This area starts directly beyond the Old Town and runs all the way to the city bypass. It is bounded on either side by a main route out of the Scottish capital: from the west end of Princes Street you can go via Lothian Road, Bruntsfield Place and Morningside Road; from the east end of Princes Street you go via North Bridge and South Bridge, Nicolson Street, Clerk Street and Newington Road. South Edinburgh sits between these arteries, firstly taking in urban neighbourhoods where the attractions, bars and restaurants congregate; then the flat, grassy expanse of the Meadows; further south there are handsome residential suburbs like Bruntsfield, the Grange, Marchmont, Merchiston, Morningside, and Newington.
It does have a student feel thanks to university buildings, halls of residence and student-occupied flats although there are parts of South Edinburgh, especially Blackford Hill and the Braid Hills, where it would be hard to believe you were still in a city despite the stunning views of Edinburgh to the north. It is also understandable that in the more residential quarters you might find the occasional café but few other venues of note. That said, where South Edinburgh adjoins the Old Town everything is close by and accessible. The much-lauded, multi-arts venue Summerhall at the east end of the Meadows is only 20 minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile for instance while you could get from the Grassmarket in the Old Town to Cloisters in Brougham Street, South Edinburgh’s best cask ale bar, in ten minutes or so. Around this part of the city you can find artisan chocolate, craft beer, good whisky, independent cinema, innovative cuisine and a great deal more besides.