Here are some of the best activities to destress after exams

And yes, drinking is on the list

School is well and truly out for summer, unless you’re a master’s student…

You’ve accomplished a lot in the last two terms. Completed ‘blended learning’, wondered whether club floors were always that sticky and life is sort of back to normal now. Compared to this time last year when we were more restricted in how we could celebrate the end of exams, anything is possible!

So, from bowling to beaches, here are eight ways you can destress in and around Edinburgh.

Go drinking 

A classic that always seems to work. Head to your favourite bars and clubs with your friends to drink and dance the night away. Plus there’s no more revising, so no repercussions for that awful hangover that knocks you out for the entire day afterwards!

Whether you’re a cocktail, mocktail, beer or a mix of all those in a plastic red cup, you’ll be sure to find something to help you forget the stress of the last few months. 

Tigerlily does really cute cocktails

But if drinking isn’t your thing, fear not! For we have more options to come!

Go sightseeing around Edinburgh 

Whether you’re walking or running, stretching your legs and exploring the lanes and alleyways in Edinburgh is a go-to on a sunny day. You can spend all day getting lost in the side streets and taking in how beautiful the city is.

Whatever your feelings are on the university, you can’t deny that Edinburgh itself sure is a beautiful city. Plus, if you go when it’s sunny you can even attempt to get a vague Scottish tan!

The old side streets make you feel like you’re in an old-time movie

Go bowling

There’s no better way to let off some steam than throwing a bowling ball at some pins! Imagine the pins as all the assignments and exams you’ve done this year.

If you’re looking for locations then Lane 67 in St James’ Quarter is a great one to go for. It’s got a really relaxed and fun vibe, perfect for destressing.

There’s also a bar and some food that you can buy whilst there. But if you thought Lane 67 only offered up bowling you’d be mistaken. You can also play pool and mini-golf, as well as a selection of arcade games, what more could you ask for!

Walk up Arthur’s Seat

It sounds so cliche but there’s no better feeling than letting your legs rest with a view of the whole of Edinburgh.

If you go in the evening or morning you might be able to take some aesthetic pictures of the sky. Perfect for your Instagram feed and wholesome enough to send to the family group chat. After all, it’s nice for your parents to see you do get physical activity other than just walking to and from Cowgate to save money on an Uber. 

Plus, if it’s a nice sunny day you can even take a picnic up there, does it get any more relaxing than that?

Evening walks up Arthurs Seat

Go on an adventure 

Pick a bus, train, direction to walk in! Do something you normally wouldn’t do and explore parts of Edinburgh and Scotland you’ve never seen before. Whether you want to explore Loch Leven, North Berwick, The Highlands or even do a road trip up the Isles of Skye, there’s so much to see and explore. Go wherever your heart desires, provided your bank account allows!

Jump on the train to Stirling then catch a bus to Loch Leven

Taste the cool delights of Mary’s Milk Bar 

Who doesn’t like ice cream to cool down after being in a hot flush post-exams. Visit Mary’s Milk Bar in the Grassmarket to try all the different flavours they have to offer.

They have their standard daily flavours such as milk, dark chocolate and salted caramel, but also have seasonal flavours that can change daily! Most recently they had walnut and summer berries, cherry in cream, and nectarine and rosemary sorbet.

They have so many flavours there is sure to be something to suit all taste buds, and they offer plenty of vegan options too!

Via Instagram @marysmilkbar

Have a visit to the zoo! 

Whilst those exams may not have been fun, the upside of being a student is that you get a discount at the Edinburgh zoo.

It’s an easy bus ride away from Princes Street and you can see all kinds of animals, birds, and reptiles such as tigers and meerkats, as well as the world-famous monkey research centre. 

Another option is to pop on a train or a bus and head to Stirling’s Blair Drummond Safari Park! I personally think the animals have a bit more space and they have a couple of elephants there for you to see too. 

Elephants at Blair Drummond

Go to the beach 

There are so many beaches to choose from in Scotland, Portobello beach, Cramond beach, North Berwick beach, or even a trip to the marvellous beaches in Fife if you’re feeling adventurous.

You don’t have exams to revise for so you have all the time in the world to sit back and relax, breathing in that sea air.

What better way to spend your time than to lie by the sea, imagining yourself on an island in Greece whilst reenacting Mamma Mia?

North Berwick Beach

Related articles recommended by this writer:

• Interview: Nayna Florence on her time at Edinburgh University and what’s next after graduation

 I followed Nayna Florence’s ‘day in the life’ and here’s how it went

 I thought I had Covid at uni but it turned out to be meningitis