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Edinburgh in July 2017

Edinburgh in July 2017

Edinburgh July 2017

Things to do in Edinburgh this month

Festivals, music, markets, galleries and activities to keep you busy in July

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
(14 – 23 Jul)

Image result for edinburgh jazz and blues festival 2017

Getting Edinburgh’s festival season off to a swinging start, the Jazz & Blues Festival, The biggest of its kind in Britain, is sure to delight all those in attendance. This ever-growing festival has everything from big band favourites to skiffle, ragtime and freeform jazz on the menu at over 1000 shows that’ll make even the fringe blush.

Polar Extremes at Dynamic Earth
(1 Jul – 28 Aug)

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With the heat of summer, why not stay cool at Dynamic Earth. Their Polar Extremes exhibit is full of polar-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. Uncover a world of incredible experiences in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. Tour the amazing galleries, get your hands on a real iceberg and much more as part of your dynamic exploration of the coldest places on earth.

Edinburgh Food Festival
(26 – 30 Jul)

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Welcoming over 250,000 people last year, Edinburgh Food Festival returns for it’s third year celebrating the finest of Scotland’s food and drink. The festival takes place in George Square Gardens, where artisan producers and stallholders will fill the festival grounds while foodie talks, debates and demos will put the cherry on the top. It completely free to enter, you pay for food and events separately.

Edinburgh Art Festival
(27 Jul – 27 Aug)

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Edinburgh Art Festival was founded in 2004 and it has quickly become the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art. Its aim is to bring together Edinburgh’s popular galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists for an exciting programme of special events.

It’s Alive!
(1 Jul – 18 Sept)

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The Museum of Childhood displays a world of automation. Starring clockwork characters. In our cabinet of wonders, see forty astonishing automata from the last two centuries. Meet a beautiful musician who has long outlived her creator and a magician who performs his hundred-year-old tricks.

Also happening…



Edinburgh on Film

Edinburgh on Film

Edinburgh Film | The Edinburgh Collection


Where Hollywood meets Holyrood.

Edinburgh is known for its festivals. Most notably, the Fringe Festival. Every year millions of people come to the city throughout the month of August to experience the 70-year-old event. However, the fringe is not the only festival that draws a crowd to the city. Also taking place is the Book Festival and Military Tattoo in August, The Jazz and Blues Festival in July and the International Film Festival in June.

Edinburgh has always been a city that can captivate the tourists who walk down its cobbled streets or peer up at the century-old architecture. The city has a feeling of magic, an air that makes you wonder about the past and gets you curious about the future. So, it does not come as a surprise to know that Edinburgh has been the inspiration for many stories both on the page and on the screen.

To get you ready for the Edinburgh Internation Film Festival, here is a list of the films that use Edinburgh’s unique landscape, buildings and streets.

Trainspotting and T2

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Perhaps the most famous film ‘series’ based and filmed in Edinburgh. The film holds a special place in the hearts of Edinburgh residents as an almost claim to fame. When watching the iconic original film and the recent sequel, look out for the following places; Arthurs Seat, Regent Bridge, Old Town, Scottish Parliment, Forth Bridge and St Stephens Stockbridge.

The DaVinci Code

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Based on the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. Robert Howard directs Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou in this page-to-screen adaptions. The film does not heavily feature Edinburgh. However, it does feature the often overlooked Rosslyn Chapel. The Chapel has its mysteries outside of the movie. Beneath the floor of Rosslyn is a massive underground vault, of which was sealed in 1690 and has remained that way ever since. Of course, as you would expect, there has been a lot of speculation as to what, or who lies within the vault.

Cloud Atlas

Tom Hanks returns to Edinburgh in this mind-bending sci-fi film. This film is an ambitious one in which the story spans five centuries. It is a complicated film to explain, even after viewing you will find yourself confused, yet satisfied. However, if you watch it for just one reason and one reason only. Make said reason Edinburgh. The city is used as a beautiful backdrop to the 19th century period where one of the characters climbs the Scott Monument daily to clear his mind.

