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It’s time we stopped kidding ourselves – Tollcross is the best place to live in Edinburgh

Where else are you going to find Wagamamas and a Spoons thirty seconds apart?

As the second semester begins to slip through our fingers way quicker than the first. The dreaded task of flat hunting rapidly approaches. For first years, the idea of looking for your first ever flat is rather daunting and let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier.

However, there are certain places in Edinburgh – insert name here – that are way overhyped. Instead, shop about a bit and you’ll find out where the best place to live really is. Actually, you don't need to, because the answer is simple.

Tollcross, baby.

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Variety is the spice of life

When you’re thinking about your ideal place of residence, you need to be realistic. At the end of the day, you think you can live without a convenience shop, as you won’t be wanting snacks and alcohol, because you’ve moved on as a person. WRONG. For when that plan fails, for example, on your first night back. Tollcross is your saviour. It boasts an array of shops: Co-op, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Boots to name a few.

You may think this is an underwhelming point to make, however, how many areas of Edinburgh have a cluster like this? Not many. This is a wide variety of meal deals for that hangover you said you wouldn’t be getting this year. For your coffee runs take your pick: Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero or a more independent vibe – you name it – Tollcross has it.

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Lots of quirky cafés all within a small distance of each other

Amenities for days

And on that topic of not drinking. There are so many places to go to eat, drink and socialise. It has small Scottish pubs tucked away down cute side streets. Or your bigger chains such as a Nando’s, Wagamama, Byron, Bar Burrito and the best Wetherspoons: the palace itself, The Caley Picture House.

For the more aesthetic Edi kids out there, and I’ll be honest, I wish I was as cool as you. Tollcross loves it's bursts of culture. The publicly-funded Filmhouse is just one of the little gems that makes this area shine. For the more mainstream students, like myself, the Odeon just a few blocks away will do the trick.

The centre of the universe

Fair enough, Tollcross is a tricky place to get your head around. Not many are aware of it because of its location at the often-forgotten end of the Meadows. However, it is in close walking distance to everything.

Princes St, fifteen minutes; ten if you take the secret road (you can find it when you move.) University, ten minutes; has been known to be done in five because I am pathetic for time management. ECA, two minutes; yeah you heard me, two. Grassmarket, five. Oh, and the Meadows is your back garden and walk to Uni, a pretty aesthetic walk too, may I just add.

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Gotta get that iconic Meadows shot

What I will say, is that living in Tollcross isn't overly spacious. You will not be able to live the Edi dream of laying on your double bed in your high-ceiling Victorian room with a window seat and huge floor space that you will, most definitely, at some point, undoubtedly, do yoga on. This isn’t going to happen unless you're extremely lucky.

And don’t kid yourself into paying more because it just looks 'nice'. Winter is always coming and you will be able to see your breath in a single-glazed room. Instead, save your money and pay for heating. Comfort over style, my friends, comfort over style. The locals are pretty cute too, however they do try to follow you into your house sometimes..

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Warning, wildlife may lick you to death

So, whether I have made a convincing argument or not. You're likely to think twice about your location aren't you? If you choose to ignore, it's no skin off my nose, at least I'll be warm tonight.