Places to Visit in Lesser Known Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood and Greyfriar’s Bobby statue are some of the most popular attractions for visitors to Edinburgh. However, there are lots of other attractions which are less well-known but just as interesting and pleasant to visit. Here are a few of them:
Museum of Childhood
This can be found on the Royal Mile but is often overlooked by guidebooks. A treasure trove of old children’s toys, games, clothes and playthings.
The People’s Story
Housed in the Canongate Tolbooth at the bottom of the Royal Mile it houses collections which tell the stories of the working-class people of Edinburgh from the late 18th century to the present day using oral history, reminiscence and written sources.
The Pentland Hills Regional Park
Just south of Edinburgh these hills are the highest points around the city and are often covered in snow in the winter. There are many walks over the hills with an abundance of wildlife. There is also a dry ski slope should you want to try out a new pastime. Easily accessible on public transport.
Situated five minutes away from Princes Street, visitors can find the Dean Village, a beautiful oasis right by the Water of Leith. In the past the village housed mills of various kinds, and the remnants of the industry can still be seen today. Look out for mill stones and carved stone plaques with baked bread and pies. Follow the walkway along the Water of Leith and you will come to the impressive Dean Bridge designed by Thomas Telford, and the classical temple of St Bernard’s Well.
Surgeon’s Hall Museums
Just a short walk from the Royal Mile, the Surgeon’s Hall Museums are a unique collection. Full of surgical tools, fascinating paintings and more than a few body parts in jars. Learn about the evolution of surgery throughout the ages and find how great Scottish minds brought us some of the medical breakthroughs we take for granted today. The present Surgeon’s Hall was designed by William Henry Playfair and completed in 1832. It is a category A listed building.
Gardens – Dr. Neil’s Garden
This is located beside Duddingston Kirk on the lower slopes of Arthur’s Seat. Created from a wilderness by Drs Nancy and Andrew Neil. Two features of particular interest are the physic garden, which grows medicinal plants, and Thomson’s Tower. It was constructed in 1825 and was originally built for the Duddingston Curling Society. This was back when frozen lochs were the grounds for curling and other winter sports.
Kyoto Friendship Garden
This Japanese garden can be found in the grounds of Lauriston Castle in the Edinburgh suburb of Cramond. With bamboo shelters to picnic in, breath-taking views over Cramond Island to the Firth of Forth, avenues of blossom trees and calming water features. It’s no surprise that it is rated one of the top three Japanese gardens in Britain. The garden was created to celebrate the twinning of the towns of Edinburgh and the prefecture of Kyoto in Japan. It was opened in 2002. Its official name is ‘Castle Garden to Water and Beyond’. Continue reading