(Old Waverley Hotel is the building on the left on the image above)

Sunshine on Leith

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Known as ‘McMamma’ Mia, Sunshine on Leith is a musical comedy that uses the songs of The Proclaimers, of ‘I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)’ fame. This film is perhaps the most Scottish on this list. Scottish actors, accents, music, setting, clothing and spirit. It is about the characters Davy and Ally, who must relearn how to live in Edinburgh after serving in Afghanistan. It is a ‘Feel-Fabulous Film’ to which Edinburgh is the perfect location.

One Day

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Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess star in this love story about two people from different strokes of life. It is based on the famous novel of the same name, written by David Nicholls. Edinburgh provides a lovely backdrop for the film, and you could argue that it even acts as a supporting character to the characters of Hathaway and Sturgess.

The 39 Steps

Hitchcocks ‘The 39 Steps’ being filmed by Arthurs Seat

A few adaptions of John Buchan’s novel have been made and set in Edinburgh. Most famously, however, is the film ‘The 39 Steps’ by the great Alfred Hitchcock. It is a universally praised film and has been named the 21st greatest British movie ever made, and in 2011 ranked it the second-best book-to-film adaptation of all time.

Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire | Film Edinburgh | The Edinburgh Collection
Eric Liddel (Ian Charleson) talks to Sybil Gordon (Alice Krige) at the foot of famous Edinburgh landmark, Arthurs Seat

This Oscar-winning historical drama about Scottish Olympic athlete, Eric Liddel. The film was released in 1981, but Edinburgh looks almost identical today as it does in the movie. The film follows Eric Liddel, a devout Christian who runs for God and thus refuses to compete on a Sunday and  Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice.

The Railway Man

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View from Calton Hill in the film ‘The Railway Man.’

Colin Firth stars in this dramatic war film depicting the life of an Edinburgh-born Railway enthusiast turned POW. Edinburgh isn’t the movie’s main backdrop, no, that honour goes to Thailand, and it’s Burma Railway Line, also known as ‘Bridge of Death’. When Edinburgh is shown, you see the gorgeous views from Calton Hill (as pictured above) and of course, Waverley Railway Station.

Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel Studios | Avengers Infinity War | The Edinburgh CollectionSet Phots! (Left: Royal Mile, Centre Top: Spiderman on the castle, Centre Bottom: Green screen in Waverley Station. Right: Canongate stunt tests)

Anyone who was in Edinburgh throughout March/April 2017. You may have noticed Edinburgh become a huge film set. This was of course for the new film production of Marvel Studios billion dollar blockbuster film Avengers: Infinity War. Eagle-eyed fans may have spotted stars, Tom Holland (Spider-Man), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlett Witch) around the city.

One photo that seemed to catch the attention of a lot was that of Tom Hollands Spider-Man atop the Castle. Perhaps preparing for an epic web-sling over the historic Old Town.

Better yet, the film is not just being filmed in Edinburgh. It is going to be set there. The sets were littered with Scottish props and odes to Edinburgh. So, once the movie is released, it should see a huge boom in tourism to the city.

Honourable Mention

Harry Potter Franchise.

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While JK Rowling’s globally recognised stories about the young wizard Harry Potter were no set in Edinburgh and the films were not shot in the city. You can see when walking through the city, where she got the inspiration for her Wizarding World.

5 Things to do in Edinburgh (for the remainder of) this April

5 Things to do in Edinburgh (for the remainder of) this April

The Edinburgh Collection | 5 Things To Do In Edinburgh


Well, what’s left of it anyway.

While April may be drawing to a close, there is still plenty to do in Edinburgh. Whether you’re in Edinburgh with a partner, family or even by yourself, this list of activities and events will be sure to give your something to do during your visit.

Trad Fest   |   26th April  – 7th May

The Edinburgh Collection | Trad Fest
(Image Source: FolkLore Thursday)

‘TradFest Dùn Èideann’ is a vibrant twelve-day showcase of Scotland’s thriving traditional arts. As 2017 is the year of World Heritage, there will be special events taking place.

