A philosopher’s guide to Edinburgh

Hello from your new undergrad Philosophy blogger! As a second year philosophy student approaching mid-term essays, I’ve been hiding in my fluffy blanket at home, surrounded by far too many papers on consciousness. But there are many other places you’ll find us philosophers lurking around the uni area.


1) Peter’s Yard

The Quartermile coffee shop that is always populated by students, families, and working professionals alike. It’s known for its overpriced coffee and delicious bakery section. The natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows make it a great location for sitting down with an Instagram-worthy cup of coffee and tapping away at your laptop. The perfect aesthetic for a philosophy student.


2) Blackwell’s 

Most essay-based students flock to Blackwell’s at the start of the year, to stock up on the necessary course books. Blackwell’s has a very well-stocked philosophy section, unlike some other subjects. It’s also a dangerous shop to walk into: you go in perhaps for a couple of books, but end up emerging with a dozen. Especially when you walk past the little £1 black book classics…


3) The Meadows

Edinburgh’s most beautiful park is often teeming with students on a sunny day. A place especially for second and third years living in Marchmont and Quartermile, the Meadows is vast enough to nevertheless always have space for everyone. Find philosophy students lying on the grass, a copy of Hume in their hands and their eyes absentmindedly watching labradors play fetch with their owners.


4) Teviot armchairs

When the weather isn’t sunny/aesthetic enough for the Meadows or Peters Yard, find us in Teviot. The student union’s ‘fortress’ contains many nooks and crannies, especially once you get past the first floor. Grab a bite to eat by the old leather armchairs in the New Amphibian, or curl up near the piano on the second floor and listen in to talented students playing their party pieces.


5) 5th floor main library

Everyone inevitably will find themselves in the main library at some point during the year, regardless of what academic discipline they study. The first floor is one of the most awful places on earth: zombie students chained to identical white desks, with a lack of ventilation. But most people don’t venture past the second or third floor, so seldom realise that the best place is the fifth floor. It has personal desks, comfy chairs, and a beautiful view to boot. If you’re going to study philosophy and want your mind to be on higher things… you might as well be high up!