If you haven’t already heard, The Arches is the location of some pretty amazing new independent businesses in Edinburgh. Situated beside Waverley station and just off the Royal Mile, 15 abandoned Victorian arches have been renovated to create cool and unique retail spaces. The Arches is part of the larger £150 million New Waverley development which aims to provide a brand new retail and leisure quarter to the city. We picked five of our favourite new and unique businesses that have set up shop in the renovated arches.

Yard Box 6

6 Yard Box retail space in the arches, Edinburgh. Owner Steven Dow in shop holding products.

Image: Greg Macvean – 14/12/2015 – Yard Box

The idea for 6 Yard Box was born when owner Steven Dow chanced upon a retro shirt collection in Amsterdam and fell in love. He now sells those very Copa retro shirts alongside a whole host of football themed products including mugs, modern art and prints, games, luxury cashmere football scarves from Saville Rouge, retro footballs, and other footy memorabilia. 6 Yard Box merges a love of football with high-end designer fashion and merchandising to create a really quirky and contemporary retail space. This place is perfect for buying gifts for anyone football-mad!

Tempo Tea

A Tempo Bubble Tea cup with straw

Image: Greg Macvean – 10/02/2016

Created by brother and sister duo Liam and Gem Tan, Tempo Tea is their third bubble tea venture having previously opened stores in Glasgow and Silverburn. Bubble Tea, a Taiwanese tea based beverage with natural toppings (often with fruit infused flavours), is slowly starting to gain popularity around the globe, with the Tans at the forefront in Scotland. Despite just starting with a limited menu, as the business has expanded, so has the choice of drinks. So whether you are into Mango Passion or Banana Berry Groove, there is a refreshment for you. Keep and eye out of their taster sessions (£5 for 6 drinks), an easy way to try some different drinks before deciding on your favourite!

Elk and Wolf

Miss Katie Cupcake in her new retail space Elk and Wolf, in the arches, Edinburgh.

Image: Greg Macvean – 10/02/2016

Elk and Wolf, comes from the creative behind Miss Katie Cupcake on Cockburn Street, but don’t expect the same quirky kitsch pieces in this new arches store. Elk and Wolf is more rustic and with a nomadic Boho influence running throughout. Here you can find interesting and unique jewellery, trinkets and décor for your home, all displayed beautifully in old furniture, crates and lobster baskets. Katie the owner, travels around the world to find and share unique items with her customers. Whether it’s hand-woven baskets that wouldn’t look out of place in a Marrakech market, rustic wooden cheese boards perfect for dinner parties, or various pots, vases and bottles for displaying in your vintage sideboard, you are always sure to find a unique buy.

Mudo Art

The Mudo Gallery space and shop in the arches, Edinburgh.

Image: Greg Macvean – 05/01/2016

Mudo Art is a contemporary art gallery space that has called the arches home since December 2015. The gallery exhibits work from local photographers, artists, and sculpture makers, alongside a nice collection of gifts, perfect for those looking for something a little different to the usual Royal Mile souvenirs. Work on display includes sketches by Mark Kirkham a.k.a The Edinburgh Sketcher, whose ‘Guess Where I am’ sketch competitions often have people stumped; sculptures from the Ratho Byres Forge whose handiwork can also be seen displayed in many public spaces around the UK; and images from local photographer Don Munro who is also the man behind the popular Edinburgh Photo Walks.

Lauren Gollan

Image: Greg Macvean - 06/04/2016

Image: Greg Macvean – 06/04/2016

Lauren Gollan, is often found painting the faces of famous models and actresses, but in 2012 she returned to her native Scotland to set up a make-up academy (the first of it’s kind) to teach the celebrity make-up artists of the future. Now that academy has moved into a slick new space in the arches and is ready for all the city has to offer. With over 10 years of experience, Lauren has worked with the likes of Lily Cole, Kate Moss, Sienna Miller and even calls Pixie Lott and Edith Bowman her friends. Her academy offers professional make-up courses, master classes, and personal lessons for all levels, as well as make-up applications for weddings and other special occasions


The Arches is located on East Market Street.