Beltane Fire Festival   |   30th April

The Edinburgh Collection | Beltane Fire Festival
(Image Source: The List)

Celebrate the first signs of summer with this fiery reimagining of the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane. and

The Adams Family   |   20th – 29th April
(Festival Theatre)

The Edinburgh Collection | The Addams Family
(Image Source: EdTheatres)

Everyone’s favourite kooky family are now on stage in this spectacular musical comedy as it makes its UK premiere in Edinburgh.

Monkey Business   |   Until 23rd April
(National Museum of Scotland)

The Edinburgh Collection | Monkey Business
(Image Source: National Museum Scotland)

Get up close and personal with our tree-swinging ancestors and discover all there is to know about the primate world at this family friendly event.

Athens of the North   |   Everyday

The Edinburgh Collection | Athens of the North

April celebrates World Heritage Day. With World Heritage Status, discover how Edinburgh became the Athens of the North.

The Best Edinburgh Gardens

The Best Edinburgh Gardens

The Edinburgh Collection | Edinburgh GardensEDINBURGH GARDENS…

…where the grass is greener

Edinburgh is famous for its beauty. It is known around the world for its intricate architecture and unique buildings and streets. You just need to take on look at Edinburgh’s Old Town to figure out why tourists are attracted to the stunningly, well-kept buildings.

However, an often overlooked attribute to Edinburgh’s beauty, are its many gardens.

Princes Street Gardens

Best Edinburgh Gardens | Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens is located in the centre of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, tucked between New Town and Old Town. It is listed in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland and has geological and botanical scientific interest. However, it hasn’t always been a beautiful public garden. No, you see, it has a dark past from when it was known as Nor’ Loch.

Princes Street Gardens is right opposite Old Waverley Hotel

Dr. Neil’s Garden

Edinburgh Gardens | Dr Neils Garden

Dr Neils Garden, or, Edinburgh’s Secret Garden as it is often referred to, is one of the most stunning gardens in Scotland today. It lays next to the lovely Duddingston Kirk at the foot of Arthurs Seat. You will spend hours admiring the care, dedication and imagination that comes with this garden.

Dr Neils Garden is at the foot of Arthurs Seat, near to Holyrood ApartHotel

Royal Botanic Gardens

Edinburgh Gardens | Royal Botanic Gardens

Dunbars Close

Edinburgh Gardens | Dunbar Gardens

Dunbar’s Close on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town is a hidden gem. The garden has been laid out in the style and character of a 17th-century garden.

Dunbar’s Close is located just off the famous Royal Mile which is a few minutes away from Holyrood ApartHotel

Malleny Gardens

Edinburgh Gardens | Malleny Gardens

Malleny Gardens is a hidden delight on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It plays host to a luscious 3-acre walled garden set in a landscape of woodland, with colourful herbaceous borders and collections of old roses. You will be able to surround yourself with clipped yew trees planted in the 17th Century along with delightfully scented flowers.

Malleny Gardens is located on the outskirts of Edinburgh. So, if you wish to visit, you will need to arrange transport.

If you’re staying at one of our hotels, we’ll be happy to help arrange this for you.

Harry Potter Tour – J.K. Rowling’s Edinburgh Inspiration.

Harry Potter Tour – J.K. Rowling’s Edinburgh Inspiration.

The Edinburgh Collection | Harry Potter



Harry Potter may live between the spellbinding pages of J.K. Rowlings best-selling book series. However, walk around Edinburgh and you will soon feel like you too are walking in the same magical world. With all the unusual streets, wonderful buildings and other wizz-poppingly fantastic attributes. It is no wonder ‘Jo’ drew so much inspiration from the city.

Here is a list of a few places that inspired the famous books.


Harry Potter Edinburgh | Elephant House

J.K. Rowling used to come to The Elephant House cafe to pen her books, she would sit at the book where she was treated to a spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle which as you can probably imagine is a great view if you want to draw inspiration of a magical world.

