10 ideas for a date night with a difference in Edinburgh

Date nights should never be dull occasions, writes Stephanie Abbot

The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill (Photo: EN)
The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill (Photo: EN)

In a vibrant city like Edinburgh, there’s always something going on, and and plenty of places offering fun activities, shows and experiences that would make for a fantastic date setting.

We’ve put together a wee list to give you some inspiration and a chance to reach your own 'couple goals'.

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Gin Masterclass

The Edinburgh Dungeon (Photo: TSPL)
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Tucked beneath The Huxley Bar in Edinburgh’s West End, you’ll find a softly lit subterranean bar with a focus on all things gin. Heads and Tales has a romantic and cosy atmosphere from the moment you walk in. The bar offers masterclasses which guide you through the ages and stages of gin-making while offering samples and advice on the best garnishes and tonics for each.

1a Rutland Place, www.headsandtalesbar.com

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Escape Rooms

Whether you’re a wannabe wizard, zombie enthusiast or have a propensity for detective work, Edinburgh has a ton of themed escape rooms that will have you and your date working together against the clock to get out. A few of the rooms offer discounts for teams of two but if you want to double up and bring the squad, it tends to be cheaper for larger groups.

Various locations across Edinburgh. Check out our recent guide to the best in the capital.

Trampoline Parks

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Long gone are the days when trampolining was limited to drafty gym halls and Olympic hopefuls. Facilities equipped with floor and wall trampolines, foam pits, basketball hoops and bouncy dodgeball arenas are enough to leave any energetic couple jumping for joy. This could be a great date idea for a pair who are a few dates in or perhaps want to do something that doesn’t involve the usual dating formula of dinner and drinks.

Various locations across Edinburgh

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Stand-up Comedy

A great way of quickly banishing any potential awkwardness and gauging someone’s sense of humour. You don’t have to wait for the Fringe either: mainstay clubs like The Stand have acts on most nights of the week throughout the year. Conversation should flow easily off the back of the show but first and second dates be warned, the front row is fair game for a bit of a roasting from the acts.

The Stand, 5 York Place, www.thestand.co.uk/whats-on/EdinburghMonkey Barrel Comedy, 9-11 Blair Street, www.monkeybarrelcomedy.com

A night at the theatre

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If you're tired of the same old blockbusters at the cinema, why not try a trip to the theatre for a change? The range of shows in the capital are sure to include something for everyone. Upcoming shows include the massively successful Wicked and the heart-wrenching War Horse.

The Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside LaneFestival Theatre, 13-29 Nicholson Street

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Read More
10 date ideas for £10 or less in Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Dungeon

If you’re keen for something a bit more 'spooktacular', the Dungeon is ready and waiting to provide you with all the thrills and chills you could want. This is a chance to learn all about the horrible histories of the city and at least you know you’ll have a hand to hold if you start to feel a wee bit jumpy.

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Boozers with Board Games

Feeling the pressure to keep the chat flowing? If you're opting for the traditional casual drink format, why not go to one of the many bars in Edinburgh that keep a stash of board games on standby. Whether you’re a battleship master or want to find chemistry over Connect 4, this is a great way of easing that strain and relaxing with your date. Good options include Brass Monkey (Drummond St and Leith Walk), The Golden Rule (Yeaman Place) and Joseph Pearce (Elm Row).

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Indoor Rock Climbing

Another one for those seeking a bit of an adrenaline rush. Edinburgh is home to Scotland’s first indoor rock climbing centre: Alien Rock. It caters for beginners right the way up to experts so if this is a big step out of your comfort zone, fear not. It’s also a good opportunity to see how well you can support one another while you both scale the walls. Who said the road to love was flat anyway?

Alien Rock, 8 Pier Place, www.alienrock.co.uk

Red Bus Bistro

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This one would technically be a day date but it’s difficult to go wrong with an afternoon tea. Hop aboard this vintage red bus for mini sandwiches, macaroons and more, all while you enjoy the fantastic sights of the city. There’s also an option to have a gin tea experience with cute pot-tails included in the package.

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The Royal Observatory

Why not try an evening under the stars by signing up for an astronomy session at Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory? Held monthly in the summer and weekly in the winter, the astronomy evenings give you the chance to learn more about the night sky and get to grips with telescopes, all for £5 per person.