Situated to the East of Leith and 3 miles from Edinburgh City Centre, Portobello still retains the feel of a resort town albeit more Blackpool than Club Med.
A long promenade with small shops along it fronts onto a huge beach. In recent years, the water quality seems to be improving, with safer swimming and windsurfing on the Portobello Central beach (see Edinburgh's best beaches). It's also an atmospheric place for melancholy walks during the Winter months.
Portobello is one of Britain's first "transition towns". Local environmental community group Pedal are pursuing plans to reduce local energy and waste, including establishing a £470,000 wind turbine on Portobello beach to generate clean energy for the community. The cost of the turbine would be covered by selling energy to local businesses, including Lothian buses. The turbine being considered would be 47.5 metres from the base to the tip of the blade. Pedal received a £72,000 grant to cover legal and planning costs for building the turbine from the Scottish Government.