With the smell of coffee in the air and its cosy surroundings, cafes create the perfect ambience for you to get stuck into writing your next literary masterpiece. Find inspiration and end your writer’s block with these great cafes.
From the Hidden Lane Tearoom in Glasgow to the Beltie Books & Café in Dumfries & Galloway, see why Scotland ticks all the right boxes as the perfect writing retreat, and you never know, you might even follow in the same footsteps as some of your favourite authors!
1. The Forest Café, Edinburgh
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As Edinburgh is known as the City of Literature, there is no doubt that you will come across some great finds for you to open your notepad and start writing. There’s always something going on at The Forest Café. The café is decorated with colourful lights and murals making it an ideal place to put pen to paper. Having writer’s block? Take your mind off while you play various board games at lots of small tables or enjoy one of its many exciting events. From Gaelic workshops and samba to the letter writing club, there is simply something for everyone.
2. The Hidden Lane Tearoom, Glasgow
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Do you have the temptation to buy another book but don’t have enough room in your collection? Not to worry! Head to the Hidden Lane Tearoom where you will be surrounded by books, books and even more books while getting stuck into writing your latest works. What more could you want?
3. Beltie Books & Café, Dumfries & Galloway
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Book lovers will not want to miss out on the opportunity of visiting Wigtown – Scotland’s book town! This second-hand book shop at the front leads to a bright and airy café at the back. Not only is this place great for tea and coffee lovers, it also specialises in home-baking and healthy lunches. Need a four-legged companion to keep you company? Make sure to bring your dog along and on a nice day, sit out in the sunshine while you write in the café’s tranquil gardens.
4. Books & Beans, Aberdeen
If you’re looking for great coffee, fresh food and quality books then look no further than Books & Beans in Aberdeen. Enjoy either a breakfast or an all-day lunch with items on the menu including homemade soups, toasted Italian panini’s and fresh salads while you work away on your latest piece of work. Once you have finished writing for the day, make sure to pop into the bookshop where you might pick up a bargain!
5. Lovecrumbs, Edinburgh
If you have a sweet tooth, then we have the place for you! Based in two locations in Edinburgh, one in Stockbridge and the other near the Grassmarket, you will expect nothing short of sugary goods while you write away until your heart’s content. From delicious homemade cakes, a selection of hot drinks and filled sandwiches, you will not leave hungry after your epic writing session.
6. Glentress Peel Café, Peebles
Enjoy Glentress Peel Café’s spacious surroundings as you write with a mug of coffee and some cake to keep your energy levels up! Want to take your mind off writing for a bit? Head outside and explore the wonders of Glentress Forest with walking trails covering over 25 miles with spectacular views across the Tweed Valley. It is also an ideal place to even spot some wildlife where you may even catch a glimpse of buzzards and roe deer.
7. Hula Juice Bar & Gallery, Edinburgh
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With its bright and colourful atmosphere, Hula Juice Bar & Gallery is the ideal place for early morning writing sessions. The café offers a good variety of classic brunch dishes such as homemade porridge, fresh fruit salad, granola and bagels, a perfect selection to help keep you going throughout the day. The café also has lots of vegan and vegetarian options to try out too!
8. An Clachan Café, Glasgow
Tucked away in Kelvingrove Park, escape the hustle and bustle of Glasgow’s city centre while getting lost in your own thoughts. The café sources its own coffee from a micro-roastery outside of Glasgow which takes an all-round ethical approach by using fully traceable and sustainable beans. When it’s warm enough, take yourself outside and sit out at the patio area while you write away and look out onto the beautiful Georgian houses of the West End.
9. ReadingLasses Bookshop & Café, Wigtownshire, Dumfries & Galloway
Another hidden gem which can be found in Wigtown is ReadingLasses, the only women’s bookshop in Britain with its front room dedicated to books by and about women. The bookshop is also one of few that stock directly from Persephone Books in Bloomsbury, a publishing house which reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century women writers. Have some downtime after your writing sessions and delve into a good book. With over 8,000 books and a range of different genres to choose from, you will never be short of reading anytime soon. Make sure to also tuck into some of the café’s delicious home-baked goods with a nice, hot beverage. Happy reading!
10. Kilimanjaro Coffee, Edinburgh
With its ambient music and comfy sofas, Kilimanjaro Coffee offers writers an inviting welcome space to get comfy and write for hours. Need something to fuel you throughout the day? Choose from a wide selection of soups, as well as sandwiches and panini’s.
11. The Elephant House, Edinburgh
A place which needs no introduction – visit where Harry Potter first came to life. With its dark red, gold and orange colour scheme and decorative elephants dotted along its walls, it’s no wonder that JK Rowling and other famous authors, such as Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith, have sat down to write here.
12. Papercup, Glasgow
Come on down to Papercup but be quick as tables can snap up fast! This brunch hotspot situated in Glasgow’s West End has everyone talking with its speciality coffee and fantastic menu offering, it’s no wonder why people keep coming back. The café also does their bit for the environment too by sourcing ethically and environmentally friendly beans, products and produce. If you have some spare time on your hands after writing, why not take up Barista training?
13. Velocity Café & Bicycle Workshop, Inverness
A café with a twist! Dig into some delicious vegetarian and vegan food while you relax in the café’s tranquil surroundings. Feeling crafty? Take a breather from writing and fix some bikes to put your mind at ease.
14. Cult Espresso, Edinburgh
If you need your coffee fix when writing your next masterpiece then head to Club Espresso. Film lovers will also be in their element here, with the main inspiration behind the café stemming from cult films – a great place to wrack your brains for new themes for your novel.
We hope that we have given you some much needed inspiration to help make your next creative masterpiece come to life. Need to take a break from writing for a bit? Read some all-time favourite Scottish literary classics to help let your imagination run wild before picking up where you last left off. Keep hunger at bay while writing by checking out these top Scottish food experiences or if you are on a health kick, try out some new vegan foodie experiences.