The Shore was originally the Port of Leith and is situated besides the Water of Leith. The port was developed form the 18th Century. There are some notable buildings which were then an important part of Port of Leith. Intensive regeneration since then has took place and it's pleasant place to wander and have dinner in one of its restaurants.
Built by Robert Mylne in 1686 for pressing rape-seed oil. It was converted to a tower in at beginning of the 19th Century and used for signalling ships when entering Leith until the modern docks were developed later on in the century.
Former Seamen's Mission
Originally a seamen's mission built in the 19th Century but now a Malmaison Hotel, In front of the hotel is the Merchant Navy Memorial.
Part of the development of the modern docks in the 19th Century and at the north end of the dock is Victoria Bridge.
The Royal Yacht Britannia was built in 1953 and withdrawn from service a few years ago. It took the royal family on world tours and entertained other royalty, politicians and friends.
Visitors can see all 5 decks and the main things to see are The State Dining Room, The State Drawing Room, the Queen's bedroom ,the Duke's room, the guest bedroom, barracks of the Royal Marines.the sickbay and operating theatre, the galley, Engine room and the Royal Barge.
The tour takes about 2 hours and all visitors have an audio guide.
It is very intersting to see the shabby opulence in which the royal family travelled, and the cramped quarters of the crew who must have worked very hard keeping everything so immaculate. The amount of silver on display would need a lot of work alone.
Opening times :
March to October 9.30-16.30
November to March 10.00 - 15.30
From 23 to 26 May 2003 the 4 biennial "Festival Of The Sea" will be held in Leith (Edinburgh). Most of the events centre around the Western Harbour, the part near the Ocean Terminal.
There will be a host of ships and boats there, pride of place going to the "Tall Ships". The Royal Navy will have a presence there and there will be nautical "entertainments" throughout the days.
We will be there ;-))
Among the new developements built in Leith in recent years is Ocean Terminal. Its a shoppping centre with a multiscreen cinema and also some restaurants as well as being home to the Royal Yacht Brittania which is only accessible through Ocean Terminal.
In 2003 it even played host to the European MTV Music Awards!
Apart from anything else if you are coming into Edinburgh by car its a good place to park, have a look round etc and then take a bus into town rather than paying the exorbitant prices to park in the city centre. The car park is open til 12am.
There are a number of statues that caught my eye around Leith Docks. Some were of mariners or people related to commerce, but one particularly stuck in my mind, which was modern- a statue to a Sandy Irvine Robertson. It is lifesize and of him sitting on a bench. Most lifelike.
The newly renovated dock area has quite a lot to see. There is the old Seaman's Mission which is now a hotel, there is the lighthouse, statues, iron gates and a pair of cannon.
It is quiet and peaceful, probably a great contrast to how it was a hundred years ago.
The Signal Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Leith , built about 1685 by Robert Mylne.
Its domed roof and sails were removed and battlements were built on top. From these flags were flown to guide ships into port
Your tour of the ship starts on the bridge.
Britannia's control centre was the Bridge, which still retains much of its original 1950's appearance. As the central command point of the Royal Yacht, it was one of the most important places on the ship. It was from the Bridge that the officers navigated, issued orders, updated the log books, plotted, and planned every mile of the ship's progress across the seas.
Other photos are of the Communication's Room and the Captain's Quarters.
Grain was an important commodity in the commercial trade of Leith.
The building built in the neo-classical style has a frieze of grain around the top. The building is built of stone but could do with cleaning up!
Walk: Run; Cycle, Swim, Sunbathe, visit an Island, watch Sea-life, Seabirds.
With the River Esk to the east at Musselburgh by the Race Course and Golf Course to the River Almond to the west by Cramond with its Golf Courses and the Dalmeny Estate across the river Almond leading to Queensferry and Port Edgar people can enjoy the fresh air away from city hustle and bustle.
Whenever Britannia was to dock at a foreign port, the Rolls-Royce Phantom V was ready on board to take the Queen around in style. Strangely, the on board car was never used; a suitable car was always aranged in advance at each port of call. This car was ready just in case something went wrong upon arrival.
It's housed on deck in a glass enclosed garage. It was a regular wooden garage while the ship was still in service. The glass was added to allow visitors to see the car and yet still provide protection for the extremely valueable vehicle. The car is still owned by Bentley Motors Ltd. but is on loan to the Britannia.
The teak-lined Sun Lounge was a private area for the royal family to relax while on board. Large windows provided a spectacular view out the back of the ship.
Check out a few more photos of the Sun Lounge I took.
The State Dining Room is the largest and grandest room on the ship. Throughout the 44 years of Britannia's life, this room has witnessed spectacular banquets and played host to the rich, the famous and the powerful. Sir Winston Churchill, Rajiv Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to name a few.
A banquet on board Britannia was an experience truly out of the ordinary. It took three hours to set the 56 places for a state banquet, and the position of every knife, fork and spoon was meticulously measured with a ruler. Today the State Dining Room is still used for exclusive corporate events and companies entertaining on board experience the same meticulous attention to detail and high standards of service that Britannia is famous for.
This elegant white panelled room was the Warrant Officers' and Chief Petty Officers' Mess. As the most senior Yachtsmen on board, the Warrant Officers and Chief Petty Officers had their own Mess with separate sleeping quarters.
The Royal Barge ferried royal passengers to and from the yacht when Britannia was anchored in harbours around the world. Her propellers have been removed from the ship and are now displayed on the ground floor of the Ocean Terminal.
After your meal in the State Dining Room, guests would retire to the Drawing Room.
The Drawing Room, with its chintz-covered sofas, deep armchairs and luxurious Persian rugs, was used both for official functions and for private entertaining. There is a baby grand piano in the corner of the room (you can see a bit of it on the far left when you enlarge the photo). The piano is firmly bolted to the deck and was regularly played by Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and Princess Alexandra.