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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