Portobello is a beach resort located three miles (5 km) to the east of the city centre of Edinburgh, along the coast of the Firth of Forth, in Scotland. It is now a suburb of Edinburgh, with a promenade fronting on to the wide sand beach. Its heyday as a resort was almost certainly in the late 19th century, and it was in slow decline throughout the 20th century. Its attraction was mainly limited to the inhabitants of Edinburgh, but some claim it was an attraction to Glaswegians, particularly when the Glasgow Fair "trade holiday" signalled the start of a 2 week holiday for the west. By the 1960s it had evolved into an area of amusement arcades and some permanent funfair attractions. From the 1980s onwards these also gradually disappeared and by the end of the 20th century the Promenade had almost no attractions specific to its seaside location, although the Tower Amusements and Fun City amusement arcades remain as the only 'seaside attractions' to this day.
But the beginning of the 21st century has seen a rapid revival of Portobello's fortunes. Perhaps helped by tourism and council initiatives, but also by a wealth of bottom-up community action, Portobello beach can be as crowded on a summer's day now as it was in the photos from the 19th century. The community action spurring this regeneration is taking many forms: from the arts group 'Big Things on the Beach' with events that have attracted thousands to the Prom to 'Portobello Open Doors' Village fair, and from PEDAL (Portobello Transition Towns) Community Market, Community Orchard and Car Free Day to the revived Portobello Kayaking and Sailing Club (PSKC) bringing a very active groups of adults and children in a range of sailing dinghies and kayaks to the beach. PSKC incorporates RowPorty who have built two St Ayles rowing skiffs, Ice Breaker and Jenny Skylark. The skiffs are part of a renaissance in traditional rowing around the coast of Scotland, and were built by local people and craftsmen. Over the years, the water quality in the area has improved, thanks largely by the decision to stop dumping Edinburgh's sewage into the sea.
Local authority: City of Edinburgh Council
OS Grid Reference: NT305738
Edinburgh Information Centre
above Waverley Shopping Centre
3 Princes Street
Phone 08452 255 121
Photos are automatically tagged by geographic coordinate proximity and/or are submitted by website visitors, and may not necessarily be specifically of Portobello.
Forecast for Tuesday 21 August
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On the promenade in Edinburgh’s Portobello district, this Victorian town house has free Wi-Fi and parking. The city centre is a 15-minute bus journey away. Details...
A 4-star guest house, Abercorn is 5 minutes’ walk from the beach and 10 minutes’ drive from Edinburgh city centre. It offers elegant rooms with free Wi-Fi, cooked breakfasts and free parking. Details...
With free private parking, the Aynetree Guest House is on a main bus route, with excellent direct access to Edinburgh city centre. Details...
Located opposite Portobello Park, Milton House features a private garden, and free parking on its cobbled driveway. A bus stop is adjacent to the B&B and offers buses into Edinburgh city centre which take 10 minutes. Details...
Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, Aaran Lodge Guest House offers accommodation in Edinburgh. A flat-screen TV, as well as an iPod docking station are provided. You will find a kettle in the room. Details...
This family-run hotel in Edinburgh offers free Wi-Fi, a 20-metre swimming pool and a gym. Portobello Beach is just 10 minutes’ walk from the building. The railway station is 5 minutes' walk from the hotel. Details...
Links View is a two storey apartment with views towards the Firth of Forth, in the town of Musselburgh six miles from Edinburgh. The apartment has a third floor double, with the remainder of the accommodation on the second floor, comprising of a double room, a single room with pull-out stacker bed, a bathroom, kitchen and sitting room with dining area. Details...
35 Barony Street is a Georgian self catering apartment in the New Town area, just a ten minute walk from Princes Street in the city of Edinburgh. Details...
5 Bellevue Crescent is a Georgian self catering apartment just a ten minute walk from Princes Street in the city of Edinburgh. This all first floor self catering apartment sleeps four people and has two bedrooms, consisting of one double and one twin bedroom, as well as a family bathroom. Details...
Rockville is a semi-detached cottage on the beach front in Leven, Fife. The cottage has one king-size double bedroom on the first floor with an en-suite shower room, while the rest of the property is set on the ground floor. Details...
Largo Bay View is a lovely apartment in an end-terrace cottage situated yards from the beach in the fishing village of Lower Largo, near St Andrews. Set over the first and second floors, this cottage sleeps four people in two bedrooms, consisting of one double and one twin, as well as a first floor bathroom. Details...
Brook Cottage is a terraced cottage in the hamlet of Newton of Falkland, near the town of Falkland in Fife, Scotland. The cottage sleeps six people in three lower ground floor bedrooms - a king-size double, a double and a twin. Details...