Stockbridge is another area of Edinburgh that is packed with independent businesses and interesting shops. It’s also full of charity shops, and as it’s a rather nice area you can often get some lovely things at super cheap prices. I always enjoy the walk into Stockbridge, as the path from my house leads along the cycle path network. During the summer the trees almost meet above your head, creating a canopy of greenery. It’s very restful to walk through the dappled sunlight with the sound of birdsong all around you.
Once you leave the cycle path, you cross the bottom of Broughton Street and head out to Stockbridge itself. This area is at the foot of Edinburgh’s New Town, so there are many grand townhouses with basement flats. Some of them have been made into hotels, and one in particular has a great display of flowers outside, grown in and around bicycles and wellington boots amongst other things. The road leads past Benjamin’s Barber Shop, which has a unique bench outside made of skateboards.
The Stockbridge shops are mostly independent businesses, from bakeries to opticians and every type of shop in between. It would take hours to mention them all, but there are a few in particular that I always like to visit. First up, unsurprisingly for someone with a sweet tooth, is the chocolate shop. Coco Chocolatier is great for a fancy gift – they sell chocolate bars with original wrappers designed by artists, as well as chocolates and truffles. These aren’t your everyday bars of chocolate, flavours include gin and tonic, rhubarb and ginger and Earl Grey tea.
Further along the street is Caoba, a family business selling authentic Mexican goods alongside cards, soaps and other gifts. The shop smells amazing, the scent of incense hits you as you walk past. They also have a great blog where they feature projects that customers have made with their wall tiles, recipes, and background information about their products. The website outlines their fair trade policy and their aim, which is to sustain traditional handicrafts.
A few minutes walk away, and a little closer to home, is the quirky An Independent Zebra. This little gift shop exclusively stocks products from Scottish based designers and makers, with a wide variety of goodies for sale. Just inside the door are some prints from the amazing Grey Earl, and then this little shelf which always makes me smile. These cacti are crocheted by Emily Sian Hart. Each one is unique and super cute! I was also admiring these beautiful geometric knit scarves from Frances Teckkam, knitted in wonderfully soft wool.
The shop stocks a wide selection of greetings cards, but there’s a stand in the corner which is particularly suitable for those who don’t take things too seriously! I love these cards designed to welcome a new baby, made by The Fuzzy Bee.
Talking of babies, Stockbridge has a shop mostly dedicated to babies and young children. The Willow Boutique sells accessories by Sass and Belle, clothes from Blade and Rose, and toys by Jellycat. However they also have a great range of greetings cards from Wee Blue Coo and cards and prints by Kate and the Ink.
There are lots of other places I could have mentioned – the vintage clothes shop, the children’s shoe shop with a hairdresser’s inside, and the Skylark Cafe where folk singer Gill Bowman leads a song circle for toddlers with her acoustic guitar. However I hope this brief tour of Stockbridge makes you want to hop on the bus and have a wander round!