A Guide to the Best Ice Cream in the UK

Written by Lauren - 15/06/2020

by Lauren Cameron, Student Advisor

(all photos by my friend Caoimh
O’Sullivan, usually of my ice cream)

Ice cream is arguably one of the best desserts there is. There’s so many flavours, it’s refreshing on a hot summer day, and it’s something many of us carry on loving from childhood. One of the first things I did upon moving to Edinburgh was find a good ice cream shop, and then I kept finding them in every city I visited! Below, I’ve provided a guide to the best Ice Cream in the UK that I’ve found (as well as some my friends have found), so you don’t need to!

Mary's Milk Bar, Edinburgh

Mary’s Milk Bar

This is my all-time favourite. Mary’s is a small ice cream shop in Grassmarket, Edinburgh, that has the best ice cream, gelato and sorbet that I’ve ever had in my life. All of the ice cream is hand-made by Mary, and every day she has her three standard flavours (Milk, Salted Caramel, and Dark Chocolate), and then a whole bunch of flavours that rotate throughout the day. My personal favourites are the Goats Cheese and Peach, and anything with Rhubarb (just trust me, okay?). Also, the view while you’re eating is AMAZING.

Mary's Milk Bar

Loop and Scoop

Loop & Scoop, Glasgow

Based in Glasgow, my friends and I would make special trips to the city just for this ice cream. They have the standard flavours that you can expect, but what makes them really special is their churros. You can get a churro cone, churro bites, or their special, the Loop and Scoop, which is a bowl with two types of ice cream and a churro looped over it. Definitely recommend if you’re looking for a sugar coma.

Loop & Scoop

Prime Gelato, London

Prime Gelato

I visited here with a few friends while on a trip to London, and it was amazing. Serving authentic Italian gelato, this tiny shop has a laid back atmosphere, tons of gelato, and a points card for those that are really passionate about free ice cream!

Prime Gelato London

Ginger's Comfort Emporium, Manchester

Ginger’s Comfort Emporium

In June some friends and I visited Manchester, and we found Ginger’s Comfort Emporium! Amazing ice cream, served in a glass, the shop has an old school diner look. The coolest part? It’s on the third floor of an arcade, hidden away to the side, and has a wonder view and tons of shopping to do as you try to find it!

Ginger's Comfort Emporium

Venchi, London


Located in Covent Garden, London, this ice cream shop is the #1 recommendation from my friend (who also generously provided photos of all of the ice cream she’s eaten this year). She visited this shop twice during her two week stay (which says a lot, when there are so many ice cream places in London!). Served with a chocolate, doesn’t it just make you want ice cream right this minute?


Moon Pie Gelato, Edinburgh

Moo Pie Gelato

Located in Edinburgh, this gelato has some amazing options. Most commonly found at the Pitt Market in Leith (which you should definitely check out‑ it’s a street food market with live music), Moo Pie has rotating flavours that you can have a ton of different ways. Check out the s’mores milkshake below, and also look into their hot chocolate!

MOO PIE Gelato

George & Davis

In Oxford, this recommendation comes to us from Heather! They have a treat called a “Mad Cow”, that she says you absolutely have to get. I haven’t been to Oxford, but I know where I’m going as soon as I get a chance! They’re known for steaming their ice cream to create a latte, and that sounds like something I need to try.

G&D Cafe

Yolkin Ice Cream

Based in London, our other advisor Brittany recommends Yolkin Ice Cream! This shop specializes in macaron ice cream sandwiches, which sounds like something we all need in our lives, don’t you agree? Located on Rupert Street, don’t miss a chance to try these out!


The other bonus of most of these places? They have sorbet options, for those that are lactose intolerant! I’ve tried the sorbets at the ones I’ve visited, and they’re just as amazing as the ice cream. Definitely check out any of these spots if you’re in the area!

PS. I may or may not have written this blog post while eating dark chocolate ice cream from Mary’s Milk Bar. Did I mention they have it to go?

You can find out more about studying in the UK by contacting one of our Advisors!

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