5 Hidden Gems In Edinburgh

Are you traveling to Edinburgh soon?

 

Are you the kind of traveler who likes visiting places only locals know and getting that wow feeling?

 

Then, look no further!

 

Here, you’re not going to be encouraged to visit the Scott Monument or the National Museum. Don’t get me wrong; the Scott Monument is a beautiful Victorian Gothic monument in the heart of the city, and the National Museum offers a vast collection of antiquities for you to enjoy, related to the Scottish culture and history.

 

However, here I’m going to provide you with something more; I’m going to talk to you about places locals love to visit; places that are meant to offer you a unique experience and something to remember when you go back home. And, why not, some perfect ‘clicks’!

1. Dean Village

Gary Campbell-Hall from Edinburgh, UK, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Have you ever visited a village in the very heart of a city? If not, this is your chance to escape from the traffic noises of Edinburgh to a relaxing and charming place.

 

Dean is a picturesque village, founded in the 12th century. When once it used to be full of mills, now only their remnants can be seen. During the 20th century, the village was abandoned, but some years later, it gained a part of its previous glory back and turned into one of the most “green” places in Edinburgh.

 

There’s no wonder why residents love this place. Located west of the city center, full of vegetation and the Water of Leith flowing through, this is the ideal place to wander around, when you need some tranquillity and fresh air.

 

Once you get there, don’t forget to follow the Water of Leith Walkway, or to visit the famous Well Court.

 

Why is it worth a visit?

 

It’s an outdoor space, which means that you can enjoy the nature free of charge, and it’s easily accessible on foot or by bus. It’s highly recommended to walk by the river, all the way to the scenic area of Stockbridge. But hold on; I’ll talk about this later.

2. Portobello

Picture Credits: pixabay.com

 

This beautiful area in east Edinburgh shows at the Firth of Forth. It’s considered a suburb, full of summerhouses. Apart from its lovely center, there’s a variety of things to see and do following the paths that will take you to the sea.

 

Walking down the vast sandy beach and the long promenade, full of restaurants and cafeterias, you will find locals enjoying a Sunday morning, children playing in the sand and eating ice-cream during spring and summertime, and families spending valuable time together.

 

It’s perfect for anyone who loves the sea and wants to spend a morning away from the city center.

 

The best time to visit is spring and summer when the weather is warm and sunny, and people come together to enjoy the day. It’s when you will find a lot of different fairs happening. One of the most exciting ones is the popular Portobello Busk on the Beach, with a variety of acts taking place all the way along the promenade.

 

Why is it worth a visit?

 

Because it’s one of the places which can easily lift your mood and refill your batteries after an exhausting day.

3. Dr. Neil’s Garden

M J Richardson, via Wikimedia Commons

 

This “Secret Garden” is an oasis thirty minutes away from the city center. It’s located within Duddingston Village in Edinburgh, and it’s easily accessible by bus.

 

Once you get there, you will be amazed by the green space and the variety of plants. This garden was created by two doctors, Drs Andrew, and Nancy Neil, who loved visiting other countries and collecting plants and trees. They combined medicine with gardening, and they even encouraged their patients to assist in the garden, as they would benefit from outdoor activity.

 

In the garden, you will find Thomson’s Tower, which is open as a museum. It was designed for the Duddingston Curling Society so that curling stones could be stored there. Rest assured that, once you visit, you will learn all about Curling. Moreover, it hosts a variety of art exhibitions, and anyone can hire the venue to organize workshops or gatherings.

 

Why is it worth a visit?

 

Because it’s a unique place, surrounded by two broad parks, and it’s going to offer you the peace and beauty you’re looking for. The best part of it? It’s completely free of charge and opens seven days a week.

 

4. Stockbridge

 

Stockbridge is one of the most beautiful suburbs in Edinburgh. Located north of the city center, it can be easily reached by following the Water of Leith Walkway.

 

With a variety of elegant restaurants and cozy cafeterias, this is the ideal place to relax and enjoy your lunch or coffee after an exhausting day. Wandering along the main street you’ll find anything you need in the various local shops.

 

This is one of the few areas across Edinburgh, where there are local butcher shops, fishmongers and greengrocers. Sunday is the perfect day to visit Stockbridge, when a market takes place in the central square, which sells everything from local food and products, to handmade clothing and jewelry.

 

If you are an evening person, you can enjoy a drink in one of the pubs, or an aperitif in one of the restaurants. Let the beauty of Stockbridge drift you and enjoy!

 

Why is it worth a visit?

 

Because it’s the perfect place for a break or a romantic night out.

5. Surgeons Hall

Kim Traynor, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Less well-known in comparison with the famous National Museum of Scotland, this is one of the oldest museums in the city.

 

It’s a medical museum, with a variety of collections on pathology, anatomy and “medical ephemera”.  Once there, you will learn all about forensics in Edinburgh and murderers; you will “meet” Joseph Lister and “talk” about his discovery of antiseptic, and you will “discuss” with James Young Simpson his discovery of chloroform as an anesthetic.

 

Why is it worth a visit?

 

Because it offers an alternative day out and it’s highly interesting. You’ll turn into an investigator for a few hours, and get closer to a doctor’s daily life during the past.

 

Do you have the nerves?

 

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