WALK IN, OUT AND AROUND HISTORY
THIS EDINBURGH WALKING GUIDE PUTS THE KING INTO WALKING.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.