Now, The Elephant Cafe is packed full of tourists wanting to soak in even just a drop of J.K. Rowlings life. To all you die hard fans. Yes, you can still sit in her table. If you want an idea of how many Harry Potter fans are drawn to this cafe – just look at the toilets.

Harry Potter Edinburgh | Toilet

Fans have graffiti-ed the toilets with all sorts of Harry Potter related scribbles. (images credit:


Harry Potter Edinburgh | George Heriots School

You probably already guessed which particular building J.K. Rowling used this magnificant building as inspiration. That’s right, Hogwarts was based on Sir George Heriot’s School (not of witchcraft and wizardry).

In addition to taking inspiration from the schools grand architechture. J.K. Rowling also modelled the famous Hogwart’s house system on the one in place at George Heriot’s. The schools houses are Castle, Lauriston, Raeburn and Greyfriars which aren’t too dissimilar to Rowling’s own Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. It’s borderline theft. However, I don’t believe that George Heriot’s school has a sorting hat.


Harry Potter Edinburgh | Tom Riddell Grave

No Harry Potter Tour would be complete without a visit to ‘He who shall not be named’. Just behind Hogwarts George Herriot’s School there is a famous graveyard called Greyfriars which houses many notable people including the famous dog who showed heartbreaking loyalty to it’s owner and also it houses the world most recorded poltergeist.

However, some people who stroll through the site (as J.K. Rowling herself used to do) you will find the grave of none-other than Thomas Riddell. The dark lord himself. J.K. Rowling used to take walks around the site to perhaps clear her head or maybe she went with the purpose to find great names from deceased people. What is know for sure is that she drew direct inspiration from this mans grave.


Harry Potter Tour | Victoria Street

There’s a street just below the Elephant Cafe and Greyfriars Kirkyard called Victoria Street in Grassmarket. Which when you see it, it doesn’t take much imagination to picture the bizarre Diagon alley. With it’s cobbled windy street and tall ornate buildings it’s no wonder J.K. Rowling decided to create a magical version of this street in her novels.

Harry Potter Edinburgh | Aha Ha Ha

AHA HA HA Jokes & Novelties lays at the foot of the street which perhaps played muse to the Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. The shops actually used to have a sign in it’s window telling tourists that it wasn’t a real life version of the shop.


Harry Potter Edinburgh | Balmoral

Now as a hotel company ourselves, we don’t like to advertise other hotels. However, on this occassion it seems too crucial not to as it is the end of our Harry Potter Tour, and the end of Harry Potter itself.

In January 2007, J.K. Rowling checked herself into the Balmoral Hotel room 552 to be exact. It was in that room that she finished writing the famed Harry Potter series. Rumor has it that upon completion. She popped open a fizz-wizz bottle of champagne and enjoyed it (as you would) and finally she picked up a black marker pen and wrote ‘J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11th Jan 2007.’ on a marble bust.

As a token of honor to the author and her time spent in their suite.  The Balmoral Hotel renamed the room the ‘J.K. Rowling suite.’ If you happen to be a particularly wealthy fan. You can stay in the room which has been kept in exactly the same condition as she left it, they have also added a brass owl door knocker. However, I think the bust is enclosed within a glass case now.

It will cost you £1,415 per night if you want to stay here.

If you want a view just as nice as the one J.K. Rowling enjoyed and also cheaper then stay at the Old Waverly Hotel where you can stay in a viewtiful room. Perhaps you can capture some of the same magic she did from this lovely city. book now.


If you have spare time and want to add a little extra magic to your Harry Potter Tour then here are some bonus thing to see.


Harry Potter Edinburgh | JK Hands

J.K. Rowling has been immortalised in Edinburgh’s City Chambers. Her name will obviously never be forgotten as it is written on the cover of billions of books. But now she has some golden hand prints too. J.K. Rowling became the second recipient of the Edinburgh Award in 2008. The award is given to Edinburghers and the winners have their hand prints installed in the City Chambers quadrangle.


