Unique Places in Edinburgh

  • lovely sunny August day
    lovely sunny August day
    by iaint
  • Rail Bridge, seen from S Queensferry
    Rail Bridge, seen from S Queensferry
    by iaint
  • Heriots school - Edinburgh
    Heriots school - Edinburgh
    by solopes

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Edinburgh

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    The Scotman Steps

    by spidermiss Updated Oct 15, 2012

    The Scotman Steps were originally built at the end of the 19th Century as part of the Scotman Newspaper office. Over time they became a target for graffiti artists and anti-social behaviour (for example the steps were used as a toilet!).

    Recently they have been fully restored in 2011 by City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh World Heritage and Fruitmarket Gallery with its 104 marble steps part of Martin Creed's public art (known as Work 1059). The Scotman steps is seen as 'a grand public passageway between the city's Old and New Town' (Source: Edinburghguide.com).

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    St Andrew Square

    by spidermiss Updated Oct 15, 2012

    St Andrew Square is situated in the City Centre. Construction began in 1772 towards part of the New Town deigned by James Craig. St Andrew Square, at the time, was the most sought out area to live in Edinburgh and famous residents such as David Hume and Sir William Chambers. Subsequently, the area around the square became the city's commercial centre. What is notable is the Melville Monument, situated in the centre, commemorating Henry Dundas who was the first Viscount Melville.

    St Andrew Square is the city centre's transport hub including the city's bus station which and is served by long-distance bus services all over Scotland. This area was redeveloped in 2003 to accommodate an upmarket shopping street, Multrees Walk, which features Harvey Nichols. In 2014 it will become a hub for new city centre trams.

    There is a cafe at the square which seems to be popular especially in nice weather.

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    a walk on the wild side

    by iaint Written Aug 20, 2011

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    You can walk across the Forth Road Bridge (or cycle). Not on the traffic lanes, but the pedestrian/cycle lanes on either side.

    It's 1.5 miles in each direction, so a reasonable walk. I ran across and back this morning, but it was for charity, so happy to bear the pain.

    You will be rewarded with wonderful views of the Firth of Forth, the Fife coast and the Lothian side. Then there's the rail bridge as well (to see, not to walk across).

    And last but not least, you'll get enough fresh air to last you for weeks - probably arriving at high speed from which ever direction the wind is in.

    The bridge was built in 1964 - before that travelling north involved the ferry from South to North Queensferry.

    You'll find a car park on the south side, to the east of the road behind the Bridge Authority building. By train - go to Dalmeny or North Queensferry on a slow Fife train. I'm sure the buses go there too.

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    Pink Triangle has many hearts all good stuff

    by lillibets Written May 27, 2011

    visited the nondescript offices of the "gay centre" the world's first outside the u.s.a. to find an energetic buzz of activists helping highland ministers promote and diversify their standing on the net. gallons of tea ,sandwiches and a buzz of getting to grips with the networking of the words of the bible for the next 400 years in king james's toon.They were getting links to their websites and realising the importance of links and networking,and i had volunteered to assist in a guise as computer tech although i dinna ken that much it's always fun to share what knowledge you do have that helps someone else fulfil their aims and aspirations

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    THE ACTION OF 400 YEARS OF ENLIGHTENMENT

    by lillibets Written May 27, 2011

    sT. aNDREWS by leith links has powerful architecture but the real power is in the website, community of active workers and a general buzz of getting on with making the world a better place. The minister ms. youngston is a dynamo in society and her enigmatic work is seen throughout the community.If ever King James 6th could see the fruits of his work it's in places like this.

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    Scotlands Oldest Inhabited House

    by margaretvn Updated Apr 4, 2011

    We were staying in Peebles for a week and were meeting up with an old nursing mate of mine. So we were looking for somewhere to meet when she suggested Tarquair House. We were staying in Tarquair Cottage and discovered that the house was only a mile or so up the road from us. We also discovered that it is the oldest inhabited house in Scotland so it seemed a great place to meet up.
    The house spans almost a 1000 years of Scottish history, there are also lovely gardens. The house is not large be it is very interesting with a priest hole so you can see just how they escaped in times of danger. There is a great collection of embroideries, letters and relics. I just loved the old doctors prescription for the lord - easily read and telling him and his servants just what he had to eat and what he had to do all day! There is also an ancient brewery and beers for sale. When Mary, Queen of Scots visited the house in 1566 the brewery was working. In 1739 a 200 gallon copper vat was installed in one of the wings beneath the chapel. The brewery fell into disuse for more than 200 years but was rediscovered by the 20th laird of Tarquiar and he started brewing again in 1965. My dad tells me it was a good beer - treated him to some for Fathers day! In the gardens are various craft shops with a good selection of goods. There is also a lovely restaurant where we had coffee and, after our visit to the house, lunch. They have a good selection of meals and sandwiches and cakes. We had their shortbread and it was the best I have ever tasted. In the brewery my friend bought a Tarquair Spice cake.
    It is said that the Bear gates of the house will stay locked until the next Stewart king is crowned - so I guess you will have to use the other entrance next to them for the time being.
    The house is on a little road between Peebles and Innerleithen - the B7062. If you travel by bus it is a 15 minute walk from Innerleithen

