• Edinburgh, Scotland. Copyright 2014 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Walking Edinburgh: from the Water of Leith to the Royal Mile

From our elegant holiday rental in Edinburgh on St. Bernard’s Crescent in Stockbridge, it’s just a couple of minute’s stroll to the romantic Water of Leith and a picturesque walking path that runs by the waterway.

Downstream – you have to take the stairs down to the path by the charming corner tower building that now sadly houses a Pizza Express – the walkway leads you to the Botanic Gardens and Inverleith Park with its pond of swans, and grassy fields, a popular dog-walking spot.

There are a couple of benches here that overlook the water with views beyond to the Edinburgh cityscape and castle that are ideal for some quiet contemplative moments.

Upstream – you walk down the moss-covered stone steps off Saunders Street – you can follow the leafy path by the meandering creek to the unexpected delight of Dean Village and beyond.

Along the way you pass some rather strange contemporary sculptures made of leafs, a pretty marble pergola with statue, a lofty stone bridge, and a dramatic weir, until you reach the charming ‘village’ on a bend of the creek.

From here you can walk through the village and hike up the signposted steps to the Modern Art Galleries, or at Dean Bridge you can take a left for a steep hike up the hill and along Queensferry Street to Princes Street and the heart of Edinburgh.

At Princes Street, take the stairs down into the West Princes Gardens for wonderful views of Edinburgh Castle then stroll through the gardens, and up the grassy slopes to reach the Royal Mile (High Street).

You can spend hours exploring here, taking the little alleys into the various Closes to hidden courtyards and tranquil gardens.

You don’t need to visit the Castle – it’s a delight just to take in the details of the architecture and the atmosphere of this historic quarter.

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2015-01-25T18:23:05+00:00By |

About the Author:

Professional travel/food editorial/commercial photographer and food and travel writer based in Asia. His photography and writing assignments has seen him visit over 70 countries. Has authored some 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Footprint, Rough Guides, Thomas Cook, and AA Guides. Photography has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, National Geographic Traveller, Wanderlust, Get Lost, Travel+Leisure Asia, DestinAsian, Four Seasons Magazine, Fah Thai, Sawasdee and many more.


  1. Camels & Chocolate February 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Your Edinburgh posts are making me so nostalgic for Scotland. I lived there, on the Cowgate, for six all-too-short months in 2003, and it will forever be my favorite city on Earth.

  2. Lara Dunston March 22, 2011 at 7:32 am

    Thank you so much for these kind words. Favourite city on earth is really saying something! We were both sick while we were there – it was our last Grantourismo destination too, so we were exhausted as well, so even though we did a lot and loved it, we didn’t do as much as we did in some other destinations, so definitely keen to return. But in warm weather next time! I think summer would be lovely.

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