Things To Do In Stockbridge, Edinburgh

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This leafy and architecturally rich suburb of Edinburgh borders the north-eastern end of the New Town, and is often overlooked by visitors who only have time to experience the capital's main attractions. If you are feeling adventurous, however, then wander beyond Queen Street, up Howe Street past the gardens, then veer left into Circus Place. Here you'll encounter a circular array of tree-lined, cobbled streets flanked on all sides by tall and beautiful Georgian Houses.

1) See Edinburgh's Most Picturesque Streets:

Stockbridge serves as an excellent avenue for a morning or afternoon stroll, particularly Circus Lane, a narrow 18th century mews widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in Edinburgh. Colourful climbing plants snake along the terrace façades like emerald veins, electric lights are contained within original gas lanterns, and the looming spire of the nearby Episcopal Church adds a delectably old-timey charm.

Be sure to have your camera prepared for this place if nothing else. Do so later in the day and you could potentially finish up by rejoining Howe Street, where Mothers Gin Bar channels its bohemian vibes onto passers-by.

Circus Lane Stockbridge

Circus Lane Stockbridge, Edinburgh | Credit: Spencer Means.

2) Browse Stockbridge Market:

Should your visit fall on a Sunday then check out the Stockbridge Market. It graces the Jubilee Gardens alongside Kerr and Saunders Streets, and is open all year round at the end of each week between 10:00-17:00. The atmosphere's always lively, the food stalls invariably delicious, and everything's set against a historic skyline.

Sunny day at Stockbridge Market

Sunny day at Stockbridge Market | Credit: Stockbridge Market.

3) Follow The Water of Leith:

Follow-up your browse of the market stalls by crossing Water of Leith into Raeburn Place. As main roads go it's a fairly busy spot, and is lined with all the small businesses, chain eateries and independent gastropubs you'd expect. Make a stop here if you're feeling peckish or curious for a browse.

Afterwards, do a little backtracking and proceed down Saunders Street (or Dean Terrace), and join the Water of Leith nature walkway. Follow the route as it passes through Dean Gardens, beneath Thomas Telford's Dean Bridge, then onto Dean Path via Miller Row.

The Water of Leith - Edinburgh's River from Alasdair Birchwood on Vimeo.

4) Visit Dean Village:

By this point you'll probably notice the architecture turning rather rustic. That's because you're approaching Dean Village, a former milling centre dating back to 1128. Though its industry died out in the 19th century many of the buildings, all from varying centuries, have been wonderfully maintained and meld stunningly with the green banks of the Water of Leith. Dean Village is often referred to as a 'tranquil oasis', and it's plain to see why from a simple stroll.

Dean Village Stockbridge Edinburgh

Water of Leith flowing through Dean Village.

5) Peruse Modern Art:

Continue east of Dean Village towards our last Stockbridge recommendation, Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art. Admission is free (besides special exhibitions) and the grounds have been converted into a vast sculpture park. There's two buildings to explore, the Modern One and Modern Two. The former hosts works by Matisse and Picasso, along with brilliant cubist paintings and early 20th century French and Russian art. The latter is mainly dedicated to modern Scottish art, but compliments this with a renowned collection of post-war international pieces.

Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art One

Scottish National Gallery Of Modern Art One.

6) Continue On To Leith:

Follow the Water of Leith nature walkway all the way and you'll eventually arrive in the Edinburgh district of Leith. In another blog we discuss what to see and do in this beautiful neighbourhood by the sea: Things To Do In Leith.

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