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    See the protected Chaple

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    In 1446 Sir William St. Clair, the 3rd. and last Prince of Orkney built an extraorinary Chaple here in tiny Roslin. The Gothic Chaple has links with the Knights Templer and the Mason's Organisation but has many tales to tell, it is said to be the story of the Bible revealed in stone. Imagine how I felt when first casting a distant eye over the masses of scaffolding and giant umbrella covering the very roof of this historic chaple from the car park. Everything has its optimistic side however - Where else could you view the very top of a beautiful Chaple except perhaps from Heaven? Recent years have seen great restoration work in progress here preserving the past to meet the needs of the future.
    Opening Times
    1st. April - 31st. September 9.30 - 6.00
    Ist. October - 31st. March 9.30 - 5.00
    Sundays 12.00 - 4.45
    Admission Adults £7.00 Concession £6.00 Children under 16 free

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    Step inside the Chaple to see jealousy at work

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The story of a Master Mason and his Apprentice - The Master Mason designed the first Pillar in the Chaple but wanted to make his second masterpiece much greater so he went off to Rome for inspiration only to find on his return his apprentice had completed the job. The Master was overcome with jealousy and rage, he killed the apprentice with a single blow to the head with his Masonic Hammer. The master had a terrible fate which would take him to eternity - his face is carved at the door of the Chaple always looking at the pillar he murdered for and the apprentice from the same spot looks at the inferior pillar - pious folk indeed.

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    Don't believe all you read

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Rosslyn Chaple Trust was established in 1996 and is a registered charity fully commited to the chaple's restoration work. I have no idea how much the makers of the film The Da Vinci Code paid Rosslyn for the filming of the chaple but as you can see from the photo - they have a wry sense of humour

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    Scotland's Governing Body

    by scottishvisitor Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    When we first saw the Scottish Executive Building we thought - Do we need a boat to get in? as the building is fronted by water. The Scottish Executive is in Leith which has seen major regeneration over recent years this was a place of shipping & docks in bygone times. The creation of this new building fits in well with the new look Leith & the clever use of abandoned docks in front of the building holds an important sense of the past. Scotland has moved on with devolution but can proudly remember her past.

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    Union Canal

    by Nemorino Updated Oct 13, 2010

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    I didn't even know there was such a thing as the Union Canal until I happened onto it while I was cycling around Edinburgh.

    I guess I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere, which is easy to do if you aren't used to cycling on the left, Here in the U.K. a left turn is easy, but a right turn is something of a maneuver in city traffic -- the opposite of what we are used to in Germany.

    Along the left side of the canal is the former Towpath, now a walking and cycling path which part of a cycling route called National Route 75, otherwise known as The Clyde to Forth Cycle Route, which goes from Glasgow (on the River Clyde) to Edinburgh (on the Firth of Forth)

    The National Cycle Network is coordinated by an organization called Sustrans - the "sustainable transport" charity, which "works on practical projects to encourage people to walk, cycle and use public transport in order to reduce motor traffic and its adverse effects." Details on their website.

    Update: While sorting through some old papers I came across a list of places in Edinburgh where we went cycling in April 2003. One day we went to Dean Village, The Water of Leith and the Royal Botanic Garden. And then the next day we rode our bikes to The Innocent Railway, Craigmillar Castle (where they had reduced prices for seniors but not for students, so my son had to pay the full price while I got in for less), Cycle Route 1, Portobello, Joppa, Musselburgh and Falside Castle, a privately-owned castle where an extremely posh upper-class party was in progress when we arrived, complete with over a dozen fat upper-class cars parked all over the property. People like us, on bicycles, could of course only view this from the outside.