While writing her famed series, J.K. Rowling attended the prestigious Edinburgh University. Right next to the university campus is a street named Potterrow during the 16th/17th century it was used for pottery stalls in the old town of Edinburgh. As a student, J.K. Rowling would have been well acquainted with the street, which no doubt served as an inspiration for the naming of her famous protagonist.

The Black Mausoleum: The MacKenzie Poltergeist

The Black Mausoleum: The MacKenzie Poltergeist


Disclaimer: This blog post contains graphic information about paranormal activity concerning the famous MacKenzie Poltergeist.

The MacKenzie Poltergeist | Greyfriars

Greyfriars Kirkyard. A collection of creepy graves containing even creepier history.


The MacKenzie Poltergeist is one of the most famous poltergeists in the world and his home The Black Mausoleum is often referred to as the scariest place on earth.

However, the vast majority of tourists who gather around it’s striking gates each year. Greyfriars Kirkyard is the happy place where a little Skye terrier showed it’s heartbreaking loyalty to its owner, staying by his grave every night.
To many more it is the final resting place to none other than – Thomas Riddell, who gave his name to the Dark Lord Voldemort in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books.
However, this famous Kirkyard is also the eerie location where the barbaric MacKenzie Poltergeist resides. Honored as “the world’s most recorded poltergeist”.

MacKenzie Poltergeist | The Black MausoleumThe Black Mausoleum. The Homeless Mans Bedroom. The Home of the MacKenzie Poltergeist


On a cold, rainy night in 1999 a homeless man entered the famous Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh looking for a sheltered place to sleep. A supposedly haunted graveyard wouldn’t have been my first choice for a good night sleep. But when you’re cold, homeless and down on your luck. Anything will do. He wandered through the eerie yard, stumbling over graves. Until he found himself in-front of the far-from-welcoming ‘Black Mausoleum’ (pictured above. Cosy, right?).
He figured this was big enough to accommodate him for the night in relative comfort. It was spacious enough for him to sleep in and more importantly. It was dry. So with a dry nights sleep in reach, he broke in and entered the pitch black building. He lit a match/lighter/torch/light source (records aren’t clear) and explored. In the center of the time ages floor was a metal grate, not too dissimilar to that of drain you would see on the streets. To add to his list of good decisions, he lifted the grate and walked down the spiral staircase to a darker, spookier lower level. A level that housed four wooden coffins.

Surely he turned tail and ran? No.

These coffins were old so the man thought they probably contained lots of valuables. So furthering his night of great decision after great decision he tried to open them, which didn’t work. So the clever man he is, he decided to smash them open. He stopped and took a cautious step back. He must have put all his weight in the right place. The floorboards creaked, groaned and finally gave way. The homeless man fell backwards down into a long forgotten pit. An even lower, an even darker and an even older level to this haunted Mausoleum. History suggests that this pit was used during the outbreak of the plague to illegally dump bodies in 1645. What we do know is that the pit was sealed very well. It was actually sealed so well that when this man fell onto this pile of centuries old corpses, they weren’t skeletal like you would expect. They were still decomposing.
 George MacKenzies CoffinThe disturbed coffin of George MacKenzie. (image source: UK Paranormal)

It Only Gets Stranger…

The man climbed out from the slimy, hair tangled corpse pit and ran out of the Mausoleum (his first genuinely smart move). As he ran out of the building he ran past a patrol guard who was walking his dog. Maybe it was the blood that dotted the homeless man or the coating of pale dust that covered him from head to toe. Maybe it was just the sight of a man running and screaming breaking out from a crypt. Whatever the reason, when the patrol guard saw the man emerge from the tomb. His first thought was ‘ZOMBIE’. So he turned around and ran as fast as he could back to the city (I would assume he took his dog too).
Shockingly. This is only the beginning. The homeless man’s break-in of the Mausoleum set in motion a chain of horrifying inexpiable events. The crypt belongs to a man named Sir George MacKenzie who died in 1690. As well as a renowned lawyer and Lord Advocate to the crown of scotland he was also responsible for sending hundreds of people to their death. Giving him the suitable nickname Bloody MacKenzie. This invasion of his final resting place set of a series of events that can only be explained by one angry spirit. The Mackenzie Poltergeist.

