• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

Alternatives to your usual study spaces

ByLydia Blythe

Nov 22, 2016

With Christmas just around the corner, the end of the semester for students is synonymous with exams and revision: nightmare. A certain desperation to find something to make these laborious few weeks more exciting before heading home is at the forefront of the minds of many.

Perhaps the key to success at this time is the chosen location to study: the perfect combination of upbeat (so that the desire for a nap is not overwhelming), yet also a focused atmosphere so that work efficiency is at its optimum.

Fancy spreading your wings from the crammed University library? Look no further.

The National Museum of Scotland

Not necessarily the first place that jumps to mind, however this location is undoubtedly a gem. Situated just a stone’s throw from George Square, The Balcony Café offers free wifi, plenty of space to spread out books, notes and pens, and the opportunity to take a look around the exhibitions for a bit of a break. It’s usually quiet enough for concentration and with an abundance of teas, coffees and cakes, the set-up here is perfect.

Brew Lab

Cool, hip and stylish. Brew Lab is the epitome of trendy coffee culture and thus  invokes the most classy and sophisticated work. With a broad selection of sweets and savouries in the most chic of settings, this location is music to any student’s ears, especially when their tunes will have you tapping your foot and searching for the best upcoming gigs in the city. You’ve got to treat yourself once all this hard work is done after all.

The Scottish National Library

Silent and full of books – it’s also a great choice. Even with a slightly different collection of books than the University, a trip here could add a bit of “je ne sais quoi” to your essays. With a café and plenty of exhibitions to explore, this has everything you need and more.


A little way from George Square, the fruit of a lovely walk through the Grassmarket, Lovecrumbs is ideal for a change of scenery when revising. Open from 9 ‘til 6 in the weekdays, it’s a great daytime study space. The best seat in the house is the highly contested window  seat– inside, so in the warm, yet with the authentic Parisian feel of sitting in the street, sipping a lovely coffee and chatting about nothing. Save that for the holidays… this is the closest we can get for now.

The Meadows

Ideal if it was warm all the time, but this is not the case. Rather than studying in The Meadows and risking hypothermia, head out for short walks between revision. Clear your head, and escape the dreariness of the library for a few minutes then return to your seat with added enthusiasm.

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