburgh is not only a fabulous hidden gem but also the UK’s first fully eco-powered green space. This beautiful open space incorporates playing fields, an athletics track, a large play area and a skate board park, as well as formal gardens, including a Scottish Physic Garden.

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Union Canal

BEST FOR: Those who love to make the most of the great outdoors

ADDRESS: Edinburgh Quay, Lower Gilmore Place, Edinburgh


Union Canal is a great place to go for a walk or a cycle on a sunny Scottish day and feel you’ve made it out of a busy city centre. The peaceful route is more than 30 miles long, running from Edinburgh to The Falkirk Wheel – and is the perfect way to see local sights.

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Doing our bit for the environment

A message from our Managing Director;

Like you, LNER loves our country, from the rolling green fields of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park to the ruins of ancient settlements at Tynemouth Priory and Castle. Everyone at LNER desperately wants to preserve our country’s natural beauty, heritage and landmarks and ensure everything we love stays the way it is for the next generations to enjoy. As a business, we are not afraid to do things differently, and if there’s a better way, LNER will find it. So, LNER created the LNER Green Guide; a one-stop shop to staying sustainable when you visit London, Edinburgh and Newcastle – some of the UK’s most vibrant cities along our route in 2021 and beyond.

With tips and contributions from local people, tourism organisations and LNER colleagues, the LNER Green Guide gives you the inside track on the very best eco-friendly attractions and sustainable places to stay, eat and drink in these three fantastic cities.

So whether you are planning to see the London Eye, organising an excursion to Arthur’s Seat or spreading your wings to drop in on the Angel of the North, you can now do it in an eco-friendly way with as low an impact as possible on the environment.

LNER hopes you enjoy the tips and don’t forget to share your trip on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, making sure you tag @LNER with #GreenGuide so everyone can see everything you’ve been up to. Enjoy the journey!

David Horne, LNER Managing Director

LNER Environmental Policy

We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact and improving our environmental performance as an integral and fundamental part of our business.

Here’s how. 


Popular Trains to Edinburgh