Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.
SPS student voices and experiences
Edinburgh’s top study spots: Indigo’s favourite workspaces

Edinburgh’s top study spots: Indigo’s favourite workspaces

With semester two just around the corner, what better time to find a few new study spaces? Fourth-Year student Indigo shares some of her favourite study spots across Edinburgh, and includes tips on how to spruce up your own workspace if your prefer to study from home. 

Hello all!

In addition to writing for the SPS blog, I’m also a Student Ambassador, which involves leading a fair number of campus tours for prospective students. One of the most frequently asked questions I get during these is, “Where do you go to study,” or “where do you most enjoy studying?” So, this post is all about my favourite little spots! I realise that in writing this I’m running the risk that they become overrun with new people, but hey, it’s good for the economy, right? 

Working from home

Right off the bat, I have to let ya’ll know that I’m a bit of a homebody, so about 50% of the time I’m studying in my cozy little office in my flat. I would highly recommend creating some sort of space like this in your own flat or uni accommodation; whatever makes you feel at ease and comfortable. For me, this means making sure my office gets a good bit of sunlight/blue sky (when it comes) so that I don’t feel trapped in a study bubble. It also means having a couple pillows on my swivel chair for support and my water, chapstick, and gum within arms reach. My next piece of advice in creating an optimal at-home study space would be to get a stand for your laptop or tablet to sit on, so that it’s at eye level instead of hunching your neck and back downward. This also necessitates getting an extra keyboard to rest on your desk, but with a wee bit of searching I’ve been able to find both of these things for £30 or less combined. Lastly, I try to keep my office space clean and tidy so that it feels like a sanctuary where I can really dive in and focus. 

Find a local cafe

I do study out of the house on a fairly regular basis and when I do one of my favourite places to go is Lady and the Bear, a cafe at the southeast corner of the Meadows (one of Edinburgh’s main parks). The cafe is divided up into a section where you are allowed to use your laptop/tablet and one where you are not. This means that when you don’t need to worry about fellow customers talking loudly a foot from your ear! The cafe itself is light and airy, with huge plant-lined windows that look out onto the park. The head chef/baker is Greek, so a lot of the food (brunch on the weekends is divine) has a heavy and delicious Greek influence. While I don’t drink caffeine anymore, I can honestly and truly say that their coffee was the best I’ve ever tried. My go-to seat at Lady and the Bear is at the hightop table along the west-facing window – just bring sunglasses for sunny days! 

Try parks and green spaces

Speaking of sunny days, when the weather does clear up (I always tell people Edinburgh gets a lot more sun than people give us credit for), I like to take my laptop or printed readings out to the park. I bring something to sit on, layers to stay warm (fingerless gloves for colder days) and a hot drink. In addition to the obvious mental benefits of being outside and the physical vitamin D boost, every so often I get a little study break in the form of a curious puppy coming to see what I’m up to and get a pat on the head. I know I’m not alone in this as I often see people sitting on benches throughout the park, or with their friends on large picnic blankets. Obviously this is weather-dependent, but is truly one of my favourite ways to associate studying with such positive emotions. 

Photo of the Edinburgh Meadows in the sunshine, with a row of cherry trees in full bloom.
The Meadows!

Explore Edinburgh’s museums

The grand finale of this blog post is…and drumroll please…the National Museum of Scotland! Whenever I’m really not in the mood to study I head on over to the museum, located about three minutes north of central campus. Entry is free to all, so I just head on in and up to their beautiful cafe on the second floor. There’s no requirement that you have to buy anything to sit down, but I usually grab a drink or small snack to support the museum. The balcony seating overlooks the grand atrium and all its levels, which lead off to different exhibits. The vastly domed glass ceiling and white walls dotted with ancient artefacts are the perfect way to get myself excited to learn. In simple terms, the whole experience exudes big ‘main character’ energy. As a treat after I finish studying, I often wander my way through an exhibit or two (the ancient Egypt section is my favourite). On a non-study note, keep an eye on the museum’s night events schedule and tickets. Every few months when they debut a new featured exhibit, they host a series of museum late nights, where they reopen from 7pm to 10pm for a host of fun activities related to the new exhibit, as well as access to many of the exhibits you see during normal hours. They also have a band, specialty cocktails (as well as non-alcoholic drinks), fun lighting, and an hours-long silent disco. If you’ve ever seen the “Night at the Museum” movies, it feels a lot like that.

Meet our Writers: Introducing Indigo


Image of the Meadows © University of Edinburgh, 2021

Featured Image: Cafe on Princes Street © University of Edinburgh, 2008


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.