The West Port is Edinburgh’s Soho, a heady mix of booze, bosoms, bespoke tailoring and BOOKS. Yes, let’s dwell on that word: books.
Edinburgh’s Book Quarter
Six independent bookshops, one bookbinder; the West Port boasts a concentration of bookshops that is unparalleled in most British cities. Each bookshop has its own atmosphere and ethos. All are home to the ineffable workings of serendipity.
There is Andrew Pringle Booksellers, the always amusing Armchair Books (plus dog), Main Point Books, Peter Bell Books and a specialist foreign language bookshop with no name. There is also, just down the hill, the Owl & Lion Gallery, where you’ll find Isabelle Ting, our local book binder. Scottish Pictures is an essential stop for print and map enthusiasts, whilst the Old Town Bookshop, although situated five minutes away on fashionable Victoria Street, is a spiritual brother of the West Port bookshop crowd.
The other shops
Home to rum clubs, tea apologists and vintage clothing vendors, the West Port is a lively, independent area in Edinburgh that has rather more to it than its obvious, um, ‘assets’. If you fancy a decent pint you could do worse than the Blue Blazer, our lovely local. If you’d like a nice brew then the nearby Tea Tree Café is heartily recommended. If you’d like to get down with the cool kids pop along to Under the Stairs, a shabby chic basement café and bar the other side of the Grassmarket.
William, the manager, is married to Anne, his partner in the business, and has three wee boys. William is originally from Ulster and almost has a beard.
Doreen survived the previous regime and continues to be popular with the customers.
Other staff include 2 PhD students, 1 artist/film maker, 1 tie wearing gentleman and 1 young person
West Port Book Festival
The West Port Book Festival was set up in 2008 by Hannah Adcock and Peggy Hughes to celebrate the profusion of pages in Edinburgh’s book quarter. The festival ran for 5 years in over 11 wonderful West Port venues, ranging from singular second-hand bookshops to crisp art spaces and whisky-scented pubs.