The MacKenzie Poltergeist | George MacKenzie

A Portrait of Sir George MacKenzie. (image source: Wikipedia)


The after the break in a woman was taking a walk through the kirkyard. When she happened upon the impressive Mausoleum she decided to peer through one of the small square grates in the door. As she lent forward to peer through, a strong gust of cold wind blew out from the crypt. So powerful that the woman claimed it knocked her back off the stone steps and onto the ground.
A couple of days later another woman was found unconscious on the pavement by the Mausoleum. She claimed that two invisible hands had grabbed her around the throat and attempted to strangle her. When she pulled back the collar of her shirt, her neck had ringed bruises. Bruises you would expect to see on someone who had been strangled. A few more people has similar experiences.
For other though, the experiences were more physical and more lasting. Some people have discovered scratches on their arms, chest and even neck. Some have even discovered burn marks. The majority of these marks disappear as quickly and as strangely as they first appeared. However, some people claim to have been permanently scarred. In more extreme circumstances, people have had bones broken, hair pulled and been pushed and struck. All of this is carried out by an unseen force. People often feel nauseous and numb. Not just one or two. But hundreds. These experiences tend to happen to people who look through the grates but occasionally happen to those who just wander by. They can happen immediately or sometimes they occur later.


One story though, stands out more than the others. A former police officer reported participating in a tour of the cemetery a few years ago. After returning to his hotel room that night he picked up the information booklet he received on the tour which contained all the information about the haunting. As he read, he felt a sharp pain. As if someone was trying to burn him. When he went to check, he looked in the mirror and he noticed five deep cuts on his neck beneath his chin.
The following morning, the officer went to his mothers house to tell her what had happened. He also gave her the book as he couldn’t stand having it around him any longer. When he checked on her later to ask about the book he caught her in the bathroom. She was looking in the mirror examining five large scratches on her neck, below her chin.
In addition to this story. More than 500 people have claimed to have similar experiences after visiting the Mausoleum. More than 200 of those have passed out during a ghost tour and sometimes everyone on the tour will feel the exact same thing. Often, two complete strangers will report the exact same experiences.  It’s not just people who experience the wrath of the Mackenzie poltergeist. Dead animals have been found in the area and inexpiable fires have broken out in the buildings surrounding the area. Inexpiable electrical malfunctions have also occurred in the area.


Some brave ghost-busting people have gone in search of an explanation. The theories are just as varied as the attacks themselves. One prominent idea tries to connect the unlikely dots between Edinburgh Universities artificial intelligence unit which uses high voltage machinery and the ancient sandstone beneath the cemetery. The sandstone absorbs the energy and releases it later on, resulting in strange experiences. But this is a difficult theory to get behind. Especially considering the amount of people who have been physically assaulted by the MacKenzie poltergeist energised sandstone.
The company that conducts the tours through the graveyard have spent years collecting evidence. Photographs of injuries, first hand accounts, letters from witnesses and numerous other forms of documentation. However, all these documents were destroyed in a well timed and precise fire that broke out in the tour company offices. Only their office was destroyed though. The other offices in that building and all the buildings that were in the surrounding area remained untouched. The insurance company never found the cause.


In the years following the break in at the Black Mausoleum there have been two attempts of exorcism. The second took place in 2000 just a year after the event took place. Colin Grayer, a minister at a spiritualist church and a specialist exorcist was brought into Greyfriars cemetery. While standing in front of the Black Mausoleum he performed the ceremony. After a few moments he claimed to experience an overwhelming sense of oppression. That hundreds of tormented souls swirled around him trying to break through past the thin veil between their world and ours. He said he had feared for his life and he quickly left. Before finishing.
Colin Grayer was found dead a few weeks later.
Victim to a sudden heart-attack.

