Five Secret Spots in Edinburgh To Visit
As our walking tours in Edinburgh couldn't be further from traditional, we wanted to offer some additional secret spots to add to your next visit to Edinburgh. And if you'd like some reassurance about taking our tours at this difficult time, find out everything we're doing to safeguard our guides and our guests from COVID-19.
Edinburgh continually ranks among travellers’ top cities to visit, not just in the UK, or even Europe, but globally. The city is vibrant, picturesque, and feels strangely timeless. This is why it has long been known as ‘the Athens of the North’. But if there’s one grumbling complaint that visitors often make of the city, it’s that they wish it was a little quieter, that the crowds were a little smaller. Who can blame them? Haven’t we all found ourselves in places of beauty and been jostled from our daydreams by a newly arrived tour group? Well, if you have felt this in Edinburgh — perhaps during festival season — think of Dean Village as an antidote. Once known as the ‘Water of Leith Village’, this residential area was the site of grain milling for over 800 years. A 30-minute walk from the centre of the city, the area is quaint, tranquil, and fairytale-esque.
Museum of Childhood
Edinburgh’s Museum of Childhood was the world’s first museum dedicated to the subject. This fascinating museum evokes all the wonder and creativity of childhood through a collection of artefacts from between the 18th and 21st centuries. The museum began as the private collection of Edinburgh councillor, Patrick Murray. Today the museum can boast of having more than 60,000 items within their collection. Many facets of childhood experience are explored within the museum, such as schooldays, holidays, and children’s clothing. Multimedia elements help to immerse guests in exhibits. A Victorian street has lovingly been recreated and younger visitors can dress up and partake in games. One of the standout pieces is an enormous doll’s house that contains 2,000 tiny items across its 21 rooms; it has been so finely crafted that it even has functioning lighting and plumbing systems. While a teddy bear brought to Britain by a child refugee from the Kindertransport brings a moment of real poignancy. This carefully curated and well-maintained museum should not be overlooked.
The Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh
Another overlooked place of serenity in Scotland’s capital city, the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh is a place for reflection and leisure. Known locally simply as the Botanics, this enormous collection of plants dates back to 1670, making it the second oldest botanic gardens in Britain. Located in Inverleith, a suburb to the north of the city, the botanic gardens are easily reached on foot from the city centre, but far enough from the city’s main attractions to escape the crowds. This is a place to connect with nature and to allow your thoughts to float free in the calming environment. The site spans an impressive 70 acres, contains 10 glasshouses, and is home to over 100,000 plants. At a time when environmental issues are often at the forefront of our minds, it is deeply encouraging to witness the tender care that staff at the gardens put into their upkeep. From the Botanics, you will be able to enjoy marvellous views across the city, featuring the castle in all its glory.Read more