About us

Our mission at Downes Opticians

Our passion for providing comprehensive eye examinations teamed with our state of the art equipment allows us to fully explore the eye’s health as well as detect any ocular prescriptive issues.

We believe in giving back to the community. Leith has a strong community spirit and we are pleased to be a part of that, as an independent local optician.

  • Comprehensive Eye Exams

  • Complete Optical Services

  • Contact Lens Examination

  • Urgent Care

We are a fun, friendly and ethical Independent Opticians with a fabulous and unique range of frames for all. We specialise in children’s eye care and myopia control.


Clare Downes, Owner

Meet our team

Clare Downes


Downes Opticians is Clare’s first ‘baby’! Building the Practice from scratch since 2008. The Practice’s strong moral and ethical values come from Clare’s mantra to “treat everyone as if they were a member of your family.”

Donna Millar

Practice Manager

Donna is a hug personified. Her unique ability to make everyone feel at ease cannot be learned. She also has an amazing eye for frame selection which keeps us ‘bang on trend’ season after season.

Catriona Hastie


Catriona is our resident clever clogs, not only has she furthered her qualifications to become an Independent Prescribing Optometrist (she can write prescriptions for eye medications) she has returned to Edinburgh University to study Medicine to fufill her dream to become an Ophthalmologist. We love that we are able to support her whilst striving for her dreams.

Dr Helen Court


Another genius in our team – Helen has a PhD in Optometry and Visual Sciences. She keeps us at the forefront of all things ‘optical’ as she is also a senior Optometry tutor.


Kate Bajnar

Optical assistant

Kate has worked at the Practice since the day it opened in 2008, she literally is in with the bricks and mortar. Now this girl knows her fashion and she certainly has flare.

Ashley McCulloch

Optical Assistant

This year Ashley has started studying for her Diploma for Optical Assistants, building on her already amazing knowledge and wonderful people skills.

Aga Wilkolaska

Optical Assistant

Aga has worked in Optics for 6 years, this girl knows everything there is about spectacle lenses, our very own lens encyclopaedia.

Aga Perkins

Optical Assistant

Aga’s beauty background is invaluable in our ethos that there is a perfect frame for everyone, allowing us to help you choose frames that accentuate your best features. Her bubbly personality fits in perfectly with the Downes team.

If only Doctors and Dentists surgeries could be like Downes. The staff are absolutely fantastic - thorough and very child friendly. Thoroughly recommend.


Amazing Opticians. My little girl was made to feel so special today whilst clare tested her eye sight. I on the otherhand struggled to narrow down my final selection of glasses! They were all gorgeous.

Can not recommend this place enough for both adults and children! Top class service and amazing range of glasses to choose from! Thank you all


Had another fab experience, as always! Honest, friendly service and you always leave happy! Thanks all!


A brilliant opticians offering very comprehensive eye tests for children and adults. My 7 year old loves her visits! Great customer service too. Would definitely recommend.


Make an appointment

A selection of our brands