STAY IN SCAREDINBURGH: If you desire to come and peer through this haunted tomb. Stay at the Old Waverly Hotel – A close, scenic walk to Greyfriars.

Your (great) Edinburgh Walking Guide

Your (great) Edinburgh Walking Guide



Our Edinburgh walking guide will ensure you make the most of your visit. Edinburgh is one of the best cities to explore by foot. You’ll discover magic and get a fright.

From little local cafes and underground bars to hidden gardens and historic graveyards. The hidden gems of Edinburgh are best explored by walking. One of our favourite walks is along Queensferry Street into the West End of Edinburgh, taking around 15 minutes the walk explores some of the best hidden, undiscovered parts of Edinburgh and leads you right into the heart of the city, ending with spectacular views of Edinburgh castle and perhaps a walk through St Cuthbert’s churchyard.

After a fresh, expertly prepared breakfast at Shackleton’s Bar & Brasserie we suggest checking out some of these key points as you make your way into the heart of Edinburgh City.

Dean Village & Gardens

Edinburgh Walking Guide | Deans Village
               Dean Village, Edinburgh

To start the Edinburgh walking guide we take you to by far one of the best hidden gems in Edinburgh, Dean Village and garden. You will find them located just under Dean Bridge on the stroll in to West End. Take a slight detour and you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped back into Victorian Edinburgh. The warren of ancient cobbled streets create a sleepy yet beautiful atmosphere. Wandering through Dean Village and along the Water of Leith walkway you’ll meet an array of wildlife, from families of ducks to heron and enjoy the truly magical atmosphere of ancient, undiscovered Edinburgh.

Soderberg Bakery

                Soderberg Bakery, Edinburgh West End

Assuming you’ve stayed at one of our fantastic hotels you will have already enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Now it’s time for a well-deserved mid-morning pastry! The delightfully Swedish Soderberg Bakery has a few venues around Edinburgh, though the charm of their West End branch is undeniable. Slightly smaller than some of their other locations the West End Soderberg is warm, intimate and perfect for that mid-morning baked treat! Their specialty coffee comes from Johan & Nystrom whose Stockholm Café was named by The Telegraph as one of the best in the world. We recommend their delicious cinnamon and cardamom buns, or if you’re visiting in the afternoon take home one of their freshly prepared sour dough loaves, or fresh soup or salad for dinner.

St Cuthbert’s Church

St Cuthbert's Church; Walking Edinburgh; Princes Street
         View of Princes Street Gardens and St Cuthbert’s Church

At the very end of Princes Street, hidden among trees just underneath the castle. Lays perhaps one of the most beautiful Churchyards in Edinburgh. St Cuthbert’s Church was built in 1892, however there is evidence of at least 6 earlier churches on the grounds. The rich history provided by the grounds makes it a perfect place to experience the peaceful, tranquil and eerie atmosphere of Edinburgh. Additionally, it is a great place to start your walk along the beautiful Princes Street Gardens.

Princes Street Gardens

Edinburgh Collection | Princes Street Gardens
       Prince’s street gardens (image source: Wikipedia)

No Edinburgh walking guide would be complete without Princes Street Gardens. These luscious green gardens provide a stunning tranquil atmosphere. The gardens also provide some of the most spectacular views of Edinburgh Castle. It’s hard to imagine that Princes Street Gardens were once a place of witch trials and waste dumping. Luckily for us there is little trace of the areas dark history. Now the gardens are a favourite for tourists and locals. A place to relax and take in the vibrant city atmosphere. Previously to it’s renaming to Princes Street Gardens, the site was names Nor Loch. Read about it’s less than green history here.

In conclusion, Edinburgh is a city best explored by foot. With hidden gardens, cobbled streets, ancient alleyways and beautiful churches just waiting to be found. Edinburgh’s rich history can only truly be discovered by meandering the streets. Where you will start uncovering your own secret gems. Our advice is to read and re-read this Edinburgh walking guide and make sure you put aside a little time during your stay to walk the wonderful, historic streets of Edinburgh.