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Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the UK because of its rich history, beautiful architecture and charming scenery. I shot an engagement session in Edinburgh with Jessica and Kevin who were visiting the UK all the way from Indonesia. It was their first time in the city so made sure I took them to the best photo spots. We started at the Edinburgh Royal Mile and made our way to some of the prettiest nearby spots.

Edinburgh Royal Mile - Princes Street Garden engagement shoot

Edinburgh Royal Mile and Princes Street Gardens

You really can’t visit the Edinburgh Royal Mile and not visit the Princes Street Gardens. There are two adjacent gardens that extend throughout the city centre. The West Princes Garden has the famous Ross fountain and has a great view of the Edinburgh Castle. However, the East Princes Garden is closer to the Scott Monument and is only about ten minutes away from Calton Hill. Both gardens are massive and filled with lots of pretty spots. These two gardens are rarely crowded. You can enjoy it and you also wouldn’t need to worry about random people photobombing your session. It’s a win-win, right?

St Giles Cathedral back alleys - Engagement shoot near Edinburgh Royal Mile. Photo by Cristina Ilao www.cristinailao.com

St Giles Cathedral

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, then you probably know The Elephant House Cafe. I’m afraid it’s not my first photography spot! However, I like using it as a reference point because everyone seems to know where it is! The first among my favourites is St. Giles Cathedral, also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh. It’s less than five minutes away from the famous cafe. The cathedral is often crowded with visitors around its main entrance area. However, if you slip into the side entrance, you’ll find a small courtyard. As a fine art wedding photographer, I love places that are filled with plenty of natural light. The cathedral’s courtyard offers this in spades. Its sandstone pillars and walls provide a beautiful backdrop for your images.

Victoria Street

Victoria Street is probably one of the most photographed places in the city because of its unique look and quaint feel. The curved street is famous for its beautiful architecture, colourful stores and numerous local pubs and cafes. My favourite spot has got to be the elevated area that overlooks the street. It offers an interesting view and has a variety of cafes for you to choose from. On a good day, it’s nice to relax outside one of the cafes and people-watch.

Circus Lane Edinburgh Engagement and Pre-wedding Session - Edinburgh Wedding Photographer Cristina Ilao

Circus Lane

Circus Lane is unofficially Edinburgh’s most Instagrammable street and for good reason. Its cobbled stone path is lined with pretty terraced houses and picturesque pocket gardens. Circus lane is also filled with potted and hanging flowering plants that make it look really charming. I recommend visiting during springtime because this is when the flowers are in full bloom. This lane has become very popular with Instagrammers and tourists in recent years. However, Circus Lane doesn’t tend to get crowded because it requires a bit of walk to get there from the main thoroughfare. It’s not too far if you’re already at the Edinburgh Royal Mile though! Only a quick five-minute stroll and you’re already there.

I hope you enjoyed my take on Edinburgh’s best photo spots. Get in touch if you are looking for an Edinburgh wedding photographer or if you fancy having an engagement or lifestyle photo shoot in this beautiful city.

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Speak to you soon,
Cristina xx

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