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    Cairnpapple Hill

    by margaretvn Updated Aug 2, 2009

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    Visit Cairnpapple Hill This is one of the most important prehistoric monuments on mainland Scotland. On a clear day you have beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
    Cairnapple Hill is a site that was used from about 2800 BC. In the Neolithic period seven holes in an arc were made and the cremated remains of humans were placed in them. In the centre of the arc there are three sockets and these are though to have been for megaliths. Later 24 standing stones were arranged in an oval and a ditch was made outside of this oval. It had entrances to the north and south. A bank was also built up beyond the ditch; this bank or henge was around 200 feet in diameter. Some fragments of beaker pottery and some cremated bone have been found from this period, some fragments of stone axes found are though to have come from the Lake District and from Penmaenmawr Mountain in North Wales. This is thought to show that there was links of Communication and trade between the local community and more distant groups.
    There is also a grave marked by standing stones and surrounded by smaller stones. In the bank is a grave where fragments of beaker were found but no bones were found in either grave. It is though that the acid soil would have destroyed any remains.
    At a later date a cairn was made within the bank or henge and this covered two Bronze Age cyst burials. A cairn with double the diameter was built later. This cairn covered two cremations covered by urns. These urns were dated to the late Bronze Age. In probably the Iron Age four graves were dug in the ditch area but there are no artefacts to definitely date them and any bone remains would have again been destroyed by the acid soil.
    The mound you see today is a reconstruction representing the original Bronze Age cairn.
    Open in the summer only.
    Found three miles north of Bathgate, four miles from Linlithgow off the A706

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    Rosslyn Chapel

    by margaretvn Written Aug 2, 2009

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    I had wanted to go to the chapel ever since I had read the book! (The da Vinci Code) lol!
    Quite by chance when we were returning from a day in Edinburgh we noticed the sign for the Rosslyn Chapel and it was then that we realised just how near to it the cottage was that we had hired for the week - only about 45 minutes away. So we decided to alter our plans for the next day to include a visit to Rosslyn.
    Rosslyn Chapel is beautiful, let me say that straight away BUT, if you think you are going to see a complete wonderfully decorated chapel - like you get the idea it is in the book, you are wrong. The chapel is being restored and is badly damaged although it is wonderfully decorated. You just do not know where to look next, as there are so many wonderful carvings. You can only take photos on the outside of the chapel. The chapel is covered with a temporary canopy while it is being restored. In fact this is great as you can climb up the steps and walk around the outside of the chapel and view it from a place you would not normally be able to.
    Sir William St Clair founded the chapel in 1446 as the Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew. It took 40 years to complete and in fact it was not finished until after St Clair died. In 1571 the chapel was seized by Protestant reformers in 1572 the altars were demolished and the chapel was no longer used for worship. Some repair/restoration was done in 1736 but it was not until the early 1800's that any serious restoration was started. In fact some of the earlier restoration is the cause of the problems the chapel is facing today.
    There is a small, but interesting exhibit before you go to the chapel and talks are given regularly in the chapel and they are well done. One of the things you are told is that the high number of visitors is a two-pronged fork. The Rosslyn Chapel Fund needs the money the visitors bring but the visitors also make it more difficult to control the restoration because of things like extra moisture in the chapel etc.
    There is also a small but very good gift shop on the site at the moment but new (better) facilities are going to be opened in the summer of 2010.

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    Rosslyn Chapel- interior

    by uglyscot Updated Dec 2, 2008

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    There are so many carvings, pillars and stained glass windows that deserve close scrutiny, but the volume of people nowadays makes this very difficult.
    However, I tried to capture as much as I could on my camera, and will divide them into categories.
    Update 2008- it is no longer permitted to take photos or videos in the chapel

    One of the most important features is the apprentice's column.

    To visit the chapel:
    from the Edinburgh bypass take "Straiton Junction" A701 to Penicuik/Peebles. Follow A701 to sign for Roslin (3 miles) once in Roslin Village the Chapel is signposted.

    Price of tickets:
    Adults £7.50
    Concessions £6
    Under 16's (with parents/guardian) FREE
    Under 16's (in a group) £4

    Opening times all year except
    Dec 24th, 25th, 31st and Jan 1st)

    Open : 1st April - 30th Sept
    Mon-Sat
    9.30am-6pm
    Sun 12 noon - 4.45pm

    1st Oct - 31st March
    Mon - Sat
    9.30am -5pm
    Sun 12noon - 4.45pm

    Last Admission 30 mins before closing.e

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    Rosslyn Chapel

    by dhina Updated Aug 3, 2008

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    I have to admit that I want to visit it because of Da Vinci Code's book, such a mysterious place with a lot of secrets. Well, Dan Brown may put a lot of fiction on it, but the chapel indeed has a lot of secrets that have not been revealed yet.
    Rosslyn is a small town about 40 mins from Edinburgh and actually not only famous with its chapel but also because of Dolly, the famous clone sheep, that was cloned in Rosslyn Institute.
    There is a tour guide at 11am (March 2008) which gives you an interesting history of the chapel..

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