As we all know, university life in recent weeks has been uncertain, with snowmaggedon, cancellation of classes and worries over student tuition fees being wasted. All of this might make us forget the single most important thing about attending university: studying. Student’s right to study can feel threatened with fears of crossing the picket lines. So where other than university buildings makes a good study space? I have a few suggestions.
The atrium on the ground floor of the National Library of Scotland is a great alternative study area. If you time it right and arrive mid-afternoon on a weekday, the seating area at the foot of the central staircase is usually pretty quiet. The space is open, light and located on George IV Bridge, a mere ten minute walk from campus and two minutes from the royal mile. Also, if you’re in need of some food for the brain, Frankenstein’s pub is on the same street.
If you’re like me and love a bit of vintage Hollywood, there is a very retro café inside the Edinburgh Filmhouse on Lothian Road, which could be the perfect study spot. Again, timing is key, I would recommend arriving midafternoon to avoid busyness from cinemagoers. The café’s retro vibe is emphasized by a selection of posters, giving you something to look at when scribbling or typing away.
In my opinion, the best Starbucks in the city is in Stockbridge, on 8-10 Baker’s Place. In the afternoon on a weekday it is usually quiet and has plenty of seating over two floors. The ground floor has wall-length glass windows so you can see out onto Baker Street with its quaint shops and cocktail bars. Although be warned, the walk to Stockbridge is a little bit of a trek – usually it takes about fifty minutes from campus.
However, for me the best place to study in Edinburgh outside campus is the café at Brewhemia on Market Street, across from an entrance to Waverley station and the Fruitmarket Gallery. The quiet, sedate atmosphere is perfect for concentrating. The tea and scones are delicious and the couches beneath the arched windows give incredible views out to Waverley station and The Balmoral hotel.
image: Engin_Akyurt via pixabay